Did you see ‘The Croods’? Delightful flick, following a cavemen clan as they explored the world and discovered new horizons. Great animation, likeable characters, interesting themes and pacey enough to keep me as interested as the kids.
Best yet, the female lead character had chunky arms, frizzy hair and unkempt eyebrows. Considering how I long for more diverse female ‘types’ in the media, it was a bit confronting to realise that I was watching, distracted by how ‘not pretty’ she was. Don’t get me wrong – I loved it, but I’m so programmed for all the animated women to be so effortlessly large-eyed, curvaceous and feminine that I kept waiting for her ‘big reveal’. Surely, I thought, the movie will end with her inadvertently falling into some magic dew that transforms her into a more conventional (ie, gorgeous) heroine.
But it never happened. She stayed grubby, squat and determined. And I was glad for my daughter to see that strength is more important than pretty and that ‘sexy’ doesn’t have to be part of a kid’s movie at all.
Snuggling into winter, today’s recipe does have a ‘big reveal’. You chuck all the ingredients into the slow cooker, go pick up the kids, take them to sport, piano, dancing etc etc then come home three hours later and find the most astonishingly welcome transformation has occurred.
Slow cooker chicken satay
This is based on a recipe from Sally Wise’s ‘Slow Cooker’ cookbook, but I’ve altered it quite a bit.
2 carrots, peeled, cut into thick batons
1 small red capsicum, cut into thick slices
3-4 button mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 sticks celery, thickly sliced
1 small onion, finely diced
700g chicken thigh fillets, fat removed, cut into slices
Handful of snow peas
270ml coconut milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp peanut butter (smooth if you have it)
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp corn flour (optional)
Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with oil (not essential, but helpful when cleaning afterwards). Place the vegies in layers in your slow cooker. Pop the chicken on top.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients, pour over, cover and leave on ‘high’ for 3 hours.
If you’d like to thicken the sauce, place the corn flour into a mug or small bowl. Spoon a couple of scoops of the cooking liquid onto the flour and mix to a runny (lumpfree) paste. Stir back into the pot. Pop the snow peas on top, re-cover and leave for 10 minutes or so until the peas are a bright green.
Serve over rice, topped with coriander and lime wedges.
SERVES 2 ADULTS & 4 KIDS.