Easy Chicken Curry

This has been one of favorite recipes lately with my grad-school schedule. We all have those days that we need something delicious and quick! This also makes 3-4 servings! 

You just need…

  • 1 crockpot or pressure cooker.
    • Takes about one hour in a pressure cooker. Let it marinate in a crockpot for 4-6 hours.
  • Approximately 1 lb of chicken breasts. I slice these, but I don’t worry about making small pieces. They will become tender and naturally pull apart.
  • Chopped veggies:  celery, onion, and carrotI like to buy a pre-chopped veggie cup at Trader Joe’s. I just dump them in the pot! This is approximately 1/2 cup- 1 cup of each veggie. The portion sizes are ultimately up to you!
  • 1 can of coconut creamSavoy is the best!
  • 2 tablespoons of curry powderI use the simple Curry Powder from Trader Joe’s or Siva’s Madras Curry Powder, which includes a mix of spices. You can find this and many other flavors at Shoreline Central Market. Curry Powder is the way to go. It’s very concentrated, cheaper, and has great flavor. It also isn’t going to have the extra sugar and additives that you will find in pre-made sauces. Let the natural flavors sing for themselves.
  • Water as needed…depends on how runny you like it. I might add around 1/2 cup- 1 cup, but no more.
  • Salt to taste.

Of course, you can experiment with your own version! You can mix up the vegetables, curry, and meat you choose. Ultimately, I think the most important part is using a great coconut cream and curry powder.

I’ll upload a picture soon!

🙂 Kendra

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Bon Appetite!

Bonjour! It has been too long since I’ve posted. I’ll blame that on papers, homework, and children in general (but absolutely worth becoming a teacher someday). Summer break has finally come! A glorious week of sleeping in, getting sun kissed, laughing with friends, Netflix, and naps. And trying some new recipes, of course!

Since I last made Ratatouille, I’ve decided to experiment. I’ve combined two new recipes– a simple Allrecipes.com and a Parisian Chef’s version– into a sort of American-French hybrid. The sauce and flavor turned out amazing! So if you are looking for a relatively simple version of Ratatouille with authentic French flair, then you’ve come to the right place.

And did I mention that it’s Paleo/GAPS friendly?

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Disney’s Ratatouille Recipe– http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/222006/disneys-ratatouille/?mxt=t06rda

Cooking with Kurt- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56d1J_oCl04

How to chop eggplant (because let’s be real, chopping veggies can be confusing) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdaX8MDsJkc

INGREDIENTS

Veggies:

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tomatos, thinly sliced

Spices/Oil: 

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic OR small handful of fresh basil, chopped (I’ve been having trouble with garlic lately, but found basil to be a delicious alternative)
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil  (1 at beginning, 3 tbl at end- or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or to taste

PREP-45 min
Cook- 45 min
Ready In 1 h 30 m
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 

DIRECTIONS

PART ONE: Preparing the sauce

  1. Chop 2 carrots and cook in a large pan with oil.
  2. Meanwhile: Optional- for a nice smoky flavor, turn the red and yellow peppers over the stove until they are crispy on the outside (see youtube video above). Then set peppers aside to cool.
  3. While the carrots are cooking and peppers are cooling, begin to chop the other ingredients: onion, tomato, eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini. You want THIN slices.
  4. Once carrots are looking tender, you’ll want to add the chopped red and yellow pepper to the pan. If you have smoked the peppers, removed the charred outer layer before chopping. Let the carrots and pepper sizzle together for several minutes or until softened.
  5. Next, toss in the onion. Stir and let sizzle for a couple minutes.
  6. Now add your tomato paste, basil/garlic, water, salt &pepper, and extra olive oil. You want a sauce that is thick and creamy but not chunky or watery. (See pictures below..my sauce right before I added a couple tbl of water)
  7. Once everything has simmered for 5-10 minutes and the vegetables look tender, set aside to cool. (If you want to speed up this process, pour into a bowl and cool for 5-10 minutes in the fridge/freezer.)

PART TWO: Preparing the pan & creaming the sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and oil the bottom of a 10×10 pan.
  2. Make sure the rest of your vegetables are sliced and ready to go: the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and tomato.
  3. Now that your sauce has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor. Blend until creamy. It should have a sweet and slightly smoky/spicy flavor…yum! I think it’s the sauce that really makes or breaks Ratatouille.
  4. Pour the sauce into the pan, spread evenly. Dash on a bit of salt and red pepper.
  5. Now you can begin making your rainbow. Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the center. Overlap the slices a little to display the colors.
  6. Drizzle the vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
  7. Cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 30- 45 minutes. This will be even faster in a toaster oven.
  8. If you’re able to eat dairy, serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese.

BON APPETITE!

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Ratatouille-2007-Movie-HD-Free-Download

Everyday Yummy Tricks!

How I substitute healthy foods for daily ingredients:

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Instead of SUGAR…

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Banana   – thickener & sweetener for baking

Honey  –  baking & hot drinks

Agave   -baking, cold & hot drinks (ex. smoothies, alcoholic drinks)

Maple Syrup  – baking, cold drinks

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Instead of CREAM & DAIRY…

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Coconut cream has the near consistency of whipped cream– super thick and just coconut! Great over desserts (such as pies) or with a bowl of fresh berries and honey. Also for flavor & thickener in tropical smoothies.

