Chicken Tikka Masala {Crockpot}

I am not a huge fan of ethnic food but I crave chicken tikka masala all the time! When I found this crockpot recipe I was more than excited to try it! This is, by far, the best crockpot recipe I have made so far considering I got a crockpot as a wedding present back in October. I haven’t used my crockpot nearly enough as I should, but this recipe makes me want to search for more great crockpot recipes!

Remember: Spices marinating for hours on end intensifies the flavor so be careful when adding the cayenne.

You may think 2 tsp of cayenne isn’t that much, but combining it with the cumin, and the masala, and the cinnamon, the flavor gets intense. As much as my husband and I love spicy food, 2 tsp of cayenne was a little overbearing (which is why I adjusted the ingredients accordingly).

Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka masala

Ingredients

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, or about 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.) – cut into 1.5″ cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 (29 oz.) can of tomato puree
  • 1½ cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • ½ tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 0-2 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on your heat preference)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping

Directions

  1. Place everything up to the bay leaves in a large bowl. With a spatula, stir to combine everything and make sure the chicken is coated well.
  2. Gently place the mixture in the insert of the crockpot and add the two bay leaves.
  3. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high).
  4. When done, in a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream and corn starch, then pour the mixture into the crockpot and gently stir. Let cook an additional 20 minutes to thicken up.
  5. Serve hot over a bed of white (or brown) rice, or as usual I put mine over couscous. I think a little thicker grain will be better with this though, like rice, to really soak up the great sauce.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recipe source: http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/2012/10/19/chicken-tikka-masala-crockpot

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Buffalo Cauliflower

Talk about a healthy and spicy snack! This take on anything buffalo style takes cauliflower to the next level! These little bites of goodness are also baked and not fried which makes them that much healthier!

Buffalo Cauliflower

buffalo cauliflower

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower (or 1 bag of cauliflower florets)

For the batter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
dash of Frank’s Wing Sauce or Frank’s Original Hot Sauce (or any hot sauce of your choice…I am partial to Sambal chili sauce)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried onion

For the buffalo sauce
1/4 cup Frank’s Wing Sauce (or any hot sauce of your choice…still partial to Sambal)
3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

Wash your head of cauliflower and cut into florets. You can make a variety of sizes. Or buy your cauliflower already cut into florets.

In a medium bowl, mix together the batter ingredients. It will be fairly thick.

Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter until fully and evenly coated. Place onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 15 minutes until the batter just hardens.

In a small bowl, mix together the buffalo sauce ingredients.

Once the cauliflower are done, remove from the oven and brush them with the buffalo sauce. Again, fully and evenly coat each piece.

Put back into the oven and bake for a few more minutes (5-7 minutes), until the sauce has mostly dried and the cauliflower is crispy.

Remove from the oven, let cool, then enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.persnicketyplates.com/2013/04/buffalo-cauliflower.html

Wine and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

What caught my eye about this recipe were the words “goat cheese”, and “bruschetta”. Probably my two favorite things! I found this recipe to use as a Superbowl snack, but going forward I think it will be better for a future girls night. Our girl’s nights always consist of wine and cheese so this is the perfect combo.

The original recipe called for Fig jam (which I also love), but I had received a homemade wine jelly as a christmas gift and thought that would make a great pairing instead. If I had fig jam on hand I probably would have used it, but I saw this as a perfect opportunity to use my homemade treat.

Wine Jelly and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

wine and goat cheese bruschetta

Ingredients

  • Wine jelly or jam
  • (1/2-inch-thick) slices French bread baguette, toasted
  • Crumbled goat cheese

Directions

Cut your baguette into slices and lightly toast. Let them cool slightly before adding the jelly so it doesn’t melt.
Once the bread has slightly cooled, spread some of the jelly onto the bread. Then top with a couple pieces of crumbled goat cheese.

