whole wheat banana pancakes

sunday pancakes.  

whole wheat banana pancakes 
with pure maple syrup

1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup milk
1 tbsp ground flax (optional)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or AP flour (i used white whole wheat)
nonstick cooking spray
sliced, fresh bananas
real maple syrup

i doubt anyone needs further directions but, just in case, mix everything together (wet ingredients first with sugar and then fold in dry ingredients).  i warmed my grill pan over medium heat and then sprayed the nonstick spray right before pouring the batter onto the pan.  cook for approx. two minutes per side.

{i doubled this recipe and was able to freeze six pancakes for later}


recipe index

don't forget about the recipe index for quick links to all of the recipes on this blog!

roasted root vegetables

one of the most wonderful vegetable dishes i have ever tasted.  

the co-op delivered parsnips last week.  again, a new veggie for me to try (and cook with).  i did what i do and looked for a recipe that sounded good.  this one has some seriously great ratings from a lot of folks so i thought i'd give it a whirl even though i'd also never cooked with or tasted rutabaga or celery root.  

the kids thought it was cool when i told them we were all tasting a lot of these for the first time together.  along with me, we tried one bite of a different vegetable and rated the taste.  cayden liked everything but the carrots (always) and the rutabaga, brooklyn liked everything but the potatoes (always) and the parsnips, gavin well, he just ate what was on his plate because he's perfect like that.  as for me, i liked every bit but especially the celery root and the parsnips.

another highly recommended, must try recipe.

roasted root vegetables
recipe via epicurious 
non-stick spray (i used olive oil spray)
1 lb red-skinned potatoes, un-peeled, scrubbed, cut into 1" pieces
1 lb celery root, peeled, cut into 1" pieces
1 lb rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1" pieces
1 lb carrots, peeled, cut into 1" pieces
1 lb parsnips, peeled, cut into 1" pieces
2 onions, cut into 1" pieces
2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1" thick rounds (i soaked in water to remove the dirt)
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup olive oil (i used 1/4 cup)
10 garlic cloves, peeled

position 1 rack in bottom third of oven and 1 rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees.  spray 2 heavy baking sheets with non stick spray.  combine all remaining ingredients except garlic in a very large bowl; toss to coat.  season generously with salt and pepper.  divide mixture between prepared sheets.

place 1 sheet on each oven rack.  roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  reverse positions of baking sheets.  add 5 garlic cloves to each baking sheet.  

continue to roast until all vegetables are tender and brown in spots, stirring and turning vegetables occasionally, about 45 minutes longer. 

(can be prepared 4 hours ahead.  let stand on baking sheets at room temperature.  rewarm in 450 degree oven until heated through about 15 minutes).

i served the veggies with grilled chicken rather than prime rib.  not nearly as fancy but i tell you, it was so very good.  no leftovers on this night!


pomegranate orange smoothie

pomegranates from the co-op!  before this moment (the one above), i'd never had a pomegranate.  why?  WHY!?  holy S, pomegranates are delish people and this smoothie was incredibly refreshing.

give it a try, okay?

pomegranate orange smoothie
seeds from one pomegranate (separated from the fruit in a bowl of water was easiest as the seed fall to the bottom and the white stuff ~ whatever it's called ~ floats to the top)
juice from one large orange
medium frozen banana
1 cup light vanilla soy milk

blend all together in in a blender

pour into a cup through a sieve (this part was messy but, well worth the trouble)

enjoy all that nutrition!

broccoli cheese soup with homemade lion house dinner rolls

trying to find a broccoli cheese soup recipe that sounded good was super hard so i made one up.  it was as good as it sounded and those rolls, i challenge you to not reach for seconds!

broccoli cheese soup
18 oz bag frozen broccoli florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups half & half, warmed
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (i used extra sharp white cheddar)
s&p to taste

cook the broccoli in a microwave safe dish with an inch of water in the bottom (8 minutes, stirring once).

heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot.  saute onion until soft, approximately eight minutes adding the garlic the last two minutes.  remove the onion mixture to the cooked broccoli.

turn the heat to medium and add the butter to the pan.  once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour until smooth.  slowly whisk in the warmed 1/2 and 1/2 creating a "white sauce" in the onion mixture.  once all is combined and when the sauce begins to thicken, whisk in the chicken broth and then add the broccoli.

cook over med-low heat for approximately 20 minutes until the broccoli is soft.

puree 2/3 of the soup in batches (i used my blender).  

add the cheese and serve once melted.

lion house dinner rolls

lion house dinner rolls
source mel's kitchen cafe via lion house cookbook (copy & paste baby!)

