DDD #31 – Sweet & Spicy Vegan Island Chicken with Pineapple


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is a very easy recipe & it is very flexible.  You can use the veggies that I did or sub in ones you prefer.  You could use jalapeno for a spicy dish or add brown sugar for a sweeter dish.  Click the image below for the recipe video & please subscribe to my channel.

Sweet & Spicy Vegan Island Chicken with Pineapple


2 TBS coconut oil

9 oz vegan chicken

1 jalapeno – diced (optional)

1-2 cups dice fresh pineapple

1 red bell pepper – diced

1 cup carrots – chopped or grated

1-2 cups broccoli florets

3 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS soy sauce (or liquid aminos or tamari)

2 TBS sriracha

2 TBS ginger – minced

juice if 1/2 lime

2 TBS brown sugar (optional – I did not use it as I am not a fan of things too sweet)



2 cups cooked rice OR tortillas (for tacos or wraps) OR lettuce leaves (for lettuce cups)

Garnish: cilantro or sesame seeds or sliced scallions


Thaw the chicken, cube it & toss with some cornstarch.  Set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan or wok.  Add the veggies (bell pepper, broccoli, jalapeno, carrots) & saute until soft.  Add the vegan chicken tossed in cornstarch. Add the soy sauce, sriracha, ginger & combine.  Add brown sugar (if using – I did not). Combine & then add pineapple.  Combine & then add rice (if doing a stir fry).  Stir in the garlic & squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lime.  Season with S&P to taste.  Heat through & serve (either with rice or as tacos, wraps or lettuce cups).  Garnish as you desire & devour!

Slow Cooker Caribbean Black Beans & Coconut-Lime Brown Basmati Rice with Cilantro


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

BathingandthesinglegirlCover vromans back

After discovering recently that I have spent an average of $717 a month on groceries – I am endeavoring to eat more cheaply for the near future.  I am going to start eating lots of frozen leftovers & start getting creative with the inexpensive basic ingredients my cabinets already hold.

Beans are a fun place to start.  VERY cheap – especially if you go with dry beans – and they are good for you – and they can be flavored in infinite ways.  My Spicy Barbecue Baked Beans came out incredibly & had my house smelling like a Kansas City BBQ shack for days.  I am also oddly satisfied by the use of a crock pot – or slow cooker.  I can’t put my finger on what it is exactly about the process that makes me so happy (Its ease?  A home smelling of old-fashioned cooking?  A mass quantity of food taking so little effort? I don’t know) but it does.  I had a bag of black beans in my cabinet – given to me recently by my good friend Jerry Agee as he packed up his Los Angeles life & moved it to Costa Rica.

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Here he is with his outrageously cool son, Dash.  I am pleased to report that I have two close friends with sons named Dash – inspired in some part – by my awesome wolf hybrid, Dashiell Hammett:

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Dashiell (the wolf) passed away in 2001 but he sure left an impression on those who had the great honor to know him.

Anyway – it seems packing & shipping black beans (and many other grains & oils) to Costa Rica was inefficient so I was given a windfall of healthy food items to experiment with.

I neglected to measure these beans BEFORE I soaked them.  I know that – post-soak – there were eight cups.  I’m guessing that means there were 6-7 cups dry.  This recipe is SO NOT an effort of precision – I wouldn’t worry too much about the bean quantity.  This recipe would be greatly accelerated by the use of canned beans – so if time is not on your side – by all means – go canned.  Also – unlike my BBQ beans that slow cooked for four days & remained al dente – these black beans were creamy soft after 6 hours or less.  I slow cooked them for 6 hours or so, turned them off & left them out overnight & then cooked them on high for another several hours the next day.  They came out wonderfully – despite my fear that the extra cooking would break the softer beans down completely & turn the dish to mush.  While that did not happen – know that, even stove-top, dry black beans are ready to eat in just a few hours.  The inclusion of orange juice & lots of lime juice give these bean a lighter & more refreshing flavor than typically associated with bean dishes.

A note about soaking beans – apparently the longer they soak (AT LEAST overnight) – the less gassy they will leave you & your dining companions.   Also – beans served with rice create a complete protein – so this dish is very good for you as well as mighty tasty!   Beans are a superfood and are a great addition to a weigh-loss-intended diet.  AND  – the bean water that your beans soaked in overnight is apparently very good for outdoor plants so feel free to really use a lot of extra water for soaking & then give it to your outdoor plants.

Oh – and here is a great tidbit of info to avoid GENETICALLY MODIFIED produce.  See  the number on the sticker on this onion?


Here is what that number means to YOU:


You should copy this photo & save it to your phone to remind you when you go shopping.

Slow Cooker Caribbean Black Beans

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Slow Cooker Caribbean Black Beans


8 cups black beans (AFTER soaking – having soaked overnight – or maybe 6-7 cups before soaking)

2 large carrots – diced

8 mushrooms – diced

1 large sweet onion – diced

2 jalapenos – seeded & diced (optional)

4 celery stalks (with leafy tops) – diced

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro – some reserved for garnish

2 TBS olive oil

4-5 garlic cloves – whole

4 chipotle peppers & 2 TBS of their Adobo sauce (less if you hate spice) – chopped very fine (optional)

3 TBS jarred mole (VERY optional)

6 oz orange juice

juice of two limes (more if your limes are on the dry side) – and additional wedges as garnish

8-10 cups water

1 TBS black pepper

1 TBS cumin

1 TBS oregano

1 TBS crushed red pepper (less if spice bothers you)

1 TBS salt

1 TBS rice wine vinegar

Diced mango as garnish (optional)



Soak the beans overnight in several inches of water.  I neglected to measure them dry but there were 8 cups after soaking overnight.  So – go with 6-7 cups of dry beans.  Drain.  Rinse the beans very well & add to your slow cooker.




Heat the olive oil over high heat.  Add the garlic & saute for one minute.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms & jalapenos.  If you have a family member that hates mushrooms or something – chop them REALLY fine & they disappear in the mix.  See?


Saute until all the vegetables begin to soften – maybe 5-10 minutes.  Add this & all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker.  Start with 8 cups of water & increase it as needed – or put all ten cups in – if you are going away from the cooker all day.  Cook on high for 6-8 hours.  Serve with cilantro garnish & extra lime wedges – and with diced mango (if using).




Coconut-Lime Brown Basmati Rice with Cilantro


2 cups brown basmati rice (or other rice of your choice)

2 shallots – diced 

2 TBS olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 cup chopped cilantro & extra for garnish

zest of one large lime

juice of one large lime

Lime wedges for garnish

coconut milk (quantity should be 1/4 – 1/2 of the total liquid required for the rice you are using) – I used one cup here.



Zest the lime.  Chop the cilantro.  


Heat the oil in a large stock pot.  Add the diced shallots & saute one minute.  Add the dry rice & saute 2-3 minutes – stirring constantly.  


Read the directions on your rice & add whatever amount of liquid they suggest – but replace 1/4 to 1/2 of it with the coconut milk (3 parts water – 1 part coconut milk).  


Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat.  Wrap the lid to your pan in a dish towel & place it on top of the pan.  Be SURE no part of the towel is in danger of catching on fire.  If this seems tricky – just lose the towel.  It is meant to capture excess liquid but it is not critical – especially if it isn’t safe.  


Steam the rice like this for as long as your package suggests.  Remove from heat & let sit – undisturbed – for 10-15 minutes.  Fluff with a fork & add the lime zest, lime juice, salt & cilantro.  Mix well. Serve with cilantro & lime wedges for garnish.