Tag Archives: curry

Weekly Eating – Jan 10, 2021

 

Hey y’all! Welcome to the series Weekly Eating.

Here is where I’ll talk about the week’s meal plan versus reality, what we ate for the week, and how we did budget-wise. I hope it gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into our life through the lens of food, and it’s also a way to keep us on track with meal planning and grocery budgeting.

Feel free to share your wins and lessons in the comments below!

 

Well, seems like everyone saying “2020 will be over and 2021 will be so great!” made 2021 go, “hold my beer!”

Wed. January 6th, armed Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, apparently to stop the affirmation of Biden as the next President. It’s on Wikipedia already, so there you go. We are living through some pretty historic times. And it seems we’re not done yet.

I don’t have any answers. I’m just getting through one day at a time just like all of you guys. Still processing, still coping, still trying to hold onto hope. All I can say is, keep doing what you need to do to keep you and your loved ones as safe and sane as possible.

Anywhoooo… let’s talk about food!

I had a long stint of not feeling very inspired to cook, I’m sure caused by many factors. Hormones post-partum are no joke people, but that’s a long a$s story for another day. Now I’m finally feeling a little more hopeful, a little more myself, which means a lot more obsessed with food and cooking.

I re-read How Not To Die again, which always reminds me of the million little things I can be doing/eating to be in even better health. My favorite point is ‘eating is a zero sum game’ meaning every thing you put in your mouth, you are choosing not to eat any other of the million things out there. So make the majority of choices good ones.

Oh, we are also on a good workout kick so far! The boy has decided this is the year to focus really hard on optimizing overall health. That means mental and physical, in every way. We are cutting down on caffeine, basically cold turkey stopped alcohol, and doing a veganish couple weeks. Plus workouts every other day. This is always a goal of mine but boy is it a hundred million times easier with a partner on board!

 

Monday:

Breakfast – I made a big batch of hummus over the weekend, and had a crazy idea to put it on toast. So I had toast with hummus and pickled onions, and avocado toast with some strawberries. Pretty great actually. Savory for breakfast works.

Lunch – leftovers from the weekend

Dinner – was planning to make a white bean pasta, but the boy requested the fanciest of dinners… boxed mac n cheese. I can’t say no to that! At least we both had a salad with it.

Snack – yeah, so then I had ice cream. With pecans and caramel sauce, cause go big or go home.

Tuesday:

Breakfast – avocado toast, like a good milennial, with hummus too (basically combined both yesterday’s into one)

Lunch – leftover mac n cheese, a veggie dog, leftover mashed potatoes and green beans

Snack – a peanut Clif bar

Dinner – a fanTAStic curry! I basically simmered 2 diced sweet potatoes, half a head of cauliflower, 1 can chickpeas, 1 can diced tomatoes, and 1 diced onion with turmeric, 1 tbsp garlic paste, and ginger for about an hour. Then I added some cayenne and 1/4 cup of coconut concentrate, and served over rice.

2 walks and 2 HIIT sessions! Boy were my glutes mad about all the squats health people love to do so much.

Wednesday:

Breakfast – super fail… y’all I’m gonna throw myself under the bus here, I tried to make a delicious egg scramble with mushrooms, peppers, and potato… but I saw a can of diced potatoes in the pantry. Figured I should use it. Didn’t check the date.

Guys. It expired in 2017 💀  So… um… that tasted weird, and we threw it out. I had peanut butter toast.

Lunch – leftover curry yum yum

Snack – an apple & orange

Dinner –a bomb Mexi casserole that I posted about on Instagram. Basically bake quinoa and a boatload of beans and veggies, then top with salsa, guac, and vegan queso and sour cream. Mmmmmm

Did a short 15 minute walking video. Leslie is my girl, but Get Fit With Rick is my new favorite to mix it up.

