Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Chicken with Fresh Crunchy Veggies

The first time I made this, when checking out the finished product in the slow cooker towards the end, I noticed it definitely needed more color and “crunch”.  I added in some veggies that I cooked really quickly over the stove. I use organic chicken breasts, but chicken thighs work really well, and some people actually prefer them. I cut down the calories in this dish by using lower fat coconut milk. I used a slow cooker for this but you  can cook it for a long time  over gentle heat as well. But, keep in mind, the intense Thai flavors really infuse into the Shiitakes and the chicken when cooked in the slow cooker!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons grape-seed oil
  • 1 to  1 1/2 lbs of chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • 1 small jar of Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 cup of homemade chicken stock or store bought non fat chicken broth/stock
  • 8 ounces fresh Shiitake mushrooms (less expensive mushrooms are OK as well), stems trimmed and halved
  • 1 can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh cut up veggies (i.e. broccoli, snap peas, red and yellow peppers, red onion, etc.)
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves
  • optional steamed brown to serve it over, but I just eat it on its own

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken into thirds
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Brown chicken in batches, for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden.  Transfer to slow cooker.
  4. Reduce heat in frying pan to low.  Add 1 more Tablespoon oil to pan, add curry paste and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic.
  5. Add stock and stir until curry paste has dissolved.
  6. Add mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
  7. Pour mixture over chicken and stir to combine.
  8. Cover and cook on medium in slow cooker for 3 1/2 hours.
  9. At 3 1/2 hours: Combine fish sauce, brown sugar and coconut milk in a bowl and then stir into curry.  Reduce heat in slow cooker to low and set timer for 30 minutes.
  10. Heat remaining oil in large frying pan over medium high heat and add chopped fresh veggies and stir fry for a couple of minutes, to just cook through, yet still “al dente” and set aside
  11. At 4 hours: Add the fresh veggies to the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.
  12. Stir in the basil, and serve over rice or alone.  Enjoy!

    * Source:  Adapted from Super Food Ideas – August 2006, page 67



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    Mock “Creamy Mint English Pea Soup”

     

    I decided to make this when I was at the Farmer’s Market this past Sunday, and one of the farmer’s had gorgeous baskets of these fresh peas already shucked.  I was planning a dinner for my boyfriend’s mom’s house that night and figured this would be perfect.  This recipe is super fast and easy to make, especially when you’re pressed for time.  From star to finish, this recipe only took me about 30 minutes to make.

    You can use fresh peas (or even frozen peas) and to add the creamy flavor I used non fat Greek yogurt. It’s a great way to crank up the protein, while at the same time adding a really nice sophisticated dimension  of creaminess. Also, adding fresh lemon really brightens up the entire flavor profile.  This recipe is only for 2 servings, but just double or triple it if you need extra.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/4 cup of chopped shallots
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • 2 cups fresh shelled English peas or frozen peas
    • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fat free chicken broth (store bought ) or chicken stock
    • 1/4  cup fresh mint (or your desired level of “mint flavor”)
    • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup fat free Greek Yogurt
    • fresh squeeze of half of one lemon (preferably Meyers)
    • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
    • *Optional: 2 tsp of low fat buttermilk or non fat milk

    Directions:

    1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat,  add shallots, and garlic.  Cook until both are soft 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently.  They should not brown if this begins to happen,  turn down heat to low.
    2. Add peas, 1/2 of the mint, and broth, and fill with chicken broth to right above the top of the peas.
    3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low, simmer until the peas are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
    4. Let pea mixture cool for a couple of minutes and then puree in batches in the blender until smooth.
    5. Wait for peas to cool a bit more, add a bit of Greek yogurt until reaching desired creaminess.
    6. Add the remaining amount of fresh mint to your desired taste (I only added a little bit)
    7. Squeeze some of the fresh lemon juice from the half lemon to your desired  taste
    8. Return mixture to the soup pot and gently reheat, making sure not to bring to a boil or the yogurt will curdle.
    9. For the presentation like in my photo, use buttermilk or any type of milk in a spoon and drizzle in a spiral.
    10. Serve and enjoy!

    *Notes: Approx Nutrition per serving:  140 Calories, 10 grams of Protein, 17 grams of Carbohydrates, 1 gram of Fat, 2 grams of Sugar

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