Friday, May 22, 2015

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

Yum

Chicken and chickpeas slow cooked in a flavorful Moroccan spiced broth and served over brown rice.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken:  Chicken and chickpeas slow cooked in a flavorful Moroccan spiced broth and served over brown rice.




My husband had a sore muscle.  Not just the kind you get from regular exercise (he's very active and not one to complain), but one like a tweak or a strain.  It was bothering him for a while so on top of resting, icing, and taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) he also wanted to eat anti-inflammatory foods.  This is where I came in and looked up some information online.  For an anti-inflammatory diet, foods low in saturated fat are good.  So are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and spices.  Spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and chili pepper are all supposed to be anti-inflammatory.

Add plenty of spices for anti-inflammatory diet [Tweet this]
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken:  Chicken and chickpeas slow cooked in a flavorful Moroccan spiced broth and served over brown rice.

Moroccan dishes often include many spices so I looked up common Moroccan spices.  Then I made a Moroccan spice blend with plenty of spices said to have anti-inflammatory properties.  (It's a good thing I love spicy foods and Indian foods because I have a huge cabinet full of spices so I had everything on hand.)  This spice blend was the main inspiration for this dish.  I just added veggies, chicken, and a few other healthy ingredients then cooked it all in a slow cooker for a simple and nutritious meal.

Moroccan spice blend with plenty of anti-inflammatory spices. [Tweet this]
This was not a miracle cure for my husband's pain.  I won't make any unbelievable claims.  We ate anti-inflammatory foods for a couple of weeks (we still include many in our regular meals) and maybe they helped or maybe they didn't.  I just think eating healthy and flavorful foods is never a bad thing.  Most importantly we really enjoyed this meal and will make it again (sore muscles or not).

Eating healthy & flavorful food is never bad. [Tweet this]
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken:  Chicken and chickpeas slow cooked in a flavorful Moroccan spiced broth and served over brown rice.

Moroccan Chicken

Cook time:  6 hours
Servings: 8

Moroccan Spice Mix:

1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp hot red chili powder (cayenne is fine)

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tablespoons Moroccan Spice Mix
1 chicken, separated
1 bunch cilantro stems (reserve the leaves for garnish)
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
1 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup olives, chopped (optional)

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken:  Chicken and chickpeas slow cooked in a flavorful Moroccan spiced broth and served over brown rice.


First prepare the spice mix by stirring all the spice together in a small bowl.  This makes about 2 tablespoons of spice mix and I used it all in this recipe.  Set aside.

In a 5 quart slow cooker, add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper (I use coarse sea salt and use a few pinches, a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper)

Sprinkle on the spice mix and add the chicken (I bought a whole chicken and had the butcher separate it into 10 pieces--breast (each cut in half), legs, thighs, wings).  You could also use boneless skinless breasts or thighs, whatever you prefer.  Make sure to season the chicken with salt and pepper too (a few pinches).

Then make a spice bundle using cheesecloth.  Unfold a square of cheesecloth and place the cilantro stems, cinnamon stick, and star anise in the center.  Then tie the cloth up around them. This just makes them easier to fish out after cooking and imparting their flavor.  Toss this packet into the slow cooker.

Add the can of tomatoes, chickpeas, and 2 cups of water.  You can probably add the raisins and olives now, but I didn't think about it until the end of cooking.

Cook on low for 6 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.

Serve with brown rice and garnish with cilantro (I had roasted cauliflower and broccoli on the side--more vegetables never hurt).

Enjoy.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken:  Chicken and chickpeas slow cooked in a flavorful Moroccan spiced broth and served over brown rice.

For more Moroccan and other dishes using anti-inflammatory spices check out:


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Great Idea Thursdays 98

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Welcome everyone.  Krista, from A Handful of Everything, and I would like to bring you:


Great Idea Thursdays 98:  A #linkparty where everything gets pinned.  Anything goes as long as it's family friendly and you made it yourself.
Wednesdays 6pm EST-Sunday 11:59pm EST
#greatideathurs

Welcome to Great Idea Thursdays link party where everything gets pinned.  It's an anything goes (as long as it's family friendly and you made it yourself) link party.  Link up your recent blog posts and see other great ideas.  We will be pinning every entry to pinterest.  Socialize and have fun, it's a party!

Great Idea Thursdays link party where everything gets pinned. Socialize and have fun, it's a party! [Tweet this]

Follow our pinterest board.



Here's what I've been doing since last time:



Now for my features from last week...in no specific order (I also share these on GooglePlus, facebook, and twitter. Make sure you check out Krista's page too.  She has different features.


Hippy Salad from Soulful Necessities


Dreamy Chocolate Surprise Dessert from My Sweet Mission


Strawberry Shortcake Martini from Lipgloss and Crayons

Most viewed:


What I Learned at Weight Watchers from Gluten Free with Judee


On to the link party.  Here are the usual rules.

