Monday, September 27, 2010

Quick Dinner Fave: Grilled Salmon w/Sautéed Greens & Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Ever since I moved from my apartment to my new house, I have been a grilling machine! Pizza, fish, veggies, chicken, you name it! But out of everything I've made so far, this is definitely my favorite.  In my opinion, this meal is nothing short of perfect, and overall, it's pretty healthy too!  The potatoes are so tasty, not too rich, seasoned just right, and the greens, heated just enough to wilt, but not get soggy (I just can't eat 'em that way!).  Overall, this one is yum, yum, YUM. 

For the buttermilk mashed potatoes, follow this recipe courtesy of Ina Garten.

Grilled Salmon & Sautéed Greens:
Serves 4

2 lb Salmon
Olive Oil
8 cups of arugula and spinach mix
1-2 teeth of garlic
1 c grape tomatoes

Pre-heat grill to Medium. Lightly coat meat side of salmon with olive oil and sprinkle generous amount of seasoning (but don't over do it!), set aside.

Meanwhile, cook potatoes according to recipe.  About halfway through the potatoes, put the salmon on the grill meat side down.  Close grill and cook for about 6 minutes turning once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. 

Once salmon is on the grill, heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil* in a medium saute pan, and add minced garlic and tomatoes and saute for 6-8 minutes.  Remove from heat, then add spinach/arugula mix and cover immediately.  Stir greens every few minutes until wilted buy not soggy. 

Once salmon and potatoes are done, plate and enjoy!

  • Timing is key to getting this on the table quickly! Read all recipes ahead of time, and follow the order above and you should be good to go!
  • Much of this meal is seasoned to taste, don't over do it.
  • The potato recipe calls for peeled potatoes, but feel free to leave some skin on for a more homemade texture. 
  • DON'T overcook the greens. Okay that's the last time I'll say it. :)

*For an extra treat - cook 1-2 pieces of bacon in pan prior to garlic, and omit the oil, but drain the pan before adding the garlic! You don't want all that grease in your greens, just enough left lining the pan to saute the garlic, etc.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Healthy Eating: Mediterranean Couscous w/Shrimp & Arugula

SO easy, SO good. I got this idea from another recipe I read in Cooking Light, but I decided to give it my own twist. I've recently started sautéing small tomatoes, and I love the way they turn out, tart but sweet and full of that 'tomato' flavor.  This one is a must try, no excuses!

Mediterranean Couscous w/Shrimp & Arugula
Serves 4

3/4 lb shrimp, pealed & deveined
4 oz. feta, crumbled
1 c. kalamata olives, chopped
1 - 1.5 c of grape tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp scallions, chopped
1 box couscous, I prefer Near East Whole Grain Wheat, Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil
Olive oil
Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat oven to 400*. 

Rinse shrimp and place in bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, season w/salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Spread shrimp onto ungreased baking sheet and place in oven for 10 - 12 minutes until pink and cooked throughout, turning once at 6 minutes.

While shrimp bakes, cook couscous according to the package directions. While couscous is cooking, slice grape tomatoes in half and saute w/1 tbsp of olive oil until they become soft and start to break down, about 7 minutes.

While tomatoes, couscous and shrimp are cooking, chop kalamata olives and scallions and set aside. Once all are done, combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, folding in arugula last.  Serve immediately.


Friday, September 10, 2010

DIY: Alambres w/Shrimp & Veggies

My coworkers and I have a little place we looove going to for special occasion lunches, (or when we just need a little extra motivation to make it through a Friday!), Manuel's on Congress not only has the best, most addicting salsa, but awesome margaritas and lunch specials.  One of my new faves is the Alambres, "skewered and grilled gulf shrimp and fresh vegetables..".  (Side note: "Alambres" is a common term used in Latin cuisine used to describe a dish of roasted skewers of meat w/ veggies). 

Well after a recent trip to Manuel's, I decided to recreate this super tasty, and healthy dish at home.  It was really simple, delicious and thus, definitely blog-worthy.

