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Category Archives: Dinner

Slow-Cooker Chicken Stew

I apologize (I do that alot) for not posting for quite a while. I’ve been completely wrapped up in grade 8 homework assignments, and then I had to skip school yesterday because I was really sick. Don’t worry though, I feel much better today ­čÖé

When you’re sick, all you really want is chicken soup, right? Unless, of course, you’re vegetarian/vegan, but don’t you still long for the hot, soothing broth, and just-tender veggies? Of course you do, it’s the ultimate comfort food. I threw all my ingredients in my slow-cooker this morning before heading off to school, then when I got home I cooked and added my chicken, but I really don’t think it matters. It’s healthy, hearty and oh-so delicious!

Slow-Cooker Chicken Stew
Serves about 9

  • 1 cup carrots, coarsely chopped (I actually used baby)
  • 1 cup celery,┬ácoarsely┬áchopped
  • 1 tomato, cut up into small-medium chunks
  • 1 cup peas (mine were canned)
  • 8 cups chicken stock (I didn’t have enough stock, so I used 4 cups of stock to 4 cups of water, but I bet it would be alot better this way!)
  • 1 whole red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, devided into two 1/4 tsp
  • 2-3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I had a half of a leftover breast in the fridge which I heated up, and 2 more which I cooked just prior to throwing into the soup)
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  1. Combine the first 9 ingredients in the Slow-Cooker (only 1 sprig of rosemary and 1/4 tsp thyme) and cook for 8 hours on low (4 hours on high).
  2. When you have only about 30 mins remaining, place chicken in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover with broth (or water) and the remaining herbs. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, then turn the heat off and allow the chicken to sit in the hot stock for 15 minutes more.
  4. Puree 2 cups of your soup in a blender, or less if you like a chunky soup. Return to Slow-Cooker.
  5. Chop chicken into bite-size chunks (or however big you’d like) and add to the Slow-Cooker. Enjoy immediately, or wait about an hour, leaving the Slow-Cooker on “warm”.
  6. ENJOY!
    Image

    This is how the soup looked BEFORE being pureed/chicken added.

    Image

    AFTER being pureed, but before the chicken

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    The final result, after puree and chicken! Yummy!

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Vegetable Borscht

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I have officially broken away from cooker’s block! Tonight I made my wonderful family a nice, homemade, low-calorie, Vegetable Borscht. And they thought it wasn’t too bad (not to brag, but neither did I!). Plus, it was pretty cheap. Vegetables. Stock. Tomato paste. And some conventional items most everyone has in their pantries already. Lesson of the day: believe in yourself. And try to cut vegetables faster.

There are a few comments I’m going to make here. Firstly, the beets. They MUST be peeled and sliced using rubber gloves to hold them, unless you want to look like a murderer for the next two weeks! As for the size they’re cut into, the recipe I used called for 1/2 inch pieces. I think mine were actually bigger, and bigger was better. Go for the one inch, baby.
The carrots were much fewer than the beets, so I might increase them by 1/2 cup at the most.
I used garlic-y tomato paste, and I think it had a better effect on the soup than plain Jain paste would’ve. I wanted to eat it straight out of the can. But I do have that mild obsession with garlic (maybe that’s why nobody talks to me anymore… I have a lot of friends…). I also increased the amount from 2tbsp to 2tbsp + 1tsp.
The vegetable stock was also increased, from 1500mL to 1800mL, as were the mushrooms, from 13oz to 16oz… And I honestly could even have gone higher than that.
Now that you’ve read the changes I’ve made, and will make in the future (the recipe is that great.) maybe you can even tweak this to your own personal tastes and preferences. Last but not least… I burnt the onions. Don’t do that.

Vegetable Borscht
Adapted from Company’s Coming: Soups
Makes about 10 cups

Ingredients

  • 1tbsp butter/margarine
  • 680g brown or white mushrooms, chopped
  • Medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1800mL vegetable stock
  • 1 1/4 cups carrot, grated
  • 2tbsp + 1tsp tomato paste with garlic
  • 1/2tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2tsp pepper
  • 2tbsp lemon juice, bottled
  • 5tbsp sour cream (I used fat-free)
  • Method

    1) Melt butter or margarine in a large saucepan on medium-high until melted.

    2) Add mushrooms and onion. Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and mushroom liquid has evaporated. (I repeat: DO NOT BURN)

    3) Sprinkle vegetables with flour. Increase heat and stir for 1 minute.