*Please follow your host and co-host on any or all social media 

Host:  Krista from- 
 photo twitter_zps88bd9661.png  photo pinterest_zps8e7192c4.png  photo facebook_zps7e73c851.png   photo googleplus_zpsc749eee2.png  photo bloglovin_zps7b8b0a10.png







Co-Host:  Me Joybee--









*Grab a party button and put it somewhere on your blog (or text link back to us).

Joybee, What's for Dinner?

*Click on at least two other links and please leave a comment (I know I love getting comments).

*Remember to link directly to your blog post not just your home page.

Now lets party.  Enjoy.




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Monday, May 18, 2015

Coconut Rice Pudding

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Leftover rice and coconut milk combine to make a creamy, delicious, and vegan breakfast or dessert.


Coconut Rice Pudding:  Leftover rice and coconut milk combine to make a creamy, delicious, and vegan breakfast or dessert.



Rice is a great staple food.  It's inexpensive, easy to cook, versatile, and delicious.  Since moving to Hawaii, I eat much more rice than I used to.  A scoop or two of rice is often on the side of or the main component of many local meals.  While I don't have rice with every meal, I use it often.  I use rice in stir-fries, beans and rice, fried rice, soups, stews, and casseroles.  It never hurts to make extra rice because it will be eaten.

It never hurts to make extra rice. It will be eaten. [Tweet this]
Coconut Rice Pudding:  Leftover rice and coconut milk combine to make a creamy, delicious, and vegan breakfast or dessert.

A sweet way to use leftover rice is rice pudding.  It's such a simple recipe I always wonder why I don't make it more often.  Rice pudding makes a great breakfast or dessert and it's delicious.  Don't worry about making too much rice next time you cook.

There is no such thing as too much rice. Make Coconut Rice Pudding with leftovers. [Tweet this]
Coconut Rice Pudding:  Leftover rice and coconut milk combine to make a creamy, delicious, and vegan breakfast or dessert.

Coconut Rice Pudding

Servings:  4
Cook time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked rice (leftover rice is great)
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
2 Tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
1 dash of vanilla extract
Banana slices or other fruit

Coconut Rice Pudding:  Leftover rice and coconut milk combine to make a creamy, delicious, and vegan breakfast or dessert.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine the rice (cold right from the fridge is fine), coconut milk, and syrup if using.

Stir and mix well breaking up any clumps of rice.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened (about 15-20 minutes).

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Serve hot or cold topped with bananas or other fruit.  It would be great with some toasted shredded coconut too.

Makes about 4 servings.

Enjoy.

Coconut Rice Pudding:  Leftover rice and coconut milk combine to make a creamy, delicious, and vegan breakfast or dessert.



For more ways to use leftover rice check out:


Linked to:  Treasure Box, 2 Cup, Lou Lou, Whimsy, Tickle My Tastebuds, Wake Up, Full Plate, Freedom, Foodie Friends

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Lentil soup

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A bold and spicy soup with hot Portuguese sausage and healthy lentils.


Lentil Soup:  A bold and spicy soup with hot Portuguese sausage and healthy lentils.



Lentils are powerful little legumes.  They are packed with protein and fiber while being relatively low in calories.  They are very versatile too.  Lentils make great curries, soups, stew, and salads.  Another great thing about lentils is that they are quick to cook compared to other legumes like beans and don't require soaking (although I've read that soaking them overnight helps make their nutrients more digestible...I usually don't plan ahead enough to do that though).

Lentils are powerful little legumes [Tweet this]
Lentil Soup:  A bold and spicy soup with hot Portuguese sausage and healthy lentils.

Lentil Soup

Servings:  2-4
Cooking time:  45-60 minutes

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small carrot. diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 spicy sausage (I used hot Portuguese sausage), sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup lentils (I think I used green lentils)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups water
1 tsp chicken bullion
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Lentil Soup:  A bold and spicy soup with hot Portuguese sausage and healthy lentils.

In a large stock pot, over medium heat, cook the vegetables in oil until tender.  Add the sausage and continue cooking until it curls then add the garlic and lentils.

Stir and continue cooking until garlic is fragrant then add the tomatoes, water, and bullion.

Add the spices and bring to a boil.

Lower the temperature and simmer, over low heat, for about 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.  Add more water or chicken broth if needed.  Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Makes 2-4 servings.

Enjoy.

Lentil Soup:  A bold and spicy soup with hot Portuguese sausage and healthy lentils.



For more soup recipes check out:

Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup:  A creamy, vegan, soup made with chickpeas, cauliflower, coconut milk, and warm spices
Green Pea Soup:  Healthy and easy, frozen, green peas pureed in a flavorful broth for a creamy and delicious, vibrant green, soup.
     Green Pea Soup            -
Black Bean Soup:  A creamy, flavorful, and meatless soup made with black beans and spices.  Filling enough for an entree.
     Black Bean Soup            -

For more lentil recipes check out:


Linked to:  Treasure Box2 CupLou Lou, WhimsyTickle My TastebudsWake UpFull PlateFreedomFoodie Friends

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