Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Slow Cooker Asian BBQ Chicken

For as much as I love my slow cooker, you'd think I'd use it more. But tucked away in a cabinet, sometimes I just forget it's there. But with this recipe, I think I'll be bringing it out more often from now on!

I was looking for a new way to cook chicken thighs when I stumbled upon this recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking. I tweaked it to cut down on the sodium (1/2 a cup of soy sauce? yikes!) and sugar. The result was a yummy, slightly sweet, slightly sour sauce the reminds me of some Asian BBQ I've had in the past, so I'm calling this modified recipe:

Slow Cooker Asian BBQ Chicken
(Serves 3-4)

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. honey
1 Tbsp. dried basil

Place chicken thighs in a single layer in the bottom of your slow cooker.
In a small bowl, mix together chopped garlic, ketchup, soy sauce, honey and basil.
Pour mixture over chicken thighs.
Turn heat on low and cook for about 5 hours (or 3 hours on high).
Serve with rice and steamed pea pods.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Coconut Ginger Rice

Like many people, we're trying to get back on track with healthier eating in this first month of the new year. I feel like we do pretty well most of the year, but those few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas (well, let's be honest - through New Year's day) turn into a bit of a free-for-all when it comes to goodies.

We're not sticking to a "diet" per say, just trying to eat more veggies, fish, whole grains, etc. One way we really enjoy fish is pan-seared and topped with a tropical "salsa" (mangoes, pineapple, papaya and cilantro all chopped up together--no tomatoes). We eat it fairly regularly, though, so I'm always trying to find a way to make it a little more interesting. This time I made a coconut ginger rice to go with it, inspired by a dish we had once at a local restaurant.

It was delicious--a tasty, creamy accompaniment to the more astringent tropical salsa that topped the fish. The ginger isn't overwhelming; it just helps bring out the coconut flavor. I think this would also go well with a Thai curry. Next time, I might even try it with brown rice for an extra dose of healthy.

Coconut Ginger Rice
Serves 2

1/2 cup uncooked white jasmine rice
1/2 cup coconut milk (full-fat! don't go with the light stuff for this recipe)
3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

Add rice, coconut milk, water, ginger and salt to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.

YES - it really is that easy! Enjoy!