A simple and easy-to-make dinner with just a handful of fresh ingredients.
It has been two and a half weeks since Kian has been away, traveling for work. And he is finally coming home tomorrow! The kids and I are excited to have him home and join us at the dinner table again. Dinners are always a special time for us, even on week nights when it seems like there is a ton of chores to complete.
We'd play music on the background at dinner time, eat and talk about our day. And I'd always attempt to make a nice dinner too. With the right recipes and tools, dinners can be simple & uncomplicated to make and yet still tasty and special.
This Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken is the perfect dinner for our family. And I hope it will be for your family too. Bella and Jamie absolutely enjoyed the chicken. To be compliant with a low carb diet, I prepared a side of oven roasted broccoli and some Flourless Almond Butter Bread. Using only 4 basic ingredients (salt and pepper not included), and a slow cooker, I was able to prepare the meal in less than 10 minutes, turn on the slow cooker and dinner is sorted. With that taken care of, I could take Bella to her Kids' Yoga class and with Jamie playing at the gym's Child Center, I was even able to squeeze in a short workout myself.
When we got home, I simply popped the chicken in the oven and broiled it for a few minutes (because we like it that way, this step is optional if you do not have time for it) and there you have it, it is time to gather around the dinner table and share our stories of the day.
Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from Life Tastes Good
4 lbs Chicken Drumsticks
2 Small Limes
1/4 cup Cilantro (chopped)
4 cloves Garlic (chopped)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder
1. Mix the juice of 2 small limes, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 4 cloves chopped garlic, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper powder in a small bowl.
2. Place the chicken drumsticks in a large zip lock bag and add in the cilantro lim marinade. Close the bag and mix the bag of chicken around, ensuring that the marinade coats all of the chicken drumsticks evenly. Set aside or refrigerate if using later.
3. Place marinated chicken in the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.
4. Once cooked, place chicken drumsticks on a baking tray and boil on the second highest rack on medium for 10 minutes, turn over and broil for another 10 minutes or until it is golden brown.
5. Serve with the sauce from the slow cooker, if desired.
Makes 4 servings
An easy to make, perfectly delicious and oh so comforting soup recipe with an Asian twist.
This week is the second week since Kian had been away traveling for work. And we have another week to go before he comes home. Friends have been really sweet, checking in on us and asking if I am managing well alone with the kids. Honestly, it has not been that bad. With a little bit of planning ahead, I have been managing really well. Getting the kids to school on time, to their after school activities & birthday parties and of course, making dinners.
I have said it many times before that the slow cooker is one of my favorite equipment in the house. And this week, it has proven to be really helpful with my dinners. Earlier this week, I decided to make chicken noodle soup for the kids. It is easy to make, it is tasty and my kids love chicken noodle soup. I had to be a little bit creative with the ingredients because while Bella and Jamie do eat their vegetables, it is only these few vegetables that they'll eat; broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach and some other leafy vegetables that are stir fried.
So, I made the chicken noodle soup in the slow cooker and gave it a slight Asian twist. I had my bowl without the noodles but with some lentils instead for a low carb version. Making a large batch also meant school lunches were sorted for the next day and I even had some leftover for myself.
Ginger Chicken Noodle Soup
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
2 1/2 lb Boneless & Skinless Chicken Thighs (cut into 1" cubes)
6 Carrots (cut diagonally)
2 oz Ginger (skinned and sliced)
1 Onion (cut into wedges)
4 to 6 oz Spinach
2 Qt. Chicken Stock
2 Bay Leaves
2 tbsp Goji Berries
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Light Soy Sauce
Extra Wide Egg Noodles or Lentils (for a low carb version)
1. Place cut chicken thighs in the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.
2. Add in cut carrots, onions, sliced ginger and 2 bay leaves. Pour in 2 Qt chicken stock, cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
3. Cook the egg noodles or lentils according to instructions. Set aside for later use.
4. Before serving, add spinach into the slow cooker and allow it to blanch cook in the hot broth.
5. Add in goji berries and season with 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1/2 tsp light soy sauce. Stir well.
