Tag Archives: curry

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Gluten-Free Goodness

This month for Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger I chose to adopt Cheryl of Gluten-Free Goodness. Cheryl’s a relatively new bloggy friend of mine; I “met” her through Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl. Cheryl is a Registered Dietitian and nutritionist, as well as a health and wellness coach. She helps a lot of people enjoy a healthy, gluten-free diet. Cheryl has several food allergies, and while that might frustrate some in the kitchen, Cheryl handles it with grace and innovation. She is always coming up with something delicious, healthy, and allergen-free. It definitely makes choosing just a few recipes to try that much more difficult!

Somehow, I managed. I had to choose one of her dessert recipes, and came across these amazing Brazil Nut Chip Cookies. Brazil nuts, however, are not something I adore, so I improvised a bit. (Okay, more than a little bit…but I wanted to use what was on hand.)I used almond butter instead of the brazil nut butter, substituted raisins for the chocolate chips, and used 1 whole banana instead of the avocado. My gluten-free flour blend was 1 part teff flour, 1 part millet flour, and 1 part coconut flour. These came out of the oven tasting like banana-y oatmeal raisin cookies – one of my favorite cookies of all time. I’m definitely making these again and again. They were superb.

Another recipe I have tried (more than once) from Cheryl is her coconut curried greens recipe. I opted to use canned coconut milk, and did not add chicken, as I made this a side dish. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the ingredients here – these greens are craveably delicious. I had to make them twice – after the first time, the flavors haunted me. It’s a good thing collard greens are arriving in my CSA box in large amounts lately!

While this is all I’ve made so far, I definitely found more recipes I want to make in the future. Cheryl has a Nana Skillet Bread that looks comforting and delicious. I can imagine it as tasty breakfast treat. Her Sniffle Stew looks like a go-to recipe, especially in the winter. (I don’t think you need the sniffles in order to eat it – I can imagine it’s the perfect lunchtime soup as well!) And who could pass up her Chocolate Raspberry Pie? That looks killer.

Need some healthy, easy recipe inspiration? Check out more of Cheryl’s recipes here. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Filed under Baked goods, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Quick and Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

My Version of Kerala Chicken Curry

When it’s cold out, I love warming dishes. Don’t we all? Comfort food is definitely in order when the wind is howling and the mercury is falling. Mention comfort foods, and a lot of people imagine a lot of different things. Macaroni and cheese, lasagna, or pizza, perhaps? My husband would probably list chili or enchiladas as some of his comfort foods. Me? When it’s cold outside, I love Indian spices. Specifically, I love curries.

A side note to those of you not familiar with curries – curry is not a spice. Curry is not a “flavor” – there is not a specific ingredient that makes something a “curry”. What is curry, then? “Curry” is the generic term Westerners give to a variety of spiced dishes – most of which originate from India and Southeast Asia. (There are also curries in the Caribbean, South Africa, and Ethiopia, as well as other areas.) A “curry” can be wet (with a liquid sauce) or dry (without). In my mind, a curry is very often just a stew of some sort – a highly flavorful sauce that envelops any number of ingredients. There are literally thousands of ways that a curry dish can be made, and even if a dish is comprised of the same main ingredients, the mixture of spices can be so different that each curry is unique. I can’t choose a favorite, honestly. I am not an expert, and I love exploring all of the blends of spices and flavors that make up such amazing cuisine. I based this dish on the cuisine of Kerala, a state in Southern India. Kerala cuisine frequently features coconut milk, as well as cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, and more. What I love about South Indian cuisines is that a) there is usually a good amount of heat in the spice, and b) a great many are naturally gluten and dairy-free!

I did use garam masala in order to shorten my spice list in this recipe. Garam masala is a spice blend used quite frequently in our household, and I love how it gives such a full flavor and warmth to everything it seasons. I also used Kashmiri chili powder. This is not to be confused with the ordinary, everyday chili powder that is likely in your spice cabinet. Kashmiri chili powder is much hotter. If you’re heat-averse, I suggest you dial down the measurement of this powder and add more as you see fit. I did make this dish pretty spicy, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! You can find these spices in many grocery stores, although I suggest visiting an Indian grocery if you have one nearby. The spices are fresher and much less expensive. I love making special trips to the grocery near me – they often have great deals on other wonderful ingredients, many times fresher than what you can find in the supermarkets. If you don’t have such a grocery near you, you can always order online at Penzey’s or My Spice Sage, or any number of other online retailers.