*Note: The recipe calls for active dry yeast. I always use instant yeast because that’s what I have on hand. To use instant yeast, cut down the amount of yeast to 1 1/2 tablespoons and then there is no need to proof the yeast in the water. Instead, add the yeast and water together with the following ingredients in the recipe and proceed with the directions.
Also, I always used to roll the dough into three circles and cut the rolls into triangles and roll up like crescents; however I saw this tutorial online and it has changed how I roll them out. Feel free to check out the video. I also included a few step-by-step photos below the recipe.
*Makes about 2 dozen rolls
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
5-6 cups flour
In a large bowl, combine the yeast and water. Let stand 5 minutes (no need to do this if using instant yeast – just add the yeast and water together with the other ingredients). Add sugar, butter, salt, dry milk, 2 cups flour and egg. Beat together until very smooth. Add remaining flour gradually (about 1/2 cup at a time) until a soft but not sticky dough is formed. Knead the dough for at least five minutes if using an electric mixer and for at least 10 minutes if mixing the dough by hand. When the dough is smooth, supple and elastic, place it in a lightly greased large bowl covered with greased plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled.
Separate the dough into two portions. Roll each section out to an 11X14-inch rectangle. Brush the top with melted butter. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into two pieces, the long way (see photos below). Then slice the dough into five or six strips across so you end up with 10 to 12 small rectangles. Roll each small rectangle up like a snail and place on a silpat-lined or lightly greased baking sheet with the roll resting on it’s open edge. Repeat with the second portion of dough.
Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap and let them rise until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes until they are nicely browned.
*Freezable: I freeze the baked rolls in freezer-safe ziploc bags. I microwave the frozen rolls (about 6 at a time) for 2 minutes before serving.


rootbeer float cookies

not nutritious in the least but trust me, you'll get over it.

this recipe is from 101 gourmet cookies.  i picked up the book at costco a few weeks ago and so far i've made wendy's peanut butter cookies (yum) and these root beer float cookies.  both divine!  (note to you:  the dough has to sit in the fridge for a bit so, plan ahead ~ learn from my mistake!)

root beer float cookies
source: 101 gourmet cookies cookbook by wendy paul
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp root beer flavoring or extract (currently ON SALE at harmons!)
4 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda

cream glaze
2-3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

cream together sugars and butter until light and fluffy.  add milk, eggs, and root beer extract.  stir to combine.  add dry ingredients and mix until combined.

refrigerate dough for one hour until firm then roll into 1" balls.  place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  remove from oven and cool completely. 

frost with glaze.

glaze: whisk all ingredients until all lumps are gone.

we don't need the nutritional info on these, right?  ignorance truly is bliss as long as you plan on running an extra two miles the next day.


curried chicken with couscous and raisins

sounds weird?  i know.  

some time ago i bought a bag of golden raisins.  i don't know why.  i don't really like raisins but i had read a lot of recipes that called for golden raisins so i thought i'd put some in the pantry just to be safe. 

better to be safe than sorry, right?

it was several months later when i was looking for some ideas for dinner that would help me acknowledge my cravings for curry that i came across ina's recipe for curried couscous.  two or three additional clicks later, i found martha had one too so, i combined the two using what i had on hand (raisins!) and i tell you, the result did not disappoint.  the raisins were perfect with the spicy curry. perfect  i tell you!

curried chicken with couscous and raisins
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (= to approx. 1 lb of chicken from my freezer)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
carrots (i diced up a small bag of baby carrots)
1 1/2 cup couscous (i used wheat couscous)
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 cup salt-free chicken stock
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp curry powder (i use salt free, yellow curry powder)
pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

poach the chicken breast in boiling water until almost cooked through (poaching to me = barely cover with boiling water and let simmer for approx. 10 minutes).

while the chicken is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  add the diced onions and saute until soft.  add the carrots and raisins and then continue to sautte until the onions begin to caramelize (another 10 minutes or so).

once the chicken is cooked, remove from the water and let sit for a minute or two while it cools down enough to handle.  chop into cubes then sprinkle generously with curry powder.  

in a small bowl, mix the yogurt, broth, turmeric, salt, curry powder and white wine vinegar.  pour over the onion mixture and reduce heat to medium.  add the chicken to the onion mixture and let simmer.

after five minutes or so, turn the heat to low and stir in the couscous.  cover and let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.


serves 4

Nutrition Facts
curry chicken and couscous
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat8.1g
      Saturated Fat1.6g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber6g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 5%
Calcium    10%Iron 19%

p.s. i really dislike that every photo i take on my stovetop turns out so yellowish ... must be the light above the range.

