Slow Cooker Wednesday – Granny Butternut Soup

Have you ever been running around in the morning trying to get out the door and in your car on your way to work you realize you forgot to start the slow cooker?  Not with this recipe!  This soup cooks for EIGHTEEN hours!  You can put it on the night before and pretty much forget about it (except for a temperature change in the morning).  It turned out crazy good but very spicy so watch the cayenne if you’re sensitive.

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 large red onions, sliced

6 cups of butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

4 celery stalks, sliced

2 large Granny Smith apples, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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Turn the slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.  On the stove top, use a large saucepan and melt the coconut oil.  Place the onions, squash, and celery into the pan and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 10-15 minutes.  Transfer veggies to the slow cooker.  Add the chopped apples, chicken broth, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.  Cook on high for 7 to 8 hours and low for 10 hours.

Turn your slow cooker to the warm setting.  Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until it is all the desired consistence (or if you have a stick blender you can use that in the actual slow cooker).  Taste and add seasonings as desired.

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This is definitely different than other butternut soup I’ve made.  It’s very good though and super filling!  Happy cooking!

 

Belated Mardi Gras Meal – Seafood Gumbo

I promised you all Slow Cooker Thursdays and then promptly got so busy I couldn’t find time to cook! So I give you slow cooker Tuesday! I didn’t have time to do my normal Sunday dinner this week so I filled in with this gumbo.  It’s very easy to make and turned out so good!

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2 tablespoons coconut oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 medium onions, chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped

14 oz can of organic diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp

1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen crab meat

10 oz sliced okra

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Turn your slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.

In a large frying pan, heat up the coconut oil.  Saute the garlic, onions, celery, and bell peppers until tender.  Transfer the cooked vegetables into the slow cooker.  Pour the diced tomatoes and chicken broth in the slow cooker.  Add the Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, and bay leaves.  Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn the temperature to low.  Cook on low for four hours.

Add the shrimp, crab meat, and okra to the cooker and cook for 1 more hour.  Serve.

IMG_1647Rob told me this was one of the best gumbos he had ever had, and he eats a lot of gumbo.  That made my night since he’s usually pretty honest about whether or not he likes something!  I hope yours turns out!  Happy cooking!

 

 

Veggie post! – Red Lentil and Coconut Curry Dahl

I’ve been MIA for a bit and I apologize.  In the past 10 days I’ve had two weddings, my anniversary, the Super Bowl, layoffs at work (I’m still employed yay!) and several events for school.  I’m pooped!  But I did whip up this soup last week and I’m finally getting around to posting it.  It’s a little something different for lunch.  My camera has been taking pictures very dark for some reason.  I’m not sure whats up so apologies for the less than stellar photos.

IMG_16222 tablespoons coconut oil

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

3 tablespoons finely minced ginger root

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon red curry paste

2 cups coconut milk

12 oz tomato sauce

2 cups dried red lentils

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

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Melt the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Stir in the onion and saute slowly until it is translucent and soft.  Then stir in the garlic and ginger, cooking until fragrant. Add the cumin, coriander, and curry paste, mixing everything together well.  Add the coconut milk, reduce the heat, and let mixture simmer for 2 to 3 minutes covered before adding the tomato sauce, lentils and stock.

Remove the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often to keep the lentils from sticking to the bottom.  As the lentils cook, they will break down and thicken the soup.  Add more liquid as needed.

When ready, add additional seasoning to taste and serve.

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This is a pretty easy soup to throw together if you don’t have a lot of time and it’s different than your every day lentil soup.  Happy cooking!

 

It’s cold out, you need to eat! – Sweet Surprise Chili

It’s January and no matter where you are in the Northern hemisphere, it’s probably a few degrees colder than usual.  Here in LA it’s been coat and sweater weather.  What better time to make chili??  I have a recipe that my family makes but I decided to try one out of the Taste of Home Casseroles, Slow Cooker, & Soups cookbook I got for Christmas.  I’m fairly pleased with the result.  This recipe was easy to make and you can clean house or do homework, etc while it’s cooking.   The plums add an interesting sweetness to the taste.  I’m taking this to work with me for lunch this week.

IMG_15453 pounds beef top sirloin steak, cubed (in an effort to keep costs down I just got regular stew meat)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage

1 large onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups water

1 can (16 oz) chili beans, undrained

1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce

1 can (14 1/2 oz) beef broth (I measured it out from a box instead of a can)

1 package (12 oz) pitted dried plums, chopped (aka prunes)

3 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

3/4 teaspoon salt

Dash cayenne pepper

IMG_15461. In a Dutch oven (for those who don’t know what this is, it’s a big, heavy cast iron pot that you could put in the oven if you wanted to), brown beef in oil in batches.  Remove and keep warm.

IMG_1547Add sausage and onion to the pan; cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

IMG_15482. Return beef to pan; stir in the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.

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Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until beef is tender.

IMG_1554And that’s all she wrote!  I served mine with brown rice.  Easy and perfect for a cold winter night.  Happy cooking!