Sunday, January 12, 2014

Easy Pasta With Turkey and Broccoli Recipe

Pasta With Turkey and Broccoli
Pasta With Turkey and Broccoli
Liven up a basic pasta recipe with aromatic fennel seed, garlic, and crushed red pepper.
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: | Total Time:


  • 3/4 pound orecchiette
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • kosher salt


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the broccoli during the last minute. Drain and return the pasta and broccoli to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, fennel seed, and red pepper and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes; season with ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. Toss the turkey mixture with the pasta and broccoli and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Serve with Parmesan.

Nutritional Information

  • Per Serving
  • Calories 582
  • Fat 19g
  • Sat Fat 4g
  • Cholesterol 65mg
  • Sodium 333mg
  • Protein 35g
  • Carbohydrate 67g
  • Sugar 1g
  • Fiber 5g
  • Iron 5mg
  • Calcium 41mg

Friday, January 10, 2014

3 Easy Crockpot Chicken Recipes

1. Crockpot Chicken Supreme

Crockpot Chicken Supreme

You can substitute different types of cheese and different flavors of condensed soup to change the flavor of this fabulous, easy slow cooker recipe.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 5 slices bacon
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 10 oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup OR 10 oz. jar four cheese Alfredo sauce
  • 4 oz. jar sliced mushrooms, drained OR 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced Swiss or Havarti cheese


In large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon and set aside in refrigerator. 

In bacon drippings in skillet, cook chicken over medium heat 3-5 minutes or until light brown, turning once. Place in 4-6 quart slow cooker. Top with mushrooms. In skillet, heat soup and pour over mushrooms and chicken. Cover and cook on low setting for 4-5 hours, or until chicken registers 160 degrees F on a meat thermometer.

Top chicken with diced cheese and sprinkle with bacon. Cover and cook on high for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Note: I've recently started cooking this dish using frozen chicken breasts. Brown them, as directed, in the bacon drippings, then cook on low for 6-8 hours, until a food thermometer registers 160 degrees F.

2. Crockpot Chicken Sweet Potatoes

Crockpot Chicken Sweet Potatoes

This wonderful and easy recipe is so good for you! One serving supplies 100% of the Vitamin A you need every day. And it's delicious too.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup peach preserves OR apricot preserves
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


Sprinkle chicken with salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, curry powder, and ginger. Place sweet potatoes and onions in 3-1/2 quart slow cooker and top with chicken. Top with peach preserves, vinegar, and soy sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken is thoroughly cooked and sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with fork. Combine chicken broth and cornstarch and mix well. Add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 10-15 minutes until sauce is thickened.

Calories: 380
Fat: 12 grams
Sodium: 700 mg
Vitamin A: 100% DV
Vitamin C: 35% DV 

3. Sweet and Spicy Crockpot Chicken

Sweet and Spicy Crockpot Chicken

This simple recipe combines sweet and sour sauce, barbecue sauce, and chicken in a five ingredient recipe with a fabulous flavor. The chicken becomes meltingly tender when cooked this way. You can add any other vegetable to this recipe; I added a chopped green bell pepper the last time I made it. Sliced carrots, zucchini, or any Asian vegetable would be delicious too.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 9 hours

Total Time: 9 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup purchased sweet and sour sauce
  • 3/4 cup purchased barbecue sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp. cornstarch, if needed
  • 2 Tbsp. water, if needed


Combine all ingredients in 4-5 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours until chicken is thoroughly cooked. If you'd like a thicker sauce, mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the liquid; cover and cook 10-15 minutes until thickened. Serve over hot cooked rice or couscous. Note: Remember, if you have a newer crockpot that cooks hotter, check the chicken at 6 or 7 hours. If your food burns, it was cooked too long. You must know if your crockpot cooks hotter before you start cooking.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Easy Fat Burning Foods and Healthy Eating Tips

A whole week has gone by and we have taken a pretty in depth look at what's healthy and what's not. I hope this weeks blogs have been informative and fun for you and that they help you along to a more healthier YOU.

Here is a list of Super Fat Burning Foods:
  • Chillies
  • Grapefruit
  • Vinegar
  • Green Tea
  • Eggs
  • Fat free milk and dairy products
  • Beans and legumes
  • Some peanutbutters
  • Berries! Eg: blueberries.
  • Spinach and green veggies
  • Whey
  • Rye/barley
  • True Wholegrain products
  • Fatty fish like tuna and salmon
  • Enova Oils and Olive Oils - not easily stored as fats
  • Almonds and other nuts (in moderation)
  • Lemon and lime juice (fresh)

The worst mistake most people make when on a diet is to completely cut out most proteins; carbs and sugars. Your body cannot repair itself if you cut out all proteins and it cannot produce enough healthy energy to keep you going if you cut out all carbs and sugars too. The best diet is a balanced diet and remember to reward yourself once a week with a treat. Don't deny yourself everything because that is what makes a diet harder to accomplish successfully.