1 Red bell pepper
1 Green bell pepper
8 oz. Pineapple
1/2 White onion
1 lb. Shrimp, uncooked, peeled, deveined
Extra-virgin olive oil

Soak wood skewers in water for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (or fire up the grill to med/high!).  Toss shrimp with 1-2 tbsp of EVOO, and 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper.  I also like to sprinkle on some of Chef Paul's Magic Salmon Seasoning, it's a little hard to find, but SO tasty.  If you use it, you could probably cut out the salt and pepper, because it provides plenty of flavor. 

Chop the peppers, onions and pineapple into 1 inch squares.  Skewer the shrimp and veggies, alternating ingredients. If baking, place cooling rack on a baking sheet and skewers on top of rack. Place in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until shrimp are pink and firm. If grilling, 5-7 minutes should do the trick.

 Serve with your favorite rice and black beans.  Enjoy!



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Healthy Eating: Pasta w/Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon & Tuna

I'd like to start by expressing my love for a (somewhat) new found favorite of mine, Fine Cooking magazine and daily email recipes.  Although the magazine itself is not cheap, the free daily emails give you the recipes from the latest issue, win-win! Not to mention, everything I've made from their collection has been delicious, easy and pretty healthy, just the combination I'm looking for. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, our lives are full of house 'stuff' lately, and it's just been difficult to find time to do much else.  But when I got an email today with this inticing recipe, I decided I was going to make time for it.  I've occasionally seen pasta recipes that call for tuna, and have always wondered how they turn out.  This one was for sure a winner. It was so full of flavor, and such a perfect balance of lemon, tuna, pepperoncinis, parsley and tomatoes.  Whoever thought of this combination seriously deserves a day off.

  • I used about 2.5 cups of tomatoes as opposed to 4, (they're not cheap and it seemed like enough!). I'd use more next time, they turned out so good, that I was definitely wishing I had a few more in my bowl!
  • Cut the tomatoes in half.  It helps them to break down quicker, and ensures the perfect amount of tomato with each bite.
  • Add extra oil to the tomatoes, if needed.  I'm not sure why this happened, as the recipe calls for high heat, but the bottom of the pan dried up about halfway through cooking the tomatoes, I had to add a little bit of olive oil. (I wonder how a splash of white wine would have turned out?)
  • Use more tuna...  One small can just didn't seem like enough to spread across 4 servings, so I used two small cans instead and although it was a bit much, I'd rather have more than skimp on it.
  • ... And buy good stuff, you will taste it! Look for all natural, imported, packed in oil, and low sodium is definitely a plus.
  • Don't be discouraged by appearance! I'll be honest, I didn't take pictures along the way because it looked so unappetizing that I thought for sure there was no way for this one to be blog-worthy - I was SO wrong.  
  • Top with a sprinkle of Asiago cheese.  Mmm!
  • Make fresh green beans*  to go along with your pasta, it's the perfect side, and provides the much needed crunch. 

*Prepare my favorite way by chopping off ends, saute with onions, garlic and tomatoes (splurge with a piece of bacon or two!) in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper, or follow this recipe.


DIY: Thai-Style Stir-Fried Chicken & Basil

Remember my week of intimidating Asian recipes? I know, it might be difficult, it been a whole two months - eek! I can't believe how time flies.  In the past two months, we've searched for a house, found a house, bought the house, renovated, painted and gotten really close to moving into the house, and man has it been busy! I was reminded this week how important it is to do things you love, so here we are.

If you have cravings for Thai food, but are hesitant to consume the calories (because Lord knows you won't eat just half), then you should definitely give this one a try.  It was tasty, satisfying, and felt healthy all at the same time!  I will say that it was not the same as your favorite Thai takeout, but it was a great, simple weeknight dinner nonetheless.

