Baked Cinna-Raisin Oatmeal with Jicama

Slightly sweet, extremely delicious.

Slightly sweet, extremely delicious.

Oh my gosh you guys!!! I think I have come up with an original recipe!!! Which is shocking, because due to the sweetness of jicama, I would think this is an obvious thing to try… Maybe someone has tried it, but not put it out on the interwebs. Or they have, and it just hasn’t reached very far.

Jicama (pronounced HEE-ka-ma) is a large, bulbous root vegetable, sometimes known as a Mexican Yam or Mexican Turnip. It has a similar texture to a raw potato when it is raw, but as I learned by experience, roasting it does not change its texture at all, it remains just as crunchy as it is raw. Jicama is typically used in salads and slaws, likely due to its delightful crunchy texture. Looking for other methods of preparation, specifically warm ones (because it is still cold in Dallas in January), I found a recipe that suggested cooking it like roasted potatoes, with Italian herbs and all of that jazz… Personally, I am not a fan of that at all. Jicama has a natural sweet flavor to it, and to me it does not go at all with savory Italian herbs. Not to mention, there is something comforting to me with how roasted potatoes are crunchy outside and soft inside…you get no softness at all from the roasted jicama. I tried really hard to like it, but in the end was SO glad that I only made a little bit of it.

Thinking on this sweetness, and how the jicama retained its crunchy qualities even after roasting, it dawned on me that this veggie could be perfect in an oatmeal dish. At first I was going to do a slow-cooker recipe, modeling it after apple cinnamon flavors. However, my slow cooker is ENORMOUS and I know for a fact that we do not have an extra container big enough to house that much oatmeal in the fridge once it is made. So I turned to looking for baked oatmeal recipes to get me started.

After gathering some info, here is what I decided to do:

Ingredients:
2c old-fashioned oats
2T cinnamon
1/2t sea salt
2T unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
2c heavy cream
1/2c honey
2T lemon juice
1c coconut water
raisins (to taste, and optional)
1 small-medium jicama

Prep:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine oats, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add cream, honey, lemon juice, raisins, and coconut water. Mix thoroughly.

To prepare jicama: cut off top and bottom of root with a sharp knife. Use same knife to carefully cut off the outer skin. Chop jicama into slices or cubes, whatever you desire. (Note: If you don’t have a sharp knife like I didn’t, you may find it easier to take off decent sized “chips” of the jicama.)

Grease a 9×12″ baking dish with coconut oil (or whatever oil/butter/non-stick stuff you have on hand, I just like the coconutty sweetness that coco oil adds). Add jicama to oatmeal mixture and stir thoroughly. Smooth mixture into baking dish and add optional topping if desired. Bake for 60 mins (1hr).

May serve by itself or with milk, syrup, fruit or yogurt.

Optional topping:
1/2-3/4 cup of any nut you choose (I ran some raw almonds through our food processor to chop them up.)
1T chia seeds
2T ground flax
1/4c sunflower seeds

All in all, I feel like this was a huge success! It’s not super sweet, just lightly sweet, but it complements the natural taste of the jicama very well! The fiance gave it a thumbs-up, too. The jicama stayed crunchy, which I kind of expected, but I feel like that adds some interest to this dish since the oatmeal becomes so soft. When we have more money, I may try swapping maple syrup or blackstrap molasses for the honey to see if it adds any extra flavor. Let me know what you think if you try this recipe!

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken

OH MY WORD this stuff is AMAZING.

Like, seriously cannot get over how amazing it is.

I adapted my recipe from one I found on Foodie With Family. I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients that her recipe calls for, so I took a look around my pantry and did the best I could.

Well, the “best I could” turned out to be one of the best recipes I have in my repertoire!

I’ll have to add pics of it later, when I get a chance to put it on a pretty plate and take a drool-worthy snap shot.

Before you get into what I did, click on the link and check out her recipe first. It will make more sense, and you may have things from her recipe that you don’t have from mine. The big thing that I was missing is the ketchup. Just about the only time we use ketchup is out at restaurants. So I fiddled with the Sriracha and honey ratios to compensate. I didn’t have fresh garlic, but I believe a tablespoon of powder is equal to one fresh clove? Or is it a teaspoon…don’t know, don’t care. I love garlic, and can never have too much of it in my food. I used my umeboshi plum vinegar in place of the rice vinegar (if you’ve never heard of umeboshi  plums, I highly suggest you get acquainted with them STAT). Coconut oil replaced the sesame oil. I don’t know what rice vinegar tastes like compared to ume vinegar, but I am pretty sure that and the coco oil made significant taste changes to the sauce. That and the lack of ketchup. And extra honey. And I added carrot that I had laying around… *sigh* Someday when I have amassed all of the other ingredients from the original recipe, I will try it so I know how different/similar they are.

Without further ado: My recipe for Honey Sriracha chicken!

