Sunday, October 24, 2010

Double Teaming in the Kitchen = Another Sunday Two-fer

Today is the beginning of my week to cook.  All week long I've been wondering what I would be preparing that could possibly follow the Roasted Autumn Vegetable Soup that Judy made last week.  She has been getting RAVE reviews for that soup from all over.  And I do mean ALL over.  We've heard from places as far away as New Zealand, Iceland, Norway and England.  Fantastic!!

The weather has turned rainy this week, so I thought I would prepare some comfort food for a nice warm evening at home.  I remembered a dish that Judy and I have prepared many, because it's so easy and  so delicious. It's Three Bean and Pork Slow Cooker Chili.  Who doesn't love Chili?  Am I right? 

Then I thought I'd try to follow up on the Moroccan theme from a couple of weeks ago.  I really enjoyed the Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas we featured previously, as well as another Moroccan Pork dish  that Judy made which will be featured in a future post.  I found a recipe that I wanted to try because it was a combination of both the Comfort and Moroccan. It's Moroccan Meatball Stew with Couscous.  I'm really getting hooked on Couscous.

As I was getting my shopping list together, Judy mentioned that she was going to make something for a pot-luck lunch at her office.  Guess what? She was going to prepare the Three Bean Pork Chili. We divided the kitchen in half and went to work, each of us preparing our own separate dishes.

Might as well feature them both.  So here we go.  Enjoy!

Three Bean and Pork Slow Cooker Chili


1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder, medium hot
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped (Do Not touch the seeds with your bare hands) Take my word for it!!  Or you may substitute 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 pounds lean pork tenderloin, trimmed of all fat and cut into 1-inch chunks
15oz canned black beans, drained and rinsed
15oz canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned tomato puree
29oz canned diced tomatoes, with green pepper, celery and onion, undrained
6oz canned tomato paste


Combine onion, garlic, carrots, chili powder, oregano, jalapeno, salt and pepper in a 5 quart(or larger) slow cooker (crock pot) and stir ingredients together.  Add remaining ingredients and stir again.

Cover and cook, on high, for 6 - 8 hours.  Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Weight Watchers PointsPlus value per serving is 6.  Makes 10 servings.  Level of difficulty is Easy.  Prep time is 35 minutes, Cooking time is 480 minutes

Moroccan Meatball Stew with Couscous


2 slices bread, we used whole wheat
1 pound ground chicken breast, uncooked
1/4 cup onion, grated
2 Tbsp pine nuts, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp parsley, fresh, flat leaf, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp table salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 and 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
12 pitted prunes, left whole
2 medium carrots, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
10oz cooked couscous
3 Tbsp sliced almonds


Place the bread in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form, about 10 seconds; transfer to a large bowl.  Add chicken, onion, pine nuts, 1 Tbsp of the parsley, cinnamon, ginger and salt; mix well. With wet hands, shape the mixture into 12 balls.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a large non-stick pot over medium-high heat.  Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 - 8 minutes. (If they look more like patties than balls, that's OK.)  Transfer the balls to a plate for later.

Add the remaining oil to the pot; stir in the onion and garlic.  cook over medium heat, stirring frequently,  until golden, about 6 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cumin.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are softened, about 4 - 5 minutes.

Return the meatballs to the pot, then add the broth, prunes, carrots, honey and crushed red pepper.  Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors are blended and the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining chopped parsley.

Divide the couscous among 6 bowls.  Spoon the meatball stew over the couscous, then sprinkle with almonds.

Yields a generous 3/4 cup couscous, 2 meatballs, 1/2 cup sauce, and 1/2 Tablespoon almonds per serving.

Weight Watchers PointsPlus value per serving is 68 Makes 6 servings. Prep time is 22 minutes, cooking time is 41 minutes. Level of difficulty is Easy.

Weight Watchers is a trademark of Weight Watchers Intl. Inc.

The depth of flavors in this dish are unbelievable.  Try it. We know you're going to love it!!

Photos by Barry Baruh

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