Thai Chicken and Broccoli Curry (Whole 30)

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Let's take a walk down memory lane. My food photography is nowhere where I want it to be, but compared to this Thai Curry recipe from 2014, I'd say I've come along way. Now let's just keep that hidden in the archives and focus on this updated Thai Curry recipe. 

One of my roommates, Lindsay and I first made this curry during early fall and we were obsessed. Anything Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest makes is sure to be perfect. Thanks for the inspo HBH!!

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I couldn't decide how I wanted to prepare this dish so I took to y'alls opinion. I polled you all on my Instagram story the other night to see if you were still geeking out over crock-pots or if they are old news. Results were 84% "YAS CROCK-POTS," 16% "Crock-Pots are so 2017." Well...I used my trump card and decided we were going old school and using a good old regular stovetop pot for this recipe. From start to finish this recipe takes makes 45 minutes. You can do it people, step away from the Crock-Pot. 

BONUS, this recipe is Whole 30 compliant for all you January Whole 30ers. I mentioned on my Instagram the other day that I am not participating in Whole 30 this month. Whole 30, like Crock-Pots, is also “so 2017,” in my opinion. But, I do love cooking Whole 30 style dishes and plan on posting some to give you all inspiration. 

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Thai Chicken and Broccoli Curry (Whole 30)
yields 4-5 servings, adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, shredded
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
2 Tbsps. fish sauce
2, 14 ounce cans full fat coconut milk
1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small florets
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
packaged cauliflower rice for serving
chopped cashews, pomegranate arils, basil and lime wedges for serving

Directions:
In a heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Place chicken in pan and cook on both sides until cooked through. Remove from pan. Add chopped onion, minced garlic and chopped ginger to pan with the remaining oil and browned bits from the chicken. Sauté until onions are translucent. Stir in curry paste, coconut milk and fish sauce. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Shred chicken using two forks. Add shredded chicken and broccoli florets to curry. Simmer for 20 minutes until broccoli is softened and curry has thickened. Stir in chopped basil right before serving.

Serve each bowl with a helping of cauliflower rice*, a lime wedge, chopped cashews, pomegranate arils and a sprig of fresh basil.

*I let the heat of the curry soften the cauliflower rice. If you prefer to soften it before, just place in a microwave safe bowl with a splash of water, and steam in the microwave for 30 seconds to a 1 minute. 

P.S. I firmly believe the prettier your food is the better it tastes! All those toppings aren’t just for the gram. They help, but they also enhance the dish as a whole! So, invest in the pomegranate, cashew and lime toppings. #worthit

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Disclosure: If you are in a loving relationship with your crock-pot, follow Tieghan's cooking method to prepare this dish.

  Annie

Lite Bite: Crock-Pot Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes

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Back with a quicky "lite bite" post!

This was a go to meal for my mom growing up and still is for she and my dad. I've now translated it over to my everyday recipe book. Super simple pork chops and sweet potatoes pair perfectly together for a simple but comforting fall or winter dinner. #TBT to when I used to eat this meal and fix my sweet potato up with equal parts 5 Tbsp. butter to 5 Tbsp. brown sugar...

Crock-Pot Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
yields 4 servings

Ingredients: 
1-1 1/2 lbs. pork chops (account for one pork chop per serving)
4 good size size sweet potatoes
1 cup chicken, veggie, beef stock (whatever you have) 
1 Tbsp. Oregano or Italian Seasoning  
olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions: 
Heat a little bit of oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Season pork chops with salt, pepper and oregano on both sides. Place your pork chops in the pan, and sear on both sides. About 1 minute per side. You are not cooking the pork chops yet you just want to get them browned. Once seared, take out of pan and place in crockpot. Pour a little pit of chicken stock in the hot pan to deglaze it and get all the browned bits off the bottom. Pour over the pork chops in the crock-pot. Add a little more stock (1 cup or so) to moisten. 

Wrap your sweet potatoes in foil and place right on top of the pork chops. Put your lid on and cook on low all day (6-8 hours). Pork chops and sweet potatoes should be very tender when done.