    4) Add the vegetable stock, beets, carrot, tomato paste, sugar and pepper; stir and bring to a boil.

    5) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for about 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally. By this time the beets should be very tender.

    6) Add lemon juice and stir.

    7) Carefully transfer about 2-3 cups of vegetables to a blender or food processor with a slotted spoon. Process until smooth and return to saucepan. Stir.

    8) Add sour cream, increase heat to medium, and whisk until the cream is gone and borscht is a lighter maroon colour. Serve immediately, or keep on low until you’re ready to serve.

     
     

    Baked Eggs with Meat, Basil & Tomatoes


    This is probably… the best thing I have ever eaten, in my life.
    I actually stumbled across a baked eggs recipe online a few weeks ago. Not knowing what it was, I asked my dad (who, if you don’t know, is a phenomenal cook and is always reading about new cooking techniques, ingredients and recipes). Surprisingly, he didn’t know either, but he looked it up in one of his cookbooks (The Cook’s Bible by Christopher Kimball, to be exact) and sure enough, there it was.
    So… I did what any aspiring cook would do and I made it. And it turned out terrific. I can’t put enough emphasis on it. It’s so good. Even my dad liked it, however, the recipe we’d been looking at called for bacon. And since I don’t eat any kind of fatty meats, that was an explicit no-no. Now, what I used to substitute may sound odd or gross, but I fried up some oven-roasted Tofurky slices (in olive oil, of course!), because even though I’m not a vegetarian, I have a love for tofu-based fake meats. Anyways, back to my dad… he didn’t like it. I mean, he didn’t hate it, but he actually had to give it to me, because I am 100% against food-wasting. But, of course, you can substitute my substitute with any reduced-fat or -sodium lunch/deli meat you want, and it. is. delicious.

    Baked Eggs with deli Meat, Basil & Tomatoes
    Serves 2

    Ingredients

    • 4 extra-large eggs
    • 2 slices preferred deli meat
    • 1/2 tsp olive oil
    • 1/2 large, ripe tomato, cut into 1″ squares
    • 4 basil leaves, roughly torn
    • Salt & pepper, to taste
    1. Preheat oven to 250*F. Bring about 6 cups of water (give or take) to a boil. Butter (I used margarine) 2 small ramekins. Fry [meat] in olive oil, 3mins per side.
    2. Fit [meat] in ramekins, then break 2 eggs into each one. Season only slightly with salt and pepper.
    3. Tear 2 basil leaves into each ramekin, then add tomato cubes (even distribution! Sharing is caring!).
    4. Place ramekins in a small roasting pan & pour boiling water around them, creating a water bath. The water level should be about even with the top of the eggs in the ramekins.
    5. Bake for about 45-48 min, or until whites are set but yolks are soft. Serve┬áimmediately.┬áI would suggest using a spoon rather than a fork like we did when eating, as you can still break up the meat with your spoon, and it helps when you gather up all the whites at the end of your meal. And they’re the best part!
    Approx. 215 cals per serving
     
    1 Comment

    Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Baking, Dinner, Low-Cal

     

    Stir-fried Bean Sprouts and Mushrooms

    I can honestly say I wasn’t going to post this. We ( my dad and I ) were missing some ingredients, we were substituting sauces and we both had things to do… But what we created was phenomenal. We followed the basic recipe and guidelines for a salad in “The Big Book of Wok & Stir-fry”, but we had to remove tofu, oyster sauce, garlic chives, snow peas and scallions. Trust me, this recipe may look small but boy does it fill you up!

    Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts and Mushrooms
    Serves 2

    Ingredients
    1tbsp sweet & sour stir fry sauce
    2tbsp low-sodium chicken stock
    2 1/2 tsp peanut oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    8oz mushrooms, sliced
    5oz bean sprouts
    a few drops of sesame oil

    1) Combine stir fry sauce and chicken stock in a small bowl, and set aside
    2) Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat. When very hot, add the garlic, reserving a small pinch.
    3) Add mushrooms
    4) When mushrooms have just turned brown, push them to the sides and add bean sprouts and chicken stock mixture in the center of the skillet. Let sit for about 25 seconds.
    5) Mix all vegetables together and stir fry for about 1 minute. At the very last moment, add the extra garlic. Place in bowls and top with a few drops of sesame oil. Serve immediately.

     
    1 Comment

    Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Dinner, Low-Cal