Stay Warm All Winter With My Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Stew

January 12, 2017

Here’s an easy, healthy, outrageously delicious recipe that that’s perfect for a chilly evening this winter. Make a big batch, and freeze the leftovers for an even simpler meal down the road! Doesn’t it look great?

turkey-sweet-potato-bean-stew-off-center

It my Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Stew, and here’s how to make it: Read the rest of this entry »

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Dinner with Kenlie!

August 11, 2011

You’d think two blogs in one day would be enough (one featured my weigh-in results; the other had a photo of me with antlers), but here I am, composing my third blog in less than 24 hours, and it’s a good one!

I’ll start with a picture of who I spent my evening with.  Maybe you already know her, as she’s a very popular weight-loss blogger.  Yep, it’s Kenlie, from All The Weigh!

Kenlie moved to Los Angeles a few days ago, and I think she’ll be a lovely addition to this city.  She’s been talking about moving to LA for months now, pretty much since she visited in May, and I’m glad it’s finally happened!  I invited Kenlie and her two aunts, who helped bring Kenlie’s stuff cross-country, over for dinner.  Her aunts are lovely women, and it was great to meet them and shoot the shit with Kenlie in person, as opposed to over Twitter, Facebook, or our blogs.

For dinner, I pulled out my most trusted kitchen appliance: my Crockpot.  I’ve had my Crockpot for 8 years or so, and it’s never let me down.  My Crockpot and me have shared many adventures together.  We participated in a weekly CrockPotLuck every Friday a year.  We won Runner-up in a chili contest.  Since I started this blog, my Crockpot has starred in 4 posts:

And now it’s time for another.  I made up the following recipe, and it all started with a jar:

I picked up this jar of Spinach Curry Simmer Sauce a few months ago at Whole Foods and have been staring at it in my cupboard since then.  Finally, I have a great reason to crack it open!  (FYI: the jar has 6 servings, and each one has 25 calories and 1 gram of fat.)

I thought the sauce would be a good base for a stew.  And, as anyone who’s ever cooked with a Crockpot knows, everything in a Crockpot ends up becoming a stew whether you want it to or not, so that really couldn’t have worked out any better!

My favorite stews are loaded with vegetables, so I sharpened my knife and started chopping:

From left to right, we have 2 big turnips, 1 red onion, 3 parsnips, and 3 Italian eggplants.  I also added 3 minced cloves of garlic.  I got a few comments the other day when I mentioned buying a purple bell pepper, and I know Kenlie is a huge fan of my posts about oddly-colored vegetables, so I chopped up the purple bell pepper, too.  Here it is whole:

And here it is in the Crockpot with the other vegetables:

Oh, and by the way, I grossly overestimated how many veggies I’d need.  I could only squeeze in about 2/3 of the veggies before the Crockpot was full; the other 1/3 are sitting in my fridge, awaiting their destiny.  I may roast them off tomorrow; I’m not sure yet.

For protein, I added 6 chicken thighs.  I had to remove the skin and trim some fat from them, which is a total pain in the butt, but they looked pretty afterwards:

The thighs still had their bones inside them, but I’ve Crocked chicken thighs before, and they get so tender that the meat literally falls off the bones, making them easy to remove when you’re serving.

Finally, the jar of sauce got poured over everything:

The lid went on, and the Crockpot got plugged in and set to Low.  I started the cooking process at noon, and at 8pm, when it was time to eat, this is what it looked like:

I made some couscous to serve it over, following the directions on the box, except that I used some chicken stock instead of water.  And here’s the finished plate!

The chicken was tender, and the sauce was fantastic.  I love curry, and I’ll be buying that sauce again!

I’ll end this post with one more photo of Kenlie and me.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, do yourself a favor and click here.  She’s lost well over 100 pounds, and is wonderfully honest, open, and inspiring.  Keep it up, Kenlie…

…and Keep it up, David!


What’s in the Crockpot? Part Two

February 4, 2011

How lucky are you, to have two games in one week!  I’d say really lucky.  I still don’t know if What’s in the Crockpot? is as popular as the the original version of this game, What’s in the RediSetGo?, but I trust that you all will let me know your thoughts in the comments section.  That’s what comment sections are for.

Before we play, though, I wanted to give a quick update to the egg re-boil I mentioned earlier this week.  As you’ll recall, I messed up hard-boiling some eggs by not cooking them long enough, so I re-boiled them, and was unsure of what would happen, or if they’d be edible.  The other night I tried a couple re-boiled eggs, and while I wouldn’t recommend them, they were edible.  Just chewy.  Very chewy.

OK – that’s out of the way, so back to the game.  Make sure your apron is securely tied around your waist, and your bonnet is securely tied around your chin, because it’s time to play!  Are you ready?

WHAT’S IN THE CROCKPOT?

SEITAN AND VEGETABLE STEW is in the crockpot!

Let’s jump back to the beginning.  A few days ago, I invited my friend Lisa to come over for lunch, thinking I’d whip up something healthy and delicious.  Then, at 11pm the night before she came, I realized that I hadn’t thought about what I was going to make.  So I started rooting through the fridge and cabinets, and voila!  A made-up-on-the-spot recipe was born.

When I got up in the morning, the first thing I did was prep a bunch of vegetables:

From left to right, that’s mushrooms, carrots, red onion, red pepper, 1 sweet potato, and green pepper.  Into the crock they went.

Then I added a box of seitan:

I first heard of seitan a few years ago, when I started eating at a vegan restaurant, Lotus Vegan, that had opened not far from me.  I saw it on the menu and asked what it was, and our waitress responded: ‘wheat meat.’  That piqued my interest enough for me to order it, and I liked it.  Its texture is very similar to chicken, and it tastes good.  I bet you could fool some people and actually pass it off as chicken pieces in a recipe, even.  I’ve had it a couple times at restaurants since then, but the other night at Whole Foods was the first time I’ve seen it a store, and, therefore, the first time I’ve bought it.

The box calls seitan ‘wheat protein,’ and it’s 120 calories a serving, with 2 grams of fat and 320mg of sodium.  From what I can glean from the interweb, it’s basically made from the protein that’s left in a wheat stalk after you wash away all the starch.  I also found a recipe to make your own seitan, but it looks like it’d take close to two hours to make, so I’d rather let WestSoy make it and have Whole Foods sell it to me for $3.39.

So the 8 ounces of seitan went into the crockpot with the veggies, and I also added some plum sauce:

A serving of plum sauce has 100 calories, no fat, and 520mg of sodium.  Since there was just two of us having lunch, and I anticipated having leftovers, I added 2 and 1/2 servings of plum sauce – 5 tablespoons.  I didn’t add any more liquid, because I know, from years of crockpot usage, that crockpots draw more liquid out of their ingredients than you could ever imagine.  So I powered the crock to ‘high’ and walked away.

Four hours later, Lisa were here, and we were chatting away.  We made a simple couscous to go along with the stew, which involved adding 3 scallions, 2 cloves of garlic, and a teaspoon of basil-infused olive oil to some plain couscous, and a pinch of marjoram, because neither Lisa or I had tried marjoram before, and it was sitting there, unopened, in my spice rack.

The end result:

The couscous was still a little bland.  I don’t make couscous too often, and I always forget that you really have to punch up plain couscous a lot (more than we did) for any flavor to come through.  Lisa also suggested making it with vegetable stock instead of water, another great idea.  The stew was tasty.  The plum sauce added a little sweetness but wasn’t too strong, and the seitan added a nice bite.

Keep it up, David!