This Chicken Tikka Masala will make you holla’!

Tikka Masala

I love Indian food but I rarely make it at home because I feel I never get the spiciness just right. It’s just never the same as I get in Indian restaurants but this recipe…is the bomb! To be honest, I am not one to tolerate super spicy food. In fact my dad always would say that I just want to eat pablum, the bland baby food! Not true! Haha but there are some spices that literally just make my mouth go numb and then I don’t taste the food. Having that slight issue, it always scared me away from Indian food. That is until I ate some curry at a Farmers Market. Wow was it flavorful and my mouth wasn’t going numb even though it was spicy! Very excitedly, I started eating at more Indian restaurants and just loving the food. But like I said, every time I tried to create the same taste at home I just always fell short on the flavor/spice front. But with this recipe I have gained confidence! Yeah baby! The chicken coated in yogurt seasoned with garlic and ginger, and then broiled, makes it super tender and delicious. Try it and I promise you will love it!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients for Chicken:

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (6 to 8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if one breast is bigger, cut in half to make all same size to cook evenly)
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I love Fage)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (softened enough to mix)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (must use fresh ginger)
Ingredients for the Sauce:

Ingredients for the Sauce:

1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or more!…I heart cilantro ūüôā )

Instructions

FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine salt, garam masala, and cayenne in a bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season thoroughly with spice mixture. Place chicken on plate, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Whisk yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger together in medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

FOR THE SAUCE: Process tomatoes and their juice in food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds is all. Heat coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, garam masala, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in processed tomatoes, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Off heat, stir in yogurt; cover to keep warm.

Adjust oven rack to 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set wire rack in aluminum foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on prepared wire rack. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until lightly charred in spots and chicken registers 160 degrees, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken over half way through cooking.

Transfer chicken to cutting board, let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1 inch pieces. Stir chicken pieces into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, season with salt to taste, and serve.
Serve with basmati rice.
Enjoy!

Time: About 1 hour

Yields 2 servings: (easy to double to 4 but these servings are pretty good sized)

Adapted recipe from America’s Test Kitchen

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Nourishing Bone Stock

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That title doesn’t seem very appealing! ¬†But stock made with bones is extremely nourishing and very easy to make. ¬†I didn’t realize I hadn’t blogged about it before and get asked about it all the time.

The difference between broth and stock is stock is made with bones and broth is made with the meat.  I use the carcass of a chicken after roasting the whole chicken.  There is some left over meat on the carcass and I also throw in the skin as well.  So you get the best of both worlds.

Bone stock is very nourishing because when you add in a little vinegar it softens the bones and releases marrow into the liquid.  It also releases the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

I have not tried eating marrow straight up yet. ¬†But after watching this video and reading more about marrow and all the health benefits, I am going to try it. ¬†I probably will first try it by adding it to my ground beef for a more nutritious burger or maybe adding it to some yogurt with cinnamon, honey, and blueberries…something along those lines.¬†Who out there eats just the marrow? ¬†Please share how you eat it if you do! ¬†I’m very interested in hearing and learning!

http://youtu.be/Jq7t03_MDHo

Here is my recipe for my chicken stock:

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Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken carcass…be picky about how the chicken was raised-pasteur, free range, etc.
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar…can use apple cider vinegar as well
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 sticks of rosemary – optional
  • 3 cloves of garlic – optional
  • 1 bunch of parsley…thrown it at the last 10 minutes of cooking

*The optional spices are for flavor but also add extra nutrition.  Try adding in spices that you like!

Directions

  1. Place chicken in a large stainless steel pot with the water, vinegar, onion, and carrots.  Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Then bring to a boil.  Remove any scum that rises to the top.
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 to 24 hours.  The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful the stock will be!
  4. Add parsley in about 10 minutes before you are about to take it off from the heat.
  5. Pour the pot out into a strainer with a large bowl underneath to catch all the nourishing stock.
  6. Strain again to make sure all of the parts are out.
  7. Let cool and then cover and put into the refrigerator.  Fat will rise to the top and you can skim it off.
  8. Then put into jars with tight lids.  It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.  It will keep in the freezer for several months.

It is worth the effort into making stocks for drinking straight up or added into soups, sauces, and anytime you use broth.  Pre-made broths have so much sodium in them.  Drinking stock is so beneficial to your immune system.  You will gain innumerable health benefits!