I keep it simple and serve a pork chop with a plain sweet potato. I love mustard, so sometimes dip my pork chop in whatever fancy mustard I have in the fridge. Loving this right now. You could also do a nut butter or brown sugar on your sweet potato. 

Annie

Crock-Pot Chicken Curry over Cauliflower Rice

I did a little poll to see what kind of recipes you all were wanting. What I got back were things like easy, crock-pot, one dish, dinner, healthy, Super Bowl and Valentine's recipes. Minus the Super Bowl and Valentine's treats, I think I was able to combine all the other wants and needs into one dish! I mean you could totally make this and eat it during the Super Bowl or with your lovie on Vday, but we will come up with more "themed" recipes for those later.. 

With some inspo from The Food Charlaltan, I bring you my version of Crock-Pot Chicken Curry over Cauliflower Rice. It's comforting but still healthy and even Whole 30 approved. This was also my first time to make cauliflower rice, and I'm sold. I used this method.

You can definitely buy the pre-packaged cauliflower rice they sell in the stores, but the size and shape and look of it kind of weirds me out, so I made my own. You get a ton more and it's a lot cheaper to make your own. Hint, I use a box grater to achieve the rice look! But again, here is the how-to.

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Do you guys ever use those crock-pot liners? If you don't, you're welcome for informing you. My good friend Sarah Beth showed them to me when we lived together our senior year of college. They are basically a big ziploc baggy that fits your crock-pot, but has magical powers to withstand the heat and not melt during the cooking process. So once your crock-pot has done all the work, and you get to enjoy a delicious meal, you simply lift the bag out of the pot and there is legit no clean up. Because how many times have you scraped and soaked and scraped and soaked crusted on velveta queso off your crock-pot?? Buy them and you'll never not line your crock-pot again. 

Crock-Pot Chicken Curry over Cauliflower Rice adapted from The Food Charlatan
makes 3-4 servings

1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1 tsp. oil
1 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk (full fat or light will work)
1 Tbsp. dried basil leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 red onion (large, or 1 small), chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbsp. cornstarch (almond meal, coconut flour, tapioca starch & arrowroot powder will work to make it Whole 30 approved)
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated or minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
*4 cups homemade or store bought cauliflower rice

Toppings:
chopped cilantro, red onion, cashews

Directions:
Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil. Salt and pepper your chicken thighs.

When the oil is hot, add your chicken thighs. Don't put them too close together. Depending on the size of your pan you may have to sear them in batches.

Cook for about 3 minutes until just browned on the bottom. Then flip the chicken over to brown the other side for about 2-3 minutes. You are not cooking them completely, you just want to get a good sear on them. They will finish cooking in the crock-pot. Remove the chicken to a plate.

In your crock-pot combine coconut milk, basil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, yellow curry, and chili powder. Stir to combine. Add the chopped red onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Place the browned chicken into the curry mixture. 

Place the lid on and set your crock-pot to high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the crock-pot and place on a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken, it should be falling apart and so yummy.

Add the ginger to the slow cooker. Then a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Stir until it's not lumpy. Add this to the crock pot and stir. This will help thicken the curry. You may need to add more for your desired thickness, but give the cornstarch a little bit of time, it won't thicken immediately but will with time. 

Add the shredded chicken back to the crock-pot. Return the lid and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the cilantro.

For each serving I steam about 3/4 cup of homemade cauliflower rice in the microwave for a 1 minute and sprinkle a little bit of salt over it. Then spoon a generous amount of curry over the rice and top with more cilantro, red onion and my fav-chopped cashews! (This would be great with plain white or jasmine rice and some naan bread).

*If you have questions about making the cauliflower rice, comment below and I'd love to help you out!

Annie

Bites of My Life

By the looks of this bites post, apparently my week was full of lots of colorful. More color than a typical mid-January week. Thinking about it I guess my week was pretty colorful!

