Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tasty Thai Curry

The other day, while looking for a quick dinner idea that would use up some leftover chicken, I came across a recipe for Thai Red Chicken Curry on  I applied some of the commenters' suggested changes, and made a few adjustments myself.  With a little chicken, lots of veggies and a few pantry staples, this curry was easy to make, super filling and very tasty. Here's what I did:

A bit of coconut or palm oil for the pan
1 onion, diced
1 large white sweet potato, peeled and diced (red would be good, too)
1 peeled, diced zucchini
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 1/4 pounds of cooked, diced chicken
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1/2 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons unsweetened fish sauce (I used Red Boat)
2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons creamy, unsweetened almond butter
1 can coconut milk (I used Trader Joe's Light Coconut Milk, since it is free of chemical crap and allegedly BPA-free)
freshly ground black pepper
salt, to taste
slivered almonds or cashews, to top

In a large, relatively deep frying pan, sweat onions in coconut/palm oil.  Stir in curry paste, coriander and sweet potato, and cook until the sweet potato is partly cooked through but not yet yielding to a fork. 

Add chicken, veggies, coconut milk, almond butter and fish sauce.  Stir in a good 10-15 cracks of pepper.  Then, cover and cook until veggies are slightly soft.

Upon serving, season to taste and top with almonds or cashews.  Extra points if you eat it over cauliflower rice!

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday 7/31/13 at Holistic Squid, Tasty Traditions 7/31/13 at Cultured Palate and Sunday School 7/28/13 at Butter Believer

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Balanced" Oatmeal Blueprint

With the improvements I've been seeing in my digestion, my naturopath has given me the OK to slowly wean off of the specific-carbohydrate diet and add in small amounts of oatmeal and cooked, dried fruits. 

This has been a roaring success.  Seriously, you've never seen anyone so excited to eat oatmeal before. I credit the extra carbohydrates with further improving my digestion, helping me to feel full without having to eat an entire jar of coconut butter in a day, and raising my body temperature.  This morning, about an hour after eating this bulked-up and balanced bowl of oatmeal, my temperature was a steamy, above-average 98.8.  Did I mention that I'm loving the oatmeal?  :)

The oatmeal recipe (more a blueprint, really) that I'm sharing with you today is balanced because it contains all three macronutrients, in the optimal proportion of more carbs than protein, and more protein than fat.  The additional ingredients bulk it up, too, so that one bowl is all I need for breakfast.  It's incredibly filling and soul-satisfying.

So, for a one-bowl balanced breakfast of goodness, you will need the following ingredients:

1/2 cup oats (I used gluten-free)
1 to 1 1/2 cups water
one fruit, peeled and diced
1/4 cup dried fruit
3 tablespoons of gelatin (Great Lakes brand is perfect)
1 tablespoon oil of choice (I just eyeball it.  No need to break out the measuring spoon)
a dash of cinnamon or a splash of vanilla, if desired
a pinch of salt (optional, but warming)
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (optional)


1.  If desired, soak oats overnight in 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.  In the morning, stir in baking soda to cut vinegar.
2. Whether or not you soaked the oatmeal, put your oats, fresh and dried fruit, oil and gelatin into a small saucepan.  Then, add enough water (up to 1 1/2 cups total) to cover the mixture.
3. Bring mixture to a boil, and then simmer until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in cinnamon and/or vanilla, if desired, and enjoy!

Some of my favorite combos are:
  • granny smith apple, raisins, coconut butter and cinnamon.  It tastes like apple crisp, except not crispy.  I guess you could add some toasted pecans or something to remedy that, but this oatmeal is so filling that I couldn't imagine adding any more food into the bowl.
  • 3/4 cup mixed berries, cut-up dried figs, ghee and vanilla.  This mixture is powerfully reminiscent of the blueberry pancakes at Cracker Barrel.
  • peach, cut-up dried dates, coconut oil and cinnamon.  I don't have a comparison for this one, but it's really good.
There's just about a million other combinations of fresh and dried fruits, oils and flavorings that you could add to this, so have fun experimenting, and share your favorite combos in the comments!

This post is linked to Sunday School 7/21/13 at Butter Believer and Party Wave Wednesday 7/24/13 at Holistic Squid

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kale and navy bean salad

Kale has always been a little intimidating to me; for some reason, it always ends up tough and bitter when I try to cook it.  Recently, though, I read through several recipes that used an acidic medium, rather than high heat, to break it down.  For this reason, when I came across a bag of the ever dark and forbidding kale at Trader Joe's on Monday, I decided to give kale another go.

The result?  A salad so good, I ate it for lunch both yesterday and today.  Because of the salty, sour vinaigrette and the starchy white beans, this salad reminds me of an Italian pasta salad.  It's a perfect follow-up for How to eat your veggies, and like it too! since the recipe is both a) a veggie recipe and b) delicious. 

To make a big bowl of this kale and navy bean salad, you will need the following Ingredients:
  • 10 oz. raw kale, shredded with stems removed
  • 4 cups of cooked navy beans
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons seasoning of choice (I used 21 Seasoning Salute, also from TJ's)
  • 4 oz. shredded Romano cheese from goat's milk (optional)
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers, cashews or sunflower seeds
  • unrefined salt, to taste
  1. In a smaller bowl, whisk vinegar, oil and seasoning into a vinaigrette
  2. Place kale, beans and cheese in a large mixing bowl.  Pour in the vinaigrette a little at a time, stopping every now and then to toss the salad, until the kale is visibly coated.  You might not use all of the dressing.  Conversely, if you like salad dressing as much as I do, you might opt to whisk together a bit more, keeping in mind the 2:1 olive oil to vinegar ratio.
  3. Cover and refrigerate about 8 hours.  If you plan to eat the salad for lunch, refrigerate overnight and divvy it up in the morning.  If it's dinner fare, you can toss it together in the morning so that it's ready by evening.
  4. Top with almonds, cashews or sunflower seeds just before it is served.
Voila!  Perfect summer fare.  I promise not to tell anyone if you gobble it up for breakfast.  ;)

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday 7/10/13 at Holistic Squid, Whole Food Friday 7/12/13 at Allergy Free Alaska, Tasty Traditions 7/10/13 at Cultured Palate and Sunday School 7/14/13 at Butter Believer