Dinner: Coconut Chicken Curry

The Plan:
Dump some stuff in the crockpot, serve it as soup for me and the huzz, and serve just the chicken and veggies to the kids with rice. It was both a success and a fail.

I started by throwing frozen chicken tenders into the crockpot, then covered them with one can chicken broth. (Yes I use very technical terms and precise measurements) I heated some butter in a pan, added some curry powder (not too much…. you know…kids) garlic powder, powdered ginger, black pepper. I let them bubble away in the butter (I think it helps ‘wake up’ the flavors) but careful not to burn them. Added that whole mixture into the crockpot. I then added one can coconut milk.

Do NOT do that. Don’t add the coconut milk at that point. It cooked for way too long and became…. I don’t know the word for it… coagulated? separated? Anyway, it was not appetizing to look at, so the soup idea was no longer an option.

I turned the crockpot on high, started the rice cooker (with quinoa in the top steamer!) and we went to the gym. When we came back was when I discovered the liquid got all gross, but added some cauliflower florets and peas to the pot. Now, if I had a bottomless bounty of every kind of veggie out there, I would have added maybe some potato, red pepper, some fresh basil. But I don’t, so I work with what I have and what everyone likes/needs. Cauli is good for the huzz’s diabetes, the kids like peas. Close enough for me.

When I make this again, I would add the can of coconut milk at the same time I add the veggies. I think it would cook just long enough to heat it through, but not for it to break down. To make mine at least appetizing looking, I added a bit of half and half to make it appear creamier. Now would be a good time to readjust the seasonings if needed, and break up the chicken tenders if you wanted.

 

The Recipe (not very precise):

8 frozen chicken tenders

1 can chicken broth

1 can coconut milk

veggies (I used cauliflower and peas, but potato, sweet potato, bell peppers, green onions, basil or lemongrass would work wonders)

curry powder, and, if you want, black pepper, powdered ginger, garlic. Sriracha if you like it hot.

 

The Verdict:

Huzz: Had 2 helpings., but didn’t say much.

Me: It was alright. I want to make it again to see if I can improve on it.

Girl: She ate it, she said she liked it, but I’m pretty sure she was just being polite.

Boy: OMG the boy. Refused to eat it. He kept screaming that he wanted “the chicken but without the chicken.” W.T.F. We tried to understand, really we did, but I think 3 year olds are just not to be understood sometimes. I gave up and walked away, when I came back, Huzz said he got the boy to eat everything on his plate. And yes, even the chicken, and even the “chicken without the chicken.”

 

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Recipe Fail: Cauliflower Gnocchi

I had scoured Pinterest for a cauliflower-only recipe for gnocchi and couldn’t find any that were only cauliflower, or looked relatively easy, and only using ingredients I already had. So I made my own. I paired this with the meal I call CHamPP, Creamy Ham Pasta and Peas. It’s one of the kids’ favorites, it’s easy for me, everyone is happy. Except now for the diabetic. So I was REALLY hoping for something easy to go with it. I made it one night and he went crazy for it. I tried making it again and it was an Official Disaster. It completely broke down in the water so I served the poor guy basically cauliflower soup. I am determined it to try again, it was so good and easy, but I have a feeling it will take quite a few more attempts. The first time contained:

cauliflower, cooked/steamed in the microwave, cooled, wrapped and wrung in a towel.

an egg, maybe two?

a Tablespoon or so coconut flour. I was really hoping it would help it bind but was afraid if I added more, it would add an undesirable flavor.

a Tablespoon or so of all purpose flour. Yes I know, terrible but necessary.

Parmesan cheese

Garlic powder

The second time I made it:

I did not wring out the cauliflower, and I think that’s where the biggest mistake was. The less water the better, or else I’m thinking I have to add more flour of some kind and I don’t want to add too much.

I didn’t chill the gnocchi before cooking. I’m still not sure this made a difference but I did that the first time and they kept their shape.

Actually, for that matter, do I even need to boil them? Maybe i could just cook them in the sauce? The first time I made it, I simply added some butter and half and half (yea I know) to the pan after browning the gnocchi a touch. If it’s mostly cauliflower, maybe the flour, if I add any at all, would cook enough through the browning and sauce? Hmmmm, I may be on to something.

Definitely worth a do-over!

Recipe: Zucchini Lasagna

This dish was one of the first things I made the hubs after finding out he was diabetic, and he. freaking. loved. it. And he’d never been a fan of zucchini in the first place (he would claim it tasted “metallic.” *insert eye roll here*) The first time I made this was the best; unfortunately, I didn’t write anything down so now I wing it every time. I guarantee you will not miss the pasta in this. It is so hearty and filling!

This recipe serves 2 hungry adults, or 2 adults and 1 kid, or 2 adults and enough for lunch the next day

Zucchini Lasagna*

You will need all this. Or most of it. Whatever.

You will need all this. Or most of it. Whatever.

*This recipe is still under construction/not perfect, so cook at your own risk! Or just use it as inspiration to experiment for yourself!

2 medium zucchini

2-3 slices cheese, anything light colored and melty, I use havarti because it’s what I have

2 handfuls frozen spinach

1/3 lb ground turkey, or ground beef, or whatever you have. I had no time to thaw the ground turkey so I just used a couple slices turkey lunch meat.

Spaghetti Sauce (watch for sugar content!)

Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Maybe 375. Line a 8×8 pan with foil and lightly oil if you want to make your life easier.

Handy dandy slicer thing.

Handy dandy slicer thing.

Peel zucchini, trim off the ends, cut in half. slice maybe 1/4 inch thick, or use a handy dandy slicer thing if you have one. I have one.

Spread a light layer of sauce on the bottom, just enough to act as a glue to keep the zucchini slices in place.

Layer zucchini, then spinach, meat, cheese, then sauce. Repeat. I also flip the next layer of zucchini so they go the other way. I don’t think it makes a difference, to be honest with you.

Top with any extra cheese and extra parmesan.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or so. I just keep checking by how easy a knife comes out of it, if it sticks a bit then the zucchini isn’t cooked all the way through. If you let it sit for a bit after it comes out, some of the excess liquid will get absorbed.

Note: It comes out watery. I’m sure if i blanched the zucchini a bit beforehand, or thawed and drained the spinach before too, it would help, but keep in mind while I’m cooking this I’m making something for the kids, so quite honestly i don’t care.

Edit: I added chopped cauliflower too. Even better if you are browning the meat first, add to that pan so it takes on that deliciousness as well. About a handful of florets or so. Anything left over gets chopped even finer and added to the kids’ sauce.

Family Rating:

Girl: “No.”

Boy: “Mmmm! Good! Pasta?”

Diabetic: “Dude I’m so FULL! Are you sure there’s no pasta in there?”