Friday, January 31, 2014

Rain, Rain, Go Away..

I'm one of those people who really enjoys a rainy day, especially if I'm able to stay home, cuddle up on the couch with a book or a good movie, and just listen to the sound of the rain hitting the roof. However, after a couple of days I'm over it! I know, after seeing what my friends up north are going through with snowstorms, I shouldn't complain, but still..this is the Sunshine State, after all! Loki and I have had to forgo our morning walks, and neither of us have been able to play outside, making for a slightly grumpy mama and doggy!

In my opinion, this weather calls for comfort food. Warm, rich & hearty stick-to-your ribs kinda stuff, the meals your mama would make. Nothing too fancy, though, because who wants to drive in a downpour to the grocery store in search of some fancy ingredient? Not me, that's for sure! So I searched my kitchen yesterday, gathered a little of this & a bit of that, put them all together and came up with the ultimate rainy day dinner: Chick'n and Dumplings. Mm...doesn't the thought of it just warm you right up?

I combined several different recipes to create this slow cooker version, so easy yet delicious, and much healthier than the traditional version. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 Slow Cooked Chick'n & Dumplings 

Chick'n & Dumplings photo 2014-01-30-18-32-14_deco_zpsvmcyvxtd.jpg

                       For the Base:
  •   2 faux chicken breasts (I used Gardein Chick'n Scallopini) -- thawed and chopped
  •   2 cups vegetable broth (or water mixed w/veggie bouillon)
  •   1 1/2 cups  non-dairy milk (I used Silk Almond Milk, Unsweetened)
  •   4 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  •   1 teaspoon  sage (or more, to taste)
  •   1/2 teaspoon  garlic powder
  •   1/2 teaspoon  salt (or to taste)
  •    pepper -- to taste
  •   1 small  onion -- chopped fine
  •   1 clove  garlic -- minced
  •   4 small  red potatoes -- diced (more or less, depending on your love of taters)
  •   10 ounces  frozen mixed vegetables (or a mix of whatever you have on hand - peas, carrots, corn, etc)
                       For the Dumplings:
  •   1 cup  Bisquick® baking mix
  •   1/3  cup non-dairy milk
  •   1 teaspoon  paprika -- plus more for sprinkling
  1. First, you're going to make a roux, or as my mom called it, white gravy. In a medium saucepan, put the vegetable broth and flour and whisk until smooth.  Turn the heat to medium and add the sage, garlic powder, salt, pepper,onion and garlic.  Allow the broth to thicken up nicely then add the non-dairy milk, stir to combine. Taste the gravy to make sure it's seasoned how you like it. I myself prefer stronger flavors so I threw in some other spices (rosemary and a pinch more sage). 
  2. In the slow-cooker crock, place your potatoes, veggies and faux chicken.  Pour the gravy over the top. Turn heat to low and cook for about 6 hours, until everything is heated through and your potatoes are tender but not falling apart.
  3. Now, you're gonna make the biscuit dumplings.  Mix the Bisquick, milk and paprika until a soft dough forms. 
  4. Turn the Crock-pot heat to HIGH, open the lid and get ready for the fun part! Take your biscuit dough and form it into cute little balls, don't worry about them being perfect or uniform. This is country cookin', we're not fancy like that! Drop each little ball gently onto the top of your chick'n veggie mix, covering as much of it as you can.  They will sink a tiny bit, about halfway maybe, which is just fine.  Once all the dough is gone, cover the crock and leave it alone for a little while. 
  5. After about an hour, poke your biscuits with a knife to check for doneness. If they are solid and not mushy, you're done! Ladle out the yummy-ness into a bowl and dig in. If your crock-pot isn't as hot as mine, you might need to cook a little bit longer, but it shouldn't take more than an hour and a half. 
  6. You can sprinkle some additional paprika or even parsley sprigs on the top if you want to dress this up.  Enjoy!

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Makes 4 generous portions; Per Serving 333 Calories; 7g Fat (19.5% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 55g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1326mg Sodium. 

I think I see the sun trying to peek through the clouds, crossing fingers!

Have a Beauty-full day,


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