Visions of White

Never in my life in the deep South did I imagine we would look out of our back door across the field and seen a white, powdery blanket. The novelty kept us cozied up to  the windows with the dogs for hours, watching it sprinkle down in all its quiet glory. When I think of slow living, the idea of a snowy day certainly comes to mind, drinking tea by a fire and reading a good book, and the smell of a warm, spicy chicken recipe wafting through the house because there is nothing else to do but enjoy the moment. 

I made this snow-day chicken in my new crockpot. Now, I am a bit late to the crock-pot craze mainly because it is one extra appliance that takes up space in a kitchen, and I have a few too many kitchen appliances. Do I really need an ice cream maker, a George foreman grill, a waffle maker, a dehydrator and a meat grinder?  Questionable.  But if we ever enter World War III, you know who will be ready to feed the neighborhood.

I love the crockpot because it requires so little time to prepare healthy, whole foods. You don’t even need a recipe. Throw in a protein, a healthy fat, liquid(in the form of water or broth), spices, plenty of vegetables and voila! dinner is waiting on you.

This is a simple chicken tikka masala recipe that packs quite a nutritional punch. I used chicken thighs for more flavor, but I think it would also work with cubed chicken breast and  a generous pour of olive or coconut oil. The one non-negotiable item you must have to make this recipe is garam masala . This spice is the backbone of most Indian dishes, warming to your body and therefore ideal to eat  in cold weather and also to stave off sickness.

Stay warm , friends!

By the way, my intention this year is to come back to my roots and post more valuable content here, so I have opened my blog up to comments and would love to hear from you. What would you like to see more on my blog?

Chicken Tikka Masala in the Crockpot

Serves 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 6 hours
Total time 6 hours, 15 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Region Indian
Try this immunity-boosting and warming crockpot chicken tikka masala on a chilly night.

Ingredients

  • 2lb chicken thighs
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • seeds from 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 cups dried basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger or 1 T grated fresh
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 turmeric

Note

You could replace the chicken thighs with canned chickpeas to make this a vegetarian meal.

Directions

Step 1
Put the chopped onion, garlic and carrot into the crock pot and stir in all the dried spices with a wooden spoon.
Step 2
Lay the chicken thighs on top and pour in can of tomatoes.
Step 3
Cook in the crockpot for 6-8 hours on low.
Step 4
Pour in the can of coconut milk and let warm. Meanwhile bring 4 cups water to a boil and pour in the 2 cups dried basmati rice. Let it come to a boil, then lower the heat to low and cover for 12-18 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.
Step 5
Serve the tikka masala over the rice and top with fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

In love and light,

Lydia

 

Christmas Thoughts

When I was a kid, I could never understand people who were not crazy about Christmas.  Holiday baking! Eggnog! Tree-decorating! Driving across the country to Louisiana! Presents! Santa’s surprises! Spending all day Christmas playing with your stuff with not a care in the world!

Fast forward to being a bona-fide adult,  (Can I call myself that yet since I am almost 30? ) and it’s difficult to pinpoint what I feel about Christmas . It’s a time for reflection on the past when you have lost someone, and the Holidays will never be quite the same.  A time when you feel like you will never get everything done. When decorating the tree/house becomes kind of a pain in the ass . When there is all this pressure to buy more stuff for people that is just going to end up in a landfill. When you feel obligated to spend time with certain people who drive you bat-sh** crazy?!(I am obviously not talking about my family.)  BUT it’s also a time you can appreciate everything in your life. A time to slow down and enjoy experiences with people. A time to cook delicious food and savor it. A time to give to families in need. A time to create new traditions and celebrate the old ones. A time for self reflection over the last year and hope for the next. A time to celebrate your existence and religious beliefs.

I have truly enjoyed this Holiday Season because my husband and I made a focused effort to pare down our gift buying, make more homemade gifts, and get it all done way in advance. So we have actually had time to enjoy the season and embody the idea of slow living. We harvested about 30 pounds of honey from the beehives this weekend and paired it with some baked goods as gifts. We watched our favorite Christmas movie with his family, I baked with my Mom and sister (a yearly tradition), had some friends over for drinks and treats, had a few gift exchanges, and now we are ready to celebrate this weekend! ( I also have a 12 miler planned for Saturday to get ready for my half marathon in January in Charleston.)

filtering then jarring our honey harvest

Between the baking we have been enjoying fresh bok choy and carrots from the garden and turmeric latte’s to keep our immunity up. So I’m sharing this immunity boosting stir- fry recipe inspired by my garden today. What I like about this recipe is that you can be flexible and include whatever vegetables you have on hand in your  fridge.

my 2 carrots picked straight from the ground

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my readers all over the world. I hope it is full of joy and love and great food and experiences.

Coconut Veggie Stir Fry

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Try this immunity boosting veggie-filled stir fry!

Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 bunch bok choy or other greens, chopped into strips
  • 3 broccoli heads, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 1 inch knob ginger, grated
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lime
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • sriracha to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1lb tofu(pressed and cubed) or ground pork, chicken, or beef

Directions

Step 1
Heat coconut oil in wok or pan. Saute onion, carrot, garlic, ginger , red pepper for 7-8 minutes on medium high heat.
Step 2
Mix in the meat/ tofu and mushrooms and saute another 5 -8 minutes.
Step 3
Stir in 2 Tablespoons of chili garlic sauce, 3 T of soy sauce, 1 can coconut milk. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
Step 4
Mix in the bok choy and broccoli and let simmer 5 minutes on medium high heat. Add more soy sauce or chili garlic sauce to taste and squeeze in the juice of one lime. Add a bit of water to the broth if you want it to be more like a curry.
Step 5
Serve with fresh chopped cilantro on top and sliced avocado or even radish.