Sunday, February 26, 2012

Healthy Chicken Curry

Are you kidding me, 15cm of snow….grrr!  Our driveway had finally melted down to the pavement and I was getting out pretty often with the baby for walks in the nice warm weather.  Next week I start my 12 week training for the half marathon on race weekend and I was really hoping for clear paths and warm weather.  Hopefully there is some warm weather in store and we get rid of the snow sooner rather than later. 

As part of my training I’ll be adjusting my diet to get off the last of the baby weight.  Expect to see some healthier meals. This one comes out at 356 calories for 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of curry chicken mixture.  It’s amazing how much substituting low-fat and whole wheat can change the nutritional value in a meal.  I’ll admit that you do end up compromising on flavour.  The hubby made it very clear that it was good but he knew it was “healthy”.  I loved it, which I don’t often say after I’ve cooked, only because everything tastes better when someone else makes it.  At least it’s not salad.

The best part about this recipe is you’re really getting two recipes out of it.  I plan on making just the rice portion of the dish next time and adding the chicken straight into the rice.  That way you end up with a great one pot meal that is full of flavour and is super healthy.  Another thing I might change is to use pistachios instead of cashews and if it floats your boat you could even add some golden raisins.  The hubby isn’t a fan of raisins so I would steer clear but I think it would be delicious.  Here's a photo of the rice on it's own, mmmm!

Chicken Curry with Cucumber Rice


·         1 tbsp olive oil
·         1 tsp mustard seeds
·         1 tsp cumin seeds
·         4 cloves garlic, minced
·         1 red pepper, half diced and half sliced
·         2 large yellow onions, diced, divided
·         1 cup brown rice
·         1 tsp ground turmeric
·         1 cup low sodium chicken broth
·         ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
·         ½ English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
·         Zest from 1 lemon
·         ¼ tsp salt and pepper
·         2 tbsp roasted cashews, crushed
·         1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
·         1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
·         1 small head of cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces
·         2 tsp ginger, minced
·         1 tbsp whole wheat flour
·         4 tsp curry powder
·         1 can low fat coconut milk
·         Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


1.    In a large saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil over medium high heat.  Add mustard and cumin seeds and toast, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes until seeds are fragrant and begin to pop.  Add garlic, diced bell pepper and half of the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until onion is soft and translucent.

2.   To saucepan, add rice and turmeric and stir to coat.  Cook for 2 minutes, until slightly toasted.  Stir in 1 cup broth, 1 cup water and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes until rice is tender. (my rice took a little longer, you will know when it’s ready)  Add cucumber, zest, salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with cashews, cover to keep warm.

3.   Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 1 tsp oil on medium-high. Add chicken and sauté, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.  Transfer to a large plate and set aside.

4.   Add carrot, cauliflower, sliced red pepper, ginger and remaining half of onion to skillet.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Add water 1 tbsp at a time if skillet gets to dry and vegetables begin to brown too much.  Add flour and cook, stirring to prevent clumping, for about 3 minutes.  Return chicken to skillet.  Add curry powder, 1 cup of water and coconut milk.  Stir constantly and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 8 minutes.  Spoon rice onto serving plate and top with curry chicken.  Garnish with cilantro and serve.


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