Exercise and 2l of water a day should be part of your lifestyle and try eat 5 smaller meals a day rather than 3 huge ones. Saturated Fats should be avoided and try go for healthier options like butter instead of margerine and rye bread instead of white bread. Refined wheats and sugars should also be avoided and don't forget; 80% Cocoa chocolate is not only healthy but helps burn fat too; so does eating a small block of cheese (about the size of your pinky nail) after dinner too. Remember that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to register that you are full; so dish up your food in a side plate or saucer instead of a dinner plate (to make your food look more) and chew slowly and thoroughly. Fresh squeezed juicers like apple and carrot juice also help to absorb fiber quickly and allow you to get nutrients almost instantly. Eating a poached or boiled egg or an egg white omelette 3 times a week also helps to burn fat too.

Control your portions and look for healthier substitutes rather than cut something out completely. A cucumber has no nutritional value; so you can eat as much as you like; unbuttered, unsalted popcorn is also a healthy, fiber-filled snack that fills you and trimming unnecessary skin and fats off of meats before grilling or steaming minimizes calorie intake and helps burn fat quickly. Add lemon juice or vinegar to your meal (even lime juice); it helps break down fats. Try drinking 2 glasses of water 30 minutes before eating and chew slowly. Your stomach will fill up quicker. Also; cut out that one extra sugar from your coffee and tea - also, coffee and tea are diuretics (which means they can dehydrate you), so for every cup of tea or coffee you drink; you should be drinking 2 glasses of water to compensate.

Oh, and I found that starting a diet on a Monday is really not a clever plan - rather start it midweek, like a Wednesday or on a Saturday instead; this helps you mentally accept the diet more easily. It is also psychological to always be hungry when you keep telling yourself you are on a diet; best thing is to snack on what we call "free foods"; these are foods you can eat all day long that won't affect your diet but will help fill those nagging hunger pangs. Free foods include: boiled egg whites (NOT the yolks); steamed veggies; berries; cucumber; mushrooms; lettuce and tomatoes. Carrot sticks and unbuttered; unsalted popcorn are also good snack ideas. Your food preparation methods are also important! Rather grill or steam instead of deep frying or baking and....

My final word is this:
On a diet you should be breakfasting like a king; lunching like a prince and dinnering like a pauper.!!
And that closes up our health week here on The Chef Mother. Take it easy this week, peeps! Look after yourselves and your loved ones too.

Healthy Baby's First Vegetable Purees Recipe

Baby's First Vegetable Purees Recipe
Healthy Baby's First Vegetable Purees Recipe

These purees are your baby's very first tastes of solid food and should be served one at a time to introduce new taste sensations gradually. Pureed vegetables are the next step on from rice cereal.

Age suitability : 4.5months+

Suitable for freezing : Yes

Food group: VEGGIES

Category: Baby


  • pumpkin
  • potatoes
  • broccoli
  • sweet potato
  • carrots
  • zucchini

Stove or oven method:

Take two cups of your chosen vegetable. Peel if required and cut into even sized pieces.
Steam until tender and then puree using a stick blender, blender or food processor.
To make it the right consistency for your baby's first food, you will need to add some boiled water to hte puree until it has a nice moist, soft consistency.
Set aside a portion or two and then freeze the remainder in a covered ice cube tray so you are able to defrost portions when required.


  • Steaming on the stovetop, using a pressure cooker and steaming in the microwave are all ideal ways to make baby food.
  • Boiling the vegetables is fine but it will leave your puree less nutritious as the vitamins end up in the cooking water.
  • You need to make sure that you use clean and dry utensils and bowls when preparing baby food to ensure good hygiene.

Healthy Baby Pasta Soup

Baby Pasta Soup
Healthy Baby Pasta Soup

Who knew making homemade baby food could be this easy? This soup can be adapted according to your baby's taste. Babies will love this soup made with little pasta. It can be changed according to your baby's taste-- try adding mashed carrots, creamy spinach, or tiny bits of broccoli, chicken or turkey.

  • 11/2 cups (355 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (22 g) tablespoons uncooked pastina
Stovetop Method: Bring broth to a gentle boil and add pastina. Cook, stirring frequently, 7 or 8 minutes, or until pastina is cooked. Serve warm.

This recipe, covered tightly, will last for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, just add a bit of water.

