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Monday “Mess”-cipe Recipe

I woke up yesterday to a cool, rainy morning…  Perfect excuse to bust the slow cooker out of its summer retirement for a little cleaned up comfort food.  I had a bunch of summer produce hanging around, nearly on its last leg so I knew I needed to concoct a dish using as much of it as possible.  Solution?  An “everything but the kitchen sink” veggie dish.

Ingredients (I never really measure when I cook, so all of these measurements are educated guesses.  Much more fun that way.):

  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil (You could also use olive oil, but I really love the flavor good quality coconut oil imparts)
  • 1 ½ c chopped onion (I used one small vidalia onion)
  • 1 c carrot, sliced ¼-inch thick (I used three large carrots)

Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cover and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).

  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced (The heat is in the seeds and the ribs, so if you’re a fan of spicy food leave a little more of the ribs intact.)

Add curry, ginger, garlic, and chile.

Cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly until aromatic and well combined.  Place onion mixture in slow cooker.

  • 1 ½ c cubed sweet potato (I used two small spuds)
  • 1 c cubed yellow squash (I used one small squash)
  • 1 c diced bell pepper (I used half of a green pepper and half of a red one)
  • 2 c cut green beans (Dirty little secret: I used frozen…just as good and usually cheaper)

Add remaining vegetables to onion mixture.

Add remaining ingredients.

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, including juices (look for lower sodium varieties)
  • 14 oz low-sodium vegetable broth (more or less depending on how thin you want the dish to be)

Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours or until all vegetables are tender.

By the time I had everything bubbling away in the crock-pot, the morning rain had subsided, the sun came out, and I decided it would be a perfect afternoon to take my birthday present to myself for a test drive…

…and my apartment smelled amazing when I returned 🙂

To give the dish a little something extra, wilt in fresh spinach (I used a whole bag) and coconut milk (I used about a cup of light coconut milk).   To brighten up the flavor and lend some acid to the dish (the slow cooker tends to muddy flavors a bit), spritz each serving with a fresh lemon wedge.

I served this dish with cubed chicken breast that I cooked separately, but you could simply throw some chicken right into the crock-pot along with the veggies to make a one-pot meal.  And feel free to use whatever fresh (or frozen…or even canned if you’re desperate) produce you have on hand in this “mess”-cipe recipe.

Clean Spicy Tuna Cakes

Looking for a clean source of protein that won’t blow your grocery budget? You probably already stock one as a pantry staple: canned tuna.  I know, it’s not the most exciting food in the world, but with a little creativity you can take your tuna to another level (without the mayo usually used in tuna salad).  With roughly 30 grams of protein per four-ounce serving, canned tuna is one the best bargains for a clean eater.

Ingredients (4 patties):

  • 2 (5 0z) cans water-packed tuna, drained

  • 1 Tbsp (1 oz) spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp (1 oz) hot sauce
  • spices of choice (I used several shakes of garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, and plenty of cayenne)

the usual suspects

  • 2 Tbsp oat flour (I ground rolled oats in a food processor, but you could use quick oats)

  • 3 Tbsp liquid egg whites  (or one whole egg white)
  • 3 oz broccoli, finely chopped (you could use any combination of veggies: celery, onion, bell peppers, etc.)

  • cooking spray

Ok, these instructions couldn’t be any easier…ready for it…  Mix.  Divide.  Cook.  Serve.

Seriously?  You need me to elaborate?

MIX all ingredients.

DIVIDE evenly into fourths and shape into patties.

COOK in a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.

SERVE.

I placed mine atop a bed of baby spinach and topped it all off with avocado.  You could add any of your favorite toppings: salsa, Greek yogurt, guacamole…or if you’re anything like me, extra hot sauce 🙂

Idiot proof, easy on the wallet, easy on the waistline.  What more could you ask for?