Easy and flavorful red lentil soup...this curried red lentil soup is simply the best!
Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups

Curried Lentil Soup

Easy and flavorful red lentil soup…this curried red lentil soup is simply the best!

I already showed you the soup along with this fabulous hearty Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread… and now here’s the recipe! This Curried Lentil Soup is also fabulous. Why would I share anything less than fabulous? Ha! Lentil soup is always a go-to vegetarian soup because it’s filling and flavorful without meat. This time, we’ve taken a regular ‘ole lentil soup and added red lentils and a south Asian flavor profile to  make something extra special.

Easy and flavorful red lentil soup...this curried red lentil soup is simply the best!

If you’re a fan of dal, you’ll like the soup. The flavors are incredible–garlic, ginger, onion…and of course, curry! There’s nothing better on a cold night, especially when served with some hearty bread. Mmm! The fact that this soup is made in about 30 minutes, thanks to the magic of the microwave [Iiiiiiii know–I never use the microwave in cooking, but it’s magic here], is an added bonus. Perfect for busy weeknights! Hope you guys enjoy!

two years ago: Honey Cornbread
three years ago: Sweet ‘n Spicy Apple BBQ Chicken & Slaw
four years ago: Peach Raspberry Clafouti
five years ago: Peach Shortbread
six years ago: Tropical Granola

Curried Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

from Jenna’s Everything Blog

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 8 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cilantro, chopped
  • plain yogurt

Directions:

In a large bowl, microwave lentils and half of the broth for 10-12 minutes, until liquid is mostly absorbed

In a stockpot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion for 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent. Season with pepper to taste, then add garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add the microwaved lentil mixture to the pot, then add the remaining broth and tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, seasoning with pepper as desired.

Serve with cilantro and plain yogurt.

 

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Main Dishes, Recipes, Turkey

Szechuan Green Beans

This is a fantastic, flavorful weeknight stir fry! I’ve been making it for years and it’s a family favorite that I know you’ll enjoy.

Szechuan Green Beans - a fantastic, flavorful weeknight stir fry via thepajamachef.com

So, I’ve been holding out on you. I’ve been making this recipe for over five years now. I had to check my source to verify this, but it’s true. I’ve been making Szechuan Green Beans for dinner since my grad school days, crazy. I can’t tell you the number of times this has been on the menu plan for dinner at our house. I am not a recipe repeater–you know this by now!–unless said recipe is goooood. So you know this one has to be! It is a fabulous weeknight dinner… even though the list of ingredients is long, it comes together in 30 minutes or less. Score!

Szechuan Green Beans - a fantastic, flavorful weeknight stir fry via thepajamachef.com

For this recipe, unlike some stir fries that are really complicated, what you see is what you get. Green beans–check. Ground meat–check. Green onions–check. And some sauce for flavor–check. I typically make this stir fry with ground turkey, but you can also use pork and frankly, chick or beef would be fine too. But I like a lighter, leaner ground meat with this recipe because, to me, stir fries are supposed to be light. But who knows how real that is and how much that’s just me. Haha. A lighter meat goes well with the slightly spicy, slightly sweet sauce. When I say slightly spicy, I really mean just enough spice that there’s some flavor, but this is definitely a kid friendly dish so no worries there. Ben and I have found that the recipe, as written below, serves two of us for dinner well. Sometimes there’s an extra serving left for lunch the next day, but more often then not, there isn’t. Also, this stir fry is light on the meat so feel free to increase that as needed for your family. Enjoy!

Szechuan Green Beans - a fantastic, flavorful weeknight stir fry via thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Lemon Meringue Pie Puppy Chow
two years ago: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Waffles with Caramelized Bananas
three years ago: Creamy Shells and Yogurt
four years ago: Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread
five years ago: Watermelon Coolers
six years ago: Brown Sugar Bacon Twists

Szechuan Green Beans

  • Servings: 2-3 but can easily be doubled, tripled, etc.
  • Print

from Jenna’s Everything Blog

Ingredients:

for the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoing wine, dry sherry, or mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar [omit if using mirin since that’s already sweet]
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

for the stir fry

  • 2 -3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 pound ground turkey or pork
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • hot cooked rice, for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Then, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the green beans, tossing to coat in the oil. Cook them for 7-9 minutes, stirring often, until they are dark and shriveled in places. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl, covering to keep warm.