  • I only used 2 shallots and it seemed like plenty, so my advice is to use sparingly.
  • Add peanuts.  It just seemed like the right thing to do, and I just can't imagine this dish without them!
  • Be generous on the seasoning. This could be because I used slightly more than 1 lb of chicken, and I did regular white rice as opposed to Jasmine, but I had to add a little extra fish sauce to give it that umph. And speaking of fish sauce, don't be afraid!  This ingredient was one of the very reasons I started this challenge. I was unfamiliar with it, I had no idea where to buy, and 'fish sauce'?... Well folks, just follow the recipe (for the most part), buy it at your local grocery store, and it's really not so 'fishy' after all, so there.
  • Who uses just 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes? Pile those babies on! Maybe it's just me, but I don't even notice the 1/4 tsp. I need that noticeable kick, so I just sprinkled in until it seemed like enough. :) 


Monday, June 7, 2010

DIY: Stir-Fried Noodles w/Beef & Vegetables

This week I've decided to challenge myself with a few recipes that "intimidate" me.  I love Asian food of all kinds, but whenever I read the recipes, I have to admit, I'm intimidated.  There are just so many ingredients I'm not familiar with that I just sort of glaze over and turn the page.  Not this week.  Nope. I've come across one too many recipes that requires rice vinegar, fish sauce, or sesame oil so, here we go... 

Seriously friends, this could not have been easier! The whole production took less than an hour, and that includes eating time.  I will definitely be making this again, and the great thing is, you can easily swap out meats and veggies to change it up.  

  • Drizzle a little sriracha sauce on top (and maybe a squeeze of lime) for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Timing is very important with this recipe, make sure you read it all the way through before starting.
  • The 3 oz. of noodles doesn't seem like a lot, so I used 5 oz and it ended up being more than enough, aka - 3 oz. was probably fine.  Once you throw everything in, it really becomes quite a bit of food.  
  • Be generous when adding the sauce ingredients, although I probably only needed a bit more because of the extra noodles used.  
  • You could go for 3/4 lb of meat, but not completely necessary.  Speaking of, consider upgrading from flank steak to something a bit higher quality.  I wasn't too impressed with flank, but it did the job just fine. 

P.S. I think I have a new love for sesame oil. If you have any fav recipes that use it, please pass them along!

Make it Your Own: Grilled Mozzarella & Spinach BLT's

I came across this fabulous recipe in one of my most recent issues of Fine Cooking.  It's kind of ironic, because displayed quite prominently on the cover is "100+ Healthy Recipes," but the cover image is of a Grilled Mozzarella and Spinach BLT.  I like to think that that illusion was the reason I let myself make this one :) I'm thinking it probably shouldn't be categorized as a "healthy" recipe.

I'm calling this one "Make it Your Own," because I made one seemingly minor change, and it made the absolute world of difference in this sandwich.  Arugula. Wow - talk about awesome!  Although the recipe calls for spinach, I had a mix of the two and I decided to improvise, really glad I did.  I might even write in to the magazine... 

  • I honestly don't know the difference between sliced mozzarella and the "good" stuff that you usually get in Caprese sandwiches.  This recipe called for the latter judging by the picture, and maybe by the use of the word "fresh," but I just had some thick slices cut at the deli of what I'll call the "regular" mozzarella, and it worked great.  If you do this, make sure that the cheese is the appropriate size, I ended up trimming it down.  Originally, I had thought the more cheese the better, but honestly that coupled with the bacon, greens and tomato, makes less OK here.
  • Two pieces of bacon, as opposed to 3, works just fine here. (Hey - gotta try to make it "healthier" if it's going to be in the healthy issue!)
  • Use yogurt-based margarine instead of butter or olive oil. It gives that buttery taste without all the calories!
  • Per sandwich, you'll use one generous handful of greens, as they reduce down quite a bit when they're cooked.
  • If you don't have a panini press, you'll survive.


Pizza Challenge 2k10!

A few Friday's ago, a couple of friends and I were trying to figure out something fun and inexpensive we could do together. Going out for dinner and drinks can really add up, so being the food-loving bunch that we are, we decided on... Pizza Challenge 2k10!

Here's how it works - the host provides the basic ingredients (dough, sauce, cheese) and each team brings the toppings (for a fun twist, have everyone bring a topping to swap or provide a secret ingredient that everyone has to use!).  Create categories (i.e. Taste, Texture, Creativity, etc) and have everyone vote on the finished product.

