Monthly Archives: September 2017

Slow-Cooker Chicken Chilli Stew

Chicken Chilli Stew

 

 

A black bean chilli stewed with hearty garden vegetables, mixed peppers and tender chunky chicken pieces.

 

Slow-Cooker Chicken Chilli Stew

Ingredients                              Makes: 8 servings
2 cups black beans, uncooked ~or~ 2 large cans of black beans, rinsed
5 cups plain stewed tomatoes ~or~ 3 cans of diced tomatoes  *
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 to 3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp honey
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 celery, sliced
1 1/2 bell peppers, diced
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 to 3 chili peppers, finely diced ~or~ 2 Tbsp chili powder
3 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Instructions
Prepare black beans. If preparing black beans from dried beans, soaking them for several hours or overnight will help to reduce the cooking time. Simply rinse the beans in cool running water and then soak them in a large sauce pot filled with purified water overnight. For every 2 cups of dried beans soak them in at least 8 cups of water; the beans should double in size.

The cooking time of the beans will vary depending on the freshness of the beans and how long they were soaked. Cook the black beans in fresh purified water for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until they are soft and can be squished easily between two spoons. The beans can be seasoned by adding a chopped shallot, a bay leaf and cilantro to the cooking water. When the beans are cooked, drain the water using a colander and rinse the beans with fresh cool water then transfer to a bowl.

If using prepared canned black beans, simply rinse the beans until the water runs clear and set aside.

Prepare the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker to high and then add the stewed tomatoes and the prepared black beans. Next add the seasonings such as the chilli powder if not using fresh chilli peppers; as well the cumin, the paprika, the bay leaves, sea salt and black pepper. To sweeten the chilli just a little, also add a tablespoon of honey. Give the tomato and bean mixture a stir to combine and then cover with a lid.

Slice and dice the vegetables. Dice the onion and then set aside in a small bowl. Mince the garlic cloves and finely dice the chilli peppers and then set aside in their own bowl. Peel and slice the carrots, slice the celery and dice the bell peppers and also set aside in their own bowl.

Sauté onion, garlic and chilli peppers. In a skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat add a tablespoon of olive oil and the diced onion. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When the onions have become transparent, add the minced garlic cloves and the finely diced chilli peppers. Cook for about 1 minute longer and then add the mixture to the slow cooker mixture.

Add the sliced and diced vegetables to slow cooker. Now is a good time to add the sliced and diced carrots, celery and bell peppers to the slow cooker mixture. Give the ingredients a stir to combine the cover again with the lid.

Prepare the chicken. Cut fresh chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces for chunky chicken pieces. In a skillet over medium high heat, cook chicken for about 2 minutes then flip over and cook chicken for 2 minutes on the other side. The chicken should have a lightly browned jacket but not fully cooked in the center. Remove chicken from heat and cover to keep warm. The internal heat will continue to cook the chicken without overcooking it, keeping it moist. After about 7 minutes add the chicken to the slow-cooker and stir to evenly combine ingredients.

Allow the chicken chilli stew to cook for about 15 minutes before giving the stew a taste test to allow flavours to combine. Add any sea salt or other seasonings to suit personal tastes. Cook the chicken chilli stew in medium heat for an additional 40 to 60 minutes or until the vegetables are all cooked through before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

* Try our Plain Stewed Tomatoes recipe here!

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Plain Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed Tomatoes

Making your own stewed tomatoes from fresh tomatoes is easy and a more flavourful and healthier alternative to canned tomatoes. It is also a great way to use up extra tomatoes from the garden. Stewed tomatoes can also be canned or frozen for later use in future recipes.

Plain Stewed Tomatoes

Ingredients
8-10 medium tomatoes
1/2 tsp sea salt + 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions
Boil a pot of water and prepare the icy water bath. Bring a large Dutch oven or stockpot of purified water to a boil over high heat with half of a teaspoon of sea salt. Fill a large mixing bowl with icy cold water and set this next to the stove.

Prepare the tomatoes for blanching. Core out the stems from the tomatoes and slice a shallow “X” in the bottom of each fruit. Over a small bowl, gently squeeze the tomatoes to release some of the seeds from the fruits to discard.

Drop the prepared tomatoes into the boiling water. Cook until you see the skin starting to wrinkle and split, about 1 minute, then lift the tomatoes out with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the cold water. Transfer the cooled tomatoes from the ice water to another mixing bowl to cool.

Strip the peels from the tomatoes. After the tomatoes have cooled use your hands or a paring knife to strip the skins from the tomatoes. Gently squeeze out any remaining seeds then place the tomatoes into a large skillet to be cooked down.

Simmer the tomatoes. Bring the tomatoes sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Continue simmering for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and chopping the tomatoes with a spatula, until the sauce reaches the consistency you like. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to the cooked tomatoes and stir it in to mix evenly.

The finished product is plain stewed tomatoes with no added ingredients, ready to be made into a tomato sauce or added to any of your up and coming recipes. These stewed tomatoes can be stored in a fridge for 5 days. Stewed tomatoes can also be canned or cooled in a fridge and then transferred to a ziplock bag to be frozen for future use. Canned tomatoes will last generally a year on a shelf where frozen tomatoes will last 3 months in a freezer before freezer burn will begin to degrade the product. Enjoy!

