Themed Eating Mini Series: International Tuesday

January 21, 2014

Guest Post By Alicia Jones

Hey there!  I’m Alicia, and I’m really excited to be invited here to Tales of Two Hills for Astleigh’s themed eating mini–series!  I’ve chosen a NEW recipe to try out this week for International Tuesday and I think it’s going to be delicious, but before we get to all that, a bit about my family and our habits...

^^ That's us. David is my man, and Austen is our girl.^^

At this moment we are a real food striving, paleo learning, meal planning, learning along the way type of family.  We didn’t get here overnight though, it’s been years in the making and there will be more experimenting and changing to come along for certain.  The first big change was a byproduct of moving to the country; it was the beginning of the end for us.  Living farther than a few minutes from the grocery store, with a small kid, and only one (totally amazing) restaurant close by it meant our eating habits were going to have to change.  No longer could we decide on a whim what we wanted to eat that evening. No, “Oh, we’ll just order take out!”  Or, “I need beans to make this!”.  Meal planning and once a week grocery shopping had to happen and let me tell you, it was life changing.  We will never abandon our meal planning; it is a crucial part of our time management strategy, plus we need all that “extra” time to chop wood and try to catch flying squirrels! (Yeah, that happened). Even with meal planning, we were still eating a fair amount of “convenience foods” even though we wanted better and talked about it frequently. Overall, we were still not feeling great.  Luckily for us, David and I reached the “enough is enough” point around the same time, even if for different reasons.  We cut out gluten for some symptoms I was experiencing, and seemed to have some success with that.  As time wore on, we became less strict about the gluten but we find ourselves headed back that direction now because, although we feel a lot better than before, I still have some issues that I’m trying to figure out.  Lucky for me, my main squeeze loves me and is willing to try to figure it out with me, so the food experiment continues! Seriously, food is just one big experiment, ya’ll. 

Food isn’t the only thing we’ve changed in an effort to feel better, I had been exercising sporadically, and David worked around the house, but we had no designated exercise time.  He decided to take a class at Tech MMA and I, after much debate and anxiety signed up for Boot Camp Challenge, holla!  Our new exercise routines gave us the motivation to also do better in the kitchen, and strive for the type of eating we wanted to be doing; focusing on eating less processed, more nutritious meals, before we knew it we were both down more than a few pounds, a lot more.  Teaching Austen all the exercises we do, and watching her do her favorites is priceless; mountain climbers and bear crawls, crazy child.  This past Thanksgiving, we all did the YMCA Turkey Trot and Gobbler Run in Waynesboro, VA; the smile on her face was motivation to never stop being active.  (Seriously, would you look at that face?!)

Anyway, that is a little bit about us and why we eat the way we do, feeling better is the name of the game. As I said, I’ve decided to try something we’ve never made before for this little project, my friend Lynnae (shout out!) says it is delicious, and it is also Whole30 compliant, which fits my family’s needs.  I gotta warn you: if you’re looking for low fat, this is NOT the recipe for you. This is chock full of good Omega 3 fat from the coconut.  So, without any further ado, the recipe!  

Chicken Curry with Mashed Cauliflower
  • Ingredients for Chicken Curry:
    • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
    • 3+ Tablespoons curry powder (I used about 1.5 TBS. because 3 seemed like a lot!)
    • Garlic powder to taste
    • Onion powder to taste
    • 2.5 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes, seasoned with salt & pepper
    • 1, 14 ounce can coconut milk
    • 1, 14 ounce can tomato sauce
    • 1, 14 ounce can pineapple bits, canned in unsweetened pineapple juice
    • handful of fresh green beans
    • red pepper flakes to taste
  • Directions for Chicken Curry:
    • In a large skillet on medium, heat coconut oil and curry powder until it gets a little paste-like.
    • Add garlic and onion powder. Then add chicken and stir to coat.
    • Cook for 8 minutes (until chicken is no longer pink in center)
    • Add coconut milk, tomato sauce, pineapples including juice, red pepper flakes, green beans, more salt and pepper, and stir well.
    • Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Ingredients and Directions for Mashed Cauliflower:
    • 1 Small head cauliflower, boil until fork-tender.
    • Add 1/8 cup almond milk and salt, pepper,  & garlic to taste.
    • Put everything in food processer and pulse until smooth and creamy. 

Serve curry over the cauliflower, and MMMMMMM. This is really, really tasty.  The more I ate, the more I liked it! David and I added in the red pepper flakes and a bit of siriachi.  It has a really rich flavor and the texture is nice and creamy from the coconut milk.   I am already looking forward to serving it with eggs for breakfast!  Austen wouldn’t try it, which is a shame, because I know she’d like it.  She had her dinner all separated out with no sauce, which we planned on just in case, but isn’t ideal for a busy family.  We will definitely make this again sometime, perhaps if it shows up again Austen will give it a shot?

P.S. Mad props to David who actually cooked this while I attempted to take the pictures. Food bloggers must have four arms and nice cameras. 

P.P.S. curry + eggs = awesome