Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  It’s not that I haven’t been cooking (and obviously eating), just haven’t had a lot of time to post.

But here is a meal that is definitely worth trying.  A modification of the Shrimp & Bok Choy dish I love so much, this one uses another thing I love: sweet potatoes!

Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry

(makes 3 servings – makes great leftovers for lunch!)

6 oz. chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 small sweet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 can lite coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup bamboo shoots (optional)
1 tbsp sambal oelek
2 tsp curry powder (mild, medium or hot depending on your preference)
2 tsp. olive oil
Salt
Pepper

1. In a saucepan with steamer basket, steam the cubed sweet potato for 6-7 minutes or until cooked though.

1.   In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place chicken in the pan.  Cook 3 minutes on one side before turning over.  Continue until chicken is browned but not fully cooked, about 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from pan and place to the side.

2. Add remaining olive oil to the pan.  Add the onions with the Sambal Oelek & curry powder.  Saute for 3 – 4 minutes or until softened.  Toss in bamboo shoots, if using, and cook for another 3 minutes.

3. Pour in coconut milk and the 1/2 cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove anything that has stuck to the bottom.  Add in the cooked sweet potato.   Cover and let come to a boil until reducing the heat and letting simmer for at least 10 minutes.  Right before serving, add chicken and cook another 3-4 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.

4.  Serve over your choice of noodles, rice or steam veggies (broccoli is great!).


Confused Shepard’s Pie

This meal really doesn’t qualify as a shepard’s pie.  It has no ground lamb or beef and the regular potatoes are switched for sweet potato.  On the other hand, it’s not really a chicken pot pie either.

Call it what you will but this layered casserole dish full of veggies and chicken only tastes decadent.   Use whatever vegetables you have on hand to create.  Any fall root vegetable, like parsnips, would also be fabulous here.

Shepard & Chicken Pie All in One


(makes 3 servings)

1 medium sweet potato, peeled & cooked (microwaved is a good choice here)
1/3 cup milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 oz. chicken, cubed
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen & defrosted)
1/2 cup diced carrots (about 1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 1/2 tsp. Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Bay Leaf

In a mixing bowl, mash cooked sweet potato.  Stir in milk, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Heat one tsp of olive oil a skillet over medium low heat.  Add chicken, seasoned with some salt and pepper.  Cook for 1 and a half minutes and turn over.  Cook another 2 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned.  Remove from skillet and place on a plate.  Add a 1/2 tsp of olive oil to the pan and add the onion.  Cook 3-4 minutes or until softened.  Add carrots and garli.  Cook for 6 minutes or until carrots are not as hard.  Stir in peas and then add the chicken back to the pan.  Stir in mustard, bay leaf and about a half cup water.  Let simmer for 7 – 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool for 5 minutes.

In a lightly greased casserole dish, spread an inch thick layer of the sweet potato mixture.  Add chicken and vegetables.  Cover with another layer of the remaining sweet potato.

In a 400 degree preheated oven, add casserole dish.  Cook for 15 -minutes.  If you have a broiler, place in there for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken + Sweet Potato Pancakes

You win some, you lose some, right?

I’m chalking last night’s loss in the kitchen up to aggravation & a cloudy mind.

After a long day at work and many things on my mind, I went to grab the marinating chicken from the fridge.  Since I was rushing, I didn’t notice the brand new carton of eggs situated awfully close to said chicken.  With one quick grab I managed to get both out of the fridge.  Only problem?  All of the eggs wound up on the floor and needless to say, cracked.

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(Wed.) Coconut Shrimp & Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Last year while vacationing in London with my sister, we enjoyed some totally awesome pub grub including  coconut shrimp & sweet chili sauce (read here for more of our overseas antics).  Of course, these weren’t necessarily healthy but they definitely were delicious – and a good meal before a night of partying!

Every now and again I have a craving for these tasty & sweet shrimp but don’t always want to waste my calories (and money) on the often disappointing version served here in the states.  What’s a girl to do?