If using lean turkey, add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet. If using pork or a fattier cut of turkey, add directly to hot skillet. Break apart the meat, stirring continually for 2-3 minutes until cooked completely. Add in garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Re-whisk the sauce for a minute, then pour over the meat. Stir together and cook for another minute or so to thicken sauce. Remove pan from heat and add in green onions, sesame oil, and green beans. Toss together, then serve over hot cooked rice. Enjoy!

Note:

You can increase the amount of meat if desired, but for more meat, you will need more sauce. When I make this with 1/2 pound meat I double the sauce, but play around with the amounts to suit your preferences.

Main Dishes, Recipes, Seafood and Fish

Baked Tilapia with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce #bookclubcookbookCC

An easy baked tilapia dish jazzed up with a creamy, dreamy green sauce… this simple meal is fresh and flavorful, perfect for summer!

An easy baked tilapia dish jazzed up with a creamy, dreamy green sauce... this simple meal is fresh and flavorful, perfect for summer! #bookclubcookbookCC

Once upon a time, when I was a senior in high school, I took AP English. English classes at my high school were awesome–I had the best teachers, and we got to read some wonderful novels over the years. I realize I sound like a complete goody two shoes with those two statements, and let’s face it–I probably was. For one project in AP English [which was totally worth it, btw since I tested out of the two required English courses in college due to acing the AP exam], we had to read a classic novel independently and do a book report/presentation about it to the class. The details are a bit hazy since this was circa 2002, but I remember taking the official list of our book choices to Borders [rest in peace] and walking around reading the backs of zillions of books to make THE choice. This was important stuff, guys!! And it was before my infatuation with libraries. In those days, I could spend hours in a bookstore, especially my beloved Borders next to my favorite Panera. Good times!

An easy baked tilapia dish jazzed up with a creamy, dreamy green sauce... this simple meal is fresh and flavorful, perfect for summer! #bookclubcookbookCC

Anyways, after perusing my options, I settled on Love in the Time of Cholera by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. I had two main reasons for my choice: first, it was originally published the year I was born, and two, I liked the cover. Great reasons, huh? These great reasons backfired on me–I hated the book. Not that you came to my blog to read about literary elements or theory, but one of the techniques used in this novel is magical realism–magic alongside everyday events. And if you know me, you know that I’m as realistic as they come. I don’t really like tv or movies with any fantasy elements, and that is how I saw this book. So now you know my feelings on Love in the Time of Cholera…which happens to be the May book choice for #bookclubcookbookCC, hosted by Danielle of Mostly Food and Crafts and Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. Yes, I am a little late, but I have a four week old baby so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! 🙂

An easy baked tilapia dish jazzed up with a creamy, dreamy green sauce... this simple meal is fresh and flavorful, perfect for summer! #bookclubcookbookCC

Love in the Time of Cholera is set in the Caribbean, possibly Colombia, but if I remember correctly, it’s a little ambiguous. And what’s more Caribbean or coastal than a good fish dish? This baked tilapia is jazzed up with a creamy, dreamy coconut-cilantro sauce! It is a snap to put together, so it’s great even for busy new parents to make. [That’s me!] All you do is combine a few tasty ingredients in the blender or food processor and whirl away. The oven does the rest of the work. Love it! This fresh sauce is the perfect blend of tropical flavors with a wee bit of spice. How delightful! I’m sure we will make it over and over again this summer. Hope you love this dish as much as we did… and if you do happen to love the novel this recipe is inspired by, well, then please accept my apologies that I did not. 🙂 Maybe if I read it as an adult I’d have a different opinion, but alas… have a great day, friends!

one year ago: Southwestern Cilantro Mac & Cheese
two years ago: Black Bean and Rice Soup

three years ago: Blueberry Burgers
four years ago: Parmesan Garlic Rolls
five years ago: Lemony Kale Pasta

Baked Tilapia with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

from Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 4 tilapia fillets, about 6 ounces each
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk [light or full fat, your choice]
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, chopped – deseed as desired
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray, then place tilapia in the pan. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

In a blender or food processor, combine coconut milk, cilantro, ginger, garam masala, garlic, and jalapeno. Pulse until smooth. Pour sauce over fish, then bake about 15 minutes until tilapia is cooked through–it should be opaque in the center. Serve over rice.