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Penne Pasta with Vegetables in Seasoned Tomato Sauce

Penne Pasta with Vegetables in Seasoned Tomato Sauce

 

 

Pan-seared vegetables are served with penne pasta in a tomato sauce seasoned with fresh herbs, garlic, onions and peppers.

 

Penne Pasta with Vegetables in Seasoned Tomato Sauce

Ingredients                                 Makes: 4 servings
2 cups dry penne pasta, uncooked (approx. 200 g)
2 cups plain stewed tomatoes ~or~ 1 can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil + 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, de-stemmed and chopped fine
3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped fine
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, minced
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/4 cup snap peas, ends cut off and cut in half
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions
Prepare the seasoned tomato sauce. In a large deep skillet on medium-low heat, add tomatoes, one quarter cup of the olive oil, the dried oregano, the bay leaf and the sea salt; stir to combine. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. When tomatoes begin to bubble, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover with a lid.

Prepare vegetables and herbs. De-stem the parsley and then finely chop up along with the basil and then add to tomato sauce. Dice an onion, removing any green shoots; then set aside in a bowl. Mince the garlic cloves and the jalapeño peppers and dice the bell pepper and add to bowl of diced onions. Peel the carrots and then slice along with the celery stalks, set aside in a different bowl. Cut the ends off the snap peas and cut in half, set aside in a separate bowl.

In a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil then the diced onion, minced garlic and pepper mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions have turned translucent, then add the mixture to the stewing tomato mixture; stir to combine.

Next add the bowl of sliced carrots and celery to the skillet and increase heat to medium. Pan-sear vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Carrots should begin to soften but are still crisp, now add the snap peas. Cook the vegetables for an additional 2 minutes, then add pan-seared vegetables to tomato mixture. Stir to combine vegetables with tomato sauce then cover mixture with a lid and allow to simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.

Prepare pasta. While the tomatoes and vegetables are simmering on low-heat, prepare the penne. In a medium-large soup pot add approximately 4 cups of purified water and bring to a boil. Sprinkle a little sea salt in the water and then add the penne pasta. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packaging, usually about 8 minutes or until cooked through but still a little chewy. Drain the water through a large colander and then run cool water over the pasta to cool down and stop the cooking process until pasta is ready to add to tomato sauce.

When the tomato sauce has stewed for about 20 minutes, test vegetables to see if cooked through. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add any seasonings to suit taste like sea salt or black pepper. When sauce is ready, add the cooked penne pasta and stir to combine. Allow mixture to cook for about 2 minutes longer to combine flavours and warm pasta, then serve immediately. Add the parmesan cheese atop the pasta when ready to serve. Enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Cream of Celery Potato Soup

Cream of Celery Potato Soup

 

Finely chopped celery and leeks are sautéed with minced garlic before added to a simmering vegetable broth mixed with coconut milk and then topped with seasoned potatoes.

Cream of Celery Potato Soup

Ingredients                             Makes: 6 servings
4 cups vegetable broth ~or~ chicken broth
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large leeks ~or~ 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups celery, finely chopped (about 5 large stalks)
4 potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose white flour
1 can of coconut milk (approx. 1 1/2 cups) ~or~ 1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, finely ground
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp celery seed

Instructions
Warm the broth. Warm the vegetable broth in a sauce-pot or dutch oven and leave on a low simmer.

Prepare the leeks and celery. In a large skillet over medium-low heat add 2 tablespoons of oil and the chopped leeks and diced celery. Cook the leeks and celery for about 6 to 7 minutes then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When leeks are softened and the garlic is fragrant add the cooked mixture to the broth.

Prepare the potatoes. Add two more tablespoon of oil to the skillet and add the chopped potatoes. Cook the potatoes on medium-high heat, tossing occasionally to prevent burning. Lightly season potatoes with sea salt and black pepper. Cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes or until they form a golden jacket on the outside, but still firm on the inside. Then transfer the potatoes to the broth mixture.

Making the Roux and thicken the soup. Reduce the heat to medium-low and then melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Be careful not to let the butter burn. Slowly whisk the flour into the melted butter. When it begins to bubble add about a 1/4 cup of just the broth and also whisk it in. The mixture should begin to thicken, as it does continue to add 1/4 cup of broth until 1 cup worth is whisked in and thickened. Be sure to whisk out any lumps before adding it slowly back into the broth mixture.

Add coconut milk and taste test. Stir the coconut milk into the broth and allow the soup to simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes before giving it a taste test. Add seasonings such as sea salt, pepper and thyme to taste.

Allow flavours to blend. Allow soup to simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes longer to allow flavours to combine and to allow potatoes to fully cook. Garnish each serving of soup with a small pinch of celery seed sprinkled on top. Enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

*Try our Vegetable Herb Broth recipe or our Chicken Bone Broth recipe!

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Mint Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Chocolate Mint Brownie Cookies

 

Mint oil is excreted from real mint leaves in this recipe to create delicious chocolate cookies with a mild mint flavour. 