Obviously, make your own healthier kind at home!  Served with sweet potato “fries” it’s really hard to think of this as healthy.

Coconut Shrimp & Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Key Players:

Shrimp: Another quick cooking protein, shrimp makes healthy weeknight cooking a breeze.  Although fresh is the best way to go, to make things easier, I keep high quality shrimp well sealed in the freezer until I am ready to use.  To defrost, simply run under cold water.

Sweet Potato: What is it about sweet potatoes that make them so darn appealing?  Is it the bright orange hue it brings to any dish?  Or is it the fact that with the word ‘sweet’ in the name, you think you’re eating something bad for you.  Whatever the reason, sweet potatoes are a staple in my  fridge during the cooler months.  If you are really stretched on time, simply prick the potato a few times with a fork and pop in the microwave for 3-6 minutes (depending on size).

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Comforting Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Freezing temperatures, biting winds and post holiday blues.  Although most people have just made their New Year’s resolutions, doesn’t it seem that these are the months when comfort food is needed most?

Comfort food usually conjures thoughts of macaroni and cheese, fried chicken and cheesecake, but on a cold Sunday evening in January there are few things more comforting than roasted chicken.

Perhaps to some people, roasting a whole chicken seems too complicated or just not worth it.  Well, this Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken disproves both of those thoughts and will turn even the most stubborn roast chicken doubters into believers.

Prep time  only takes 10 minutes.  From there the oven goes to work until you are ready to enjoy one the juiciest chicken dinners ever.  And while the lemon garlic flavors are divine, it is mild enough so you can use the leftover chicken all week long.  Quesadillas, soups, pizza.  You name it, with pre-cooked chicken quick meals are right at your fingertips.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

serves 4

(Printable version)

1 6lb. Chicken, giblets removed and patted dry
2 large yellow onions, quartered
1 1/2 lemons, quartered
1 head garlic, top cut off plus 4 small cloves, mashed
1 bunch thyme (about 4 springs)
1/2 cup water
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Paprika

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place 1 of the quartered onions and 1 of the quartered lemons on the bottom of a roasting pan to create a bed for the chicken.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.  Place the bird on top of the bed, breast side up.  Liberally pour about 1/4 cup olive oil all over the bird and some inside the crevice.  Season the crevice of the bird with salt and pepper.  Remove skin slightly from breast meat so that you can rub olive oil and the 4 mashed garlic cloves under the skin.  Leave garlic cloves under the skin for roasting. Place half lemon, remaining onions, head of garlic (top sliced off) and thyme into the crevice. Sprinkle the bird generously with salt & pepper and finish with about a teaspoon of paprika. Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Cover the bird in foil and place in the oven on the middle rack.  Roast for 45 minutes and then remove the foil.  Continue to roast the chicken for approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes.  The temperature of the inner thigh should be 165 degrees F & the juices run clear.

Remove from the oven and place chicken on a cutting board.  Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

To make quick pan gravy:

Strain out all of the lemon quarters and most of the onions from the pan juices and pour remaining liquid into a small saucepan.   Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until reduced and thickened.  Season to taste and if desired whisk in a half tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

Also try: Quick & Simple Sides Dishes

Better For You Sweet Potato Mash

Peel and cube 2 large sweet potatoes.  Boil water in a medium saucepan.  Place sweet potato cubes in steamer basket and cook for about 10 – 15 minutes.  In a microwave safe bowl,  heat 1 3/4 cups skim milk, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg & 1/8 pepper for 1 minute 30 seconds.  Pour water out of saucepan, add the sweet potatoes and mash with a fork.  Pour in heated milk mixture and stir.  If you desire a smoother consistency, puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender.

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.  Add 2 teaspoons garlic and lightly saute for 1 minute.  Add 10 cups swiss chard, rinsed with the inner stem removed and sliced into 1 inch wide strips.  Season with salt and pepper and saute for 5-8 minutes or until wilted.

So how about you?  What is you comfort food?