the way to a man’s heart…

…is through his stomach.  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  The BF will be working some long hours this week, so we won’t be able to celebrate any of cupid’s capers.  To make sure he still gets a good square meal, I decided to make some crock pot goodness for him to heat up on the go.  The following recipe is an adaptation of an america’s test kitchen recipe.  It’s a vegetable sauce that can be eaten over any type of pasta or rice.  I made it with quinoa rotini and the BF gave me the thumbs last night after he had some for dinner.  Let me know if you like it also 🙂

Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Olive oil
3 onions, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and dried
2 bay leaves
1 cup kale, chopped fine
1 medium zucchini or two small, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
Parmesan cheese
Pasta/Grain of choice.

Pour enough olive oil into a skillet to cover the bottom.  Turn the burner on med-high.  When the oil is slightly smoking, place the chicken breasts in the pan.  Turn the heat down after a minute to medium.  Leave for 3 – 4 minutes and then turn.  Cook on the other side for 4ish minutes until brown.  Transfer chicken to slow cooker.  Put chopped onions into the now empty chicken pan with the garlic and red pepper.  Cook for 5 – 7 minutes until soft.   Whisk in flour.  Make sure to scrape all the bits from the bottom.  Then add 1 cup vegetable broth.  Mix until combined.   When complete, transfer everything to a food processor or blender.  Pulse 7 – 8 times until it resembles applesauce.  Add onion mixture to the crockpot.  Next add all of the remaining ingredients to the crockpot except for the tomatoes.  Cook for 5 – 7 hours on high or 9 – 11 on low.  A half hour before serving add the tomatoes and remove the bay leaves.  Serve over pasta or rice with the parmesan cheese for garnish.  This makes about 8 servings and is enough to serve with an entire box of cooked pasta plus more to freeze for later.

I warmed up some lefts overs tonight with some rice.

I learned a few lessons while making this meal.  I originally had the onions chopped, cooked and ready to put into the crock pot, but it was just SO much onion.  I decided to process it instead and it worked out well.  The mushy onions actually thickened the sauce a bit.  Also, the recipe called for spinach instead of kale, but I had a lot of kale on hand.  I know some might be a bit resistive to kale (… like the BF…) but since it’s chopped fine and cooked for hours, it’s indistinguishable.

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