Beans, Breakfast, Egg Dishes, Main Dishes, Recipes

Tangy Sweet Potato Hash #FreshTastyValentines

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things… sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! 

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

I love recipes that work for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hashes are one of those classic recipes that can work for any meal, especially when you throw a fried egg on top. I used to make these meals almost every week pre-pregnancy. If it wasn’t a sweet/regular potato hash, it was arugula salad with fried potatoes and a fried egg… or fried rice with a fried egg… or a fried egg sandwich… or… you get the picture, huh? These days, I eat fried eggs oh-so-rarely. I have really tried to not be paranoid about the dietary restrictions with pregnancy [I’ll admit to licking the bowl when baking, and over Thanksgiving I accidentally ate a cobb salad with cold deli meat on it without thinking] but I don’t want to take too many unnecessary risks. I’m too much of a rule follower for that! Not to mention how devastated I would be if something I chose to ate hurt the baby. I know you can’t prevent everything [listeria in peanut butter or salad, anyone?] but I can prevent eating too many fried eggs. I think. 🙂

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

So that being said, you know that if I chose to eat a fried egg [yes, singular… before baby it was two 😦 tear!] it’s gotta be for a good reason. And this sweet potato hash is a GREAT reason! It’s pretty much the best hash I’ve ever tried. [Umm, sorry if that sounds weird.] Sometimes hashes can get a little too mushy, but this one doesn’t because I had the *genius* idea to a) roast the sweet potatoes instead of cooking them in the pan, b) layer them with the black bean and red pepper mixture, and c) top it all with bacon and the said fried egg. #mmmm

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

If that’s not genius, then I don’t know what is! Oh wait, yes I do. 🙂 In the summertime, part of what makes a sweet potato hash so darn good is that you can put half of your herb garden in as seasonings. Well, we are dead in the middle of winter here so I used the next best thing: Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Herbs and Spices! They’re one of our lovely sponsors for #FreshTastyValentines, and to spice up [ha] this dish, I used cilantro, ginger, and chili. So good! I also added some fresh grapefruit zest [love that lately!] for some zing.

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

That zing was intensified with the special sauce that took this already great hash out of the park! Not Ketchup is ANOTHER one of our amazing sponsors for this fun blogging event, and I have to admit that I was a wee bit skeptical of the Tangerine Hatch Chile sauce they sent my way. Until I opened up the bottle and tried a wee bit with a roasted sweet potato. Then I was in tangerine spice heaven! Unlike how it sounds, this sauce is NOT spicy, but is the best blend of sweet and savory tang. I thought about stirring the sauce into the hash from the get go, but the aforementioned soggy, mushy sweet potato hash I was trying to avoid nixed that idea. Instead, I drizzled a hearty helping over the hash after the egg had been broken, and OH MAN was it good! Out of all of the Not Ketchup flavors I’ve tried, this one is by far my favorite… and I love that it has no added sugar; it’s only sweetened with real fruit [tangerine, apples, dates]. It is so delicious! Hope you give it a try–with or without my sweet potato hash. 🙂

one year ago: Spiced Fig Turkey Mini Meatloaf
two years ago: Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas
three years ago: Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies
four years ago: Caramel S’more Cups
five years ago: Bacon-Wrapped Feta & Almond Stuffed Dates

Tangy Sweet Potato Hash

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Print

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. Spread in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, then roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Flip after 10 minutes for even cooking.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain almost all the grease from the skillet, then add diced onion and chopped red bell pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes over medium heat until tender. Stir in black beans, cilantro, ginger, chili, and grapefruit zest. Reduce heat to low, and heat through, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper.

At this time, prepare 2 eggs per person as desired–fried or poached would be best. Also, chop bacon into bite size pieces.

When ready to serve, place a layer of sweet potatoes on a large plate or shallow bowl. Top with a layer of black bean/veggie mixture, a piece of chopped bacon, and two eggs. Serve with Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup for dipping!

