Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Although warm spring weather came early this year yesterday and today were really cold and drizzy days. I wasn't sure what to make for tonight's dinner but wanted something warm and satisfying. In looking through the pantry this morning the first thing I noticed was a bag of white beans near a large jar of green salsa. There were chicken thighs and cilantro in the fridge and although I'd never made a white chili - one without tomatoes - it sounded quick to make and perfect for a cold day.
It was quick and easy to make and there was enough for a crowd. I was happy that it ended up being a big hit. I took the photos a couple of hours before we actually ate so I wouldn't lose the light but we actually topped our chili with big spoonfuls of chopped cilantro and had a fresh green salad with it. Simple and colorful and really satisfying. One of the best parts of this meal was the wonderful aroma that filled the kitchen all afternoon.
Chicken Chili with Green Salsa
Six to Eight Generous Servings
1 lb. White Beans (Great Northern) dry, sorted and rinsed
2 quarts Organic Gluten Free Chicken Stock (homemade would be even better)
1 Cayenne Chili - dry (optional)
1 24 ounce jar Natural Gluten Free Green Salsa
3 cups of water (or more if you want a thinner chili)
1 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch Cilantro, washed and chopped
In a large stock pan or Dutch oven place sorted and rinsed beans and cover with the two quarts of chicken stock. If using a whole dried Cayenne chili, place in pan now. Bring almost to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer until beans are soft - mine were very fast today - maybe three hours.
Once beans are nearly cooked heat a saute pan to cook the chicken. Saute both sides until cooked through (I didn't use any oil to saute) and once cooked (15 minutes for me) chop into 1/2" pieces.
Add the salsa, water and chicken to the beans and stir gently but well. Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer. It was delicious at that point but even better three hours later when we finally ate.
Add chopped cilantro to taste and stir it in. My bowl was bright green because I'm crazy for cilantro. The guys' bowls varied in color considerably but we were all happy.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
There are a few posts rolling around in my head and lots of photos on my camera but life has been busy and this blog has been on the back burner for a bit. So this long overdue post is thanks to Gabby and a recipe she pinned on Pinterest. We messaged a bit about the ingredients and the more I looked things over the more I knew I wanted to try one.
She sent me this link from Monica at The Yummy Life which give recipes for several overnight refrigerator oatmeal breakfasts made in small mason jars. Each recipe is based on oats, chia seeds, milk, Greek yogurt and honey. The variations included chopped fruits, cocoa and other goodies. She just adds each ingredient to the jar, screws the lid on and gives it a good shake. The next morning you pull them out of the fridge and there's breakfast. Everyone one of her variations looked wonderful. As I followed the links from post to post I found out this is a pretty popular breakfast.
Look at this one The Yummy Life linked from this one from Christie at Pepper Lynn - pumpkin peanut butter??
Pepper Lynn linked - Angela of Oh She Glows Carob Banana Chia Vegan Overnight Oats and Kath of Kath Eats Real Food's recipes including yummy strawberry banana version.
Just checking out each of the sites above was fun, informative and very distracting - all but one was new to me and I'll be spending more time checking out all of them.
I really love the idea of all the healthy ingredients, the quick mixing and the fact we can have an instant breakfast in the morning with such a short time investment the night before. But cold oatmeal? I wasn't so sure about it but was willing to give it a try.
This is the one that caught my eye from the original Yummy Life post - chocolate and banana. The single serving jars in the recipe are such a great idea if you need a breakfast on the run. I chose to make it in my Vitamix and quadrupled the recipe. I thought a smoother texture would be more appealing to me.
My only real sub was coconut milk since we don't use regular milk. It was really delicious. Cold oatmeal may take a bit of getting used to but it's almost like chocolate pudding for breakfast.
Because I really don't tolerate fruit well I decided to make another batch with a chocolate peanut butter combination. Quadrupling the recipe again I just subbed approximately one cup of peanut butter for the banana. I thought it was creamy and delicious but I will be honest - I was informed that not everyone is a fan of cold oats here.
While I really liked the chocolate peanut butter I wanted to try something completely dairy free. I used coconut milk, shredded coconut and a bit of coconut oil for a nice punch of coconut. I probably should have left out the cocoa for something really different but I couldn't make myself do it. This is far and away my favorite blend.
Again I whirled everything but the oats in the Vitamix but you can mix this up anyway you like. In a blender, in a bowl with a spoon or you could use a very large jar and shake everything up. If you're concerned about the chia seed texture but want to keep the protein and other health benefits I'd use the blender. Here's how I did it:
Chocolate Coconut Overnight Oats
1 can Coconut Milk (15 - 16 ounce)
1 cup Water
1 cup Shredded Coconut
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
4 Tablespoons Raw Honey
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 Cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats
Put everything but the oats into a Vitamix (or regular blender) and mix until well incorporated. Pour the mixture over the oats, stir and cover. Refridgerate overnight.
Makes four servings and can be topped with more shredded coconut or, as Gabby suggested - chocolate chips!