6 large chicken breasts
1c honey
1/2c Sriracha hot sauce
1/2c soy sauce
3T garlic powder
1 yellow onion
2T ume plum vinegar
1T coconut oil.
~1/2c grated carrot (left over from something else I made. Threw it in just to use it)

Note: 1/2c seems like a TON of Sriracha, and it is. It seemed way too spicy until the very end. Once the recipe is complete, it isn’t nearly as bad as when you taste test the sauce after blending! In fact, many may choose to add more Sriracha, because it isn’t very spicy at all once all is said and done.
Another thing to note: If you are going to follow the cooking instructions from the original recipe, make sure your chicken is completely thawed. I wasn’t thinking about it when I threw everything in the crock pot and learned this lesson the hard way. If you are dealing with frozen/partially frozen chicken, do at least 2hrs on high heat, then check it and take it down to low for the last hour if it’s mostly cooked through. I also can’t say anything for the texture of the original sauce, but mine turned out very thick, so I made sure to stir it every hour. Kitchen timers are my best friend!

Outside of a few tweaks to the ingredients, I mostly followed her instructions. Well, would have, except for the frozen chicken snag. Snags or no snags, this stuff is freaking AMAZING. My fiance even loves it, which is surprising because it has quite a bit of flavor, and he is more of a plain food kind of guy. Because we are poor and can’t afford to get too fancy, we have been eating this with good ol’ brown rice. The original recipe presents the chicken as a sandwich filling like pulled pork; someday, I WILL try it this way! It looks absolutely fantastic! You could also use this for an Asian fusion taco night meal.

No matter what you do, PLEASE try this chicken!!!

Holy crow!

MY it’s been a while since I last posted!

Here’s the cliffs:

  • Getting married in April!
  • Moved to Dallas, TX at the start of this year for the fiance’s job. Had a rough time finding a job of my own so far, but I have an interview for Monday so my fingers are crossed really tight!
  • Wedding planning is kinda/sorta/almost done, and I am SO READY. I’m planning everything myself. Wedding planners, and anyone who has planned their own wedding on a very limited budget can feel my pain. It’s like the extra little things never STOP.
  • Got my AS in General Sciences this past summer, finally. Going back to school down here in Dallas this summer to get my RN. Gonna be a nurse!
  • Tried veganism for a short while. If you aren’t passionate about not eating animals, that stuff is HARD. Not to mention being surrounded by meat eaters. Eventually I may try it again since I didn’t do it long enough to really see any health benefits, which is what I was after. We’ll see. That or I will just not eat animal products that didn’t come from humanely and organically raised critters. When we can afford to be that picky…ha. When people say that animal products are addicting, I kinda think they are right. If you really love meat and dairy, it is way hard to give it up.
  • I have discovered the deliciousness that is umeboshi plums. Ume vinegar, ume paste….SO GOOD. You can do whole plums if you want, but oddly enough I have found that the paste is cheaper. If you get any of it, GET THE VINEGAR. If you are a salt fiend like me, you will want to put it on everything. You will want to put it on ketchupThat is impressive. (Kidding, btw….don’t put it on ketchup. Unless you want to.)
  • I feel guilty for not chronicling my culinary adventures. One thing I will say, there is some slow-cooker brown sugar and garlic chicken recipe that is circulating around Pinterest….I didn’t want to use lemon lime soda in it so I subbed lemon juice…DO NOT DO THAT. IT TASTES HORRIBLE. Like dog food, but worse in a way. It ended up tasting great after I covered it in delicious local BBQ sauces….but yea, on its own it was terrible. THAT SAID, it might taste perfectly wonderful using the lemon lime soda as called for in the recipe.
  • I’m sure no one will have noticed because no one really looks at this thing anyways, but I have changed the name of my blog. I am redirecting it a bit, to be more all-encompassing. Along with that, I have removed a couple of earlier posts that are no longer relevant.

I am currently testing out a delicious Sriracha Chicken recipe, and will post about its success later tonight or tomorrow. For right now, my fiance wants the computer.

Till next time….peace out!

Italian Chicken and Veggie Skillet!

I LOVE to cook! And with that comes a love of trying new recipes!

This first one will be my adaptation of the Italian Chicken, Mushroom, and Zucchini Skillet that I found on GoodLife Eats!

I modified it a little to fit some of what I had on hand, and it turned out AMAZING!!!

I used:

Grapeseed oil (for sauteeing)
1 can whole tomatoes
Approx one zucchini and one yellow squash
1/2 of one onion
2 8oz containers of mushrooms
Approx 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
Basil
Oregano
Garlic
Salt
Black pepper

This was really simple to put together since the fiancé had grilled chicken a couple days before. I followed the instructions from after cooking the chicken; sauté the veggies, then add the chicken back in. Cover and simmer for a few mins! I really just kinda “winged it”…you will learn that I do that a lot with recipes!

Here is a picture of the finished product!

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OM NOM NOM