Elements of Food

Healthy Slow Cooking: Sweet Potato and Shrimp Coconut Curry

Here’s another goodie from my healthy slow cooker cookbook! Literally every single recipe I have tried from this book has been amazing…Except for one minor detail. I’m not a fan of having to prep slow cooker recipe ingredients in separate pans from the slow cooker. Isn’t the point of the slow cooker that you can just throw everything in? I guess it helps develop the flavors…but, it’s quite possible that if I were to just throw everything in from this recipe, it would be just as good. I served this curry with Jasmine rice and fresh Cilantro. I used the shrimp as called for in this recipe, but you could use chicken if you don’t like seafood, or you could leave it out. The sweet potatoes make it a wonderful vegetarian curry.

Coconut Curry with Shrimp and Sweet Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of The Healthy Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger root
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tsp Thai green curry paste (I used 4, but we like things a little spicier)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lb cooked, peeled shrimp
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves

Directions

1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onions and cook, stirring until softened. Add garlic and ginger root and cook for one more minute. Add vegetable stock. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

2. Add sweet potatoes and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3. NOTE: This cooked faster than I thought it would. I did one hour on high, put it on low while I went to Barre class for a couple hours, came back and the potatoes were perfectly done…this may be a slow cooker recipe you keep an eye on.

3. In a small bowl, combine curry paste and lime juice. Add to slow cooker and stir well. Stir in coconut milk and shrimp. Cover and  cook on high for 20 minutes until the shrimp are hot. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro. Serve over rice.

Elements of Food

Healthy Slow Cooking: Chicken with Cranberry Leek Sauce

I’m first going to start out by saying, that cream of (chicken, mushroom, etc) soups get a really bad reputation for no reason. I’ve seen more blogs and recipes stating that their recipe does NOT include them and how awful they are. Yeah, they are high in sodium, but so are most soups and processed foods you cook with. Moderation, moderation, moderation. I have a few recipes that use them, and I happen to really like them. It’s very down home comfort food cooking. However, using a slow cooker does not mean that you HAVE to use them. There are so many ways to use your slow cooker to create really healthy, homestyle meals. My husband and I do try to eat as healthy as we can, and that’s tough when you’re married to an entrepreneur with a crazy schedule! I have this fantastic cookbook full of healthy slow cooker meals. The following recipe is a new favorite. The recipe calls for a turkey breasts, but, 4 lb whole chickens were BOGO at Lunds (can’t resist) so I swapped the turkey for chicken and it turned out fabulous. The best part about this recipe is that I had almost all the ingredients in my house already.

Recipe adapted from The Healthy Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 3.5-4 lb whole chicken
  • 3 medium leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 4 tsp dried Thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2.5-3 cups of chicken stock (depending the size of your chicken, you may need to add more broth to the slow cooker)
  • salt
  • 1 cup plain dried cranberries (not Craisins or any juice infused cranberries)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsely

Directions

  1. In a large slow cooker, place your whole chicken (or turkey breast) skin side up to the slow cooker stoneware.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the leeks. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and peppercorns and cook for another minute.
  3. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock to the pan, stirring until mixture begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt if using, and add in the cranberries.
  4. Transfer the sauce to the slow cooker, covering the chicken with the sauce. It’s okay if the sauce doesn’t cover the chicken, just make sure there is a few inches of liquid on the bottom. You can add more chicken broth if you need.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high or 3-4 or until chicken is completely cooked through.
  6. To serve, transfer to a platter and serve with sauce. I served with mashed potatoes and green peas.