Tag Archives: slow cooker

Holiday Chicken Sausage Soup

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While most people absolutely love the holidays, they aren’t always my favorite time of year. I wouldn’t call myself a grinch, but I find the energy can be a little crazy.  The Christmas music, advertising, and holiday media tornado can be overwhelming.

In reality a lot of us don’t have stress-free holidays.

That being said, if I ever feel stressed or sad, I tend to enjoy cooking it off. :-]

I love any reason to make a hearty soup. The soup I made yesterday I got from Oprah Magazine (the only “women’s magazine I tend to read). It’s a Kale Soup with Chicken Apple Chardonnay Sausage. It calls for Andouille Sausage but I changed the recipe.

Ingredients:

6 lightly packed cups chopped green curly kale, stems and ribs removed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 links chicken apple chardonnay sausage (Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp thyme
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 can chopped or diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt plus more to taste
1 tsp honey (optional)
4 cups slightly undercooked brown rice

Directions:

1. Bring 10 cups water to a boil in large Dutch oven or heavy pot.
Add kale and boil 5 minutes. Drain in colander and set aside.
2. In a pan warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion to and cook until onion is translucent, 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, peppers and sausage, and cook until peppers soften, 5 minutes. Mix in thyme and allspice, stir and cook 1 minute.


sausage and peppers

3. Cook your brown rice til somewhat soft.
4. Add rice and all ingredients and put in slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours.

We enjoyed this with a loaf of batard Sourdough bread purchased at my favorite local grocery called The Pasta Shop on College Ave in Oakland. It’s nice to serve the soup with Sourdough because the bread soaks up the juices like a sponge. Add a pinch of margarine (or you can use butter) which tastes absolutely flavorful and melts in your mouth.

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Flavorful Moo Shu Rolls

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Moo Shu Rolls are really fun to eat, and for anyone on a high protein low carb diet, this is an appetizer for you. We use lean meats so in order to make the dish taste good you will need to make sure you add plenty of spice and flavor, and use a slow cooker that soaks up all the good juices. Moo Shu Rolls are fun to eat and a satisfying balance of salty sweet. The meat is a little salty, and the bibb lettuce provides a sweet crunch.

This recipe was adapted from this Slow Cook It recipe book.

Moo Shu Roll Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground lean beef (7% fat or less)
1/2 ground turkey (original recipe calls for pork–feel free to use either)
1 large portobello mushroom cap, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
20 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
3 carrots, shredded
10 thin scallions, sliced
5 radishes thinly sliced

You will need a slow cooker for this recipe.

Moo Shu Roll Directions

1. Combine beef, mushroom, onion, and garlic in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Mix broth, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and five spice powder in small bowl; pour over beef mixture. Cover and cook until flavors are blended and sauce is slightly thickened, 4-5 hours or 8-10 hours on low.

2. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon beef mixture in center of each lettuce leaf. Top each with about 1 tablespoon carrots, 1 tablespoon scallion and 1 tablespoon radishes; roll up.

I served this dish with a dollop of smoky hot grain mustard and the Trader Joe’s aoli mustard. You also might want to add a yogurt based sauce.

Per serving (2 rolls) about 94 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 27 mg Chol, 144 mg Sod, 5 g carbs, 11 g Prot, 1 g Fiber.

Crisp Apple Cobbler

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The reason the creation of the “cobbler” has become a traditional culinary art is because it’s universally loved. Who doesn’t love warm gooey fruit topped with a crunchy flakey topping?

Thank God for the slow cooker–now I can actually make wonderful treats packed full of flavor with less work. The flavor from the slow cooker decreases the chef’s reliance on flavor steroids like oil, butter or any kind of cream—I know I can have that without starving my sweet tooth.

The slow cooker I have is pictured below–referred to me by Jacob’s mom Ella. This is a really affordable purchase considering the value. This small powerful machine makes your life much easier!

Cuisinart PSC-350 Programmable Slow Cooker - 3.5 Quart

Ingredients for Crisp Apple Cobbler:

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3 large red/orange organic fuji apples
2 baby granny smith apples
2 heaping tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use agave or honey). My dear friend Simone gave me fancy honey which was a treat.

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2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup oats
1/3 cup of light coconut milk

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1/3 cup of Kashi cereal (any kind will due but preferably low sugar)
1/3 cup chopped walnut pieces
1/3 cup apple sauce

Directions to cook Cobbler using the Slow Cooker:

For the apple mixture:

Heat the slow cooker
Peel and cut all apples into bite size pieces
Put them in a bowl
Mix in 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, honey or brown sugar
Put apples in slow cooker on high heat

For the top of the cobbler:

Mix in oats, cereal, walnuts, apple sauce, coconut milk, and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Add or subtract according to your own taste (add raisins, or other various nuts. Use interesting oils other than vanilla (almond oil etc).
Pour over the top of the fruit in the slow cooker.

It’s supposed to be a lil messy! Here’s a photo of mine from tonight…

Let it sit for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The trick with the slow cooker is the longer you wait the better it tastes.

And wallah.

It’s warm and flavorful on the inside with that hearty crunchy kick on top. Add some 0% Fage yogurt or Trader Joe’s fat-free frozen yogurt and you will be in heaven.

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Here is what mine looked like below (notice dessert always includes Tea).

A little bite of heaven…