I made this dish for the boys and my husband Saturday night. (Brittany was off on a belated birthday celebration with family) My husband and I adored it, going back for seconds. The boys, on the other hand, were not fans. I think perhaps I need to try a recipe that is a bit more familiar to their taste buds – after all, when they’re not at our house, they’re more likely to eat spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, tacos, burgers, hot dogs, pizza…the same stuff most American teenagers eat. (I assumed since there were no chunks of offending vegetables in the curry, that this might be an easier win, but I suppose not.) I plan on continuing to expose them to new flavors, of course, but I also realize that I was likely not much different than they are at that age – I filled up on Taco Bell when I was in high school, and one of my favorite snacks (in the morning at school, no less!) was Cheetos with a Dr. Pepper. If my tastes can expand and improve, I have hope that they will one day embrace a great many cuisines and choose a healthy, balanced diet. That being said, my husband and I weren’t all that sorry that there was more left over for us!

Kerala Chicken Curry

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch dice

1 t coriander powder

1 1 1/2 t Kashmiri chili powder

1/2 t turmeric powder

pinch ground cloves

1/4 t dry mustard

1/2 t ground black pepper

1/2 t kosher salt

1 c onion, roughly chopped

3 Thai red bird chiles, stemmed (or you can substitute 1-2 serrano chiles if the Thai chiles are hard to find)

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled

2 T tomato paste

2 t grapeseed oil or ghee

2 bay leaves

1 t garam masala

1 T cilantro, chopped (can substitute a few fresh curry leaves) plus additional for garnish

1 c coconut milk

1/2 c water

Salt to taste

Toss chicken pieces in coriander, chili powder, turmeric, cloves, mustard, pepper and salt. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes. Place onion, chiles, ginger, and garlic in a food processor. Blend until it is a paste. Add the tomato paste and pulse once or twice more to blend.

Add oil to a large saute pan and heat to medium heat. Add onion mixture and cook, stirring often, until paste dries somewhat and onion is softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the bay leaves and garam masala and saute another 30 seconds. Add the chicken and turn heat to medium-high. Fry chicken until nearly cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Add the cilantro, coconut milk, and water and stir. Bring to boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, giving it a stir once in a while. Taste and adjust salt as needed, and garnish with more cilantro. Serve over steamed basmati rice.

Makes 4 servings.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy

Curried Acorn Squash, Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

Did you know that Linda over at The Gluten-Free Homemaker has been hosting a Squash Fest? Every week, she has a guest blogger sharing a delicious recipe using various kinds of winter squash. It’s a delicious series – there are spaghetti squash casseroles, a butternut squash dessert with dates, and if you need a crash course in winter squashes and how to roast them, check out Linda’s run-down of varieties of squash or a great tutorial on roasting butternut squash. This coming Thursday, I’ll be sharing a stuffed acorn squash recipe. I can’t wait to see what else is featured!

Meanwhile, I had a mountain of acorn squash (I went a little overboard at the farmers’ market) in my kitchen. I decided to stretch it over two meals. The first night, I simply roasted all of the squash halves and served them as a side dish. The second night, I made this soup with the leftovers. While I love roasted squash, this soup was definitely the winner in terms of delicious flavor. Sweet, savory, creamy, and with just a touch of warmth from the curry powder – this soup was one of my favorite soups to date. This recipe made quite a bit of soup – enough for me to freeze leftovers for easy lunches. It’ll definitely make future appearances in my kitchen throughout the winter.

Curried Acorn Squash, Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

2 T grapeseed or olive oil

3 1/2 c mashed, roasted acorn squash (about 4 acorn squash)

1 1/2 c cooked sweet potato, mashed (about 1 large sweet potato)

1 t minced fresh ginger

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 apple (I used a Granny Smith), peeled and chopped

1 T fresh sage leaves, chopped

5 c vegetable stock (you can use chicken stock if you prefer)

1 c almond milk

1/2 t cinnamon

1 t Jamaican curry powder (recipe below) or Madras curry powder

1/2 t ground coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil, for drizzling

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the acorn squash, sweet potato, ginger, onion, garlic, and apple and saute for 5-6 minutes or until the onions are softened. Add the sage, broth, almond milk, and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Remove from heat, and using a hand blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, you can puree the soup in batches using a traditional blender or food processor.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and reutrn to heat to warm. If soup is too thick, add additional broth or water. If too thin, allow to simmer until at desired consistency. Serve with a bit of olive oil drizzled over the soup.

Serves 5-6.