6. Serve hot with egg noodles or lentils.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
A lovely combination of scallops and bacon on skewers, perfect as a hand held bite or as a dinner party appetizer.
I love scallops! And I love bacon too. So, the combination of these two ingredients is definitely a match made in heaven, in my opinion. The smokey flavor of bacon complements and enhances the sweetness of scallops when paired with it. Drizzled with a fermented black bean aioli, it adds a layer of complex flavor and a delicious boost of umami.
Fermented black beans, also known as salted or dried black beans, are made from soy beans that have been dried and fermented with salt and some other spices such as chillies, garlic, ginger etc. They can be easily found in Asian supermarkets and are sold in jars. If you do not live near an Asian supermarket, black bean sauce is often available at the international or Asian foods aisle. And you can substitute the fermented black beans with the sauce instead. One of my favorite brands that I often use is "Lee Kum Kee". And they can be found in my local HEB store.
Scallop Satays with Bacon and Black Bean Aioli
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from "Simply Ming In Your Kitchen" Cook Book
15 Large Whole Scallops
4 slices Bacon
3 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 1/2 tsp Fermented Black Beans (chopped)
1 bunch Scallions or Spring Onions (thinly sliced and divided)
1 Egg Yolk
1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
5 8" Skewers
1. Soak skewers in water for at least an hour. Pat dry with paper towel.
2. Skewer 3 scallops and place them toward the top of each skewer. Refrigerate them if not using them immediately.
3. Bake bacon slices in 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, until they are crispy. Drain off fat and pat dry with a paper towel. Chop the bacon into small pieces. Set aside for later use.
4. In a pan, heat up 1 tsp of the bacon fat from the baking tray. Add in chopped garlic, black beans and 3/4 portion of the chopped scallions. Sauté for about a minute, until the vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper and set aside for later use.
5. Prepare the aioli by placing 1 egg yolk, 1 1/2 tsp mustard and 1/2 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until an emulsion forms. Transfer into a bowl and mix in chopped fermented black beans. Add in 1 tbsp lemon juice and stir well.
6. Heat 1 1/2 tsp olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Season skewered scallops with salt and pepper. Pan fry the scallops for about 30 seconds each side, until they are golden brown and just cooked through.
7. Drizzle the black bean aioli over the scallop skewers and garnish with chopped bacon and remaining scallions.
Makes 5 Skewers
A healthy, quick and easy one tray bake that is perfect for your week night meals.
Here is a fantastic recipe that is not only healthy & delicious but also so quick & easy to prepare. And the best part about it is that cleaning up after would be breeze! Just your baking tray, cutting board and knife. Have I got your attention yet? And I believe this recipe (that is gluten-free & dairy-free) is Whole30 and SCD (Slow Carb Diet) compliant too.
As much as I love to cook, I often feel bad that I am spending my time in the kitchen preparing dinners when the kids are home from school. Sometimes, all they want is for me to play a board game with them or just make slime!
With this one tray bake recipe, I spend about 15 to 20 minutes before the kids get home from school to cut up the meat and vegetables, marinate them real quick and then onto the baking tray they go. And because I can get lose track of time easily, I pop the tray into the oven and set it on a timer for it to be cooked by dinner time. The kids and I get to spend time together and dinner is ready on time! I even have plenty left for the entire family's lunch the next day.
Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables One Tray Bake
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from The Real Food Dietitians
2 to 2 1/2 lbs Chicken Breast (boneless and skinless)
1 lb Broccoli Florets
3 Carrots (cut diagonally)
8 oz Mushrooms (sliced thickly)
1 Red Onion (finely diced)
8 oz Cherry Tomatoes
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 1/3 oz Fresh Basil (I used 2 packets of HEB Organics that is 2/3 oz per packet) (chopped and divided)
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
2. Tenderize chicken breast by placing them between plastic wrap and pounding it gently with the flat size of the meat tenderizer hammer.
