Save Your Marriage Using Only Chicken Curry

Yes, it’s true. You can save your marriage using just this chicken curry recipe. But you better follow the recipe exactly….no pressure right?

Ok, ok. I might be exaggerating a tad. But there is no faster way to your loved one’s heart that an expertly prepared flavourful dish. I see it every time I make a meal for my partner. His eyes light up, like I’ve presented him with a piece of gold, or season’s tickets to his fav hockey team. Making him food is my get out of jail card and I use it a lot! Wow! I didn’t intend on a confession here, but none the less there it is!

This curry is unique with the addition of bananas, apples and raisins which adds a nice sweetness and is reminiscent of the Caribbean. I cook the chicken separately and use the bones to make stock for another use.

Coconut Chicken Curry:

1 whole chicken, roasted  and diced in 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons Olive oil or Coconut Oil

1 tablespoon Cinnamon

1 tablespoon Turmeric

1 tablespoon Curry powder

1 stalk lemongrass (bruise with the back of a knife in 3 spots and put in whole for flavour!)

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled,finely chopped

2 onions, medium dice

1 cup butternut squash, 1 inch dice

4 stalks celery, cut on bias 1 inch

2 carrots, peeled, cut on bias 1 inch

1 banana, peeled and diced 1 inch

1 Granny smith apple, diced 1 inch (peel can stay on)

1/2 cup Thompson raisins (any type will do, these are my favourite!)

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 cans Coconut milk

To taste salt and pepper

Roast the chicken in a 350F oven for approximately 50 minutes or until the juices run clear. Set aside to let cool. Remove meat from bone and cut into about 1 inch cubes. (You can use any type of chicken for this – thighs, leg or breast meat – I like to use whole chickens for more flavour and to utilize the bones after).  Set aside.

In a large pot heat oil and put in spices, stir for a minute until you can smell the spices from the pot. Add your onions, ginger, lemon grass and celery. Stir for another 2 minutes. Now add the rest of your ingredients except the chicken and cilantro. Add coconut milk. Simmer gently until vegetables are tender – about 15 to 20 minutes.

Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Now add the chicken and heat through.

Most important point here: Always do a final taste!!!

Just before serving, remove the lemongrass stalk and throw away. Add chopped cilantro and serve.

Let me know how you make out in the comments! I’d love to hear from you and what your favorite “get out of jail free” recipe is!

Happy cooking!

How Cinnamon Chicken Salads Make You a Better Lover

It’s really in the nutrition boys and girls. Take any mix of healthy, good ingredients and mix them up. Then voila, there’s enough stamina in you to do well, ummmmm…. whatever you choose.

The truth is, to keep up with anything we want to get done, we need good solid nutrition to back us up. Make this on “Sunday Prep Day” and you’ll have a flavourful protein packed salad to keep you going all day…or night…long.

Cinnamon is a great spice that can be used to enhance flavour of both sweet and savory dishes. Here’s an awesome link that has information on the great health benefits of using Cinnamon more in our everyday cooking:

http://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html

Cinnamon Chicken Salad:

1 cup Butternut Squash, peeled cubed and simmered until tender

2 whole Chicken Breasts, skinless and boneless

1 tablespoon Olive oil

1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground

1 tablespoon Parsley, chopped fine

1 tablespoon Cilantro, Chopped fine

1/3 cup Thompson Raisins

1 whole Lemon

to taste Kosher salt

to taste Fresh ground black pepper

1 cup Baby Kale (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl combine chicken, olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Let stand for 30 minutes to an hour (can be made the night before too!). Bake in oven on a lined sheet pan for 25 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

Take out and let cool. Dice into cubes the same size as squash. Mix all ingredients but lemon in bowl.

Using a rasp, zest the lemon into the salad mix, then squeeze out the juice over top of the mixture. Taste for seasoning and add a bit more salt and pepper if needed. Serve on baby kale if desired.

This will keep in your fridge for up to three days!

Easy Paleo Beef Stew

Happy Tuesday! I want to share with you one of the easiest, yummiest beef stew recipes that can last a few days for your lunches! One of the great benefits about eating in ways to support your health and physical performance is learning some techniques of cooking along the way that can prepare you for the week. When you are satiated throughout the day, there is an increased chance you can avoid the urge to run to the first fast food stop you see after work….and don’t tell me that thought hasn’t crossed your mind!!! We’ve ALL been there!

By learning some of the basics of culinary 101, you will be one step closer towards becoming the self sufficient culinary nutritional machine that you know you can be!

Lets talk about stews. Without going into too much scientific detail, when you choose to make a beef stew, ideally look for tougher cuts of meat…either from the shoulder region, or the behind… (stewing meat pre-cut, chuck roast or eye of round). These are examples of lower priced meats that do well in stews.

The reason is two fold:

1.)These muscles get the most exercise therefore the meat is tougher.

2.) Because of the work the muscle does, it develops more flavour than its trendy counterpart,

tenderloin.

Bonus: These cuts are less expensive and go further for your nutritional dollar.

If you know how to cook these cuts properly, you can develop tenderness in the meat and have the greatest flavours in your stews. When you go to prepare this recipe, remember “Maillard Reaction” and “collagen breakdown”….then you’ll be set!

The Maillard Reaction happens when you apply heat to a protein, releasing a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars. All you need to know is that this is what makes the cut of meat taste great. Remember browning= yummy.

Collagen is the connective tissue that binds the muscle together. This is broken down with addition of liquid such as a stock used in stews. That’s why these hard working cuts of meat are perfect for nutritionally packed great tasting slow cooking methods using liquid.

Now to the recipe:

2 tbsp olive oil

2 lb beef, cut into 1 inch dice (stewing meat pre packaged, or another cut that suits your needs)

1 onion, medium dice

2 carrots, peeled, medium dice

1/2 sweet potato, peeled, medium dice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp paprika

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

2 1/4 cups beef stock (homemade or store bought all natural gluten free)

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped dates

1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

1 tsp fresh zested lemon peel

1/4 cup Smokey Paprika Roasted Almonds for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon in a large sauce pan or medium to medium high heat. Add  1/3 of the beef when pan is hot, season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Work in batches to brown meat, set aside. Add a little more oil if needed when browning.

In the same pan, add remaining oil with vegetables and garlic (add garlic after other vegetables are in to avoid burning). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add spices, stir for 1 minute to release flavours (important!). Add beef back in with stock. Simmer for approximately 1 hour or until beef starts to become tender. At this point add in cranberries and dates. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

When done, finish with lemon zest and cilantro just prior to serving.Super easy and this will last a few lunches (or dinners). Prep on Sundays to get ready for the week!

Do you have a secret no fail “get ready for the week recipe”? I would love to hear about it. Share it in the comments – I’d love to try it!

Yours in health,

Lisa

Now you can take these fundamentals and apply them to another stew with different ingredients, spices or whatever you can dream up!!

It’s your turn! What can you come up with?? Share it!