Be sure to enter our #giveaway here! And check out the other awesome recipes that our #FreshTastyValentines blogging crew have come up with at the link below. 🙂

Find Not Ketchup

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here

Find Gourmet Garden

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here
Disclosure: I received complimentary sauce from Not Ketchup and herbs & spices from Gourmet Gardens for my participation in #FreshTastyValentines. However, I was not required to write a positive review and I was not otherwise compensated for this post. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Not Ketchup and Gourmet Gardens for their sponsorship of this event!
Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Simple Teriyaki Chicken #CareToFarm15

About a month ago, I had a fun opportunity to travel to eastern North Carolina–Greenville, to be specific–with a group of bloggers for #CareToFarm15. Phibro Animal Health sponsored this incredible opportunity to learn more about our food industry! I must admit, initially when I received the email invite I was hesitant.

What a sweet welcome to Greenville! 💗 #CaretoFarm15 #visitNC

A post shared by Sarah K. // The Pajama Chef (@thepajamachef) on

Taking time off work is a commitment, and going to a large scale chicken hatchery and farm is a LITTLE out of my comfort zone. But I wanted to go, with an open mind, to learn more about large scale poultry production–even though I suspected I might get some hateful/angry animal activist comments on this blog post or other social media posts. I think eating local and organic is a good thing to aspire to, but with meat and poultry, that’s not usually possible for us budget-wise. And because of this trip, I have become convinced that eating all local/organic isn’t what is best for the world food system either. So what did I think? Read on to find out–and to get a recipe for an easy chicken dish that I love… because yes, I can still eat chicken [and feel good about it] after this trip. 🙂 Spoiler alert: despite my hesitancy, this trip was AMAZING. So educational, enjoyable, and eye-opening.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

We started out our stay in Greenville with a leisurely drive through the North Carolina countryside–cotton fields galore–to dinner in Kinston at Chef & the Farmer. Yup, you may have heard of this restaurant or its lovely chef, Vivian Howard. She even has her own show on PBS! The food here was incredible. We started off with lots of starters, including this pizza with beef bacon [did you even know that’s a thing??! Mmm!] and fried okra with RANCH ICE CREAM for dipping. Ohhh yeah!

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!For my meal, I chose a lovely pasta dish made with cabbage and beef sausage… a basil limeade [mmm!]…. and buttermilk pie with a blackberry lime sauce. Every bite was awesome!

If you ever have the chance to visit Chef & the Farmer, do it. But plan ahead–I guess they tend to be booked about three months in advance! It is truly a delicious experience. 🙂

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

While we ate, we heard from some of our hosts, including  Warren Harper [Phibro’s Senior Vice President of Global Marketing], Ray Abner [Director of the US Poultry Business Unit and Global Strategic Accounts], and veterinarian Dr. Leah Dorman about Phibro as a company, animal health, and what to expect the next day.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

Bright and early the next morning we headed out to Sanderson Farms and one of their partner farms, Three Sons Poultry to get an education in chickens!

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

On our drive, we learned a little about the history of Sanderson Farms. Though I had never heard of them before, they are the third largest poultry company in the US, behind Tyson and Pilgrim. Nationally, they produce over 60 million pounds of chicken per week [that’s 9 million birds!]. I know that might sound atrocious, but read on.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

We first visited the hatchery and had to get all dolled up [HA] to protect the eggs. Bio-security is a major part of the poultry industry. Before entering the building [even the office portion], we had to disinfect our shoes and wear booties. Before entering the hatchery, we had to gown up in these awesome blue suits, plastic shoe covers, and hairnets. Should this be my new daily attire?! 🙂 The same thing was required later on at the chicken farm–but also included disinfecting our bus’ tires and our shoes with bleach powder. Crazy stuff–but necessary for healthy animals!

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

I expected the hatchery to be cold, dirty, busy, and impersonal… but truly, it wasn’t. And the baby chicks were adorable. 🙂 Though it was definitely an agricultural facility it was efficient and clean. SO clean in fact that I would be more likely to eat off the floor at the hatchery than off the floor in the kitchen at work. #truestory [Not that I actually would eat off the floor pretty much anywhere but my home but still…]

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

When the eggs arrive at the hatchery, they’re kept in crates on trays in a cozy [but gigantic] incubator. Think industrial size refrigerators, but larger. Once they hatch, they are moved to another part of the hatchery to receive vaccinations. The reason for these vaccinations, though scary-sounding [and honestly, a little frightening to look at since they are pink in color] is to grow healthy chicks. Something I never thought about before is that even though this is a big company, they have excellent motivation for healthy chickens in the long run. They want to treat their chicks well and they have veterinarians on staff to ensure that happens. Think about it… veterinarians are trained to keep animals healthy, and continue to do so… even when their purpose is something we might not want to think about… becoming our food. Mind=blown!

