This easy slow cooker chickpea curry is a perfect, economical vegetarian dinner recipe!
I am a lazy cook when it comes to feeding myself. Times when the Godfather travels for work, I eat a lot of eggs, oatmeal, salad, and slow cooker dishes. Things that are easy to prepare, and use a minimal number of dishes. Before little ones, I would often make a large slow cooker dish, like this slow cooker chickpea curry, at the beginning of his trip and eat that the rest of the trip. Now that I have people to cook for even when he’s gone, I don’t do this quite as often, but still make a few favorites for the family from time to time. (more…)
Slow cooker guava glazed meatballs is a great dish to serve at parties! This recipe is a unique spin on traditional slow cooker meatball recipes.
The first time I truly understood the power of the slow cooker meatball as a powerhouse appetizer was at my baby sister’s rehearsal dinner. To keep costs down, they opted to have a casual rehearsal dinner with a mix of homemade and store-bought foods. I made a few easy desserts and large lasagnas and bagged salad was purchased at a warehouse club. For appetizers, we served a few assorted purchased items, and slow cooker meatballs. Can you guess what disappeared first? (more…)
This is The Cuban Sandwich recipe, for The Cuban Sandwich. Cuban sandwiches are easy to make, they’re a staple at restaurants and walk-up windows all over Miami, and they are just one of those South Florida street foods everyone knows. And there is one way to make them. Period. It involves 6 simple ingredients: Cuban bread, mustard, Swiss cheese, pickles, mojo pork, and sweet ham. That’s it. No aioli, no salami, no onion, no lettuce, no lots of other things I’m seeing on Cuban sandwich recipes nowadays. But it’s okay, this is why I’m here, to teach. 😉 (more…)
I think every year needs a word to be a personal theme or mantra. Last year, I chose “fearless” and worked on letting go of a lot of my fears, whether it be a fear of walking away, fear of trying something new, fear of unfamiliar territory… I spent the year letting go of my fears. When I was thinking about this year’s plans the other day, the word “unstoppable” came to mind over and over, a sign to me that it should be my word for 2015.
Unstoppable is a funny word though, and I had to think before officially accepting it as “my word” for this year, because it has such a complex meaning. “Something that cannot be stopped” can be either good or bad. Someone who uses others, has ulterior motives, or acts in otherwise shady manners (whether it’s obvious or not), can be seen as unstoppable. Or something like a rumor, a political tyrant, a catastrophic series of events could be considered unstoppable. Maybe we don’t like unstoppable.
On the other hand, I firmly believe that being a light to the world, a force for good, a person driven to bring out the best in yourself and others is amazing unstoppable. Unstoppable can mean diligence, caring, perseverance, faithfulness – so many great things. And that definition, all the good things about unstoppable, is how I will be embracing the word “unstoppable” this year.
One of my projects is growing this blog’s readership dramatically by the year’s end and working on a few professional goals I’ve set, after taking care of my family emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Another is getting back into better physical condition.
When the Godfather last deployed, I got down to my smallest adult weight, and managed to keep most of it off for almost a year until I got pregnant with A. Once hormones settled after baby, I started losing again, but I’m just not quite at my “happy place” yet, and that’s unacceptable. I could make excuses, but that’s not my style, so instead, I’m taking steps to reach my goal. First, I’m running again and will be training for a half marathon (which one is TBD). I’m also early on in a Whole 30 to help me detox after the holiday sugar rush (hellloooo treats!) and make better choices in cold weather.
It’s easy to reach for calorie-laden comfort food when it’s snowing outside, but it feels so much better to find a healthier and equally satisfying alternative. I’m also LOVING the culinary challenge it’s providing! I’m doing it alone, the Godfather isn’t cutting out his starches or sugars although he is happily eating whatever I make, and the fact that it hasn’t tempted me to see him eating rice with his meal or having a bite of chocolate for dessert afterwards does make me feel unstoppable.
This recipe was actually our “celebratory” dinner the first night of my Whole 30. It was a Wednesday evening and we were celebrating the end of my first Whole 30 day, because we like “just because” celebrations. We also had a beautiful cut of locally raised organic short ribs that we purchased from a farmer during a little birthday adventure outing for the Godfather the weekend prior.