Eating 2 nourish as always…

To your health!

Julie

*recipe adapted from Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon.

Delicata Squash for a perfect Thanksgiving side dish

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The first time I had delicata squash was about a year ago.  It came served on the side of halibut I ordered at a restaurant.  I was so surprised to see the skin still on and how my fork just went right through it!  I instantly fell in love.

It’s a pain to cut up winter squash and take the skin off but I do it every season.  However this season has been a lot easier with these little cuties. 

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I know a lot of people use brown sugar and butter to top squash but this combo I use of butter, maple syrup, and sage is so delicious!  Your kids will eat it too.

Ingredients:
2 Delicata Squash
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup (not the runny fake stuff)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage

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Awww lets get started!

Preheat oven to 425¬į.  First rinse the squash really well with warm water.  Then carefully lay the squash on a cutting board and slice in half lengthwise.  Scoop out all the seeds and string with a spoon. 

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Then make 1/2 inch slices all the way through each half.  You can make the slices thicker if you want.  I use smaller slices when I will have a lot of items on my plate like at Thanksgiving.  ūüôā  And I’ll use thicker slices for smaller meals.

Spread the slices on a baking sheet, use 2 baking sheets if needed so that all slices are touching the bottom. Drizzle the olive oil and salt on and mix the slices with your hands to make sure each ring gets some.

Roast for 10 minutes.  Then flip with a spatula and roast for another 10 minutes.  If a fork doesn’t easily insert into a slice after 20 minutes, then keep cooking for 5 minute allotments. Make sure they don’t get too soft though.  
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When squash is done and cooling off a little, melt the butter in a small sauce pan.  Then add in the maple syrup and chopped fresh sage and mix together. 

Put the cooled, cooked squash slices into a bowl and pour mixture over and toss.  I like to cool the slices off a little because the mixture sticks better. 

And voila.  Yummy delicious delicata squash!  Haha I barely get time to take a picture of the done product before it gets devoured.  But please feel free to post yours!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

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Love,
Julie

Barre3 – Ballet, Pilates, Yoga, and a lot of fun!

I have been taking Barre3 classes now for about 3 months. ¬†I don’t have a before and after picture of my bootay…that actually makes me laugh just thinking of doing one! ¬†Haha but my behind is at least 2 inches higher because of these classes. ¬†I don’t weigh myself but determine how my body is doing by the fit of my jeans! ¬†They always tell the truth! ¬†ūüėČ

I love these classes and just had to blog about them. ¬†They incorporate it all…ballet, pilates, yoga, weight lifting, good music, and excellent instructors who push you to your limit and keep you motivated. ¬†My posture is better as well. ¬†I stand up straighter and taller and just feel so strong through my core. ¬†I started taking these classes because my running days were over…or so I thought.

My joints just started hurting too much on my runs which really bummed me out because running and listening to great music relaxed me and cleared my head of things.  So I checked out other workouts and thought I would try these Barre classes I had heard so much about.  I signed up on a Groupon deal and went every single day.   Lifting heavy weights and doing lots of cardio is what I thought had to be done to really tone up your body.  Boy was I wrong!  I was so sore after these classes, just the same as if I had lifted heavy weights or gone for a long run (without the joint pain).  They truly are amazing and work out every part of your body.

This picture is of the Horse Pose that we do a lot. ¬†All the detailed instructions in this pic is what they tell you in class. ¬†They talk you through every pose and really care about making sure everyone is doing it correctly because they want you to get results. ¬†Your legs will start to shake and that’s a good thing! ¬†Shaking equals transformation!

Back to my running days that were gone or so I thought. ¬†I went for a run the other day and my legs have never felt stronger. ¬†I would have run longer if it wasn’t so darn cold outside. ¬†But these classes also work out your tendons which keep all your bones and muscles in place. ¬†Ahhhhhhhh…now I have the best of both worlds!

I can’t say enough about how great Barre3 is and highly recommend them.

Eating to nourish is one thing, but moving to nourish is also as important. ¬†We weren’t meant to sit around! ¬†You have to move your body in order for everything to run smoothly.

Make it a great day~

Julie

Powerful Words To Lift You Up

I still think of Robin Williams and how sad I was to hear of his passing.  There are just so many movies that he was in that will always have a special place in my heart.  He was so funny and such a great actor!  I know heaven is laughing a little more these days!