Thursday:

Breakfast – berry oatmeal! I microwaved a handful of mixed berries, some oats, and almond milk. Added some flaxseed and cinnamon, and YUM

Lunch – leftover curry

Dinner – terikayi tempeh stir fry. I used this recipe for the sauce and wow, do not use a full cup of soy sauce! It was salty, even for me, which is saying a lot, and wayyyy too wet.

Snack – I was good in the morning and had homemade hummus with bell peppers, but then in the afternoon the sweet tooth attacked, and I may have allegedly eaten some frozen cookie dough… and also some leftover mac n cheese… hey, I’m still breastfeeding!

More HIIT, because we are gluttons for punishment.

Friday:

Breakfast – everything bagel with cashew cream cheese and cherry butter, yum yum!

Lunch – more leftovers and a salad

Snack – hummus with chips and peppers

Dinner – vegan chili over baked potatoes, with tofu sour cream and avocado! this was super quick and easy in the instant pot.

The Weekend

This is a long weekend thanks to Martin Luther King day on Monday. I didn’t realize until halfway through the week that it was a holiday, so that was a nice little surprise. We will spend the weekend relaxing and catching up on chores.

We are lucky to have an auntie nearby who LOVES kids and is willing to watch the little guy. So he is going to go hang out there while we get stuff done. I’m going to do a big batch cooking day, plus lots of laundry, organizing, finishing the bathroom remodel, and probably taking down Christmas decor (sad face).

Food Total: $88

Did a Harris Teeter run last weekend to re-stock produce and pick up a bunch of necessities for Veganuary like tofu and tempeh. I got some salad, frozen berries, whole grain bread, and lots of flour for my homemade bread and rolls since I was OUT after the holidays. Plus some deli meat in case of emergency for the boy.

Lessons Learned

We are definitely creatures of habit and convenience. In order to make healthy eating as easy as possible, I need to have food ready to go. If it requires much more than put bowl in microwave and heat, there is not a big chance it will happen. Good thing my cooking mojo is back! It definitely makes more and more sense why people eat so much takeout and pre-prepared foods though. Especially with kids, good grief.

 

 

How about you guys? Did you have a learning week or an awesome week of wins?

Almost Work-free Curry

 

Curry is one of my favorite meals ever, because you can make it in a crock pot and basically do no work, or in a sauce pot and also do almost no work!  I’m sure that there are curry recipes which take many exotic ingredients and hours of preparation, but for a basic recipe, and an American palate, curry is super simple.

This curry incorporates chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and other aromatic vegetables for an amazing, nutritious, tasty recipe.  I used basically a jar of salsa starter that I had canned earlier in the summer, but you can also use frozen veggies, or fresh diced veggies. This is very filling, especially if served over rice.  If you must have meat, feel free to also add some pork or chicken or beef.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1 medium white or yellow potato, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • Optional: 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp red chili pepper, 1 tbsp garam masala

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Step 1: Dice up the potatoes and throw them in a sauce pot or crock pot.  Add the diced tomatoes and vegetables.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer and cook 20-25 minutes.  (Or set to low and cook 2-4 hours).

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Step 2: Open the chickpeas and drain.  Add to the pot, along with any spices you want to use.  Cook just until everything is heated through, if using a crock pot, add about 30 minutes before serving.  If desired, boil some rice and serve with the curry, or you can serve with flat bread.

 

Vegan vegetable stew

 

This is a recipe born of necessity while house-sitting for a friend. I was feeding and playing with the puppy, and got hungry. She had said I can use anything in the house, so I took stock of the pantry and fridge and came up with this.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup orange lentils
  • 1/2 purple cabbage, shredded
  •  2 leaves kale, shredded
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 cup rice

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Step 1:Dice all the veggies. Put into a pot with 2 cups of water and the coconut milk. Stir in mustard.

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Step 2: Simmer, covered, for 60-90 minutes. Meanwhile, cook rice in a separate pot.

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Step 3: When lentils are fully cooked, season as you like. Serve over rice.

