Slow Cooker “Chicken Tikka Masala”

I’ve been tooling around with this recipe for awhile.  I wanted a healthy version of Chicken Tikka Masala, to put together in the slow cooker with all the depth and flavor of the traditional Chicken Tikka Masala.  No small feat, and this following recipe was only the result after a lot of trial and error.  Lots of error.   And I’ll be honest up front.  Although this is a “Slow Cooker” recipe, there is prep work, with an overnight marinade, and then some additional cooking steps required before putting it all into the “slow cooker” to finish it off.  The result is really awesome, but its not a “5 minute investment of your time”  meal.  There is a bit of planning involved here,  but worth the effort.  I will be working on trying to create a simple and quicker version of this recipe, but this was the best I could come up with so far that satisfied my palate. Additionally,  I added the extra step of quick “broiling” the chicken after the marinade, to add some extra depth of flavor to it before putting it in the slow cooker with the marinade.  You can skip this step if you like.

 

If you make this recipe an make any adjustments or changes, by all means let me know and I can post it in the comments section.  Thanks you guys!

Ingredients for Chicken and Marinade:

  • 2 cups non fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 inch peeled fresh grated ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder (adjust for your own personal likes on the “heat” factor”)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons of either white or black pepper
  • 2 to 3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts quartered (you can use thighs as well, but I prefer breasts)

Directions for Marinade:

  • Combine all the ingredients together, then add chicken until all pieces are coated
  • Cover and let it marinade for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.  I marinated this batch for 24 hours

Masala Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, ghee or neutral cooking oil.
  • 2 medium onions peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 inch of ginger peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of coriander
  • 14.5 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup of organic cream or light coconut milk, and chopped cilantro to add in at the end

Directions for Masala and cooking chicken

  1. On stove take large sauce pan and saute the onions and garlic until soft over medium heat
  2. Add ginger and tomatoes, stir for aprox a minute
  3. Add cumin, coriander, garam masala and tomato paste and stir until heated through
  4. Add mixture to slow cooker
  5. (Optional: Broil Chicken without marinade at HIGH in oven until browned or brown over stove in skillet.  for the additional browning step, BE SURE to remove the marinade from the chicken first.)
  6. With slotted spoon or tongs, add the chicken to the slow cooker.  ***For a thinner base (my preference) add the remaining marinade, for thicker base, discard marinade.
  7. Cook on “high” for 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is cooked all the way through.  You can adjust the heat if the chicken looks like its become to cooked, and turn it down to “low” halfway in between.
  8. Add optional cream or coconut milk, and cilantro
  9. Serve and Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 



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Easy Indian Spiced Chicken Breast

I came up with this chicken dish and marinade to go with my Curried Mango Ginger Chutney recipe I made last night.  I originally came across a similar spice combination when I saw a dish called “Tawa Fish”.   I thought this spice combination sounded great on fish (without the frying part) so why not try it with chicken breasts?  This marinade tasted great with the chicken and then even better with the Curried Mango Ginger Chutney recipe I made.  The marinade is easy, healthy  and simple to put together.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts (2 large or 4 small chicken breasts)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients (except for the chicken breasts) in a bowl, set aside
  2. (optional) pound out chicken breast until they are all uniform, about 1.2 inch thick, they will cook evenly and faster this way.
  3. Marinade chicken breasts in fridge for at least 1/2 an hour
  4. When ready to cook, remove chicken breasts and pat dry
  5. preheat oven to 400 degree
  6. heat oil over medium to medium high heat in a oven proof skillet or grill pan
  7. Sear chicken until browned for about 2 minutes on each side and take pan directly from stove and place into oven
  8. Depending on thickness of the chicken breast, l finish cooking in about 3 to to 10 minutes.  You want the chicken to no longer be pink and juice running clear.
  9. Remove chicken from pan and and place on cutting board or plate and let rest at least 5 minutes.  The chicken will retain more juices the longer you let it rest.
  10.   Serve as a main dish and accent it with “Curried Mango Ginger Chutney”

 

 

 

 



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Curried Mango Ginger Chutney

Yay!  I am so happy with this  delicious and healthy recipe I came up with on the fly last night.  I was craving Indian food and had been ignoring this  lonely little mango I  purchased last week that I knew was going to go bad if we didn’t eat it pretty soon.   I  have been seeing quite a few recipes with mango being used in chutneys or as an interesting accent to modern Indian cuisine.  A quick internet search for mango chutneys resulted in several recipes, but they all  had an ingredient list that called for more than just one little mango.  I took the best of the many recipes that I found (this one recipe by Alton Brown being my favorite) and reduced it down in ratio so my one little mango would work fine.