Coconut milk is wonderful in pies, quiche, smoothies & a little bit in tea. Unlike coconut water it is slightly thicker, but nearly as rich & filling as coconut cream.

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Sugar-free TRAIL MIX!

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Blend nuts & berries of your choosing for on-the-go!

I love the almond & raisin combination with some freeze dried fruit! The perfect blend of tart, nutty & sweet.

And all the ingredients are whole… you aren’t eating any preservatives or extras.

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Avocado is nature’s butter.

Bananas have a wonderful creamy texture as well, but a very dominate flavor.

Both are great for smoothies, baking & pudding. You can even make a mean Avocado Alfredo by throwing in a blender: 1 avocado, a handful of basil, 1/4-1/3 cup of water, and salt & pepper to taste. Creamy & guilt-free!

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LETTUCE THAT LASTS!

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Have you ever bought lettuce with the roots attached?

This baby lettuce is wonderful because it lasts for weeks! I don’t need to be stressed about eating it within a week or guilty if I forget about it for awhile.

Just keep it in the fridge and peel off the layers as needed.

Homemade Meatballs

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Flavorful & melt-in-your-mouth! An easy recipe, because YOU choose the flavors and outcome. It’s like making a mixed salad– dump it all in a big bowl & stir.

INGREDIENT essentials

  • 1 packet (1-2 lb organic) ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • Approximately 1/3 cup flour (I prefer almond)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

YUMMY EXTRAS   ~choose all or some

  • Chopped tomatoes or plain organic sauce (1/3-1/2 cup)
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • Freshly chopped basil to taste (I love about 3 tbl)
  • Oregano to taste
  • Sweet or red onion finely chopped (1/3 cup)

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DIRECTIONS

  • Add all the extras in a big bowl first! Beef must come last. I’m able to whip the eggs around with the other ingredients pretty easily, and then I stir everything with a spoon.
  • Don’t add beef yet! Spray or oil a large pan (avocado or coconut oil work great and don’t spoil in high heat). Set oven for 350 degrees F

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  • Now for the squishy hands-on part. Dump the ground beef into the large bowl and mix it with the other ingredients with your hands. When everything is thoroughly mixed, you may begin making balls! It’s a lot like making cookie dough balls, except that you don’t have to space them as far apart. The consistency should be wet but NOT runny. You should be able to mold a ball in your hands without any trouble of it breaking apart. If so, you have too much sauce…add in some thickeners like flour. (This may alter the amount of spice you need as well.)
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Meatballs should be a warmly toasted color, cooked inside, but not dark. All of the fat will ooze out of the meat, so don’t be surprised by the appearance of the pan! The meatballs will separate from easily from the fat with a spatula. It’s also generally easy to scrape the fat off the pan.
  • Enjoy! Great with red sauce and parmesan cheese. You can also serve with pasta or a side of veggies! I really enjoy this recipe because the meatballs are tender and break apart easily for eating.

GAPS Zucchini Muffins/Bread!

These have been my favorite snack to grab n’ go this month! And my coworkers at Amai Day Spa love eating them too! They’re moist and melt in your mouth. And might I mention guilt-free?

Thanks to Danielle Walker @ Against All Grain. Here is her original recipe: http://againstallgrain.com/2012/04/24/almond-flour-zucchini-bread/

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Below are my couple alterations. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with some alternative ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup blanched almond flour
    • (Although other flours may substitute, almond is essential for the moist yet light texture)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½-1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 eggs, beaten (or 2 eggs, with 1/4 cup of warm coconut oil)
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 ripe banana or 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini
    • 1/2 cup zucchini & 1/2 cup carrots shredded is also delicious!

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. I mix everything in one big bowl to avoid extra clean up. First, whip eggs with a fork, then add in other WET ingredients. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add the DRY ingredients over the wet, and stir only the top layer of dry ingredients gently. I find that doing this slowly mixes in the spices, salt, etc into the flour well enough.
  4. Mix all together thoroughly. I find a large spoon or spatula works great.
  5. Spray or grease: 2 mini loaf pans, 1 big loaf pan as needed. I like to use coconut oil. 12 muffin tins work great for on the go- my favorite!
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until clean toothpick poke.

ENJOY!

Make Your Own Garden Salad

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Fall is on its way, but I’m still lounging outside on the deck like a cat. I’ve moved back in with my parents to save money for grad school, and one of the perks has been enjoying the beautiful backyard! It’s a surprising and delightful time to take a breath and enjoy a slower pace. It’s also giving me time to try introducing more food back in.

One of the big challenges of food restrictions is FLAVOR. Ah! Flavor is truly the spice of life. Trying to find sauces, spices, and dressings can be incredibly discouraging.

I’ve made a break-through in my own homemade salad dressing. It’s made from single, raw ingredients, so it’s fresh and you know exactly what you’re eating!

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Garden Salad:

Leafs: Romaine lettuce, fresh basil

Fruits/veggies: Tomato, avocado, pinto beans, salt and pepper to flavor

Dressing:

Drizzle of agave or honey (agave is easier to spread and stir), dash of salt and pepper, and avocado oil. You may also add a squirt of lemon and/or vinegar.

That’s it!

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