Short ribs are best cooked low and slow so you break down all the toughness in the meat until it’s fall off the bone tender, and this is why my preferred method to make them is in the crock pot, after browning. Browning short ribs is an important step because it helps lock in the juice and flavor. Sometimes, you lose a little flavor in the crock pot as everything is cooking together so long it almost blends, and you really don’t want that to happen with short ribs. It only takes a few minutes, and you can even do it the night before you plan to cook. Just avoid using a nonstick pan. Nonstick pans aren’t ideal for browning because of the coating. I picked up a stainless steel pan from a local restaurant supply store that I use regularly for pan frying or other high-heat situations. You can find one like it here on Amazon.
If you’re hesitant about trying short ribs, this is a great introductory recipe. In fact, I had to shoot the “end result” pictures the night we had this dish for dinner because I wasn’t going to have leftovers for the next day – my daughter ate almost an adult-size portion of the ribs and vegetables! She LOVED it, and I hope you will too!
This easy to prepare recipe is tasty, healthy, and complies with Paleo and Whole 30 dietary guidelines
Author: Goodie Godmother
Serves: 4 servings
3 lbs short ribs
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 medium onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp avocado oil (or other vegetable oil)
Preheat a skillet with the two tablespoons of oil over medium high heat.
Sprinkle the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper, then place into the skillet to brown. Cook about 3-4 minutes each side until browned. Remove from the pan and place into your slow cooker.
Lower the heat to medium, add all the vegetables, and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables to the slow cooker.
Deglaze the pan by pouring in 1 cup of the broth, swirling it around and scraping to pick up any bits of meat or vegetables still in the pan. Dissolve the tomato paste in this and then pour into the slow cooker with the remaining cup of broth.
Set the slow cooker on low and cook 8-10 hours until the meat is cooked through and very tender.
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According to Merriam-Webster crock-pot is a hyphenated word, did you know that? I had to look it up since my spell-check always tells me I made a mistake when I write “crockpot”, but “crock pot” just seems funny, and I know not everyone uses the phrase “slow cooker”. I’m glad we all learned something today.
One of the things I’ve been most excited about having a “real fall” is apple picking. We did go once in California, and I loved it, but there’s something about the idea of picking apples on a crisp cool day that seems so very “autumn” to me and it was a non-negotiable thing we had to do this season. So we headed out to a lovely 250+ year old farm nearby to pick apples and a perfect little pumpkin. Even though Princess is still a little young for apple picking, she seemed to enjoy it, and I like to feel as if maybe the time she spends shopping at farmer’s markets, visiting farms, and making things from scratch will help her in the long run to make conscientious food choices. She’s only 9 months old though, so I’m probably getting a little ahead of myself.
If you are curious, she is wearing my necklace. Darling girl has a love for jewelry like her mama.
Back to the apples, we picked just over 10 pounds of assorted apples, and I had my first actually delicious Red Delicious apple. Fresh Red Delicious taste absolutely nothing like the sandy-textured rather bland monsters you buy at the grocery store. All the apple varieties we picked, which I don’t remember, tasted wonderful, and more importantly, were grown without pesticides and other icky things.
I have plans for all 10 pounds of apples, but the first thing I chose to make was this applesauce. First of all because it takes no time at all, second because it’s a great snack/condiment/side, and third because I have plans to make things that require applesauce.
Given how popular this has been in our house, I will be procuring more apples and making another batch or two for the freezer before apple season is over. You’ll be surprised at how easy this is to make and will never buy applesauce again, pinkie promise.
You can cook the apples over the stove, but I like using my crock-pot because I think it gives the natural sweetness a little more time develop so you don’t have to add any sugar to the recipe. I don’t add any butter either, just four ingredients and that’s it. You don’t even have to use a specific blend of apples. I like to use a blend of sweet and tart apples, you may feel free to do whatever makes you happy.
If you can though, head to a local farm before the season is over and pick your own. It’s not only a fun experience, but you support a local producer, and you’ll end up with some of the best-tasting apples you’ve ever enjoyed.