The Search for BBQ – June 6, 2016

I love BBQ – tender meat, tasty sauce, eating with your hands; it doesn’t get better than that! BUT it is nearly impossible to have BBQ sauce out that isn’t full of our favorites – onion and garlic :(. I’ve been experimenting with a few recipes at home in the slow cooker.  I’ll share one below, and you can expect to find more as I continue exploring!

Before I share my recipe, though, I thought I would let Matt debut his chef skills.  He’s been obsessed with Man vs. Child, Chopped Junior and Master Chef Junior this past year.  He somehow pulled together something edible – despite starting with hot sauce, yogurt and cheese on the counter!  We ended up with banana, blueberries, nutella and yogurt.

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FODMAP-friendly BBQ Pulled Chicken

Ingredients – BBQ Sauce

  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp tobasco
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic-infused ollive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • Splash of water

Directions – BBQ Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small pot and heat on medium-high heat. Simmer until the mixture thickens, adding additional water to keep from becoming too thick if needed.  Continue to cook for 10 or so minutes, until the sauce is well combined to a good consistency.

Add 2 full chicken breasts, cut in half and the BBQ sauce to the slow cooker.  Add a splash of water or FODMAP-friendly chicken stock if you need more liquid in the slow cooker.  Heat for 4 1/2 hours on low, removing at 4 hours to discard bones and skin and shred the chicken.

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And then of course, I enjoyed it over salad for lunch – sneaking out of the office to enjoy the sunshine 🙂

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April Showers… April 3, 2016

It’s been a stormy week in NYC, and it looks like it isn’t getting better anytime soon. Matt said to me the other day, “Well, you know what they say about April”. Thinking he was going down the path of the common phrase, I said, “April showers bring May flowers?” To which Matt replied, “What?! That’s silly.  But…Come on April showers, make me proud!!!” He’s such a special kid 🙂

One day last week it started to rain on our walk home, and Matt saw a man sitting outside of a coffee shop in our neighborhood and shared his umbrella.  Not sure how much of this was just Matt identifying a good photo opportunity 😉

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I’ve been making at least one quick meal per week in the slow cooker, but I was struggling with being limited by onions and garlic.  This week, I added something new to the mix  – a muslin bag!  Life changing.

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Slow-cooker Balsamic Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, plus extra to cover chicken before cooking (remember to check ingredients to confirm no onion and garlic powders are used)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 3 large carrots, coined
  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic

Directions

Whisk the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, sugar and maple syrup together until well combined.  Place the 3 cloves of garlic in the muslin bag and knot or tie at the top.

Place all ingredients into the slow cooker and cover with additional chicken stock if needed (chicken should be covered to support keeping moisture in the chicken).  Mix well so that seasoning is spread over all chicken.

Place slow cooker on low heat for 7 – 8 hours.  With about 30 minutes left in the cooking, take the chicken out from the slow cooker and remove bones and skin.  Shred the chicken with a fork and place back into slow cooker for the remainder of the cooking time.

Serve with rice or gluten-free pasta!

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Weeknight Dinner Parties – March 18, 2016

I feel like lately we’re busy every night – weeknight, weekend, doesn’t matter!  Weekends it tends to be easier to have company or go to an event or visit with friends and family (see pie face fun below 🙂 ), but during the week it can get stressful!  That’s where my slow cooker has been saving my life.

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A few weeks back my sister was in town for just 1 or 2 nights, so we got a few of our friends together at mine for dinner one of those nights.  My sister has been experimenting with adding tomatoes to her elimination list as she thinks they may be causing some discomfort, so I attempted to make a chicken chili with no legumes or tomatoes.  It turned out great; I can’t wait to make again!

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili (FODMAP-friendly)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. chicken thighs
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 chilis
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock (make sure the chicken stock does not contain onion or garlic)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow corn

For cream in last 30 minutes of cooking:

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. gluten free flour
  • 1 cup almond milk (substitute with dairy or other non-dairy alternative)

Directions:

Chop zucchini, sweet potato and carrots in cubes and add to slow cooker. Chop the chilis into tiny pieces (use half portion for less intense heat) and add to slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients (excluding corn) to the slow cooker and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Cook on high for 6 hours.  At 5 hours and 30 minutes (or whenever you’re home from work 🙂 ), take the chicken from the slow cooker and remove skin and bones, forking apart the chicken into small pieces.  Heat the butter, gluten free flour and almond milk in a small pan on the stovetop, stirring until thickened.  Add the chicken, cream sauce and corn to the slow cooker and allow to cook the remaining time.

Serve with tortillas or rice if desired.

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Winter Comforts – February 22, 2016

This past weekend was such a great one.  One of my best friend’s recently had a baby, and my son has been itching to meet her!  He put on a fancy shirt, made sure his nails were filed down and kept practicing how he would hold her 🙂

I also got a slow cooker this past weekend, which was a life-changing move!  I don’t know how I lived without it so long.  My first meal was just cooking up some chicken thighs in water and spices – we had tender, juicy chicken for days! My next meal this weekend was a huge success – chili without beans, onions and garlic.  Quite a change from the norm!

Slow-Cooker FODMAP-friendly Chili

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef (my preference is grass fed, even if the fat content is a bit higher)
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (confirm no onion and garlic included)
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes (confirm no onion and garlic included)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 medium sized carrots, diced
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cumin
  • 1 ½ tbsp. paprika
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. salt

Directions

Heat 1 tbsp. of the garlic-infused olive oil in a frying pan and add the ground beef.  Stir until thoroughly minced and cooked most of the way through.

Add the remaining tbsp. of olive oil along with beef and all remaining ingredients into the slow cooker.  Stir all ingredients together.  Set the slow cooker for 6 hours on low heat.  Garnish with scallions, sour cream, cheese or whatever else your stomach can handle!

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Enjoy and let me know how you like it!