3. Cut each tenderized chicken breast into 3 to 4 pieces and place them into a ziplock bag.
4, In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, minced garlic, 3/4 portion of the chopped basil, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper to make the marinade.
5. Use 1/3 cup of the marinade to marinate the chicken pieces in the ziplock bag.
6. Place broccoli florets, cut carrots, sliced mushrooms and diced red onion onto the baking tray. Pour the remaining marinade over the vegetables and toss to coat.
7. Placed marinated chicken pieces on top of the vegetables on the tray. Bake on 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.
8. After 15 minutes, add cherry tomatoes and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
9. Garnish with remaining chopped basil and freshly cracked black pepper.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Curry Puff Pastries, a scrumptious and flaky variation of the traditional Singapore Curry Puff that is wrapped in puff pastry instead.
In a blink of an eye, here we are with a week of the New Year gone already. 1 week down and 51 more weeks to go. It may seem like a long time to go but time always seem to just fly by when you're not paying attention.
I have kept myself busy by spending time with family who is visiting from Singapore, hosting parties and keeping up with our annual family traditions. And before I knew it, we were sprinting toward Christmas, Bella's birthday (which falls on December 27) and the New Year. While I took a month off from my blog, I never took a break from the kitchen. I was constantly making dinners for a household of 8 people or preparing dishes for a party.
On the topic of parties, for Bella's 9th birthday party, she wanted it to be "Harry Potter" themed. I had so much fun preparing and cooking for it. And I was so glad that my family is visiting. They helped out so much! We created letters from Hogwarts as invitations, hung battery operated candles with fishing line over my kitchen island to recreate the Great Hall, made Polyjuice Potion Slime and even made a Dementor pinata. The house was decorated with "wanted" posters of Sirius Black and Moaning Myrtle made a couple of appearances in some of our mirrors.
The refreshments had to be in theme too. I found non-alcoholic Butter Beer from my local grocery store and served it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. A little too sweet for my liking but I think the kids had a blast! We even printed paper wings and stuck them onto Ferraro Rocher chocolates to make them look like "Golden Snitches". But the highlight had to be the Curry Puff Pastries that we named "House Elf Curry Puff Pastries" for the party. Inspired by Harry Potter's Pumpkin Pasties, I tweaked my traditional Singapore Curry Puffs recipe and made them with store bought frozen puff pastries instead. In fact, some bakeries in Singapore make them this way too. These flaky and crispy curry puff pastries were absolutely delightful and were flying off the platter at the party. A perfect finger food for any occasion really.
Curry Puff Pastries
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
5 tbsp Cooking Oil
1 Medium Red Onion (diced finely)
3 tsp Garam Marsala Powder
4 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 cup Chicken Breast Meat (diced 3/8")
2 large Potatoes (skinned, boiled and diced 3/8")
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
3 boxes Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets (6 sheets)
1 egg (beaten)
1. Prepare the filling first. Heat oil and stir fry onions on medium heat until golden brown.
2. Add in 3 tsp garam marsala powder, 4 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder and continue to stir fry gently.
3. Add in 1 cup diced chicken and stir fry until chicken is cooked. Add in potatoes, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside to cool.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
5. Remove pastry sheets from the box & packages and allow them to thaw for up to 40 minutes, until it is soft and does not crack or break when unfolding. The pastry sheet should still be cold.
6. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares. Place 2 to 3 tbsp of curry filling in the middle of the pastry and fold it over into triangles, sealing the edges with water. Use a fork to create a crimping pattern on the edges and brush the beaten egg over the top.
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown at 400 degrees F.
Makes 24 pieces.
A Singaporean SAHM living in Houston, Texas. Discovering her potential in the kitchen with authentic Singaporean Cuisine. And exploring the dynamic food scene Houston has to offer.