I will never fully understand depression. ¬†I know people suffer from serious depression all of their life and it is a serious disorder. ¬†And some go through hard times and have a hard time pulling out of it. ¬†I have never been a sufferer of depression but I’ve been through hard times. ¬†When I do feel like nothing is going right and dark days might be coming, I start getting busy with myself and look to figure out why I feel this way and what changes I can make. ¬†I do know words have been very powerful with me, and have helped me make the right changes in my life to avoid being in a depressed state. ¬†Sometimes it’s someone else’s story and how they pulled through or it’s quotes from real people who can understand and have pulled through. ¬†Life is not easy. ¬†We have so many choices in this world which can be great, but so daunting and confusing at the same time.

So I just thought I would share this article because I love a few of these and they have lifted me even higher. ¬†And who knows, just maybe someone out there is having a bad day, bad times, bad year…maybe just one quote will inspire them.

Don’t let negativity in and never give up!

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15367/15-quotes-that-lifted-me-up-when-i-was-depressed.html?utm_campaign=recommendation&utm_medium=popular&utm_source=home

Thai Steak Salad with Soba Noodles

Soba noodles! ¬†Soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour. ¬†Energizing and nutritious, it can be a great substitute for people sensitive to wheat and other grains that contain the protein gluten because it is gluten free. ¬†Flavonoid phytonutrients found in buckwheat provide powerful antioxidant protection against damage from free radicals. ¬†Yeah baby…thats what I like to hear! ¬†It is also a very good source of manganese, that awesome trace mineral that helps protect our precious mitochondria… the energy production factories in our cells. ¬† True soba noodles are made from 100% buckwheat flour so make sure to check the label ingredients as some brands also mix it with wheat flour. Here is a delicious recipe I make very often. ¬† It is from Feeding The Whole Family cookbook written by our culinary director from Bastyr, Cynthia Lair.

Thai Steak Salad Over Soba

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb. flank steak, 1 inch thick
  • 1 8 oz. package of soba noodles
  • 3 to 4 cups salad greens torn into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion cut into half moons
  • 1/2 cucumber cut in half lengthwise, then sliced 1/4″ thick, half moons

Instructions:

  1. Combine lime juice, oil, cilantro, garlic, hot pepper sauce, honey, salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl.  Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Place steak between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound on both sides to tenderize.  Remove wrap and place sirloin in a shallow pan.  Pour half of the marinade over the meat.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Heat a cast iron or over safe skillet with a teaspoon or so of oil.  Place marinated steak in skillet, season with salt and pepper on both sides, and brown for a few minutes on each side.   Transfer steak to the oven for 7-10 minutes.  Check center for doneness (red for medium rare, pink for medium) and remove from oven when it is redder than you desire; the meat will continue to cook once it is out of the oven.
  4. While meat is cooking, prepare the soba noodles as instructed on the package.  They will cook a lot faster than regular pasta so keep your eye on them and then rinse with cold water when done.
  5. Transfer meat to carving board and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into thin slices on a diagonal against the grain of the meat.
  6. Toss the salad greens, onion, and cucumber with the rest of the remaining marinade.
  7. To assemble, place a small bed of noodles on each plate, then top with salad and an equal portion of steak slices.   Or you can just mix it all together in a big bowl and serve.  I usually prefer to do it the latter way, especially with kids.

Enjoy! ¬†It’s delicious and super nutritious.

Almond Butter Cups

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These almond butter cups are super delicious and super nutritious. ¬†They are so rich as well that they could replace a craving for ice cream. ¬†I make them in a mini muffin pan so it’s a perfect size for a treat when you need one. ¬†I keep them in the freezer because they do get soft when left out. ¬†The coconut oil in them gets soft. ¬†But if you make them for a party, just leave them in the freezer till you are going to serve and then put them on ice or on something that will keep them somewhat cool.

They are super easy to make. ¬†Here we go….

For the bottom layer:

  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until very smooth. ¬†These should make about a dozen so place 12 mini muffin cups in a mini muffin pan and put about 1 tablespoon of the mixture in each cup. ¬†Be clean about it and try not to get any on the sides so it shows a clean line from the outside. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Then place on a flat surface in the freezer and let set for about 15 minutes.

For the top layer:

  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until very smooth. ¬† Remove the bottom layers from the freezer and fill each cup to the top with the top layer. ¬†Place back into the freezer for at least 15 minutes until the chocolate top player sets.

Enjoy!