chicken noodle soup ~ slow cooker

don't worry, i realize this looks more like chicken and noodles less the "soup" but, i had forgotten to take a photo of the soup when i made it and this leftover version with a lot less broth became the next best thing. 

wait, i totally just lied.  i didn't "forget" to take a photo at all. actually, my dad and mom were eating with us that night and i didn't want to weird my dad out by taking a picture of my food in front of him.  i just wasn't ready for his reaction so, i made a choice.  

that's the truth.  the other truth is my dad told my mom on their way home that he really liked my soup.  my dad liked me soup, my dad liked my soup, lalalalalala.  

this makes it safe for me to say, "you'll like it too." and, made my head swell just a little because i made the recipe up all on my very own!

chicken noodle soup ~ slow cooker
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp fresh thyme
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (i used 6 breasts that i had pre-portioned to 4 oz/breast for freezing) 
celery, chopped (i used 7 stalks, leaves and all)
1 lb carrots, chopped
2-3 bay leaves
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
s&p to taste
whole wheat noodles (i threw one cube of chicken bouillon to the boiling water)
1/2 tbsp parsley flakes

heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high.  add onions and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  the last two minutes, add the garlic and the thyme.   

add the cooked onion mixture to the bottom of the slow cooker set on low heat.  place the chicken breasts on top of the onion mixture.

add the celery, carrots, bay leaves and chicken broth. throw in a pinch of salt and couple pinches of pepper.

cook over low heat for 8 hours.

after about 7.5 hours,  remove the bay leaves from the slow cooker and cook the wheat noodles to firm according to package directions in a separate pot.  mix the cooked noodles and parsley into rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker.  at this time, i added another cup or two of the boiling noodle broth/water to the slow cooker because i felt like it needed more broth.

let sit for another 10 - 20 minutes then serve.

easily makes 6-8 servings.



stuffed acorn squash

i feel like i should always apologize for the quality of my photographs.  so, i apologize for the quality of my photographs.

a few weekends ago our co-op provided us with some acorn squash.  this is another vegetable (or fruit?) i was unfamiliar with so i really had no idea what to do with it.  then, my husbands cousin included a link to a couple of recipes on her personal blog that gave me the idea to stuff it.

the first recipe is from 101cookbooks which is one of my favorite sites but the reality is her cooking skills are far more superior than mine and a lot of her creations intimidate the heck out of me.  her version of stuffed acorn squash looks amazing but, i'm not really all that excited about how far i'll have to run after consuming that much melted cheese so, i was a bit more inspired to adapt my version from this cornbread stuffed recipe from two blue lemons.  

the first thing you'll need to do is bake up a batch of cornbread enough time ahead that it will cool down a bit for handling.  now, you could either get all fancy and make a homemade cornbread or, be lazy like i was and buy quick mix (yep, i did that).  

then, prepare the stuffing while the cornbread is cooling but before you get started, roast the acorn squash in a pre-heated 425 degree oven by cutting each in half, de-seeding and then drizzling each half with olive oil, pepper and a little bit of salt.

for the stuffing, sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft (about eight minutes) and then add the crushed garlic, rosemary, red pepper, thyme and oregano for another two or three minutes.  

once the onions are cooked, remove them from the pan into a large bowl and then add the sausage (casings removed) to the pan and cook until done while breaking up each link with the back of a spatula.

after the sausage is cooked through, add it to the bowl of onions and crumble the cornbread into the bowl.  my mix made a 9x13 pan so i only used 2/3 of the cornbread and then let the kids and the husband eat the rest with a little honey butter as a side.

once the stuffing is mixed together, remove the squash from the oven and turn the heat down to 350 degrees.  

generously fill each squash with the stuffing making sure to press firmly with your hands. 

see how pretty .... 

finish baking the stuffed squash for another 45-60 minutes until the tops are browned and the squash is soft (poke with a fork).

eat and enjoy!

this dish is seriously filling and it is a little spicy so if you prefer a milder version, just add less pepper or, none at all.

stuffed acorn squash
3 acorn squash
olive oil to drizzle
salt & pepper

1 batch cornbread quick mix (or, homemade cornbread)
5-6 apple maple chicken sausage links, casings removed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme (i used fresh thyme)
1/2 tsp oregano

serves easily 6 if not more because, as i said, they're really filling and really delicious!


bountiful baskets :: basket 411

i'm still feeling all giddy about bountiful baskets. 
it's like a surprise just for me every saturday morning.

the last two weeks have been fantabulous and i've been cooking a lot but for some reason, i've procrastinated posting any new recipes.  i'm committed to making this happen in the very near future (i know dear reader (singular), you're on the edge of your chair).

