Crockpot Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

Are you hosting a New Years Eve party this year? If you are, we have a deliciously easy recipe for you to serve! This recipe is from our friends at Cooking Light and uses a slow cooker. That’s right, all this recipe needs is a bit of prep work, and a few hours of cooking to become a tasty main entree for NYE! While this recipe serves 8, you can adjust accordingly to fit your needs.

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 (5-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • Lemon wedges

 

Preparation

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle meaty side of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan, meaty side down; cook 5 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pan (do not brown other side).

2. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Add cumin and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, stock, honey, and cinnamon, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a simmer. Carefully pour mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in apricots and chickpeas. Arrange chicken, browned side up, on top of chickpea mixture. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours. Discard cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with lemon wedges.

 

The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.

Walnut-Stuffed Apples

With the start of Winter fast approaching, we’ve been searching for few more Fall recipes to savor. We recently saw this wonderful recipe on Cooking Light for Walnut-Stuffed Apples and we had to share!

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 4 medium Granny Smith apples, cored
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup apple cider

 

Preparation

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, stirring to combine. Peel top third of each apple; place apples in an electric slow cooker. Spoon walnut mixture into cavity of each apple.

Combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup brown sugar, and apple cider in a small bowl, stirring to combine. Pour over apples. Cover with lid; cook on LOW 2 3/4 hours. Remove the apples with a slotted spoon. Spoon 1/4 cup cooking liquid over each serving.

 

The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Fall is the season for apples but sometimes apple pie gets too boring! This is a great breakfast item or dessert that will feel fresh yet familiar on a cold day!

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup peeled, diced Granny Smith apple (about 1 apple)
  • Cooking spray

Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare cake, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in apple. Pour batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.
3. To prepare streusel, combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving. Serve warm.

To Freeze:

To prepare ahead, cool completely, wrap (still in the pan) in foil, and leave out at room temperature for up to one day, or freeze for up to three months. To reheat thawed cake, unwrap and bake at 250° for 15 to 20 minutes.

The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

This meal is a definite must for Fall dinner. Its relatively easy to make, plus it comes with instructions to freeze for future meals! Let us know in the comments below your favorite Fall dinner dish.

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 10 cup fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups diced peeled butternut squash
  • 6 cups marinara sauce
  • 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.
  3. Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender.
  4. Coat the bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of one prepared dish. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.
  5. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.
  6. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients in remaining pan. Cover each pan with foil.
  7. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.

 

To Freeze:

  1. To freeze unbaked lasagna: Prepare through Step 6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
  2. To prepare frozen unbaked lasagna: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover lasagna with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly.

 

The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.

On-The-Go Breakfast Burrito

We all know how hectic weekday mornings can be. You’re rushing to get everyone out of the house dressed and with their homework, that sometimes breakfast can feel like a difficult task. In hopes of finding an easy, yet delicious and nutritious breakfast recipe, we went to our friends at Cooking Light for some inspiration. And boy did we find some! Their Grab-and-Go Quick Breakfast Recipe page is a great resource when you’re stuck in a weekday morning breakfast rut. While this recipe contains pico de gallo, feel free to omit if your little ones don’t approve.

Ingredients

Pico de Gallo:

    • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomato (about 1 large)
    • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    • Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)

Burritos:

    • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
    • Cooking spray
    • 1/4 cup chopped onion
    • 4 (6-inch) whole wheat tortillas
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation

  1. To prepare pico de gallo, combine ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. To prepare the burritos, combine chopped fresh oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add egg mixture and 1/4 cup onion to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until eggs are set, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat; stir egg mixture well.
  4. Heat the  tortillas according to package directions. Divide the egg mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons shredded cheese and about 1/3 cup pico de gallo (optional).
The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.

An Ode to Fall Beverages

We love Fall! Especially the foods and drinks that come along with it. Apple picking, soups, teas, apple cider, what’s more to love? Take a look at our ode to Fall beverages below, one for kids, and two for the adults.

Almond Pumpkin Nog (kid-friendly)
Serves 1

Get warm and spicy with this vegan favorite. Almond pumpkin nog is the perfect drink to transition your taste buds into the fall season. This is a kid and adult favorite to sip after a long day of trick-or-treating or apple picking.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. almond milk
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. spice

Directions:

Add the coconut cream, honey, nutmeg, and spice to the bottom of a mug. Froth 6 ounces of almond or soy milk with the vanilla. If you love foam, be sure to use soy milk. Soy milk froths better than almond milk. Next, pour the heated milk into the mug, melting the coconut cream and honey. Stir with spoon to mix the spices evenly and top with the foam. Fall never tasted so good!

