Monday, February 27, 2012

Chile Spiced Seeds

It's time to post another high protein snack recipe. I'm finding myself in a snack rut these days. Now that I'm home with my kids full-time, I am on snack duty three times a day (at least). I let my kids choose their snack of choice (with some wise counsel, of course), and they are really good about incorporating some kind of vegetable or fruit and protein with each snack. I often find myself making a different snack for me as they prefer fruit to veggies (shocker, I know) and I try to limit my fruit intake much more so than is necessary for a child. And these days I am in major need of protein; my body just craves it.

So what do you do when you get sick and tired of celery with almond butter or grain free granola? Toast some spiced seeds!

Chile Spiced Seeds

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
pinch salt

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add seeds and spices; stir to coat. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, shaking the skillet frequently to move the seeds around and prevent burning. Pull skillet off the heat once the seeds start making a popping sound. Let cool and enjoy by the mouthful.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Indian Spiced Chickpea and Chicken Stew

I love a good stew. And I love Indian spices. The pairing of these two loves made dinner tonight: a hearty, healthy, spicy, rustic stew perfect for a cold winter's night. This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Ali Segersten's The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. This has become one of my absolute favorite cookbooks. I adore the creativity in each featured recipe. I find myself scanning this book every afternoon, looking that night's dinner recipe. And I've been so pleased with everything I have tried from her cookbook thus far. I usually end up tweaking a few things from her recipes to make them my own (as is the case with this recipe), but I have to give her due credit for the inspiration!

This stew was so good it surprised me. The dried fruit really sweetens this spicy pot of stew up like a dream. It's packed with antioxidants and cancer-fighting properties, thanks to the assortment of spices and veggies alike. It's a great meal to make if anyone in your house is fighting the cold so persistent in these winter months.

And it makes quite a large pot! Plan on enjoying this with your family and friends.

Indian Spiced Chickpea and Chicken Stew

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
2 carrots
2 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch salt and black pepper
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup assorted dried fruit (I used a combination of dried figs, prunes, and raisins equal to a 1/2 cup total)
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large soup pot, heat coconut oil over medium to low heat. Chop onion and add to pan. Cook 3-5 minutes, until translucent. Mince garlic and chop carrots and sweet potatoes into bite size pieces. Add to pan along with spices (through black pepper). Cook another few minutes. Add remaining ingredients to the pot (except parsley) and stir.

Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.