Jamaican Curry Powder Blend

4 T Madras curry powder

2 t ground coriander

2 t ground cumin

1/2 t dry mustard

1/2 t turmeric

1/2 t cayenne

1/2 t cinnamon

1 T ground allspice

Mix spices together well and store in an airtight container.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Chicken Curry

chicken curry 030

In the middle of the day last Thursday, I realized that the dinner I had planned to make was not going to work without a trip to the store. I had already used some of the key ingredients to make it earlier in the week. (I hate when this happens. I write down “cilantro” on the grocery list, not remembering that I need to purchase enough for two dishes, and then I come home with just a single bunch, screwing myself out of the second dish. I only had a smidgen left. So much for planning meals out for the week.) I did not have the desire to go to the store, and I didn’t have the time or the creativity to consider creating something out of the available pantry ingredients at home. I was headed down the road towards a) frozen gluten-free pizza, or b) take-out. Neither of which sounded like a winner.

And then I receive an email. Actually, two emails, from my wonderful grandmother. (Yes, that grandmother.) She was looking through a magazine and found two recipes she thought I would like to try. One was a flourless almond torte, (which I will have to make soon!) and the other? A chicken curry. I looked through the recipe, and realized I had all of the ingredients on hand. It looked as though it was a quick dish to throw together too…an added bonus on a weeknight.

This recipe just goes to show you that you don’t always have to spend hours in the kitchen, or have a long list of ingredients and complicated steps to make a delicious dish. This curry was bright, with a good amount of heat to it (but not too much!). The flavors of the masala made this dish feel as though it was a comfort dish I’d turn to time and time again, without the heavy, calorie-laden sauces that accompany most “comfort dishes.”

A big thanks to Grandma, as she saved the day!

Adapted from Guideposts:

2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 t masala (recipe follows)

1 t fresh ginger, grated

2 t fresh garlic, grated

1 small onion, diced

4 T olive oil

salt, to taste

1 small tomato, chopped

1 c frozen peas

A few sprigs of cilantro leaves

Combine chicken, masala, ginger, garlic, and onion in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add salt. Mix well, making sure chicken is fully coated. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

Over medium heat, warm the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add the marinated chicken and cover skillet. After about 10 minutes, stir chicken, and add tomato and peas. Allow ingredients to simmer over medium heat until fully cooked, 5-10 minutes more (depends on the size of your chicken pieces).

Serve over steamed Basmati rice and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serves 4.

For the masala:

1 1/2 t cayenne pepper

1 T paprika

1/4 t cumin

1/4 t ground coriander

1/4 fennel seed, crushed or ground

1/4 t garam masala

1/4 t turmeric

Combine all spices thoroughly. Store in a jar for up to three months.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Rice

Curried Lamb Riblets

food-7961 One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to expand my knowledge of Indian cuisine. If you happen to know anything about Indian cuisine, that’s a relatively large undertaking. Indian cuisine is quite diverse. The variety of cultures, religious beliefs, and family traditions throughout India all shape the meals eaten. I won’t begin to attempt to talk about all of the various types of Indian cuisine, as I am still learning (and it will probably take me a while!). This dish is adapted from a Northern Indian dish, and uses similar ingredients to Rogan Josh. However, I happened to have lamb riblets on hand, so I thought, why not use those? They took longer to cook than say, a lamb shank or shoulder, but the wait was worth it. The meat was succulent and so tasty. If you have difficulty finding the spices at your regular grocery store, you might try browsing an Indian or Asian specialty store. Actually, if you have the opportunity to visit one of these stores, I encourage you to go. The spices you can find in these stores are vastly superior in freshness than anything sold at mainstream groceries. And they’re significantly less expensive.

This dish was wonderful with some simple steamed basmati rice.

If anyone has other Indian recipes for me to try, I would love to see them!

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 T chili powder

1 T ground cumin

¼ T turmeric

1 ½ c plain yogurt

2 t garam masala

Salt to taste

2 lbs lamb riblets, cut into individual ribs (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)

 

2 T vegetable oil

5 cardamom pods

2 bay leaves

1 1-inch cinnamon stick

1 t cumin seeds

1 T ground coriander

4 fresh green chiles, minced

1 ½ c diced tomatoes (canned will work fine)

½ c fresh cilantro, chopped

 

To make marinade: In a blender or food processor, combine onion, chili powder, cumin, turmeric, ½ c of the yogurt, garam masala, and salt. Blend until well incorporated. In a large Ziploc bag (or in a bowl), combine lamb ribs with marinade. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.

 

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large, deep saucepan over medium high heat. Add cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cumin seeds. Quickly add the coriander and stir, and add the lamb riblets along with the marinade. Saute over high heat, turning ribs over once and stirring up surrounding sauce, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pan and cook until the sauce is almost dry, about 15 minutes.

 

Add the green chiles, tomato, and remaining yogurt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until lamb riblets are tender, about 2 hours. Serve over steamed basmati rice, garnished with cilantro.

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Lamb, Main Dishes