Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cooking By the Book: The Healthy Slow Cooker

A few nights ago, Michael made dinner for me, using one of his favorite cookbooks:  The Healthy Slow Cooker: More than 100 Recipes for Wellness and Health, by Judith Finlayson.

I have a sort of default leeriness of cookbooks that bill themselves as 'healthy'.  I have a few of them, but all too often, 'healthy' translates to making limp versions of otherwise good recipes by switching to low fat dairy products and various chemical fake sugars, neither of which I regard as 'healthy'.

The Healthy Slow Cooker is not like that at all - doing a random flip through the recipes, the ingredients are composed of real food, very little in the way of processed foods at all, and the couple that Michael's made from me with it have been very good.

This time, it was the Spicy Peanut Chicken, with a couple small modifications, and the result was delicious and satisfying in a comfort-food way.  I will be making use of this cookbook often - the recipes really do work well.

Spicy Peanut Chicken
serves 6

1 Tblsp olive oil or coconut oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tblsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
3 lb bone-in chicken thighs (approx. 12 thighs)
3 Tblsp smooth natural peanut butter
3 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tblsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tblsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups sweet green peas (defrosted, if frozen)
1 red bell pepper, diced (I don't eat bells - we substituted a couple poblanos and 1 jalepeno pepper)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

In a skillet, heat oil and add onions, carrots and celery, stirring and cooking about 7 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, ginger, and black pepper, cooking and stirring another minute.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Arrange chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker and add vegetable mixture.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or on HIGH for 2 1/2 hours, until juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

In a bowl, combine peanut butter, lemon juice, soy sauce, and red curry paste, and mix well.  Add to slow cooker and still well.  Add coconut milk, peas, and peppers and stir well. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes, or until peppers are tender and mixture is hot.

Serve over cooked rice with a garnish of peanuts and chopped cilantro.

(Shared with Foodie Friday,  Flaunt It Friday, Sweets This Week, Simply Link Party, Friday FavoritesWeekend Wrap Up Party, Show and Share, Lambaround Blog HopSo Creative Party, Check Me Out Saturday, Think Pink Sundays, Sunday Showcase, Sundae Scoop, Be Colorful Motivated Monday, Making the World Cuter Monday, Making Monday Marvelous, Made By You Monday, Amaze Me Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Mangia Mondays, Made with Love Mondays, Market Yourself Monday, Homemaker Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits, Your Recipe - My Kitchen, Tasty Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Glitter Link Party, Traditional Tuesdays, What's on the Menu Wednesday, We Did It Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday, Show and TellWhat's On Your Plate?, Hoo's Got Talent, SYS Link Party, Show Off Your StuffFull Plate Thursday, It's a Keeper Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday)


  1. Yum, that looks wonderful and something that my family would totally love. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to look for that cookbook. I'm with you, so few are actually healthy real food. One of my favorites if Real Food From the Real Family, I got it from la leche league 20 years ago, and still use it all the time.

  2. Oh! This sounds like great comfort food. I agree with you about fake sweeteners touting themselves as "healthy". Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe with Sweets This Week.


  3. The recipe sounds delicious! I love to use the slowcooker, especially in the fall. It's great to whip up something in the morning, put it in and think....dinner is ready! I'm a new follower that found you through Aquariann's blog :-)

    Angela @ Shimmerlings

  4. That looks terrific. Definitely a must try recipe! Come over and visit us. We have the most amazing apple cake you will ever taste today.

  5. love my crockpot and love trying new recipes this will get a go for sure come see what I shared at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  6. I love to cook in Crock pots and this looks so tasty. I wonder if it would be good if you didn't cook anything before you threw it in the pot. Anyway, my family would love this.

  7. Spicy Peanut Chicken looks delicious and cooked in the Slow Cooker makes it even better. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week end!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  8. This time of year is when I pull out the slow cooker and this recipe will be added to my line up to tries. Thanks so much for linking this to Motivated Monday at BeColorful