Friday, October 28, 2016

Food I Ate Friday - Whole 30 Chicken Korma

Y'all, I love love love Fall and all the flavors that come with it (I could genuinely say that about every season, and probably have during the time I have had this blog). However, what I get most excited for is when my husband wants curry everyday like I do. I can eat curry in the crazy heat in the summer. I am a soupy for life. Give me soup. Every. Day. But my handsome man needs it to cool down a bit (and not be 100 degrees), so once the weather cools, the curry lover in me jumps for joy. 

 We have been exploring Paleo and Whole 30 recipes quite a bit recently and this one is Whole 30 approved. If you are an Asian food lover like me and eat Paleo or Whole 30 you should definitely check out the website this recipe came from, because wow, lots of good stuff on there!

Have a lovely weekend friends.  Eat something yummy :)

Ingredients

1 ½ lb chicken breast, thinly sliced to bite sizes
1 large shallot, minced
1 lb pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into bite-size chunks
About 5 1/2 Tbsp homemade korma paste (see below)
1 can (14.oz) full-fat coconut milk
1 Tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped (optional)
Coconut oil
Sea salt to taste

Homemade Korma Paste

4 Garlic cloves
2 large shallots
2 thumb size fresh ginger
1 small bunch fresh cilantro + extra for garnishing
4 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp garam masala powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder
2 Tbsp tomato paste (no sugar added)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Optional Crispy Shallots

1 large shallot, slice to thin strips
Coconut oil

Instructions

For the Korma Paste:

USE a food processor finely mince garlic, shallots, ginger, and cilantro.
ADD cumin, coriander, garam masala powder, sea salt, cayenne, tomato paste, and olive oil. Blend until it becomes a smooth paste.
RESERVE 5 to 5 ½ Tbsp korma paste for 1 ½ lb chicken. Store extra korma paste in your freezer for future use.

For the Crispy Shallots (Optional):

SLICE 1 large shallot into long thin strips. Heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a wok or frying pan over medium/medium-high heat.
WHEN hot, add the sliced shallots, season with a small pinch of salt. Pan fry them and stir frequently for 8-10 mins or until golden brown. Be careful not to burn the shallots. Use a slotted spoon and scoop them onto a tray lined with paper towel. Spread them out so they crisp up.

For the Chicken Korma:

HEAT 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a large saucepan or deep frying pan over medium-high heat, when hot, add 1 large minced shallots and 5 to 5 ½ Tbsp homemade korma paste. Keep stir-frying the ingredients to prevent them from burning for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
TURN the heat up to high and add sliced chicken. Stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is lightly browned.
ADD coconut milk. Give it a gentle stir. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to boil.
ONCE it’s boiled, lower the heat to medium. Add diced pumpkin or butternut squash. Cover the pan with a lid. Let it simmer until the squash/pumpkin is cooked through. Stir the bottom of the pan periodically to prevent food from burning.


TO SERVE: Sprinkle finely chopped mint/cilantro/basil leaves and topped with crispy shallots.


Recipe from iheartumami.com.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Penny For Your Thoughts: On Removing the Word Busy

I have been getting a series of emails from an organization called “Be More With Less” that have really effected my language and day to day attitude, so I thought I would share a few gems/take aways from them.

1. Stop using the word “Busy” – You are not busy against your own control, we are actively choosing busyness and you can actively choose to eliminate the word from your vocabulary and the overwhelming nature of busyness from your life… it will take time, prioritization and sacrifice, but it is possible. Also, my side note that has nothing to do with this, try to stop using “tired” as an excuse as well. It starts to be like the boy who cried wolf. If you aren’t up to talking about something say “I’m not up to talking about that”, not “I’m tired”… It’s just a bad habit worth focusing on breaking.

2. Learn your strengths and release what is not important. This has been SUCH a lesson for me in my current season. It could also be to focus on what you want to be good at and don’t worry about what it is not important to you. We spend so much time doing what we “should” do we aren’t focused on what we are even good at. We are jealous of others giftings when we are equally gifted, just not in the same ways. We wrestle with accepting ourselves for who we are. Accept who you are and fine tune the things that make you tick. I love food, and for the longest time I felt guilt and shame for that. I am learning to channel it. I hate cleaning, and for the longest time I felt guilt and shame for that. I am learning to prioritize it when necessary and remove the shame when it’s not.

