Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cavorting, crock pot and cookies

Yesterday I made a big step towards recovering. I walked around the house, without the chair or a cane, holding a watering can full of water and I watered all my plants . This may sound like a non such thing, but I have still heeded to support my self on the walls while walking , and carrying anything has been  out of the question. This was kind of like a mini marathon at this point. Yay me ...I am getting better !

I am constantly in search of some crock pot recipes that work well ! It seems that modern crock pots cook a lot quicker than their older models, and most foods turn not so nice when cooked in them. Especially true of any dish containing chicken !It takes a bit of experimentation with your own crock pot to discover just the right time table for the dish through trial and error. Happily, my guys are agreeable "guinea pigs"  in this process. These days I am also looking for recipes that use nourishing foods prepared in the proper way, so when I find on , I give it a whirl. Yesterday I experimented with quinoa in the crock pot for the first time. Quinoa is a very healthy, high protein whole grain, and to acchive it's full nutritional benefit it must be soaked in water and a small amount of whey or cider vinegar 8-24 hrs before cooking.( This step removes the phytic acid , which can block the digestive tract from fully absorbing minerals and other nutrients)

                                 Chicken and quinoa stew...or soup

Crockpot Chicken and Quinoa from The Nourishing Gourmet

1 cup quinoa (soaked overnight in water, than drained and rinsed in a strainer. If you don’t soak your grains still rinse to remove a bitter substance from the grain)
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2-3/4 cup of white wine (amount depending on your taste and wine used)
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon of salt
4-6 carrots, peeled and cubed
3 celery, sliced
1 onion, minced
2 chicken breasts or thighs
3 Tablespoons of butter (opt, for added richness and flavor)

Throw all the ingredients in your crock pot, cook on high, 4 hours or on low, 8. Shred the chicken when done, and stir into the stew and you are done!

Verdict- quinoa seems to really break down in the crock pot !It became almost invisible, and the chicken did get overdone, sadly. It seems that the dish could have used a bit more flavor as well. However, it did come out tasty and very filling !

I also experimented with another cookie - a flourless Walnut Thumbprint using soaked walnuts and home made date butter

Walnut Thumbprints
1 1/2 cup walnuts
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 egg
1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
sweetener equivalent to 1/2 cup of sugar( I used Splenda)
fruit puree OR sugarless jam ( I used Date Puree- recipe follows)

In a food processor, combine walnuts and coconut oil. Process until it becomes walnut butter. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides once or twice. When that mixture is the consistency of a chunky nut butter, add the egg, coconut, soda and sweetener. Blend it until incorporated. Chill for 30 minutes.

Roll dough into balls or use a small scoop. Lay out 24 balls onto a cookie sheet. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each ball as you press down. Fill this cavity with a small amount of jam. Bake for about 15 minutes at 325. Let cool on cookie sheet.

Date Puree
1 lb Majool Dates
water to cover

In a jar place dates , cover with water and soak at room temperature overnight, covered. In the morning drain the dates and place in a food processor. Puree till a jam like consistency. Store in refrigerator.

These were very good ! The date puree gives an almost chocolate taste, so you have a nutty, chocolate cookie that is not overly sweet, and satisfying. Definately a keeper !

1 comment:

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

That stew/soup looks good. I think you are right that the modern crock pots cook faster. I wonder if it was due to the publicity/concern about the low temperatures encouraging bacteria growth. I seem to remember reading something about that, but don't know if it is accurate.