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!

 

 

Slow Cooker Thursday – Fruit & Nutty Pork Chops

It’s time for another edition of my slow cooker series.  I’ve decided to do a slow cooker post every Thursday.  It might be a tall order as the semester gets under way.  We’ll see.  This week I did pork chops and they turned out pretty good!

IMG_15892 tablespoons coconut oil

5-6 thick-sliced pork chops

2 tart apples

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 small onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 teaspoons coarse black pepper

1 tablespoon raw honey

IMG_15941. Turn you slow cooker on high so it can warm up.

2. Melt the oil in a large frying pan on the stove.

3. Once the oil is hot, brown the pork chops on each side for about 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Put your chops in the slow cooker.

5. Place the apple slices in the drying pan, along with the walnuts, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until onions and apples are soft.

6. Pour the apple mixture over the pork chops.

7. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the meat and drizzle with the honey.

8. Cover and lower the temperature to low.  Cook for 8 hours.

IMG_1595I’ve never had a slow cooked pork chop and I really like it.  I hope you do too.  Happy cooking!

~Laura

Weekly Slow Cooker Recipe – Chicken Cacciatore – Paleo!!

It’s time for my weekly edition of Laura’s slow cooker recipe.  This recipe is from Paleolithic Slow Cooker. I find the name of the cookbook entertaining since I’m pretty sure they did not have slow cookers in the Paleolithic era!  But for all you Paleo peeps out there, this is for you (and for regular people too) 🙂

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3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 pounds bone-in chicken breast

2 stalks of celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

3 large bell peppers – any color, sliced

15 oz diced tomatoes (about 3.5 tomatoes)

1 tablespoon oregano

IMG_15761. Turn your slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.

2. Place the coconut oil on the bottom and allow it to melt.

3. Place the remaining ingredients into the slow cooker and reduce the slow cooker to low.

4.  Cook for 7 to 8 hours.

5. Serve with spaghetti squash if desired. (I did not because the soupy style seemed more interesting to me plain).

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This recipe is super easy and very healthy since the meat has been cooked on the bone.  The minerals and nutrients from the bone end up in the broth and the slow cooking nature of it keeps them viable.  Beware, there is no salt in this so if you like your stuff salty, add a teaspoon before you start cooking.  This recipe is great for a work day, you throw everything in in the morning and come home from work and it’s ready!  Happy cooking!

 

Throw it in and leave it – Slow-Cooked Grass-Fed Beef Osso Buco

As many of you know, I got a slow cooker for Christmas, so I’ve been looking for any excuse to use it.  I think I’ve decided that I’m going to do one meal a week using it because it’s so convenient!  This recipe comes from the Hungry for Change cookbook.  Are you surprised?  A note from the book about this meal: “This is a particularly nutrient-dense meal.  When cooked at such a low temperature, the meat is more tender, the nutrients are retained, the proteins are undamaged, and the fats are protected from oxidation.  Cooking meats on the bone adds additional minerals and gelatin to the dish.  We recommend using beef rather than veal, for ethical reasons, and meat that is grass-fed and -finished, from cows raised more naturally, grazing in open pastures in full sunlight”.

IMG_1561The meat I used was Whole Foods level 4 which is almost the best.

1 tablespoon butter

2 yellow onions, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt

8 anchovies, bottled in olive oil or brine, drained

4 bay leaves

1 whole cinnamon stick, snapped in half

2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 cup red or dry white wine (organic, sulfur-free, or containing minimal sulfur: 220/202)

4 ripe tomatoes or 1 cup tomato puree out of a glass bottle

1/2 cup spring or filtered water

4 or 5 shank cuts of grass-fed and -finished beef osso buco (they don’t usually have these in the case but if you ask they generally have them in the back)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish

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Preheat the oven to 195 degrees.  (I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my gas oven on all day while I was at work so I used my slow cooker instead.  It turned out perfect!)

Melt the butter in a large cast-iron pot set over low heat.  Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and salt, and gently saute until everything is soft and the onions are translucent.  Add the anchovies, mashing them into the base of the pot with the back of a wooden spoon until the anchovies begin to melt.  If you omit them, add more of the unrefined sea salt.

Add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick pieces, and thyme, and pour in the wine.  Increase the heat slightly and gently simmer everything for another couple of minutes.  The alcohol will cook out and the liquid will reduce slightly.  Then add the tomatoes, the water, and the pepper, stirring thoroughly to incorporate, and remove the pot from heat.

Gently add the beef pieces and submerge them in the liquid and vegetables until they are positioned at the bottom of the mixture.  (I put the meat pieces in my slow cooker and poured the veggie mixture over them).  Cover and place in the oven.  Cook for 10 to 12 hours (I just set my slow cooker to 10 hours and it did the temp and everything for me).  (For quicker cooking time set, the oven to 250 degrees.  It will be ready in 6 to 8 hours).

The osso buco is ready when it’s tender and easily comes away from the bone.  Serve with its nutrient-rich sauce spooned over each piece and a generous sprinkling of chopped parsley as a garnish (I totally forgot about the garnish).  If desired, pair the osso buco with a simple green salad, or sauerkraut to aid in digestion.  And don’t forget to eat the marrow!

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This was another big win from this book.  It was SOOOOO yummy!  And so easy to do.  I did the prep the night before and kept it in my fridge and then put it all in my slow cooker the next morning.  I came home from work to a house that smelled amazing and dinner that was already ready for me!  Happy cooking!