Vegan Asian Chicken & Potatoes in Spicy Gravy for the Slow Cooker for a Group

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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

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So – an old & dear friend of mine recently married the love of his life.  When I asked if they were registered – he requested that I bring a dish for the reception instead.  He & his husband are vegan – so I agreed to bring a slow cooker full of vegan yumminess for their 40 guests.  I would not be the only one bringing food – so my dish was just to be one of many.  I was excited to participate in the cooking because I felt it was a great way to introduce his non-vegan guests (which grew to 70) to a smorgasbord of vegan delights.  Initially, I was going to make my 10-Minute Firecracker Chicken – seen below.

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And – I did make it – but then I decided that the sharp flavor of the buffalo sauce might not have the broadest appeal – and that five pounds of vegan chicken might be unpleasantly heavy.  So – I endeavored to mellow the flavors and I added potatoes & carrots to lighted it up a tad.  The result is this dish I present today.  It is still genuinely spicy but has more of a stew-like vibe going on – though it still has a bit of the sweet from the brown sugar in the Firecracker recipe – and the flavors are distinctly Asian.  I made it in a 7-quart slow cooker so this recipe makes a LOT!   If you are not feeding a group – either be prepared to freeze a bunch of this stuff – or cut the recipe down.  I served it with my Coconut & Ginger Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds – seen below.  They worked very well together!

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Vegan Asian Chicken & Potatoes in Spicy Gravy for the Slow Cooker for a Group

Serves many – especially with rice

INGREDIENTS

3 lbs vegan chicken (I used Beyond Meat)

3 large Russet potatoes – peeled & cubed

8 large carrots – sliced

2 cups buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s)

2-3 cups brown sugar (I used 3 but I think I would use less in the future)

6 TBS apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup Hoisin sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari)

1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used Hak’s – seen above)

1 cup vegan oyster flavored sauce

1/4 sesame oil

Crushed red pepper (to taste) – I used about 2-3 TBS

2 cups water

GARNISH – sliced scallions (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

You could probably just throw everything into the cooker & leave it on high for three hours – with the top off – and it should thicken up nicely but because this was for a reception – I wanted to be sure the sauce was thick – so – I cooked it down stove top first.

To do that – put the buffalo sauce, sugar, cider vinegar, crushed red pepper, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, BBQ sauce and oyster sauce into a sauce pan & bring to a rolling boil.  In a little bit – less than ten minutes – it should look like molten lava – like in the video above.  It looks like it would burn the fuck out of you – so be very careful with it.  Once it is thick – put it & everything else into the slow cooker (including the water), mix it all up & cook, on high, 2 hrs or more – or until it is thick again & the veggies are tender.  If it does not thicken – keep cooking on high with the top off.

Serve with rice and maybe some sliced scallions.

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Moroccan Giant Lima Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Black Olives

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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

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I love making thing with dried beans.  They are so ridiculously cheap & can be made into so many different things – they provide endless opportunities.  Typically mildly flavored – they take on the flavors you add & provide lots of nutrition and a texture that can be crunchy or creamy.  When cooked, these giant lima beans are nearly as soft & creamy as gnocchi.

I found a bag of these giant lima beans at Ralph’s for $2.  I wasn’t really sure what to do with them.  I soaked them overnight & tasted one the next morning & it was still crunchy & kind of bitter.  Intimidated, I Googled recipes and for this one here – Moroccan Tagine of Lima Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Black Olives.  The photos were pretty & I already had all the ingredients – so I whipped it up – making a few minor tweaks here & there.  Easy & quite delicious – flavorful because of the olives & tomatoes & spices but creamy & comforting because of those beans which had lost all their crunch & bitterness.  She suggested serving this over couscous but I prefer the suggestion of crusty bread.  I haven’t tried it but I feel like this would smear onto crostini easily & make a yummy appetizer.

PS – this dish calls for saffron which can be very expensive.  I use Golchin liquid saffron seen in the photo below from my recipe for Saffron Cream Pasta with Cauliflower, Tomatoes & Chili Flakes (also seen below)  – and it only costs about $7 for that bottle – and a bottle goes a long way.  I recommend buying some not only because it is so cost efective but also because I believe it has a longer shelf life than fragile saffron threads.

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Moroccan Giant Lima Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Black Olives

INGREDIENTS

1 lb of giant lima beans soaked overnight or quick soaked

2 TBS olive oil

1 red onion – diced

1 tsp crushed red pepper

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 tsp ground coriander

2 TBS fresg ginger – minced

a pinch of saffron or 2 TBS liquid saffron (I used the liquid)

20 cherry tomatoes – left whole

1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

2 tsp dry thyme

2 TBS black olives (I used Kalamata) – chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 TBS)

Salt & pepper – important

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped (use parsley if you hate cilantro)

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DIRECTIONS

Soak the beans overnight or quick soak them in one hour.  Drain the beans & then put them in a pot with enough water to cover them by an inch or two.   Bring to a boil & let boil for about 5 minutes then reduce heat & simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.   Do not let the water simmer away.  Taste for tenderness.  If soft & creamy – rinse them under cold water.  Be careful not to overcook them of they will become too mushy to hold their shape when mixed with the other ingredients.

Heat the olive oil over med-high heat & saute the onions until soft.  Add the crushed red pepper & garlic & saute one minute.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.  Reduce the heat to med-low & add the coriander, ginger, saffron – stir to combine.  Add tomatoes, agave & thyme & cover.  Cook for 5-10 minutes – or until the tomatoes start to crinkle up & soften.  Add the beans, olives and lemon juice.  Stir to combine.  Season with salt & pepper.  Cover & cook another 5 minutes or until the beans are heated through.

Serve with fresh cilantro or parsley – maybe over couscous, or rice or smeared onto crusty bread.

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