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This curry is crazy healthy for you and you wouldn’t know by how delicious it is! There are infinite additions you could make too, such as using broth with the coconut milk, adding in shredded chicken or sausage, or varying the type of vegetable or bean. You could also make this in a small crock pot on low for 2-3 hours. Enjoy!

Curry curious

Ever since I did my master’s degree with a Taiwanese adviser, I have been what I call ‘curry curious’. She would occasionally bring homemade Thai food for the lab, and it was always divine. I love ethnic food because they use so many spices which are usually not found in the typical American palate.

But contrary to popular belief, being spice-ed doesn’t have to mean spice-y (as in too spicy to eat, mouth on fire, tears running down your face). Wikipedia actually has quite an extensive list of curries from various cultures, the cooking methods, ingredients, and spice mixtures if you’re interested.

I think the most interesting tidbit is that the “curry powder” spice mixture, popular in the West, dates to the 18th century and is thought to have been prepared by Indian spice merchants to sell to the members of the British government and soldiers.

I have attempted Green Curry Chicken, and it turned out amazing. I began experimenting with different cuisines and techniques, like the Crock Pot Indian Chicken Curry and then more Thai with pineapple Peanut Chicken Curry. Clearly I need to try something other than chicken in my curries… anyhow.

All have been unique and delicious. I love the punch of spices, and the ease of a crock pot lends itself to long, slow cooking these curries taste best with.  I definitely will keep curries as part of my regular meals.

Especially because they are so easily customizable. Whatever meat is around, literally any vegetable, and some standard sauces (yogurt, coconut milk, stock, and/or tomato base) plus the combination of spices and I have a thick, complex stew to serve over rice or noodles.

Also, thought it seems like quite an investment, the spices are worth it. You don’t need to use much, so they will last a long time. Without further ado, enjoy my latest curry creation.

Ingredients:

  • ~6 pounds chicken (I used 2 thigh, 2 breast, and 2 drumsticks)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 yellow squash, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup peas and carrots
  • 2 tbsp garam masala (Indian spice mixture)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric

Step 1: Spray a crock pot. Add the coconut milk and diced tomatoes. Then add the chicken and all your diced vegetables.

Step 2: Douse it all in the spices you’re using. Give it a stir.

Step 3: Cook on low 4-6 hours, mixing a few times if possible.

Serve over rice, noodles, or bread. Enjoy!



Do you have a favorite ethnic recipe?

 

Thai green curry chicken

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This was my first experiment with Thai cooking. My master’s adviser is from Thailand and she brings us Thai food occasionally and it is always delicious. So I decided I wanted to give it a whirl. So I found some recipes online, and of course did it my own way anyways.
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Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans coconut milk
1/2 cup cilantro
1 hot pepper (I used serrano)
Lemongrass
Gingerroot
Garlic
Cumin
Limes/lime juice
1-2 cups vegetables of choice
Glass noodles

I had garlic already, and all the other ingredients added up to less than $20. (The bouillon and lettuce don’t count). It also makes a LOT of food, so that’s a total steal versus going to an ethnic restaurant.

Step 1: Get all the sauce ingredients ready: 2 tbsp diced garlic, 1 diced pepper, 1/4 can coconut milk, 2 inches sliced ginger, 1/4 cup diced lemongrass, 1/2 an onion, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp lime juice, salt & pepper.  Put all the curry ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Step 2: Put 2 tbsp oil in a large pan, and add the curry paste. Apparently this releases the oils and flavors (?) Add the rest of the can of coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Dice the chicken while the curry simmers.

Step 4: Add the chicken chunks to the curry.

Step 5: Cut the vegetables you want to use into bite sized pieces. I decided to use green beans and orange bell peppers. Add those to the pan and simmer 5-10 minutes.

Step 6: Boil the noodles or rice you want to serve with the chicken. I had some oriental rice noodles I purchased earlier.

Step 7: Put rice or noodles in a bowl and add chicken curry. Enjoy!

Obviously, you can make many variations. Add whatever vegetables you like, more or less of certain spices, more peppers if you want it spicy.