 

 

Mint Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Ingredients                                Makes: 16 cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped & firmly packed
3/4 cup raw sugar ~or~ coconut sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
~chocolate~
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup cocoa powder

Instructions
Making the mint butter. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the butter. Melt the butter then add the chopped mint. Reduce heat to low and cook the mint and the butter for about 10 minutes; stirring occasionally to prevent burning. The mint will begin to become fragrant, turn the heat off completely and cover saucepan with a lid. Allow the mint to steep in the butter for another 20 minutes.

When the butter and mint have finished steeping pour the butter and mint through a strainer placed over a large deep bowl. Allow butter to drip through the strainer for about 5 minutes to extract all of the butter from the mint. After 5 minutes press the mint leaves with a spoon to excrete any remaining butter.

Making the cookie dough. Add the raw sugar or coconut sugar to the bowl of mint butter and beat by hand with a fork or with a mixer until the mixture is light and creamy. Crack the egg into a separate bowl and make sure there are no egg shells. Add the egg and the vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and combine until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and sea salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamy mixture and combine until well mixed, then set aside.

Making the chocolate. In the same saucepan as the mint butter now add another 1/4 cup of unsalted butter and 1/4 cup of honey, and melt over medium-low heat; stir occasionally to prevent burning. When the butter and honey have melted, stir to combine then remove from heat. Add the cocoa powder and stir to combine.

Combine the dough and chocolate. Add the chocolate mixture to the cookie dough mixture and mix until well combined. Press the dough together and chill for 1 hour if dough is too soft.

Bake the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease the sheets lightly with coconut oil or butter and lightly flour.

Divide the dough into walnut-sized balls. Spread out the balls on each cookie sheet and gently flatten to half of an inch thick. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove cookies from oven.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Spicy Black Beans

Spicy Black Beans

Black beans are seasoned with spicy jalapeños, garlic, red onions, fresh cilantro herb and spices. Spicy black beans are a nice accompaniment with a variety of different spanish-style dishes as well can be enjoyed with corn chips, made into a wrap or used in bean casserole dishes.

Spicy Black Beans

Ingredients                               Makes: 4 servings
1 cup dry black beans
4 cups purified water + 4 cups purified water
1 bay leaf
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1-2 jalapeños, ribs & seeds removed then diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, de-stemmed & chopped
3 tbsp lime juice

Instructions
Rinse 1 cup of dry black beans and then soak in 4 cups of purified water for at least 6 hours or overnight. After soaking the black beans drain the water, rinse again and then set aside. The beans should have doubled in size.

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, add 4 cups of purified water and bring it to a boil. Add the pre-soaked black beans and cook for a few minutes. Remove any scum that forms on top of the water then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the quartered yellow onion and bay leaf, then cover the beans and simmer for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until fully cooked, (this depends on the age of the beans). Test the black beans for readiness by pressing between two spoons or by taste testing.

When the beans are fully cooked, strain out any access water and remove the onion and bay leaf; then set the beans aside in a bowl.

Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Sauté the onions and jalapeños for 4-5 minutes or until the onions turn translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds longer or until fragrant.

Stir the black beans into the onion mixture and then mix in the sea salt, cumin, chilli powder, freshly chopped cilantro and lime juice. Use the black beans in a planned recipe or store the beans in a fridge until ready to use or enjoy. Beans will keep for 5 days in the fridge.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

*Try these black beans in our Black Bean Burritos wrap recipe here!

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Creamy Garlic and Feta Jalapeño Peppers

Creamy Garlic and Feta Jalapeno Peppers

 

Jalapeños are stuffed with a creamy mixture of greek yogurt, sautéed onions and garlic, feta cheese and freshly chopped parsley; then baked and served hot.

 

 

Creamy Garlic and Feta Jalapeño Peppers

Ingredients                                Makes: 10-12 Jalapeños (depending on size)
10-12 jalapeños
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
3 tbsp onion, minced
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt to taste

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Sauté onion and garlic. Mince the onion and garlic. In a small non-stick pan or skillet over medium-low heat add extra-virgin olive oil and the minced onion and garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes stirring frequently to avoid burning. When the onion has become translucent and the garlic is fragrant remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare creamy filling for jalapeños. De-stem the parsley and finely chop. In a medium sized bowl combine the greek yogurt, crumbled feta cheese, chopped parsley and the sautéed onions and garlic.

Prepare jalapeños. Slice the peppers lengthwise just above the stem to create a boat that can now be stuffed with the filling preparation. With a butter knife fill the peppers with the creamy filling. Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet allowing a little space in-between the peppers.

Bake the peppers. Bake the peppers in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, or until the peppers have softened and the tops are lightly browned. Serve hot.

Note: Greek yogurt is necessary to ensure the filling is thick and will not spill out of the peppers. If only regular plain yogurt is available, greek yogurt can be made by straining the regular yogurt using cheese cloth and a colander.

To make 1/2 cup of greek yogurt, strain 3/4 cup of regular plain yogurt by placing the yogurt in a colander lined with cheese cloth and allowing the water to drip out into a bowl placed under the colander for at least two hours. The longer the yogurt is strained, the thicker it will become.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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