Brrrr

So, I’d heard that it was chilly outside last night, but for some reason when I was walking out of the door this morning at 7:45, I wasn’t prepared. It was jacket weather! I almost turned the heat on in the car. (for real, my finger was on the switch) But alas, I did not. And it warmed up a bit by the time I left the gym. (Though the high’s in the 60s whhaaaaat?)

NOT!

I’ve had the pleasure of a relaxed, slow day. I suppose the one good thing about my job is that I have a quota for hours that I must reach, and after that I’m golden. (Only need 2 more hours) So my craziness of the beginning of the week led to a nice relaxed weekend. I guess it all evens out in the end.

I don’t know if I’ve mention this before, but my Mother wasn’t born in America. In fact, my Mother spent the first 13 years of her life in Guadeloupe, a French island in the Caribbean. Plus, my Mother’s Father was from Syria. So growing up I got to eat a lot of delicious food. And one such delicious food was Colombo.

If you’re like me when I was younger, you may be thinking that Colombo is just a made-up name after the television show for some sort of dish that my mom threw together. But a quick google search of “Chicken Colombo” reveals that it’s actually the “Curried Chicken” of the French West Indies. So if you like curry, and you like chicken, and you like vegetables, and you like easy. This dish is for you.

Chicken Colombo serves 4-6
Ingredients
– 1 lb chicken (breasts or thighs or legs or combination) (or 1/2 lb chicken and a can or equivalent of beans)
– juice of 2 lemons
– water
– ~ 1-2 tbsp curry powder (or combination of several or your own blend)
– extra virgin olive oil
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 eggplant, chopped
– 1 large zucchini, chopped
– 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
– 1 potato or turnip or purple potato, chopped
**Note: I like to chop up all of my vegetables and place them in a large bowl until I’m ready for them. Then, I clean and trim the fat from my chicken…unless I do the optional step 1**
Directions
Optional Step 1: Place your cleaned chicken in a bowl or baking dish and coat in the juice of 1 lemon, turning to coat well. Let marinade for 1-8 hours.
Step 2: Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a bowl. Add your curry powder and some additional water.
Step 3: Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your chicken and cook until the outside turns white but it is not fully cooked. Add garlic and the lemon-curry-water blend. (The chicken should be just covered with liquid – if it’s not, add more water)
Step 4: Add all of your chopped vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about an hour.
**Note #2: Just before I start cooking, I like to get a batch of brown rice (or a brown rice medley) going with one tube of chicken broth concentrate. Then, by the time the rice is done, I figure that my Colombo will be done too.**
The eggplant will have sort of dissolved into the mixture and your chicken will break apart as well.

I made this batch with black beans and 1/2 lb chicken (sorry for the bad lighting)

Brown Rice Medley

beans version

just chicken version

What are some dishes that your mother/father/guardian/grandmother/godfather taught you how to make?

Is it cold where I’m reaching you?

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Lentil & Bulgur Pilaf with Red Cabbage (or Spinach)

Ha! I fooled you! I’m actually going to tell you about my workouts last week.

Last week in Workouts
Sa – off
Su – Circuit Strength Training
M – 45 minutes Cycle
T – 30 minute Quick Cardio + 1 hour Power Yoga 
W – Circuit Strength Training
TR – 45 minutes elliptical
F – 45 minute Cycle
^^ This is what I did all weekend.
…and now without further ado…
…inspired (/directed) by my good friend Ashley…
Lentil & Bulgur Pilaf with Red Cabbage (or spinach) serves 4
Ingredients
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
– 2 cups red cabbage (or use frozen spinach and add at the end)
– 3 cloves garlic
– 3/4 cup lentils
– 1/2 cup bulgur
– 1/4 cup amaranth
– ~1 tbsp cumin
– ~ 1/2 tbsp coriander
– ~1/2 tbsp indian complete seasoning
– ~1/2 tsp mustard
– ~1/2 tsp allspice
– ~1/2 tsp ginger
– ~1/4 tsp marjoram
– ~1/4 tsp turmeric
– fresh ground black pepper
– 4 cups water
– 2 tbsp tomato paste
Directions
1. Heat oil in a large skillet (that has a tight-fitting lid) over medium. Add onion, mushroom, and cabbage (omit cabbage if using spinach) and saute until tender.
2. Add garlic, lentils, amaranth, bulgur, and spices and cook for 30 seconds.
3. Add water and tomato paste. (Add frozen spinach now if using it) Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until water is mostly absorbed.
the goods (cooked)
+
lots of spicessss
+
amaranth, lentils, & garlic
 =
+
water, tomato paste
=
+
20 mintues…
=
mmm
spinach version (I actually preferred this version)
Serve and enjoy! (see above image… and make sure not to serve with rotten green beans!)

It’s been too long…

>…since I posted a main dish meal! So I figured that I would post one of my new favorite recipes! It mainly involves a slow cooker, barley, and chicken. It yields a main dish so creamy and delectable that you’ll just want to sit and bask in its excellence.

Indian-Spiced Chicken and Barley
Ingredients
– 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast
– juice of 1 lemon
– 1 tsp (roughly) turmeric

-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 large red onion, finely chopped
– 4 stalks celery, diced
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp minced gingerroot
– 1 tbsp ground cumin
– 2 tsp ground coreander
– sprinkling of indian spice blend (garam masala/curry will do)
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 cup rinsed barley
– 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
– 1 cup broth/stock (I made this with the sodium-free broth powder and water)
– sprinkling of cayenne pepper
– 1 cup plain yogurt

Directions
1. Chop chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and spread out on bottom of slow cooker. Squeeze lemon on top and sprinkle with turmeric. Toss to combine and spread back out in a single layer.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute. Add cumin, coriander, spice blend, and salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add barley and toss until well coated. Add tomatoes with juice and stock/broth and bring to a rapid boil. 
before the tomatoes/broth

3. Pour over the chicken. Cook in slow cooker on Low for 5 hours or High for 2 1/2 hours. Stir in the cayenne pepper and yogurt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

I forgot to snap a photo from the slow cooker or my plate, so this is the dish in a lunch container. 
It may look like mush, but it is sooo good. You will not be sorry that you tried it! I served it alongside steamed broccoli and carrots to round out the meal.