20-Minute Coconut Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

Well. It’s here. Long sleeves. Jackets even. A deep desire to wear sweatpants and snuggle under blankets and watch movies all day. Leaves changing colors. Cool weather. Yep. It’s here. It’s comfort food season. My love of curry dishes grew exponentially when I started making my own. The belly warming game is on point. And they’re actually very simple to make, quick, infinitely modifiable, and fill your kitchen up with warm delicious smells almost immediately. This one is no exception. The fact that there are leftovers to enjoy for lunch tomorrow is the bonus of all bonuses. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* vegetable oil
* 3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, about even in thickness, cut into small chunks
* 1 sweet onion, chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, chopped
* few handfuls of green (or different varieties) beans, trimmed
* 4T curry powder
* 1T Thai red curry paste
* 2 13.5oz cans coconut milk
* 2t sugar
* juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
* handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

WHAT TO DO
Drizzle a large pan or skillet with oil over medium heat.

Add the chicken, onions, peppers, and beans to a large wok or sauté pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle the curry powder over the pan and cook about 6 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Add the red curry paste, coconut milk, sugar, and lime juice to the pan. Stir until the sauce starts to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook another 3-5 minutes.

Serve in a bowl over rice, garnished with a big pinch of the chopped cilantro. Squeeze a lime wedge over the bowl before diving in (but don’t *actually* dive in!).

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Ahi Tuna Tacos

It’s time for another edition of everybody’s favorite easiest and best dinner ever: Tacos! Once again, these look and sound crazy fancy but they’re so so simple and quick to put together. You can DIY some of the components I shortcut, obviously, but you don’t need to to make these amazing (and did I mention easy?!) tacos. So here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 2 6oz ahi tuna steaks
* 2T low-sodium soy sauce
* 3T olive oil, divided
* 1t salt
* 1/2t black pepper
* 1 small bag pre-shredded cabbage mixture, (I used a mix with purple and green cabbage, kale, and carrots)
* 1T rice vinegar
* 2 radishes, sliced thin
* 1/2 and avocado, slices thin
* tortillas
* lime wedges for garnish
* optional: sriracha mayonnaise for topping

WHAT TO DO
Place the tuna steaks in a large zip top bag and add the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper, then close the bag and carefully move it around to cover the tuna entirely and refrigerate and marinate for anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight. 

While that’s marinating, add the cabbage mix to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the rice vinegar and toss to combine. Set aside.

Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add the tuna steaks and cook 2.5 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and slice thinly on the diagonal.

Warm your tortillas and then prepare your tacos: tortilla; a little cabbage salad; a few slices of radish and avocado; a few pieces of tuna; a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of sriracha mayo if that’s your thing.

Meatless Monday: Roasted Eggplant and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Are you a Project Runway fan? This dinner was a Make It Work situation. Know what I mean? Plan A kind of fizzled, but I was too far into it and had to improvise so I could save the ingredients. Before I started cooking regularly this would have been a disaster. But I have come to think of cooking as a use it or lose it kind of muscle, and the more you use it the easier it is to flex. I panicked for a minute because I had no back-up plan, but then I stopped and looked around and quickly put together a Plan B. Here you go. 

WHAT YOU NEED
* 2 eggplants, cut lengthwise into thin slices
* salt
* pepper
* 1 jar your favorite marinara sauce
* 1T dried oregano, divided
* 2t fresh basil leaves, chopped and divided
* 15oz part-skim ricotta cheese
* 1C (+ more) grated Parmesan cheese
* 3 eggs
* jumbo shells
* shredded mozzarella (or another cheese of your preference)

WHAT TO DO
Preheat oven to 430F.

Arrange the eggplant slices onto a baking sheet (or two, depending on the size of your baking sheets) lined with foil sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Spray the tops of the slices of eggplant with a little more of the nonstick spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to touch. Chop into small chunks and set aside. Lower the heat on the oven to 350F.

While the eggplant roasts, boil water and cook the shells to al dente according to package instructions. Drain and allow to cool.

Pour the marinara sauce into a bowl, and add 1/2 a tablespoon of oregano and 2 teaspoons of the chopped basil.

In another bowl, mix together the ricotta, a cup of Parmesan, the eggs, 1/2 a tablespoon of oregano, the rest of the basil, and the roasted eggplant.

Spoon a little bit of the marinara mixture into the bottom of a baking dish. Fill each of the shells with the cheese/eggplant mixture and place into the baking dish. When the baking dish is filled, pour the marinara over the stuffed shells and sprinkle with shredded cheese and then with a little more Parmesan cheese.

Bake 15-20 minutes until the shredded cheese melts and browns and begins to bubble. Serve immediately.