crockpot

Fall Cooking

Sunday I made some keto chili. With some help! Logan wanted to chop things. He has a special knife (a toddler plastic knife that is about as sharp as a plastic knife but it can cut SOME things) and he tried to chop celery (that didn’t really work) and then switched to onions. He did that for awhile and then said “the onions got me”. LOL

So I finished up chopping onions and stuff. Then he helped stir a little:

Then he lost interest. 😉 But we are trying! I made a few substitutions. I didn’t have low carb beer, so I used a splash of red wine instead. I also added celery (one stalk). I also did a combo of ground beef and chunks of stew meat to give it a little variety of texture since I wasn’t adding corn and beans and stuff.

The Best Paleo & Keto Chili

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic ran through a press
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 500 g ground beef
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder *
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons paprika to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder optional, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, to taste
  • 1 400 g can diced tomatoes
  • 240 ml beef broth
  • 120 ml (gluten free or low carb) beer optional**
  • 60 ml strong brewed coffee optional**
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat up olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium/high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook until it just begins to brown (about 8 minutes). 
  2. Lower heat to medium, add ground beef, cloves and a large pinch of salt. Cook until it begins to brown, stirring every so often (5 to 7 minutes). Add in all the spices and cook for a couple more minutes until fragrant. Some peeps enjoy their chili spicier, others strong on cumin, etc… so feel free to adjust the spices slowly as the chili cooks (the fun part!). 
  3. Add tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Lower the heat to low and continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every so often.
  4. Add in the beef broth, beer (optional) and coffee (optional). Continue to cook for 3 to 8 hours. Adding 1/4 cup water (or broth) at a time, as needed. Remember that the longer you cook it, the more flavor it gets! 
  5. Allow your chili to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

*Chili spices can vary a lot in taste (and preference!). Buying a ready-made chili powder mix is a good place to start. But do feel free to play around with the individual spices to your liking (think chili, oregano, cumin, coriander, paprika, chipotle… you could even add some chili ancho!).

**Adding in some (gluten free, low carb) beer and coffee add a bunch of flavor. But totally optional, and your chili will still be magnificent without them! 

Please note that nutrition facts were estimated per serving (assuming a yield of 6). Nutrition Facts: Calories 251 Fat 17g Saturated Fat 6g Carbohydrates 6g Fiber 2g Sugar 2g Protein 16g

I put everything in the crockpot because I had a lot of stuff to do and would rather do chili in a crockpot all day anyways.

It turned out pretty good but not quite chili. It was more like a beef stew. I topped it with some shredded cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream and some pickled radishes (David Lebovitz’s are my favorite, and if you don’t follow him on Instagram, you should!). The pickled radishes on top were kind of an excellent addition!

Next time I would drain the can of tomatoes so there was a little less liquid.

The other recipe I tried was Lean Green Bean’s Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken.

SPICY YOGURT MARINATED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
3/4 cup plain yogurt (regular or greek)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice from one lime
pinch of salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.
  2. Close tightly and use your hands to mix everything around and make sure the chicken is well coated.
  3. Marinate in the fridge at least 2 hours. (24 hours is best!)
  4. Remove the chicken and cook as desired, discarding the remaining marinade. I cooked mine on a sheet pan with green beans at 400 for 15-25 minutes. Time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. Check internal temperature until it reaches 165. You may need to remove the green beans before your chicken is done!

NOTES

To cook the sweet potatoes, thinly slice, spray with oil, season as desired and bake at 400 or 425 for 20-25 min flipping once.

I let it marinade for over 24 hours and then we had it for dinner Monday night. I loved having a quick and easy meal nearly ready for a Monday night meal.

This one was definitely a winner! It had some spice, too! Loved the flavors, loved how easy it was.

The only changes I would make: I’d use chicken breasts instead of thighs and I’d put the green beans in the oven half-way through the chicken cooking. The green beans got a little overdone. They still tasted great, but were a little soft.

Will definitely make this one again!

Lately

Last Thursday Logan turned 2 officially! We took donut holes to daycare so the kids could all celebrate together and everyone told Logan Happy Birthday. After daycare, he had his 2 year checkup with the doctor and he’s doing great. The doctor was really impressed at how well Logan is doing. Logan showed off and pointed to all the body parts he knows (his eyes, ears, mouth, elbow, hair, etc). Logan is 36.5 inches and grew almost 3 inches since his 18 month appointment! Holy cow! He’s 96% for height.

After the doctor appointment we went out to dinner to Mike’s Drive In in Oregon City. Michael and I got burgers. Logan got a corndog! And he loved it. 😀 He did so great. He had a great day.

In other Logan news, he might be ready for a big boy bed. Which is both exciting and scary for this mama! He’s starting to try and climb out of his crib. And he’s tall, so it’s easy for him. OY.

On Saturday (after the gym), we met some friends at Sokol Blosser for the spring pick-up party for members. It was so much fun and we were really glad we were able to hang out with our friends. We hadn’t seen them in awhile and it was nice to catch up.

The Sokol Blosser party is very nice. We were there in October with some other friends. When you first get there, you get a glass of their sparkling white. Love it!

The place was packed. There was a bunch of food–yummy smokey steak with chimichurri sauce, polenta, roasted veggies, toasted chickpeas, salad, salami, cheese, crackers, olives. All of the food was really tasty and it was enough for a light lunch while we did our tasting.

After the party, we decided to stop at one other place none of us have ever been to: Stoller. The venue was gorgeous! It was huge. I guess in one section they were having THEIR spring pick up party for members. We went to the tasting room. It was a huge, cool venue with lots of room. The place was packed so we walked to the back tent. The tent area was huge and had nice tables set up and it was heated and comfortable. The wine tasting was at your table, so that was nice.

It was a really nice Saturday!

On Sunday I decided to give my pressure cooker a test run in the “slow cooker” setting. I was hoping that I could get rid of my crockpot if this worked well. After my swim, I got all the stuff ready and put it in the pressure cooker. I had a packet for the “country rice” and used frozen chicken tenderloins.

I used the slow cooker setting on my cooker. Then I ran some errands and stuff and when I got back I checked it and realized that it was already cooked! It was like 2pm and I had thought I set it on “low” for 7 hours but at the 4 hour mark, everything was all cooked. BUMMER. I was kinda irritated because then I had to just put the food in the fridge and reheat it for dinner. Which is fine, but not ideal and not like my crockpot. So….I guess I can’t get rid of my crockpot yet.

The dinner doesn’t look pretty, but it was really flavorful. We had salad with it. Yum!

Anyways, any ideas on the slow cooker setting for the instant pot?