Thursday, February 28, 2013

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Baked Beans

I usually keep a few cans of baked beans in my pantry for a quick side dish or to add into a chili.  I decided to make my own baked beans from scratch and was so happy that I did. Not only is so much more economical to make your own beans, you can also play around with the flavors.  The slow cooker is a great way to cook these beans so you don't even have to keep an eye on them.  They simply do their thing in the cooker and you get to enjoy a lovely healthy dish with minimal effort.

Ingredients:
1lb dry beans that have been soaked overnight in water (I used navy beans)
1/2 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
15oz can diced tomatoes
6oz can tomato paste
2Tbs molasses
1 medium onion chopped small
1/2 Tbs garlic powder
red chili flakes to taste
1-2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs vinegar
2-3 cups water(start with 2 and add 3rd as needed)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Soak beans overnight and drain the next day.  Place soaked beans with all the other ingredients in slow cooker on high for 6-7 hour (or until your desired bean texture). Enjoy.






Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

We always have a big bowl of apples on our kitchen counter for everyone to grab a quick and healthy snack.  Unfortunately, the kids are sometimes rough trying to find their favorite apple so they can bruise the rest in their search.  So I had these perfectly good apples with some dents and bruises sitting there being neglected.  I cut the bruised bits off and decided to throw them into these very quick and easy Apple Cinnamon Muffins.  My husband actually "hooted" how good they were when he tried them.  He especially loved the cinnamon sugar topping that gave them a snickerdoodle taste. 


Ingredients:
Dry Ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup buttermilk ( or regular milk)
2/3 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 regular white sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
2Tbs butter
2 cups finely diced peeled apples (any variety of apple works)

Garnish:
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs regular sugar

Directions:
Mix all dry ingredients and set aside.  Mix all wet ingredients with wooden spoon and then add the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated (do not over mix).






Fill muffin pans (either lined with cupcake liners or sprayed with cooking spray/butter). Sprinkle with garnish and bake in 375 degree oven for 17-20 or toothpick comes out clean from center. Makes 18 large muffins.



Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thai Basil Eggplant Stir Fry

I love eggplant and I love Thai flavors.  This dish is so simple, but full of wonderful flavor.  If you want to make this vegetarian friendly, try swapping out the fish sauce for soy sauce.   Now I want too ask if you're not to busy, if you could help out my friend, Anna over at Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet.  She's currently in a photo contest hosted by Le Creuset and Williams-Sonoma in celebration of the Quince CollectionI would love for you to like her photo on Williams-Sonoma Pinterest board. It’s the first one in the first row.  Thanks!




Ingredients:
2 large eggplants cut into cubes
1 onion diced
1 large handful of Thai basil leaves
2-3 cloves minced garlic minced
1-2 Tbs Fish sauce to taste
1-2 tsp of brown sugar to taste
Thai bird chilies whole (optional)
red chili flakes (to taste)



Directions:


Cut eggplant into 1 inch pieces.  Heat a large pan/wok with 1 Tbs of canola oil and add cut eggplant.  Saute and season lightly with salt.  When eggplant is almost cooked to desired texture (5-7 minutes), push to the sides of pan and add 1 tsp of canola oil.   Then saute for a few minutes with garlic and fresh chilies.

Next add red chili flakes, fish sauce and brown sugar and saute for several minutes.  Finally add basil and saute for another two minutes.  Taste for seasoning and serve with rice.  Enjoy.



Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Curried Chicken Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Topping

A cold winter night is the perfect time to make this spicy version of a chicken cottage pie.  I decided to make it more figure friendly by topping it with a mashed cauliflower and potato mixture.  I also made it super easy by using a frozen bag of mixed vegetables so the chopping and dicing were left to a minimum.  Everyone in the family enjoyed this cottage pie and although the weather outside was blowing like old man winter...we were warm and cozy inside and out with this dish.




Ingredients:
For Filling:
4 large boneless chicken breast cubed
1 onion diced
1lb bag of frozen mixed vegetables (or diced carrots, cut green beans, corn and peas)
2 tsp curry powder (I recommend McCormick brand)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and black pepper to taste
red chili flakes to taste
2-3 garlic cloves minced
3 Tbs butter/margarine
3 Tbs flour
1-2 cups milk (or more as needed)

For Topping:
1 large cauliflower
3 large potatoes peeled
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and black pepper to taste


Directions:

 Boil cauliflower and potatoes until tender enough to mash.  Add egg, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and mix well.  Set aside until later.




Cut chicken into dice and season with salt and pepper then brown in 1Tbs of canola oil. Next add onion and garlic and saute.


Then add butter, flour, curry powder, red chili flakes, dried thyme and cook for 30-45 seconds.

Add milk and scrape any bits off the bottom of pan and making into a thick gravy.  Add frozen mix vegetables and cook through. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.





Place filling in a baking dish and top with Cauliflower Mash topping.  Sprinkle with paprika and baking a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Serve hot.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Curry and Comfort's Weekly Sunday Summary 02/18/13 thru 2/24/13

  Hi Everyone,

I feel like we just said hello to February and here we are ready to say goodbye to it this week.  I know it's the shortest month of the year....but it just flew by.  

Actually, I am excited that March is coming because we finally go back to daylight savings time and we get some longer daylight hours. Yay!  I don't know why, but that always makes me feel more productive.  It also helps with food photography.  More daylight means I don't have to have my dishes cooked by noon so I can photograph it. 

