Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reader Recipe Requests

I'm down to the single digits of my Whole 30.  It's been an eye-opening experience, a miraculous one at that.  For the first time in months Tally and I are out walking again and we both couldn't be happier about it.  Yesterday was tough, I was huffing and puffing, we added a segment to the walk today but finished in the same amount of time, about 40 minutes.  It will get easier each day, adding segments until we are covering the 3-4 miles we used to do.  I've said it before, no foodstuff on this planet can EVER taste as good as it feels to be out walking my dog pain free!  

I had a couple of reader recipe requests from the Sunday Spam post I made the other week.   The guacamole I made was very simple but turned out spectacular.  I think it was because the avocados were perfectly ripe and sweet.  When you're not eating sugar/sweeteners it's amazing where your taste buds find delicious, natural sweetness.  I used three avocados and mashed them in a bowl.  I didn't mash them too much, I wanted some contrast in texture, chunky and creamy.  I squeezed the juice of two fat limes and one lemon over the avocados.  I added a few thinly sliced scallions, both white and green parts and seasoned it with salt, pepper and a pinch of both cayenne pepper and smoked chipotle powder.  I did not add any garlic because raw garlic tends to overpower the delicate avocado flavor.  

As for the chicken and butternut squash coconut curry, it's not really a recipe.  I don't claim to be an authentic Indian chef, but I've been cooking Indian inspired food for many years and I feel like I have a good grasp on the flavors.  I found a great Indian cookbook in a bookstore in Covent Garden in London on our 2006 trip and learned so much from it. 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi is available on Amazon, it's a great resource.

I used split chicken breasts on the bone.  I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper and tandoori spice mix.  I roasted them at 400 for 45 minutes.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle, I removed the meat from the bone and chop it up and set it aside.

I added a diced onion to a sautee pan with some ghee, then the spices to bloom them.  Cumin, coriander, garam masala, fenugreek and tandori spice mix, a good couple of teaspoons each but less on the cumin.  Then I added a mixture of garlic, ginger and apple, which I whizzed to a pulp in the chopper.  Apple helps thicken the sauce. Seasoned with salt then stirred in half a can of coconut milk. Full fat, thank you very much!  I added a cubed butternut squash and cooked it until it was just tender then stirred in the chicken.  

For the Pilau Rice, I chopped a cauliflower in the chopper.  I did it in batches, pulsing it until it's the texture of rice.  I honestly did not think it was going to be good, it smelled really strong of cabbage-funk.  I set it aside.  I put some saffron and cardamom pods in a bowl and poured over about half a cup of hot water to bloom the flavors.  I got a chopped onion going in a hot pan with ghee.  I cooked it until it was very tender and translucent.  I added some fenugreek and turmeric.  I added the cauliflower rice and the saffron and cardamom water.  I cooked over medium high heat until it was the perfect al dente texture, about 7 to 9 minutes is the sweet spot.  The cabbage funk cooks out and what's left is a wonderful Pilau rice to serve with the curry.

EDIT~I almost forgot to tell you...don't forget to garnish with fresh cilantro, it's a must for Indian food!!!

I hope you try the recipes.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll do my best.  


  1. Thanks! I started reading "It Starts With Food" earlier this week and some of it is really resonating with me. Thanks for sharing the recipes.

  2. Sounds delicious. I like all the herbs you added to the chicken.