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

Plus, avian influenza is nothing to joke around about–for the animals OR for people. I now firmly believe that these vaccines are necessary and good, even though the thought of them might make some uncomfortable. The lasting impact on our food system if there is a large outbreak of disease is crippling. For instance, the drought in 2012 still affects beef prices today–and our trip almost didn’t happen due to the bird flu/egg shortage epidemic of this summer. Sanderson Farms’ head veterinarian, Phil Stayer was incredibly patient with us bloggers as we tried to understand the procedures at the hatchery as well as the rationale behind vaccinations and other health protocols. Hearing the perspectives of several veterinarians on this trip was really priceless.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

While we were there, I even got to hold a baby chick that was hatched just that day! Their timetable for hatching is super precise and regimented 365 days per year. Did you know that chicks grow in the egg for 21 days, are hatched and vaccinated, and then live at the farm for six weeks before being processed? Pretty quick turnaround, and the great part about all this is that speed results in an improvement to the gene pool–AND early realizations of problems. After hanging out with just hatched chicks, we headed over to Three Sons Poultry, a family-owned chicken farm.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

Three Sons Poultry is part of Sanderson Farms’ integrated poultry system. This is basically a contract growing system, beneficial to both parties. The family farm is guaranteed a market for their product and a steady income, along with support for their business from the parent company. Along with that support, they are required to follow certain guidelines and pass inspections to ensure the health of the chickens.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

The above photo shows a chicken house. A farm can have up to four houses occupied at once–with roughly 20,000-25,000 chickens inhabiting each house. Though that sounds like a lot, these houses are HUGE and the chickens have plenty of space to grow. They are technically “cage free” but not “free range” meaning they can’t go outside… but that is to keep them healthier and as free from antibiotics as possible. Diseases can spread easily so every possible precaution is taken to keep these animals safe. The chickens only receive antibiotics if they are sick, and even then, there is a waiting period between their last dose and their processing to ensure that all traces of medication are gone.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

Here you can see the farmer from Three Sons Poultry [I’ll update when I can get his name… he and his wife were SO nice!] with veterinarian Leah Dorman. Though it’s hard to see, there is so much space in the house but the chickens tend to huddle together along the walls and the feeding mechanisms [which move up throughout the chicken’s life]. He doesn’t have to wear all the bio-security gear [except plastic shoe covers] due to his constant work/presence on the farm.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

From beginning to end of these chickens’ lives, they are well cared for and protected. There are some parts of  the process that are unsettling to someone from outside the industry but all in all, what the men and women of Phibro, Sanderson Farms, Three Sons Poultry, and all the other players in the game do is for the good of the chickens. I was a little scared I’d come away from this trip wanting to be a vegetarian, but it’s actually been the opposite. Learning about the process makes me appreciate it more, and I learned tons of fun facts…  probably the biggest one was that in the US, it is illegal to inject hormones into poultry. Illegal! No poultry is free from all hormones because there are naturally occurring hormones in all living things but no one adds anything… growth is due to feed [and it takes 1.7 pounds of feed for 1 pound of chicken growth]. So you can rest assured that whether or not you buy the fancy local, organic, ____ [insert whatever adjective you prefer here] or the basic grocery store label, your chicken does not have growth hormones and will not affect your family! The labels and whatever they say [or don’t say] are just advertising.