Our Team Breakdown:

Sam & Jon aka "The Winners" - Sun-dried tomato alfredo, spinach, chicken and onions

Erin & Dan - Mushrooms, bell pepper, olives and pepperoni

Claud & Matt - Italian sausage and jalapeno

It was a blast - Here are a few pics from the night! 

Winner of Most Creative by far - by Dan & Erin


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Crowd Pleasers: Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Hi Friends!

It's been too long, sorry for being MIA! Just to make it up to you, I'm going to share one of my absolute favorite appetizers, spinach & artichoke dip.  We all know that this tasty dip can be a bit of an indulgence - but the ingredients in this particular recipe put a healthy twist on a traditionally sinful favorite.  Once again, I attribute this great find to Ellie Krieger and one of my favorite cookbooks, The Food You Crave.  And don't miss Regan's homemade pita chips below - they're a perfect match for this recipe!

Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip: Courtesy of Ellie Krieger
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil C: I use extra-virgin olive oil instead, either works
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups) C: I only use about 3/4 a cup - it seems like a lot of onion to me.
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 (9-ounce) package artichoke hearts, defrosted, rinsed and dried C: Jarred or canned also work great.
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, excess liquid squeezed out
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) Neufchatel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese)
  • 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese C: I usually use about another 1/4 c to sprinkle on top.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F

1. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are light-golden but not browned. Remove from heat and cool.

C: I like my dip with a little more texture as opposed to a spread-like consistency, so here's where I change things up --

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, Neufchatel, mozzarella, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.  Scoop out into medium sized bowl.

3. Place spinach and artichokes into processor bowl and pulse until broken up, but not completely incorporated. Spoon into bowl with other ingredients and mix to combine all ingredients.  

4. Spread into an 8-inch glass square baking dish or 9-inch glass pie plate which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. 

C: I've often made double batches and found that it takes about 45 minutes to be heated throughout.  

Regan's Homemade Pita Chips

2-4 Pieces of pita bread
Dried oregano
Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 400 F

1. Cut the pita bread in half and then in two inch strips. Cut through the center to make thinner chips.

2. Place on cookie sheet so that the chips do not overlap. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano, a dash of salt and pepper.  

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes until brown and crispy.

It's that easy!  The pita chips also go great with salads, and you could probably switch out the herbs to explore different flavors.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Treasured Recipes: Couscous-Stuffed Chicken w/Feta, Sun-Dried Tomato & Kalamata Olives

If you're a food lover and bride-to-be, then listen up!  Some of my most treasured wedding gifts were recipes from my family and friends.  Back in October, I was fortunate enough to be given a gorgeous bridal shower by a wonderful group of ladies, and each invitation was accompanied by a recipe card.  Guests filled out the cards with one (or sometimes two!) of their favorites, and brought them to the shower to be placed in a recipe card box next to the guest book.  I just loved it!

The recipe below is from my long-time family friends, neighbors and Israel natives, the Zreik's.  Growing up, I was close friends with their daughter, Maya, and spent many an evening at their house for dinner.  It was their that I was introduced to pita bread, couscous, grape leaves, Greek yogurt, and tabbouleh.  Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

So needless to say, I was especially excited about this one because not only do I have fond memories of eating with the Zreik's, but both Matt and I love every ingredient in this recipe (his favorite food is "olives").  I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did! It's a keeper for sure.

Couscous-Stuffed Chicken w/Feta, Sun-Dried Tomato & Kalamata Olives

For the Couscous:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. kalamata olives, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. chicken stock
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if desired)
1- 10 oz. box of couscous
4 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, drained & chopped
1/2 lb. crumbled feta

For the Chicken:
4 - 6oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter

For the Sauce: 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 c. lemon juice
6 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes
4 tbsp. kalamata olives, chopped
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 lb. feta cheese, crumbled

In saucepan over medium heat add olive oil, when hot, add the garlic & red pepper flakes.  Add the sun-dried tomatoes and saute a few minutes more.  Add olives and chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add the box of couscous, turn ff heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork and season with salt and pepper.  Spread 2 cups on large plate, add in 1/2 lb. feta and let cool. Keep the remaining hot to serve with chicken.  