these dishes include a delicious stuffed acorn squash recipe, broccoli cheese soup, curried chicken with couscous and a wonderful chicken noodle soup.  i'm sure there's more.  oh yeah, i made an pomegranate orange smoothie the other day that was a.m.a.z.i.n.g! 

we also enjoyed a "loaded baked potato soup" and homemade lion house rolls that are to die for but nowhere near nutritious so .... i'll probably leaves those ones out.

for now, i'm entering to win a giveaway from the bloggers over at "basket 411."

they have a great blog for recipe ideas surrounding the contents of each bountiful basket from one week to the next.  check it out if you are already participating in the co-op and if you're not but want to know more about it, head over to bountiful baskets website to learn more.  the bread they sale is amazing (5 loaves of 9 grain bread for $10!) and the granola is to die for.  no lying.

last week:

and the week before:


overnight oatmeal {slow cooker}

a few weeks ago i taught "fairy tale friday" for brooklyn's kindergarten class.  my fairytale of choice was goldilocks and the three bears and not only was i supposed to read the kids the story, i also had to prepare an activity that would free the teacher for 45 minutes.  

i take this sort of thing very seriously and was really trying to think of a way i could make porridge for the kids to eat while they colored their bear picture but i wasn't sure how i was going to get boiling water to the school.  then i found a recipe for overnight oatmeal that had all sorts of dried fruit and berries  in it but the basic concept of cooking the oatmeal in the slow cooker resulted in a "ding! ding! ding!" moment.

i already had a bag of bob's red mill steel cut oats.  how convenient!

so, i gave it a try.  

one part oats to three parts water, a little salt and a dash of vanilla.

right before i went to bed i sprayed the heck out of the slow cooker with non-stick spray to prevent difficult clean up and then i set it on low to cook for 8 hours. 

in the morning i could really smell it and lets be honest, it looked horrible.  i mixed in about 1/4 cup of butter and headed off to school.

when i announced to the kids that we would be enjoying porridge during art time, the reaction i got was surprising.  most of them wanted to try so brooklyn and i put a few spoonfuls of "bear porridge" in plastic cups with one (or two *wink) generously measured tablespoons of brown sugar on top and the majority of the "yes, pleases" gobbled it up.  i tasted some too, it was really yummy and brooklyn ate hers gone.

then, another "ding! ding! ding!" moment:  why not make this for the family? 

so i did.

i topped mine with all sorts of goodness.

and dished the rest up to be saved in the fridge for later.

i sent the husband a text the first morning he tried it, "like it, love it or leave it?"  he responded, "it was good" and ate leftovers the next day.  score!?


ina's apple pie with the "perfect pie crust"

apples are nutritious.  i promise.

this has been a mini goal of mine; make pie from scratch.  

i did it!

we were given a lot of apples the last two weeks and we were invited to dinner at my in-laws house.  the stars had aligned.  it was time to make pie.

i had no idea what i was doing.  i trusted ina to guide me through this process and guide me she did.  

a dear friend once said to me "everything ina touches turns to gold."  true.  true.

ina's perfect pie crust was super easy to make.  especially if you don't add too much water the first time around.

ina's apple pie is really tart.  she uses lemon and orange zest which i could really taste in the final dish.  it was delicious.  especially if you like tart apple pie.  maybe one day i'll try to make a more "dutch" style version.

one day.

my father in law told me it was the most delicious apple pie he's ever eaten.  he was just being nice to me because he's like that but, i appreciated the kind comment anyway.

ina's apple pie
recipe source here
  • 4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on top
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Perfect Pie Crust, recipe follows
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut each apple quarter in thirds crosswise and combine in a bowl with the zests, juices, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Roll out half the pie dough and drape it over a 9- or 10-inch pie pan to extend about 1/2-inch over the rim. Don't stretch the dough; if it's too small, just put it back on the board and re-roll it.
Fill the pie with the apple mixture. Brush the edge of the bottom pie crust with the egg wash so the top crust will adhere. Top with the second crust and trim the edges to about 1-inch over the rim. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the 2 together with your fingers or a fork. Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar, and cut 4 or 5 slits.
Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble out. Serve warm.

