Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Coconut Chicken with Pineapple Rice and Spicy Orange Maple Glaze

Allow me to transport you to the Islands, won't you?  The warm summer breeze, blue water, soft sand under your fe....

Alright, chances are pretty high that it's cold as shit where you are and the chicken won't change that but trust me when you I tell's REALLY good anyway.

Also, it's not as hard it sounds.  My step by step photos didn't turn out (probably due to the fact that I didn't TAKE any step by step photos...lay off me). But I'll still walk you through it.

What you'll need-

3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 cup almond flour (or whole wheat flour)
2 egg whites
1-2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder.
1 tsp coconut oil
2 oranges (zested and juiced)
1 clove garlic,minced
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup dry brown rice
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated garlic
2 cups no sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped pineapple.

Fine, now that it's all typed out it seems like a lot.  Stick with it, the finished product is 100% worth it, ESPECIALLY that spicy sauce, mmmm.

Ok, so to start.  Preheat your oven to 375.

Now, get your rice, pineapple, chicken broth, ginger and garlic into your rice cooker or on your stovetop.  (Just follow the package directions and when you put the rice in, add your garlic, ginger and pineapple with it).

For the chicken- 

On one plate, mix the flour, garlic, onion and chili powder together.  In a bowl, add the egg whites and whisk with some water.  On a third plate, add the coconut flakes.  In an assembly line, dip the chicken in flour to coat, dip in the egg whites and coat with the coconut.  Place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, or a roasting pan with a rack.  Once all the chicken in coated and on the cookie sheet or pan, spray with a little bit of coconut oil spray and place in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking,

In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt the coconut oil and add the garlic.  Allow to soften for a few minute (don't brown).  Then add the juice and zest of the oranges, the maple syrup and the red pepper flakes.  Allow the sauce to thicken on medium heat, until it's reduced.  Don't walk away from it, or it'll burn! If it gets too thick, splash some water or chicken broth into it.   Cover and set aside until the chicken and rice are finished.

Voila!  I know it's not the simplest of recipes but on a night you'd like to try something different or you're feeling tropical, go for this.  It's a really wonderful dish!

I hope you enjoy it!

Tips- Shrimp, yo!  Ditch the chicken and dip the shrimp!

21 Day Fixers- (3 tenders counts as 1 red, 1 orange.  1 yellow container of rice is 1 yellow, 1/4 purple.  The orange sauce is a treat, honestly. Between the syrup, the reduced orange juice, etc. it's going to be super sugary and sweet. If you want to count it, I'd count as 1 tsp).  This count isn't an exact science, but the closest I could figure it!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Crock Pot- Pot Roast

Pot roast is definitely one of my rediscovered favorites.  I can't say I appreciated it much as a child, but I definitely do now.  It's soft and tender and has SO MUCH FLAVOR.  I've been working on using my Crock Pot more, so I decided to try this roast using that method!

What you'll need:

1.5-2 lbs. beef shoulder or butt (I got a nice lean shoulder cut)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
2 celergy stalked, cut into pieces
1 small onion, sliced
A few garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 cups no sodium added beef broth (or no sodium beef bouillon with 3 cups water)
A sprinkle of sea salt and pepper
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
Thyme and Rosemary (I used a few sprigs of each)
1 bay leaf

Equipment you'll need

Crock Pot
A large pan

Okay, so.  Super easy.  Turn your crock pot to high and toss your veggies in while your pan comes to medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil to the pan and let it heat up.

 Dish your flour onto a large plate and coat your roast.  Add it to the hot pan and brown on all sides. (Save the flour)

Once the meat is browned on all sides, remove it from the pan.  If it looks oily you can pat it dry with some paper towels.  Then place the meat on top of your veggies.  Add the fresh herbs, bay leaf, wine and broth (you want to ALMOST cover the meat.  Use less or more then I suggested if you need to).  Sprinkle in some salt and pepper, cover the crock pot and let it go for 8 hours.

And that's almost it.  Once the roast is done, you can just remove the meat and eat it as it is with the veggies over some mashed potatoes (just try to fish out the stems from the herbs).  

If you want a thicker gravy, here's what I do. 

About an hour before I'm ready to serve, I remove the meat from the crock pot and set it aside.  Using a slotted spoon, I remove all the veggies and throw out any stems from the herbs and the bay leaf. 

Then I strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl.  Add the liquid back into the crock pot and add one of two things. 1.) A few tbsp of your reserved flour mixed with a cup of water. or 2.) A tbsp of corn starch mixed with some cold water.  Then I whisk the mixture into the cooking liquid, add the meat and veggies back in and allow to finish cooking without the lid. 

Now, that's really it.  You can eat this with some yummy whole grain egg noodles, some mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes like I did.  

For the full recipe without photos, please see below. 

Tip- Don't feel like dirtying a pan and searing the meat?  Don't worry about it, just add all your ingredients to the crock pot, put the lid on and flip it to high.  I would let it go another hour, just to be safe. 

21 Day Fixers- I measured the meat into my red container, the veggies into my green and the sweet potatoes into the yellow.  You can include a tsp for the initial sear, but I don't think there was enough flour in the whole thing to add another yellow. 

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Crock Pot Pork Roast: 

1.5-2 lb. beef shoulder roast 
1/4 cup whole wheat flour 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
6 carrots, peeled and cut 
2 celery stalks, cut 
1 small onion, sliced 
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups no sodium beef stock
1/2 cup red wine (optional) 
A few sprigs each of thyme and rosemary
1 bay leaf 

Turn crock pot to high and add vegetables.  In a pan, heat the tbsp of olive oil.  Coat roast in flour, and add to the hot pan.  Sear to brown on all sides.  Remove from the pan (pat oil off if you want to) and add to the crock pot.  Add herbs, stock and wine. Cover and allow to cook on high for 8 hours. 

1 hour before serving, remove the meat from the crock pot and set aside.  Using a slotted spoon, remove vegetables (throwing away stems from the herbs and bay leaf) and set aside.  Pour the cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl.  Add the liquid back into the crock pot, along with 2 tbsp flour mixed well with 1 cup of water OR 1 tbsp corn starch mixed with a few tbsp cold water.  Mix well, add meat and veggies back in.  Allow to cook another hour with the lid off the crock pot. 

Serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or mashed sweet potatoes!