Coconut and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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After Thanksgiving you are likely looking for something to eat that is healthy but perhaps with flavors that are out of the comfort food category.  This dish is full of vegetables and has a spicy flavor that is perfect for this time of year.  Serving on a bed of spaghetti squash cuts back on calories and sneaks in some extra fiber.  I made this dish with coconut milk to keep it dairy free and change the flavor profile even further out of the comfort food zone.  I used chicken, but this would be good with pork or even shrimp.

Ingredients: 

1 Onion, diced
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp sriracha (or red pepper paste)
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
3 red peppers, roasted with skins removed
1 jalapeno, roasted
1 15oz can of coconut milk
1 tsp truvia or sugar

Directions:

1. Slice red peppers and jalapeno into flat pieces, spray with olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees.

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2. While the peppers are roasting heat grapeseed oil, coconut oil, or olive oil in large dutch oven, saute onions over medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Add coriander and cayenne, simmer for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Stir in garlic and ginger, continue to heat for 5 minutes.

4. Add can of diced tomatoes including juices and mix well.

5. When the peppers are blackened, remove from oven and place in bowl covered with saran wrap.  Allow to sit in bowl for at least 5-10 minutes before removing skins (sitting in steam will allow skins to slide off easily).

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6. Roughly chop peppers and add to pan.  Add sriracha and truvia or sugar and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

7. While your sauce is simmering start to brown chicken (seasoned lightly with salt and pepper) in heavy skillet for 5 minutes on each side.

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8. Add coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes before pureeing.  I used an immersion blender, but if you don’t have one you will have to transfer to a regular blender to puree in batches.

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9. Nestle browned chicken into sauce and simmer on low for 15 minutes to finish cooking.

10. Serve over rice or spaghetti squash as pictured above.

Enjoy!

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Baked Corn

I’m not exactly sure how to classify this side dish, other than call it what my family calls it…baked corn.  It’s not a corn bread, but it’s not a casserole either…it’s baked corn.  Usually we have this for thanksgiving, but I decided to make it to go with the chili, adding some jalapenos added to spice it up.

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Ingredients:

– 1 box jiffy corn muffin mix

– 1 cup sour cream

-2 eggs

– 1 can whole cream style corn

– 1 can whole kernel corn, drained

– 1 stick butter, melted

-1/4 cup chopped jalapenos from a jar

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Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a buttered casserole dish.  Okay to mix a day ahead of time and refrigerate before cooking.

2. Bake uncovered in oven at 350 for 60 minutes, or until center is cooked with a semi-firm consistency and browned on top.

This is NOT a healthy side dish, rather a special occasion side dish.  I have been toying with the idea of going all out and adding shredded cheddar cheese to it as well.

I find that if I mix it a day ahead of time, it needs at least an hour to warm up before putting it in the oven.  I have also used all sorts of dishes, this is an 8×8 but I have used a 9×11 and even a round pan.  To serve it’s best to scoop it out like a casserole.

Bean-free Chili

Football Sunday calls for good food with minimal effort.  For the first football Sunday of the season we decided to make a bean-free chili in the crock pot.  My husband happens to love chili, unfortunately, the beans do not love him.  This bean free version adds extra peppers for spice and makes both of us happy.

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Ingredients:

– 1 lb ground turkey

– 1 lb ground beef

– 1 lb spicy sausage

– 1 28 oz can of tomato puree

– 2 16 oz cans of diced tomatoes

-1 can tomato paste

-1 onion, diced

– 1 green pepper, diced

– 1 red pepper, diced

– 2 jalapeno peppers, diced

-1 poblano pepper, diced

– 1 cup celery, chopped

– 1 tsp cayenne powder

– 3 tsp cumin

– 6 Tsp chili powder

– 1 Tbsp crushed garlic

– 1 tsp dried oregano

– 1 bottle beer (we used Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest )

– 2-3 dashes of Frank’s Red Hot

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Directions: 

1. In a large pot (or in our case the lining of our crock pot is stove-top and oven safe) brown all the meat breaking into small crumbles.  Drain grease when fully cooked.

2. Add the diced onion, peppers, and celery to the meat and mix, cook for 5 minutes on medium-high heat.

3. Add all of the seasoning (I use heaping proportions of the spices, not level measurements) to the meat and pepper mixture, cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

4. Add the cans of tomatoes, beer, Franks, and tomato paste, mix fully.

5. Transfer the chili into your crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

2013-09-08 13.34.47To serve I made a jalapeno corn bake (recipe to come) and coleslaw for the side.  I like a little avocado on top of my chili, or we eat it with tortilla chips.  We aren’t big on the sour cream and cheese route, but add whatever you like to this spicy chili.  As with all chili, it’s even better the next day!2013-09-08 19.32.45