This chutney would go great with white fish,  whole roasted chicken, chicken breasts, and probably even pork.  If you reduced the “heat” (chile flakes) I bet kids would love this with healthy chicken tenders.    Could also go well with all types of vegetarian or vegan Caribbean, Indian or African dishes.  I would even serve with goat cheese on crostini or with crackers.  I will be trying many variations of with lots of dishes in the future and put the links as I do them in this post.  Last night I didn’t feel like running to the store to get fish, so  I marinaded organic chicken breast in an easy Indian spiced marinade for an hour.

Lastly this is GREAT for cancer patients going through chemo.  I loved bright and spicy Indian chutneys and spicy food with curries when I was undergoing chemo.  The bold flavors really cut through the yucky chemical taste chemo can leave.

 

Serves 4 as a side to a main dish,  Store in an airtight container for 7 days up in the freezer for up to 2 months

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 1 mango
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • white pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup grade B (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of filtered water
  • Chopped 1/2 of a red bell pepper (optional)
  • a quick grate of lemon zest (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cut the mango away from the pit and roughly chop the flesh
  2. In a separate bowl combine water, cider vinegar, maple syrup, fresh lemon juice,  optional lemon zest and set aside
  3. In saute pan heat oil over medium heat and add the chile flakes and toast just to flavor oil
  4. Keep heat at medium, and add red onions until they begin to sweat and get soft
  5. Add ginger and if using, the optional red pepper and saute for 1 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add the mango and cook for 1 minute
  7. Add the mixture in bowl to pan and stir to combine
  8. Bring the mixture to a slight simmer, reduce to low and stir frequently
  9. Season with a fresh ground sea salt and white pepper (optional)
  10. Continue cooking over low heat, uncovered so the liquid can evaporate and reduces into a thick coating over the fruit. Aprox 30 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!  Let me know how you use it and I’ll add it to the notes here.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Coconut Curried Chickpeas

By all my recent Facebook posts and photos one might easily imagine I am some major chickpea fan.  It seems like lately I’ve been putting chickpeas in everything.  The truth is  I only recently made chickpeas from scratch for the very first time.  I, for the first time ever, did the whole “soaking overnight and then finishing  on the stove” thing.  After eating chickpeas made from scratch I have a whole new appreciation for this little ingredient, which by the way, I had never really liked at all (except for pureed in hummus) prior.

I have heard the argument that there is really no difference between soaking/cooking peas yourself or just buying them ready to eat in a can, but my taste buds and “brain” don’t believe that to be true At all.  I find chickpeas soaked overnight and cooked from scratch can have really amazing flavor and texture which I find totally lacking in canned chickpeas.  I love  cooking them to just barely  “el dente” after soaking them over night and then sauteing them in a variety of herbs, spices and sauces.

I came up this really healthy and tasty little curry dish on the fly the other day,  and it tasted amazing!  You can use canned chickpeas, but I highly recommend, if you have the time and don’t mind the planning, utilizing chickpeas made from scratch.  This is great to make ahead snack/dish and will keep well in the fridge for a couple of day.  This reheats well in the microwave.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh cooked chickpeas or 2 15 ounce cans of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or oil or your choice)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of cayenne (to your desired “heat”, I used 2 tsp because I loved hot spicy food)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry
  • 4 coconut milk cubes or 1/3 cup lite or regular organic coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat until hot
  2. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 2 to 3 minutes
  3. Add onions and carrots and begin to saute
  4.  About 2 minutes in, add the garam masala, cayenne and curry and mix in well, allowing the flavors to infuse in well with the carrots and onions.  About 3  minutes or until the onions soft and carrots with still a bit of crunch.
  5. Add chickpeas and saute  a couple minutes until heated through anl flavors well distributed to chickpeas
  6. Add tomatoes and stir a minute or too, again until ingredients heated through and flavors well distributed
  7. Finish by adding coconut milk “cubes” or or coconut milk and stir until heated through  brought to a slight simmer or slightly “steaming”
  8. Serve and enjoy!  Can be eaten alone, in a roti, or as a side dish

 

 

 



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Slow Cooker Indian Curried Chickpeas (Super Healthy!)