3. Linger More – Guys, this is SUCH an American problem. We take pictures of beautiful settings, but we rarely take time to actually sit and enjoy them. Let the candles burn down. Talk. Don’t make 10 plans in one day, make one and then just be there, fully present. Just be with people, don’t fabricate a perfect moment for social media. Be the last ones on the dance floor. Watch the fire burn out. Guys, another thing I am guilty of is fabrication of meaningful moments. I am now even learning to even linger when walking my dog. Just enjoy the moments in life and limit your distractions. Seriously limit them. Start leaving your phone behind… on purpose. Just try it, it’s really very freeing.

4. This has been the biggest one for me: “Lose the guilt. Instead of thinking about the opposite of busyness as lazy, I invite you to consider that the opposite of a busy life is a full life and an intentional life.” 

Guys, these ideas have really been rocking me lately. 

 Remove "Busy" from your vocabulary, learn your strengths, linger more and lose the guilt. 

 Yup, I could work on all those things.  How about you?!


Friday, October 14, 2016

Food I Ate Friday - Whole Grain Breakfast Bars

A few months back, Bill and I decided we wanted to start making our own granola bars, since we want to avoid ingesting as many chemicals as possible, and I finally got around to doing it!

A few notes on my method: I cut the sugar in half (and made sure to use organic) and added other "add-ins" (coconut flakes and a little dark chocolate) and guys... these things are not only delicious but they are healthy and hearty.  I think they could handle whatever additions you wanted to make - any dried fruit or nuts especially.

We bought really good quality stone ground whole wheat flour, which holds more of the nutrients than standard flour, and I use almond milk.  I also up the cinnamon amount because its good for digestion.  This has been such a great grab and go breakfast, as Bill is out the door at 6 am these days, and I love having an easy breakfast option.

Ingredients

4.75 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1 cup)
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Cooking spray

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375°

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl

3. Place bananas in a large bowl; mash until smooth. Add sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg white); stir until combined. Add flour mixture, stirring until combined. Stir in nuts and dried cranberries

4. Spread dough into a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 bars.


Be healthy my friends!  

Enjoy your weekend and get outside and enjoy the fall :)

Credit to Cooking Light.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Penny For Your Thoughts - Releasing Aesthetic

“Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” – Luke 12:15b

The realization that stuff isn’t making me happy was bigger than it probably should have been for me lately.  I am in constant pursuit of more, but what if I get rid of a bunch of stuff then don’t replace the stuff I have left with anything until it breaks down? 

For me, this is revolutionary, and has removed so much pressure from my day to day life.  Bill and I really are trying to figure out what it looks like to reject consumerism, but still value supporting small businesses and that sometimes the passion for less stuff can be just as distracting as the passion for more.  Our journey in this world is always about finding balance.  We can spend our lives shopping and rearranging, but does that really accomplish anything?  Once you have furniture in a room, can’t you just let it be?  Do we need to redecorate seasonally?  Or is that just another way to spend money? These are the kinds of thoughts rolling around in my mind.

My goal is first to serve the Lord and honor his commandments and secondarily to have friends, family and anyone who crosses our path feel comfortable with us and in our home and have it always feel like a place they are welcome and not judged.  Creating an environment people are comfortable in is not about having the prettiest things or the most aesthetically pleasing home, I think it is more about being present to what they need in the moment.  

I am releasing the aesthetic need for the cutest plates and prettiest serving dishes and remembering that it is more important to show care for their souls and their physical hunger than to post a picture to Instagram of how beautiful our meal is.  However, I do think there is something to be said for making every meal feel special and lighting candles and making a table beautiful for no reason, just because :)  I am just trying to remove the pressure to do so.  Every meal does not have to be colorful.  Every meal does not need to be photographed.  God knows I am guilty of this.  I am sure my husband will read this and praise the Lord for victory over this subject.  In true transparency, I might wrestle with not taking pictures of my food all the time.  However, like everything else, acknowledging the problem is the first step to addressing it.  I feel pathetic admitting that, but I don't want people to think my soapbox has nothing to do with me.  It is 100% my own problem.


Wow, sorry I am stringing you through this thought processing session.  I have SO much on my heart on this subject, and to be honest it is taking me by surprise.  

Come over for dinner and we can chat about it :)  Seriously.