|Who knew eating clean could taste SOOOO good?!?|
I know, I know. It’s been SIX months since my last post. In my defense, I've been a pretty busy girl. I started working again part time, started running A LOT and training for my second half marathon, and started attending an EARLY—5:30 AM early—morning boot camp 2-3 times a week to build a little muscle and tone up after my 22-pound weight loss last year. (More on that here.)
One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to “Eat clean in 2014.” And though we’re only three weeks in, so far I’m doing awesome. If you would have told me six months ago that meals made without cheese, processed carbs, and fat could actually taste AMAZING, I would have laughed at you. But it’s true…and I can honestly say, my view on eating has changed considerably. I also have the hubby on board with the new philosophy, which is always helpful.
Recipes by Ryann is about to take a turn for the healthier. Most of the recipes I've posted in the past qualify as “good for you.” But I want to take clean eating to a new—and even tastier—level. I want to share meals that will fill you up—not out—and delight your taste buds at the same time. Healthy, clean, and delicious…that’s the new motto. I also want to make sure that everything I post is acceptable for those participating in the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge or 10-Day Cleanse. (I’m happy to share info about the AdvoCare programs/products with anyone who is interested. Just visit Advo949.com or email me at Advo949@gmail.com.)
But I digress. One of my favorite cuisines is Indian. I've found lots of different curries and simmer sauces at several local stores. Problem is, they are LOADED with excess salt, artificial colors and flavors, and sugar. The solution? Come up with my own from scratch using clean, healthy ingredients! I did some research, cobbled a few different recipes together, and came up with this:
Clean Crock Pot Chicken and Lentil Curry
Olive oil spray
½ onion, chopped (I used red)
1 small bell pepper, chopped (I used red)
1 large zucchini, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup uncooked lentil beans (I used red split lentils from Trader Joe’s)
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (organic preferred)
3 cups chicken broth or stock (organic preferred)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (careful, these are hot!)
Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
Spritz the inside of the Crock Pot with olive oil spray. (This step isn't necessary, but it does make cleanup easier.)
|Fresh veggies, ready for the Crock Pot!|
Place veggies and minced garlic in the bottom of the Crock Pot.
Place uncooked chicken breasts on top of veggies and lentils.
Pour canned tomatoes—with juice—over chicken breasts.
Add chicken stock (or broth) to Crock Pot.
Sprinkle seasonings over the top.
|Spice is nice!|
Cover and cook on “low” for 8-10 hours or on “high” for 4-6 hours.
About half an hour prior to serving, remove lid and shred chicken using two forks or tongs.
Garnish with fresh cilantro after curry is plated.
You guys…seriously….my house started smelling delicious after only an hour of cooking. I was short on time so I opted to cook it on high for about 5 hours. The “fast cook” works great, but for stews, soups, chili, and other similar dishes, I’m also a big fan of simmering on low all day so the flavors can really mingle and the consistency becomes a little thicker.
The “not-so-secret ingredient” cinnamon, lends a little sweet spice to an already delectable and hearty curry. I served this as more of a soup but it would also be great ladled over brown rice (or quinoa for a protein-packed alternative). If low-carb is your goal, spooning it over leafy greens as a salad topping or using it to stuff lettuce leaves would also be an option.
I like my curry SPICY so I did add a tiny dash of hot sauce. Sprinkling in a few additional red pepper flakes—either in the Crock Pot prior to cooking or as a garnish afterward—would also dial the heat factor up a notch.
The hubs and I both gobbled this up. And okay, I admit it, we both went back for seconds!
I hope you enjoy this curry as much as we did. It feels GREAT to be sharing recipes with you all again. I’ll be back soon with another healthy, tasty, and good-for-you dish. I promise!!!