 

This is a super healthy, slow cooker version of curried chickpeas made from scratch with the dry beans. Curried chickpeas is one of my favorite snack foods on the planet!   I call this recipe “Indian Comfort Food”.   Cook up a big batch of this and then store in your fridge for a fast quick snack or meal on the go.  Tastes awesome  topped with chopped cilantro and red onions, or cooled with an organic Greek yogurt or healthy cashew cream.  Some people love these served as the main protein in a Middle Eastern wrap dish.

I have been on quite the Indian food kick lately.  That’s a good thing because Indian food has a flavor profile filled with lots of yummy  spices and aromatics which are packed with nutrition, cancer and disease fighting properties.   With a slow cooker you just take the dried beans or peas,  throw in the additional ingredients, set the heat and timer, and your done.  Couldn’t be easier!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of dried chickpeas
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tomato (optional) diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
  • 3 green chilies (serrano, habanero, or cayenne) stems removed chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds ground
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 6 cups of water
  • Optional:
  • a couple tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • low fat or non fat plain organic Greek yogurt or cashew cream
  • lime wedges for garnish

Directions:

  • Put the chickpeas, onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, green chilies, spices and water into the slow cooker (I use a 3 1/2 quart cooker, but you can use are larger one if you like)
  •  You have two cooking options: Cook on “High” for the first 6 hours, stir, and then on “Low”  until the beans are cooked to your desired tenderness.  Or you can cook it on “Low” for 12  hours or until the beans are to your desired tenderness.
  • To serve, add the chopped cilantro and stir in a little Greek Yogurt or stir in some cashew cream to give the beans an added delicious little creaminess.

Serve and enjoy!   Keep a container for easy snacking in the fridge. These are so yummy, I know you will love this recipe.

 

 

 

 



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Healthy Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Vindaloo

I love Indian food! Indian food is one of my favorite types of food to eat now, but I really liked it when I was going through chemotherapy. The really powerful flavor profiles in some Indian foods, and the “heat”, helped to mask some of the annoying “chemo tastes” in my mouth while eating. My boyfriend used to hate Indian food and this is one of the dishes I used to convert him into a Indian food fan. Its so healthy because it utilizes a variety of spices which are enhanced by the added bonus that they not only really boost flavor, they come with multiple health benefits as well. This is such an easy recipe, high in nutrient density, chock full of spices with multiple health benefits, simply cooks in a crock pot over 5 to 6 hours, and will “wow” even the pickiest eater. This can also be cooked slowly over low heat on the stove in a dutch oven or large pot as well. It can be made with Chicken, Pork, Lamb or Veggies. The spices and “heat” can easily be adjusted to your own personal taste as well. I personally like my food really spicy and with a lot of heat, but the recipe below is the “mild” version.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsps vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (I use shallots because my boyfriend is allergic to garlic)
  • 1 1/2 tbsps of fresh ginger grated
  • 3/4 tbsps curry powder (mild)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1.4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1.4 tsp cayenne or hot pepper
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 3 tbsps of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsps of ground cinnamon initially or 1 cinnamon stick added to the pot
  • 1 can of tomato paste with 2 equal cans filled of water
  • 1 small white or yellow onion chopped
  • 1 lb of skinless organic chicken breasts or thighs quartered or cubed
  • (Optional) 1/2 of a small cauliflower cut into bite size piece

Directions:

  1. Puree the first 10 ingredients in a blender
  2. Pour puree, into the crock pot, add the tomato paste, water, cinnamon stick and stir
  3. In non stick skillet use 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute onions until soft, then brown chicken on all sides
  4. Add Chicken and Onions, (Cauliflower if using) to Crock Pot, stir and then cover
  5. Cook on low in a Crock Pot for 5 to 6 hours, or over the stove on medium low in a Dutch Oven or large pot
  6. Serve with Indian Saffron Brown Basmati Rice, with sauteed spinach, or by itself.
  7. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings per recipe: 3
  • Calories: aprox 300 calories, 100 calories from fat
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