Recipe source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/fig-goat-cheese-bruschetta-10000001835294/

White Bean and Eggplant hummus

I made this Giada recipe a long time ago and just happened to come across it recently. It is a quick, healthy appetizer and it is yummy! My husband claims he doesn’t like eggplant but he LOVED this hummus! There are more ingredients than just eggplant which make this particular hummus addicting. Also any leftover hummus can be used as a spread on sandwiches (I am a sandwich addict).

White Bean and Eggplant Hummus

white bean and eggplant hummus

Ingredients

1 (1 1/2-pound) eggplant or 3 Japanese eggplants, trim off the top, and cut into 2-inch round pieces
Olive oil, for drizzling, plus 1/3 cup
Kosher salt, for seasoning, plus 1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
1 clove garlic
1 hothouse cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (for dipping)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place the rack in the middle.

Place the eggplant on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, combine the cooled eggplant, beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup of olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place the hummus in a dipping bowl and serve with cucumber slices or your favorite chip.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/white-bean-and-roasted-eggplant-hummus-recipe.html

Pork Saltimbocca

I forget how great of a meat pork is. If cooked right it seals in all the juices which makes the meat really moist and tender. I saw this recipe on The Chew for a simple pork saltimbocca and realized how easy it is to make something so delicious!

Pork Saltimbocca

pork saltimbocca

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour **
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 6  2-ounce pieces Pork Tenderloin (pounded to a 1/4-inch thickness) **
  • 2 ounces sliced Prosciutto
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups arugula

Directions

Place a large piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board and lay the pork on top. Place 1 sage leaf on each piece of pork and top with a slice of prosciutto. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and lightly pound. Season the pork and the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the pork in flour.

Heat a 12-in saute pan over medium high heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the dredged pork to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove pork from the the pan. Deglaze the pan with water and scrape all of the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, reducing the liquid by half. Check the seasoning adding more salt and pepper if necessary.

Remove the pan from the heat, once liquid is reduced, and swirl in the butter. Add the arugula to the pan, and toss until lightly wilted, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over the pork and sprinkle remaining raw arugula over the cooked. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

**Tips**
1. Ask your butcher to pound the pork for you
2. If your pan gets too hot, add more oil to cool it down
3. If you are gluten-free, you can dredge the pork in rice flour, or skip the flour all together

Recipe source: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/Pork-Saltimbocca-Michael-Symon

Zesty Shrimp Ceviche

This curbs any fancy ceviche craving with the simplicity of this recipe! I made this recipe at Christmas for my huge family and everyone LOVED it! I am not keen on cilantro, but if you are, this recipe will work great with some extra cilantro! What is great about this recipe too is that you can customize it. If you don’t like as much tomato, don’t add as much. If you’d like it a little spicier, keep the seeds in the jalapeño. I am sure you can fancy it up by adding lobster, or scallops! Mmmmm

Zesty Shrimp Ceviche

shrimp ceviche

Ingredients

  • 1 lb jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails off, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 hass avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

Directions

Dice your onion. In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let the onions marinate for at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor.

In the meantime, chop up the rest of your ingredients. In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, and jalapeño. Combine all the ingredients together and gently toss. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe source: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/05/zesty-lime-shrimp-and-avocado-salad.html

Spinach Balls

I got this recipe from my aunt and I have officially declared this the easiest appetizer (and healthiest) of them all! It is a simple mix, form, and bake routine. You can have these as a side or as an appetizer but either way you can’t get any better than these bite size morsels of goodness!

Spinach Balls

spinach balls

Ingredients

2 packages of frozen chopped spinach; thawed and drained (I used frozen whole spinach in the pic above because that it what I had on hand)
2 cups italian breadcrumbs
1 medium onion, diced
4 eggs
3/4 cup melted margarine or butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Form into balls with your hands (however big or small you prefer). I usually make these as a side, so I half the recipe (because there is only 2 of us), and form the balls about the size of my palm.
Bake on a baking pan for approximately 20 minutes or until golden. Do not let them brown.