Adventures of Eating with dReJ: healthy, cheap, delicious

Archive for July, 2012

Easy Curry (Paleo & Wheat-Free Friendly)

Quick Curry with Carrots

 

This weekend I selected a Quick Curry meal to be one of our lunch dishes for the week. It was really simple to make and didn’t take a long time or weird ingredients either. I found this recipe in the book: The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf that I just finished reading.

Here’s what you need (and then below I’ll tell you what I added):

1 lb ground pork (you could use lamb, chicken, turkey, stew beef)
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp curry powder
1 bag baby spinach (14 oz)
1/2 can coconut milk (7 oz)
2-3 cloves garlic

 

I felt like that wasn’t going to be filling enough for lunch – so I sauteed some carrots (bought fresh from the farmer’s market) with a little garlic, cumin & paprika seasoning and added those to the top of the dish. I also added some yellow onion to ours.

How to make it:

Easy peasy in the skillet

 

Cook up the meat in a pan with olive oil. Add the curry powder as the meat browns – mixing well. Be sure to break up any large pieces of meat – it needs to  be pretty crumbled up. If you are going to add onions – now is the time! Once the meat is browned, add all the spinach and coconut milk and heat until the spinach has wilted. Add garlic at the end (if you use fresh garlic – mince it or use a garlic press to crush it). Mix well, remove from heat and serve.

We ate this yesterday for lunch (just zapped it in the microwave at work!) and it was pretty good to not have any starches in it. When I think of curry dishes, I expect there to be rice – so this was definitely a change, but it was still a yummy meal. I sort of wanted MORE of it, but I’m guessing that my body will adjust after a week or so without the carbs from starches. Of course, if you aren’t avoiding grains – you could add some rice to this easily and make it work for your eating style.

 

We used ground turkey because the store didn’t have ground pork or chicken & we were lazy and didn’t feel like grinding it ourselves. I think pork/chicken might have a better flavor – but the turkey worked well if that’s what you have on hand!

There you go – super simple! The only thing you might have to go looking for is some coconut milk (hint: look in the international aisle with the Asian stuff).

Enjoy!

 

 

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Pecan Encrusted Chicken (Wheat Free Recipe)

Finished product!

As promised, here’s the recipe for the delicious and filling Pecan Encrusted Chicken I made over the weekend. It reheated nicely – so it’s perfect to make in advance and bring to work for lunch!

Here’s the recipe:

Makes 2 servings (I doubled mine so we could have it for lunch twice this week as per our usual method)

2 four-ounce chicken breasts, boneless, skin removed
1 large egg
¼ cup coconut milk or dairy milk
½ cup ground pecans (can be purchased pre-ground)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
4 tablespoons store-bought tapenade, caponata, or pesto

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Bake the chicken until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Lightly beat the egg with a fork in a shallow bowl. Beat in the milk. Stir together the ground pecans, Parmesan, onion powder, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Roll the chicken in the egg, then in the pecan mixture. Place on a microwaveable plate and microwave on high power for 2 minutes.

Recipe from: Davis MD, William (2011-08-30). Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back To Health (p. 252). Rodale. Kindle Edition.

So there’s the recipe from the book – here are a few of my notes (from a not so awesome cook):

Who needs “pre-ground”, anyway? I got this.

I went to a regular grocery store, so they didn’t have “ground pecans.” I bought pecan pieces (look in the baking aisle & they are cheaper). I put them in my food processor and BAM – ground pecans. It never occurred to me I could still “bread” things on a wheat free diet – but after doing this with pecans, it would be super simple to use this method again.

I also didn’t have onion powder – so I just used some other seasoning salt, pepper mix I already had on hand and didn’t add in the extra S&P like the recipe called for.

Since you are baking the chicken – I decided to pound the chicken out flat so it would cook more evenly (seemed like a good idea at the time). A really simple way to do this? Spread your chicken breast out on a cutting board/flat surface and put a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of them. If you have a mallet – obviously this would be what it’s practical to use it for.  I didn’t know if we had one, and upon looking couldn’t find one. So I just used a strong serving spoon that had a pretty big flat edge and pounded the chicken that way. It worked. You could also use a small frying pan to do the job!

We don’t drink a lot of milk, and I didn’t want to buy a huge thing of coconut milk *because I’m not sure I’ll like it* or whole milk *because I don’t even like skim milk* – so I bought one of those kid sized drinks they have in the milk section. It worked perfectly for this recipe (I got the whole milk – and it was about 2 cups worth vs a gallon).

I also decided to use a Tapenade (versus pesto or that other thing listed in the recipe which I don’t even know what it is!) – I went with a Green Olive one, but you could pick out whatever floats your boat. You are just going to put it on top of the chicken after it’s all “breaded” and cooked anyway – so pick something you like because you will definitely be tasting it!

The longest part of this recipe is just baking the chicken – it took about 30 minutes. During that time – I cooked up some Brussell Sprouts with Bacon to have as a side. Delicious!

I hope you enjoy! And since I’m not usually the cook, I’d say that this recipe was EASY because I really didn’t have much trouble. What did people do before Google/YouTube? During this particular cooking adventure I looked up the following:

“How to ground nuts in a food processor”
“how to use a food processor” (I know, shame on me. But i’d never used ours before – I usually can’t even put it back together properly after we wash it lol)
“how to cut up raw chicken breast”

So – if i could figure it out, you can, too. And you’ll be glad you did, this recipe was awesome!

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