We just came off a very chilly week so I made a lot of soups this past week.  More soups are coming in the next week as well.  I also made some fun scones and a really easy stir fry.  I am excited to do some more comfort food recipes this coming week(before we say farewell to winter)... so I hope you drop by to check them out.  Now here is my week in review....





Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Strawberry Cream Cheese Spread

 
 I was so thrilled with my Strawberry Coconut Almond Scones   yesterday that I decided to whip up this yummy spread to accompany them.  They went perfectly together.    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and you get to enjoy some "ME" time with a relaxing cup of tea or coffee and a scone.



 Ingredients
1 (8oz) brick of plain cream cheese (at room temperature)
1-2 Tbs confectioners sugar
1-2 Tbs of butter
1 cup of finely chopped fresh strawberries

Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.
Note: I recommend using a whisk or fork to mix the ingredients.  A blender or food processor would make it too creamy and thin.   Spread on scones or bagels.  Enjoy.

 






Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Strawberry Coconut Almond Scones

The first time I tried to make scones it was basically a small disaster. I finally found a recipe by Tyler Florence that gave me some success.  Now with my new found confidence I decided to experiment with some strawberry scones.  I was really excited to see how these turned out, then as the dough formed I got that old feeling of self-doubt.  Flashbacks of my first scones came flooding back to me and I thought I was headed for another disaster.  Then it all came together and I was so thrilled when I pulled these beautiful fluffy babies out of oven.  I served these with a special cream cheese spread that I will post tomorrow.

Ingredients:
3cups all purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2Tbs white sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup of coconut milk ( see note)
5 Tbs chilled butter
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 cup baker's coconut
1 cup sliced almonds (plus more for garnishing)

Note:  You can always use regular milk or half and half in these scones.  I had some drinkable coconut milk (the beverage kind found by the regular milk, soy milk and almond milk). 


 Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and chilled butter until it's mixed into a coarse crumble.  In a separate bowl beat eggs and milk together until well combined.   Mix together the dry ingredients with the eggs/milk mixture, chopped strawberries, shredded coconut and sliced almonds.  The dough will form, but will look wet. 


Flour a clean surface well and place scone mixture.  Add some more flour to the top of the dough and pat down into a circle or square about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut scone mixture into triangle or squares.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Baking in a 425 degree oven for 17-22 minutes.  Serve warm with butter, jam or cream cheese.
 

 Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

15 Bean and Sausage Soup


 We had some really cold weather this weekend so I pulled out my soup pot a few times to make some meals that would warm us up.  I recently bought a bag of 15 bean soup mix to make before winter was over so I decided there was no better time than this weekend to use it.  My young son said this soup was one of his favorite soups of all time and my husband was pretty thrilled with it as well.  They both enjoyed the leftover soup the next day and that saved me cooking a new meal.  This low-cost soup certainly warmed us up and left our bellies happy and satisfied.



Ingredients:

1lb bag of 15 bean mix (or use variety of your favorites beans and lentils) soaked overnight
1lb of lean ground sausage
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced onion
28oz can of diced tomatoes
red chili flakes to taste
1-2 Tbs Chili con carne powder (used for American Chili)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
3-4 cloves garlic minced or grated
1 bay leave
8-10 cups chicken broth or water/chicken bullion equivalent
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup milk (optional)


Note:  It's important rinse the beans well and then soak the beans overnight so they will cook fast. 




Directions:
Heat soup pot on high heat and add 1 Tbs of canola oil. Add ground sausage and brown well.  Then add the diced carrots, celery, onions and minced garlic.  Saute for 3-4 minutes.   Then add dried seasoning (thyme, basil, oregano, chili powder, chili flakes, salt, pepper).  Saute with sausage and vegetables for 1 minute.

Next add soaked beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf and bring to a boil for 45-50 minutes or until beans are at your desired texture. If you want a creamier soup, add the milk and simmer for another minute.   Taste for salt and seasoning and serve hot.  Enjoy.
 




Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thai Chicken Curry Veggie Stir Fry

 I love using leftover dishes to make new ones. I made this Thai Chicken and Veggie Stir because I wanted to finish a veggie platter.  No one wanted to eat the leftover vegetables from a store bought veggie platter after a party, so I decided they would be perfect for a stir fry.   If you do not have a veggie platter sitting there to be used, just add what ever veggies you do have and this stir fry will still be good. My Mother-in-Law was here when I made this dish and she was amazed on how quick and easy it all came together.  The creamy coconut milk and curry powder sauce was perfect with all the vegetables, chicken and rice.  I won't wait for another leftover veggie platter to make this easy stir fry again.

Ingredients:
1lb of chicken
2-3 cups of broccoli florets
1 cup of carrots
1 cup of sugar snap peas
1/2 sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion sliced
1 cup of Thai Basil leaves
1 cup of coconut milk
1 Tbs Oriental Style Curry powder
2-3 Tbs Fish sauce (to taste)
1/2 tsp - 1 full tsp brown sugar to taste
red chili flakes to taste

Directions:
Heat 1 Tbs of canola oil in large pan or wok.  Saute seasoned sliced chicken until 1/2 way cooked.  Then add 1 more Tbs of canola oil and sliced mushrooms. Saute with chicken until both start to brown.

Next add ginger and garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Then add curry powder and red chili flakes. Saute for another minutes.

Next add all vegetables and toss with chicken and mushrooms.  Then add the coconut milk and fish sauce (brown sugar if needed to taste). Simmer with all ingredients until vegetables are cooked to your desired texture. Serve hot with rice.  Enjoy.




Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.