Friday, January 22, 2010

Fast Slow Cookin'

I feel like there are so many things to talk about today! I don't plan my blogs out, so we'll see where this goes.

For starters, I didn't have to be at work until 9:30 this morning, so it was a perfect morning to throw stuff into the slow cooker to have ready for me when I got home. I had bought a recipe book that is specifically light slow cooker recipes and decided I would try their chicken cacciatore recipe. What a silly idea! I already have a good chicken cacciatore recipe so I have no clue why I stopped on that one while making my grocery shopping list yesterday. Well, I didn't feel like cutting onions and bell peppers at 8:30 in the morning, so I decided to deal with the regret I'd have when I got home to a house with no dinner ready.

Obviously I wasn't going to wait 8 hours for the slow cooker to do it's job, so I combined my recipe with the book's recipe and had dinner within the hour.. yum! Here's the basic recipe for those who want it:

Chicken Cacciatore
4 chicken breasts
1 medium onion
1 bell pepper
1 container of sliced mushrooms
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
couple cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp basil
1tbsp oregano

Saute onion, bell pepper and mushrooms in a little olive oil until just tender and remove from pot. Throw in diced chicken and cook about halfway through. Throw the sauteed mixture back in, along with every else and let simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Waa-laa! So easy I have it memorized. Oh, I usually put celery in the recipe too, but forgot it at the store yesterday - still pretty good.

I served it over quinoa (keen-wah), which I think makes this another gluten-free meal (unless there is hidden gluten in the canned tomatoes/tomato sauce, which is very likely). If you haven't had quinoa, you must try it. I cook it in the rice cooker and it is supah-so-good for you! It's most impressive quality is that it not only has a lot of fiber in it, but it is packed with PROTEIN (it contains all the essential amino acids for us scientific dorks!).

Where do you get it this ? Well, I got a large bag of it at Costco, but I've heard smaller bags are available at Trader Joe's. Heck, I am sure you can find it anywhere nowadays because it's so popular. And because it's so popular, you know you want to try it too. If you could care less about being popular, you can serve it over rice or noodles too.

Now that my tummy is full, the other things I wanted to talk about don't seem as significant, so here's a quick run-down:

  1. You're jealous of me because my taxes are already e-filed and I'll have my refund in a week. 
  2. I got Baylie to heel by my side without a leash the whole way home from the park tonight (still needs a little work, but I'm still a bit amazed by the smarts on this girl). 
  3. I ate 3 of those chocolate cupcakes today at work and am about to consume the last one right now (I guess my last hurrah before the wellness challenge *sigh*)
  4. My lovely friend Cara emailed me designs for my backyard planting project this spring and I am BEYOND excited! 
Ok, peace out world. The weekend awaits...


  1. Tonja,
    Your recipe sounds great! I am still getting used to quinoa - I'll have to try the rice cooker idea!
    For crock pot meals that need bell pepper, I like to keep bags of Trader Joe's yellow, green, and red peppers in the freezer. They aren't quite as good as fresh, but in a stir fry or crock pot meal you'd never know the difference. I tried once to buy frozen bell peppers from the regular grocery and they were YUCKY by comparison to TJ's.
    Debbie Burt

  2. I have the regular fix-it-and-forget-it book and I love it. I didn't know there was a light version. Cool.


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