Perfect Pie Crust:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.
Yield: 2 (10-inch) crusts
 i don't have nutritional info on this one but, i think we're all okay with that.

coconut curry chicken soup

i talk about the co-op a lot, i know.  sorry? it's just that now, the majority of our produce comes from the co-op which creates a fun little challenge every week.  what can i make with these ingredients?

tonight i was really wanting something with curry.  i like curry and, i happened to have some chicken waiting to be cooked.

i searched forever for a soup recipe.  something that used coconut milk and curry and chicken.  maybe mushrooms and broccoli.  all the things needing to be used asap but i came up empty handed. 

not to fear my dears, i made this recipe up, all by myself.  it was good too.  everyone ate it.  no one complained.  the husband had seconds.  no one said "i'm hungry" two hours later.  winner!?

i thought it was really yummy but then again, i really like curry so.  who knows.  

my intention was a "soup" using pad thai noodles i had sitting in the pantry.  i don't know if they would have worked but, it didn't matter anyway because when i got to that step "add noodles," i read the package directions and found the noodles required soaking for an hour before consumption.  too late for that so, i added a cup of rice and let it simmer for 15 minutes.  still longer than i wanted the broccoli in the boiling water but oh well, i'd already added it and needed to be able to call this a complete meal without pulling out the loaf of sandwich bread.

the rice was good.  noodles would be great.

coconut curry chicken soup
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups water
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, washed & sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp red curry paste
1 tsp yellow curry powder
14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk, DO NOT SHAKE
2 cups broccoli florets

bring the chicken stock and water to a boil in a large stock pot.  add the chicken and blanch for approximately 8 minutes.

while the chicken is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  add the onions and cook for approximately 3 minutes until soft.  add the garlic and red pepper.  saute for another minute or so then add the mushrooms.  cook for another couple of minutes (until the mushrooms are soft) then add the brown sugar, curry paste and curry powder.  stir until combined.

remove the chicken from the boiling stock/water and add the broccoli.  turn to medium and cover to steam broccoli.

while the broccoli is steaming, add the coconut milk to the onion mixture.   add only the thick portion of the coconut milk using a spoon rather than dumping the entire can in.  there should be liquid remaining in the can.  mix the milk in with the mixture and turn heat to low while you shred the chicken.

put the chicken back in the stock pot and add the onion mixture, stirring well.

at this point, my intention was to add the noodles.  rice noodles would probably work best and they only take a minute to cook so i wasn't worried about the broccoli getting mushy.

all in all, it turned out great and it was really delicious.

maybe next time i'll try lite coconut milk to save on the saturated fat just a little though i doubt it would be as creamy.  and, another tsp or so of the red curry paste would have been great for that extra "kick."

makes approximately 6 servings

Nutrition Facts
coconut curry soup with chicken
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat20.4g
      Saturated Fat9.6g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber3g
Vitamin A 26%Vitamin C 104%
Calcium    7%Iron 14%

kansas city sue's slow cooker chicken & oven fried okra

okra was the mystery item in last week's co-op basket.  honestly, i'd never heard of, seen or consumed okra in my life (that i know of).  my mom and i stood there over the little brown bag peering in wondering what on earth its contents were.  she assumed a pepper of sorts.  i had no idea.

what i learned:  okra is a southern comfort food.  deep fried after it's dredged in cornmeal is the preferred preparation method.  obviously, deep frying is not my thing so i tried to be creative. 

the result: oven fried okra was the closest option to the real deal as my recipe searches turned up one deep fried variation after another. 

it was good.  not my favorite by any means but, if i end up with okra again, i'll for sure eat it.  really, i think it would be just as good sautéed or roasted.  i don't think the extra ingredients were necessary.  the taste of the okra alone was decent without the buttermilk, eggs, cornmeal and oil.

the chicken, however, was a slam dunk, delicious main course.  a recipe for the keeping and repeating.  

kansas city sue's slow cooker chicken
recipe source: mels kitchen cafe
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil (i used olive oil)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce (i used light tamari)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup low-sodium beef broth (i used "unsalted" beef stock)
In a large skillet, heat the butter/olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook them for 1-2 minutes on each side, until nicely browned but not cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken to the slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine all the other ingredients. Whisk well. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve with rice or noodles.
i took the chicken breasts out of the pot after about 6 hours and shredded them into bite sized pieces, turned the pot to warm and threw the chicken back in.  i liked the "sauciness," especially over the brown rice.  nutritional value as prepared by ME :) for 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts
kansas city sue's slow cooker chicken
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat7g
      Saturated Fat1.5g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber0.4g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 2%
Calcium    2%Iron 6%

oven fried okra
adapted from various sources
okra (seemed like 2 cups once it was chopped into bite-sized pieces)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

soak the okra in the liquid mixture for about 5 minutes

dredge in seasoned cornmeal, toss with olive oil, spread on sprayed baking sheet,  and bake for 40-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.



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