Yield: 4 baby servings, 1/4 cup (60 g) each

Each serving contains: 50.8 calories; 0.2 g total fat; 0.1 grams saturated fat; 1.9 mg cholesterol; 225.6 mg sodium; 9.6 g carbohydrates; 0.4 g dietary fiber; 2.4 g protein; 2.2 mg calcium; 0.4 mg iron; 0.5 IU vitamin A; and 0.0 mg vitamin C.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Indian Butter Chicken Recipe
Indian Butter Chicken

Butter chicken or murgh makhani is an Indian dish from the Punjab region popular in countries all over the world that have a tradition of Indian restaurants. Butter Chicken is among the best known Indian foods all over the world. Its gravy can be made as hot or mild as you like so it suits most palates. Also commonly known as Murg Makhani, Butter Chicken tastes great with Kaali Daal (black lentils), Naans and a green salad. This is my recipe for Butter Chicken and it is the real deal! It has been tried and tested numerous times and is loved by everybody that has eaten it. I hope you will like it too.

This was top notch, but I made a slight modification to the cooking process. Anticipating that waiting for the sauce to reduce by half would result in the chicken being cooked to death, I added the marinaded chicken to the already softened onions, garlic and ginger then cooked until it was just about done. I made the sauce with the residue of the spice mix, chopped tomatoes and chicken stock in a different pan. The reduction took the best part of half an hour. Once reduced I added the sauce to the chicken and all was well. Chicken cooked to perfection, and the sauce just the right consistency. Excellent! It was worth the extra work to keep the chicken tender.

  • Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Servings: 4
  • Preparation Time: 4-6 hours
  •  Category: Non Veg


•    Chicken    800 grams
•    Lemon juice     1 tablespoon
•    Kashmiri red chilli powder    1 teaspoon
•    Salt     to taste
•    Butter     2 tablespoons

For marinade   
•    Yogurt     1 cup
•    Salt     to taste
•    Garlic paste     1/2 teaspoon
•    Garam masala powder     1/2 teaspoon
•    Kashmiri red chilli powder     1 teaspoon
•    Ginger paste     2 tablespoons
•    Lemon juice     2 tablespoons
•    Mustard oil     2 tablespoons

For Makhni Gravy    
•    Butter     50 grams
•    Ginger paste     1 tablespoon
•    Green chillies,chopped     4-5
•    Red chilli powder     1 tablespoon
•    Salt     to taste
•    Dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)     1/2 teaspoon
•    Whole garam masala     1 tablespoon
•    Garlic paste     1 tablespoon
•    Tomato puree     400 grams
•    Garam masala powder     1/2 teaspoon
•    Honey     2 tablespoons
•    Cream     1 cup

Method and Preparation:

  • Make incisions with a sharp knife on breast and leg pieces of the chicken. Apply a mixture of red chilli powder, lemon juice and salt to the chicken and set aside for half an hour.

  • Hang yogurt in a muslin cloth for fifteen to twenty minutes to remove extra water. Add red chilli powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, garam masala powder and mustard oil.

  • Apply this marinade to the chicken pieces and refrigerate for three to four hours. Put the chicken onto a skewer and cook in a moderately hot tandoor or a preheated oven (200°C) for ten to twelve minutes or until almost done. Baste it with butter and cook for another two minutes.

  • Remove and set aside. Heat butter in a pan. Add green cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Sauté for two minutes, add ginger-garlic paste and chopped green chillies. Cook for two minutes.

  • Add tomato puree, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt and one cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes. Add sugar or honey and powdered kasoori methi. Add cooked tandoori chicken pieces. Simmer for five minutes and then add fresh cream.

  • Serve hot with naan or parantha.

Chef's Tip

Heat kasoori methi in the oven for sometime or broil kasoori methi on a tawa/griddle plate to make it crisp. It can easily be crushed to a powder with your hand.

Baked Potato Salad

Baked Potato Salad
Baked Potato Salad

Bake potato wedges, mixed with mayonnaise, mustard paste and crushed black peppercorns.
  • Cooking Time: 15- 20 minutes
  • Servings: 4
  • Preparation Time: 10-15 miniutes
  •  Category: Veg


•    Potato Wedges,frozen -   200 grams
•    Mayonnaise  -  3/4 cup
•    Olive oil  -   2 teaspoons
•    Dried mixed herbs  -  1/2 teaspoon
•    Mustard paste -   1 teaspoon
•    Black peppercorns,crushed  -  1/2 teaspoon
•    Salt  -  to taste
•    Fresh parsley,chopped  -  for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Place potato wedges on a baking tray and pour olive oil over them. Mix well, keep the tray in the preheated oven and bake for forty five to fifty minutes or till well done and crisp.
3. Mix mayonnaise, mixed herbs, mustard paste, crushed black peppercorns and salt in a bowl.
4. Add baked potato wedges and mix.
5. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
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