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Trim chicken w/ a boning knife, if needed.  Start at top of breast and carefully make a length-wise cut from top to bottom and making a pocket about 2 inches, making sure not to pierce the other side of the breast.  When couscous is cool enough to handle, carefully spoon couscous mixture into pocket.  Even out the stuffing by gently moving it around with your hands.  Wipe off any excess couscous from outside of breasts and season with salt and pepper.  

Heat olive oil and butter in the saute pan and brown off both sides of chicken.  Place chicken on baking sheet and place in oven for 20 min.  While chicken is baking, make the sauce.  

In saute pan that you cooked chicken breasts in, heat and add garlic.  Deglaze with white wine and add lemon juice.  Reduce by 1/3.  Add in sun-dried tomatoes, let reduce for 2 to 3 min.  Add the olives, turn off heat, add the butter, stir to combine.  

To serve, place warmed couscous on plate, cut chicken breast in half, top with sauce, crumble remaining feta cheese over.  

The only thing I forgot to do was season the chicken! It still turned out great, but I'd recommend adding the salt and pepper. 


DIY: Roasted Tomato & Garlic Hummus

One of my favorite middle-eastern treats is hummus.  It's a great, healthy snack, and makes for a tasty appetizer, too!  Next time you're thinking about picking some up, try making it yourself. It's super easy, and only takes minutes.  This recipe is one I threw together after discovering my love for roasted tomatoes from my previous post.


Roasted Tomato & Garlic Hummus
1 can garbonzo beans
2 medium tomatoes, roasted
1 garlic clove, papery outermost skin removed, but left unpeeled.
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of pepper
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Slice tomatoes into 8 wedges and discard the seeds. Place the tomatoes and garlic in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.

Rinse the beans under cold water (rinsing removes a good amount of the sodium). Let drain for a few minutes.

Place beans into food processor (or blender) along with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Pulse until creamy.  Add garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper and remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and pulse until desired texture is achieved.  If you want the hummus to be completely creamy, you can pulse all ingredients at once. I like the bits of tomato, so I prefer to add the remaining ingredients after the beans are blended. 


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Healthy Eating: Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and White Beans

Matt and I have crazy work hours and often eat dinner late, so I'm always looking for healthy, light recipes to make.  One of my favorite finds is a cookbook by Ellie Krieger called The Food You Crave. It has tons of easy, healthy recipes, that still have a lot of depth.  A lot of times we think of eating healthy as boring or not as satisfying, but it doesn't have to be! 

There are a lot of things you can do with vegetables or fresh herbs to make a dish both tasty and healthy.  For example, roasting.  This particular dish calls for roasted tomatoes and garlic, which is something I'd never tried. The flavors change so much through roasting and it could not be easier.  The sweet, tart flavor of the tomatoes, with the texture of the beans and strong, but somehow still subtle taste of garlic was an amazing combination. 

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and White Beans: Courtesy of Ellie Krieger

3 large ripe tomatoes 
6 large garlic cloves, papery outermost skin removed, but left unpeeled
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste 
Freshly ground black pepper
Once 15.5 ounce can cannellini or other white beans, preferably low-sodium (C: I used navy beans)
1/2 box (8 oz.) penne pasta (C: I use whole wheat)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (C: I used Kraft blend from my last post)

Preheat oven to 450F.
Slice each tomato into 8 wedges and discard the seeds.  Put the tomato wedges and garlic in a 9x13-inch roasting pan, toss with 2 tbsp of the oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and a few turns of the pepper.  

Roast, uncovered, until the tomatoes lose their shape and become slightly charred. 35 to 40 minutes. C: Start checking them at about 30 minutes

Drain the beans in a large colander in the sink. C: helps reduce the sodium
Cook the pasta according to the package direction.  Drain the pasta in the colander containing the beans, so that the hot pata water warms the beans.  Return the drained pasta and beans to the pasta pot.  
When the tomatoes are done, carefully pick out the garlic cloves, squeeze the garlic out of the skin into a small bowl, and mash with a fork.  add the lemon juice, the remaining 1 tbsp pil and 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper, and stir to combine.  Transfer the roasted tomatoes to the pasta pot, add the garlic lemon mixture and basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss to combine. Serve with the Parmesan. 