I took a little hiatus from my personal instagram account over the past week. I cut the ties last Sunday evening after realizing I had spent a majority of my day idolizing over images, people, and lives displaced on the the app. About 6 days clean of being sucked into the social media world and getting to be more present in the real world. It was fantastic and I challenge you to do the same by taking a week off. My week was still full of pretty images and experiences, but I was really living them. 

-I made parmesan garlic roasted brussels sprouts Whole 30 approved. Ask and I'll tell you how ;)
-Then I made parmesan crusted salmon Whole 30 approved. I'm basically a magician.
-Grapefruit with fresh rosemary and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Bon Appetit told me to. 
-The new version of my go to apple and almond butter. Apple, turmeric, cinnamon, sumac and tahini. BOOM.
-The gals I've known the longest all together for a euro inspired dinner before Anna headed back to UVA Law.
-Remember my favorite salad in the city I gushed about here? It was lunch on Friday and I was the happiest.
-Killer Whole 30 approved shrimp scampi with the new issue of BonApp!
-Got to play around my kitchen last week while my talented friend Katie made it look somewhat professional. More from KGC Photography to come!
-Crispy fried eggs cooked up in my cast iron skillet using this method
-Eggs for breakfast, eggs for lunch, why not?
-Cooked up a freaking storm yesterday. Three new recipe posts are coming atcha soon! P.S. you are looking at crock-pot basil curry chicken!
-A What's Gaby Cooking inspired salad was my contribution to Sunday night dinner at mom and dads.

Annie

Crock-Pot Carnitas

This is it you guys, this is it. Officially my go to recipe for cooking for friends, party food, pot-lucks etc. Crock-pot carnitas are a zip to make, but totally bring on the wow. Not to mention they make a truck load, so it's a perfect way to feed the masses.

My mind and my stomach have been on a taco kick recently. One of my co-workers was recently sharing with me how she loves to make carnitas. She was going on about how easy, fresh and healthy they were. Okay, sold. Give me the recipe. So thank you Mel, this one is for you!

My pork butt was a little over 7 lbs. which is huge, but that was the smallest I could find! It barely fit in my crock pot. I think it made enough carnitas for the whole neighborhood. But really. Some for me, some for my roommates, some for sis and husband, and some for the freezer to pull out on a rainy day. Search your market and you can probably find a smaller butt. I was limited and hungry so just went with it. A pork shoulder is interchangeable for this recipe. You can typically find small pork shoulders in the grocery store!

That being said the measurements for this recipe are a little loosey goosey because your pork butt size may vary. Just go with it and trust your self, I promise you can't mess this up. 

Crock Pot Carnitas

Ingredients:
4-5 lb. pork butt roast or shoulder  (bone-in or boneless, either works)
cumin
chili powder
garlic powder
salt and pepper

Accompaniments: 
white corn tortillas
cilantro, chopped
avocado slices
lime wedges
chopped red onion, pickled onions, pico de gallo etc.

Directions:
Rinse and pat dry the pork butt. Put just about a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of your crock pot. Season both sides of the pork with all of the seasonings. I did about one teaspoon per side (roughly 2 tsps. of each seasoning). Place in the crock-pot. Turn on low and let cook for 6-8 hours or until tender. My pork butt was a bone-in. The best part was getting to reach in and just slide the bone right out of the tender meat.

Using two forks shred the carnitas. Add more seasoning if needed. Warm tortillas on a griddle. Serve carnitas with some pico, cilantro, fresh avocado and a squeeze of lime! 

Perfect served as is, but I also can't wait to use the meat in taco salads or on nachos. Melanie said she uses her leftovers in quesadillas and as enchilada filling! I'm also thinking it wouldn't be half bad mixed with a little BBQ sauce for a take on pulled pork. 

I'm not sure what it is about this recipe, but when I was snapchatting while I was cooking, you guys were going crazy. Which I love. And these  carnitas deserve that kind of love because they are that good. So here you go my friends, crock-pot carnitas for your stomachs to enjoy! 

Annie