 

Rosemary Vodka
Serves 1

Warm your spirits with savory drinks. 

Serve spirits with earthy herbs such as rosemary vodka. This drink looks so pretty with a sprig of rosemary. It’s the perfect sensual drink to serve as guests enter your party on an October evening. Now you have a reason to celebrate the foliage!

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • Fresh rosemary sprig cut to fit martini glass

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake. Pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

 

DIY Mint Mojito—Summer Is Never Over
Serves 1

The mojito is my favorite drink by far. However, bars never fail to run out of mint. So I got creative and decided to make one on my own. The secret is using freeze-dried mint. I wish bars would use these stealth herbs too. Freeze-dried mint should be in every bartender’s arsenal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. freeze-dried mint (We use Lighthouse Brand)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice (from 4 lime wedges)
  • 2 oz. rum
  • Club soda to fill

Directions:

Put the mint, lime wedges, and sugar in the cup. Muddle them all together to a paste-like texture. Then add ice, rum, and club soda. Pour into a tumbler, give a few good shakes, and pour into a glass. Now you can have the taste of summer year round!

 

Apple, Almond, and Cheddar Sandwich

This recipe is a great twist on one of the lunch ideas we featured in yesterday’s blog. You could easily swap out the cheese and/or the deli meat to your kids’ liking. Feel free to play around with it and let us know your favorite version!

Photo courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter
  • 2  whole-wheat bread slices (We like Ezekiel bread!)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced apple
  • 1 thin slice sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 ounce lower-sodium deli ham
  • 1 romaine lettuce leaf (Try kale if your child’s palate approves!)

Preparation

  1. Spread half of almond butter on one side of each bread slice. Layer one slice with apple, cheddar, ham, and lettuce. Top with remaining bread slice, almond butter side down.

 

The recipe and photo used in this post were courtesy of Cooking Light. To see the originally posted recipe please click here.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

It’s no secret that corn on the cob is a summer staple. But what about grilled corn on the cob? Not only does it give the corn a different flavor, it also gives the corn a nice appearance. Try this recipe out with your families at your next summer event and let us know your variations!

Photo Credit: Another Pint Please… via Compfight cc

Ingredients

    • 8 ears corn, pull back husks
    • 2 tablespoons butter of choice
    • Optional toppings: black pepper, red pepper, a sprinkling of salt, lemon or lime juice

 

Method

    1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
    2. Pull back the husks, leaving the husks on, remove the strings from the corn, and pull husks back over corn to cover. Place corn in a large pot or bowl and cover with water. Let stand for 30-45 minutes. Drain.
    3. Once drained, place corn on grill, and grill for 8 minutes on each side or until husks appear slightly blackened. Serve grilled corn with butter and toppings of choice.

 

This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light. To see more of Cooking Light’s corn recipes click here.

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad

One of the greatest things about Summer is seasonal fruits and vegetables – especially tomatoes! We’re always looking for recipes here at MDIO and when we found this little beauty at Cooking Light, we knew we had to share it. It’s simple to make and a great way to introduce your kids to different kinds of tomatoes, and maybe even some goat cheese!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup small basil leaves
  • Optional: 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled

 

Preparation

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chopped basil and tomato wedges; toss to coat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Top with basil leaves and goat cheese (optional).

 

 

Both the recipe and photograph were provided by Cooking Light.

West Indian Snapper and Uruguayan Bean Salad

Last weekend my family and I took to Cooking Light’s Global Kitchen Cookbook for some recipe ideas. We chose the recipe for West Indian Snapper and Uruguayan Bean Salad and were delighted with the final results! Take a look at the recipes below:

West Indian Grilled Snapper
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried will suffice)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-2 Scotch bonnet or Habanero peppers, minced
  • 4 (6oz)  red snapper
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Scotch bonnet or Habanero peppers, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • cooking spray (we like to use canola oil spray)
  • lime wedges (optional)

Method:

  1. Place the first 6 ingredients (lime juice, salt, thyme, black pepper,  garlic, and Scotch bonnet/habanero peppers) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Combine the blended marinade with the fish in a zip-top plastic bag and seal. Marinate in the fridge for 2-4 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Preheat grill on medium-high heat.
  3. Place remaining ingredients (from cilantro to shallot) in blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Remove fish from marinade and place on cooking-spray coated, preheated grill. Grill for 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes when scored with a fork.
  5. Optional: serve with caper sauce and lime juice.

 

Uruguayan Bean Salad
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup tomato, chopped and seeded
  • 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in large bowl, mix until combined. Serve and enjoy!

 

These recipes were adapted from Cooking Light’s Global Kitchen Cookbook