Lunchtime at Peach House. This place is the absolute cutest! And their bacon quiche is incredible! 🍑🍴 #visitNC #kinstonnc #CaretoFarm15

A post shared by Sarah K. // The Pajama Chef (@thepajamachef) on

After visiting Three Sons Poultry, we relaxed over lunch at The Peach House. My bacon, cheddar, and tomato quiche was the best! I want to remake it at home! Their desserts were the bomb… and the souvenir glass mugs they generously gave us were so cute too.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

An afternoon to recharge at the hotel and it was time to eat again! This time, dinner was at the Plum Tree Bistro. The husband-and-wife team running the restaurant were sooo sweet, and our group had a great family meal together. And of course, since LOBSTER was an option I had to partake. I think this was the first time I have ever had lobster without my dad [normally he works for the lobster and I just get to enjoy] but this time, we were just given lobster tail so it wasn’t too challenging. 🙂

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

Over our meal [and my awesomely melty strawberry rhubarb cobbler], we heard more from the Phibro and Sanderson Farms folks I already mentioned and Sanderson Farms’ Marketing Product Specialist LaDonna Byrd about their work and their passion for chickens. And guys… it’s about wayyy more than the money. For many of these individuals, their travels to poverty-stricken areas of the world [and for some, their faith] motivates them to work to improve food sustainability, access, and efficiency. As they have seen people struggling to get their next meal, they want to make our food system better–through animal health and food efficiency.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

This doesn’t just affect them at work, but in their personal lives. Several talked about their work with nonprofits and/or missions organizations through church [and we even discovered some personal church-related connections… fun!]. Others talked about their own food purchases. They buy the Sanderson Farms chicken to serve to their families [psst: Publix grocery stores sells Sanderson Farms under their private label. Just look for the codes P-32182 or P-18557.  These numbers are pre-printed in the USDA inspection seal on all Publix film and bags.] They also do not buy the most expensive, fanciest eggs because they aren’t sustainable for our planet. Demand and supply are so interlinked that if we cause more demand for things like fancy brown eggs, that’s what will be created… at the expense of everything else. And the average person around the world [and in America!] cannot afford that. Then what will they eat? How can we buy the best when many struggle to survive on $1 per day? Efficiency, like it or not, is key to helping end hunger–in America and across the globe. And companies like Phibro and Sanderson Farms are the ones working towards that end.

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

And now… like I promised… a chicken dish to celebrate all things chicken! I wish I could share this meal with my new chicken friends but sharing it on the internet will have to do. This simple teriyaki chicken meal is made in your crockpot for maximum ease, maximum tenderness, and maximum deliciousness!

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

I freak out about leaving my crockpot on during the workday because of the potential for fire or a short circuit, so I use it regularly on the weekends for an easy [but tasty] meal that provides lots of leftovers for a busy week ahead. This meal is no exception! Though this crockpot recipe is a wee bit more labor intensive than “dump ‘n go,” it’s not too bad at all and the taste of that homemade sauce is well worth it! Hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading this monster of a post. 🙂 I’m a librarian… what can I say? I’m thorough and wanted to share what I learned with others!

FYI… If you have ANY questions, please comment or email me [pajamachef AT gmail dot com] and I’ll try to answer them or get the answers for you from the wonderful folks I met. Any errors in this blog post are my own. For my blog, all first-time commenters go to moderation so please don’t think I am blocking comments on this possibly controversial subject… I want to have good dialogue but I am not going to argue with anyone. Hateful, profane, or mean-spirited comments may be deleted. Thank you for understanding! 

one year ago: Cranberry Mint Relish
two years ago: Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
three years ago: Carnitas
four years ago: Thai Seared Shrimp with Tomato, Basil, and Coconut
five years ago: Balsamic Roasted Chickpeas

Simple Teriyaki Chicken

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

A recipe for simple teriyaki crockpot chicken and a review of #CareToFarm15 - read on to learn more about our food industry!

from The Comfort of Cooking

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • cooked rice, for serving
  • sesame seeds, for serving
  • green onions, for serving

Directions:

Place chicken in the bottom of a crockpot. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Pour over chicken, turning chicken to coat. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

When chicken is cooked, gently remove to a cutting board. Pour sauce into a saucepan and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water then pour into sauce, reducing heat to low. Cook for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

While sauce is thickening, chop chicken into chunks. When sauce is thick, stir in chicken. Allow to heat thoroughly, then serve over hot cooked rice, adding sesame seeds and green onions as desired. Enjoy!

As I hope you can tell, this trip was a wonderful experience–fun AND educational. It was great to meet all these lovely ladies as well as everyone from Phibro and Sanderson Farms.

Disclosure: My travel and accommodations were paid for by Phibro Animal Health. I was not required to write about my experience but chose to so that others could learn too. I was not compensated in any other way for this post or the trip itself. As always, all opinions [and errors!] are my own.