Serves 4
Serving Size: 1.5 cups

Per Serving
476 calories
14.5g fat

A couple of notes:
  • Although this is pasta dish, a lot of the calories usually come from the sauce, so since this doesn't have any, its still pretty healthy. However, the above nutrition facts may vary based on what kind of pasta you use. 
  • Watch the tomatoes and garlic closely while roasting.  Mine were a little overdone, but I only roasted them for 35 minutes. 
  • Go easy on the salt. There are a lot of strong flavors in this dish, and it's not really needed.

Quick Dinner Fav: Italian Turkey Sausage & Sun-dried Tomato Rigatoni

I've made this for dinner a couple of times now, and I have to say that its become one of our favorites.  Sometimes the best recipes come from the days you're rummaging through your pantry just trying to throw something together. This is definitely one of those recipes.

Turkey Sausage & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

Half a box of Whole Wheat Rigatoni Pasta
3 Italian Turkey Sausage Links
12 oz. Pasta Sauce 
1/2 c. Sun-Dried Tomatoes, chopped
4 oz. Black Olives, sliced
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp Basil, chopped
1/4 c. Shredded Cheese 

1. Bring 4 cups of lightly-salted water to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Add a 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and pasta to water and cook for 10-12 minutes. 

2. Remove sausage from casing and cook until lightly browned, breaking up into small pieces.

3. Warm pasta sauce, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes in a small saucepan until heated throughout. 

4. Drain cooked pasta, toss in medium sized bowl with remaining olive oil.

5. Add sauce to pasta, top with ground turkey sausage, and toss until combined. 

Serve with a sprinkle of cheese and enjoy!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sooo Worth It - Simple Chicken Curry

Hello friends! It's been too long! Things have been crazy lately, but trust me, our kitchen has NOT been lonely. I've got pictures upon pictures and many a recipe to share, so here goes...

So in an attempt to venture outside of my kitchen comfort zone, I hesitantly asked my friend Sheena if she had any simple Indian food recipes she could share.  Now I say hesitantly because the thought of cooking something I'd really only eaten maybe 2 times in my life, was a little intimidating!  But Sheena assured me that I could do it.  So I gave it a shot, and not only was it a huge success, but I got to use my rice cooker for the first time ever!

Sheena's Chicken Curry
2 Boneless Chicken Breasts C: I also added a half a pound of shrimp.
2 tsp Cumin Seeds C: I used about 1 tsp, but might cut it out next time. Cumin can be very strong, so it's just a personal preference.
2 tsp Coriander Seeds C: Fun fact - Did you know that coriander is the seed to the cilantro plant?
2 tsp Black Peppercorns (or however much you'd like)
1 Whole dry red chili (this can be substituted with chili powder) CN: I used 2 and would consider using a 3rd. I like it spicy!
1 peeled, 2 inch piece of fresh ginger
5 Garlic cloves
3-4 tbsp. of Olive Oil
1/2 c water
1 Onion, chopped
4 Large Tomatoes C: When you're cutting the tomatoes, it seems like A LOT, but add all 4! I only added 3, but they reduce quite a bit, so I wish I would've added the 4th.

1. Heat pan and dry roast the coriander, cumin and peppercorns. After a few minutes, grind to a coarse powder. C: I didn't have peppercorns or cumin seeds so I roasted the powder which seemed to work.

2. Grind/grate red chilies, ginger and garlic to a fine paste. C: I didn't have a food processor or a coffee grinder for the seeds, so I tried putting it all in a blender (be sure to cut ginger into small pieces). It didn't work out so well at first, everything was flying to the side and nothing was being ground.  I added a little olive oil and water to bring everything together, and that seemed to do the trick.

3. Heat oil in a shallow pot, add onion and saute until lightly browned.  Add the dry powders and the paste and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes. 


4. Add chopped tomatoes and salt and continue to saute until the tomatoes become soft.

5. Add chicken/shrimp, water and stir. 

6. Cover and cook on medium heat until the meat is cooked throughout. Add cilantro leaves and serve with rice or naan. 


Absolutely delicious!!