For those of you who don’t always plan in advance as well as you would like (my hand is up), I thought I might share a very easy last-minute recipe you can make which will surprise you by how fast it is ready and how good it tastes.
It does depend on having a few things in your refrigerator on stand-by, which is a good habit to get into, especially if you try to figure out last-minute healthy meals like I do. These quantities serve about 4, but you can add a bit of everything to serve more. Preciseness is not that important in most of my cooking, much to the dismay of some of my family members! Prep time is about 10-15 minutes, depending on your chopping speed. Cooking time is about 10-15 minutes too! You can hardly go out and get fast food for under 30 minutes! And this is WAY more delicious and healthy!
Ingredients & Method all mixed together:
- 2 Chicken breasts (organic, if possible. They can be frozen, so don’t worry if you didn’t thaw it out!). If you are able and want to cut them into pieces, you can, but for a faster result, just use them whole. If they are still frozen solid, then use them whole, and you can break them into smaller pieces somewhere along the cooking process!
- Coconut Oil, 1-2 Tablespoons (depending on your budget and how much you have on hand, more is always good!)
- Onions, chopped. Either ½ onion leftover in the fridge, or a whole one, your choice.
- Garlic, couple of cloves, chopped or pressed (I’m still chopping, though I am hoping for a Pampered Chef garlic press for Christmas!).
Throw all of that into a largish pan on a medium low heat (it can go in stages, whatever works!). Cover and simmer on a low heat, turning the chicken occasionally to brown. If frozen, this stage will take a little bit longer. You can also use a firm wooden spoon to break the chicken breast into pieces whenever you are able to do so. Wait until it’s cooked a bit, so that it is not a difficult thing to do). I never use metal on metal when cooking, just saying.
- Curry Powder, 1-2 Tablespoons. Add curry powder to the pan after the chicken has mostly changed color on all sides and stir everything around so it gets impacted by the curry powder. The chicken does not have to be cooked through the middle. The curry powder likes to sauté with the other ingredients to share its flavor. I have been enjoying Simply Organic Curry Powder, which I think I buy from Kroger. It is a staple in my cupboard. I will also experiment with different curry powders. It’s great to get one with Turmeric, since it has so many beneficial qualities.
- Butternut, chopped. I chopped about ¾ of a butternut into small pieces (while the chicken mixture was browning). I actually left most of the skin on, but it was cut small. It was fine with the skin on, and it is a lot faster than having to peel it! (I took the seeds out and put them in a glass dish (see picture) with coconut oil and salt to roast in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes – makes a wonderful snack for later! Once I figured this out, I was amazed about how I had been wasting butternut seeds for years! Don’t worry about cleaning them, just dump all the insides in!) If you don’t have any butternut, you could use carrots or any combination of vegetables that you have on hand, and change the name!
- 1-2 Cups Chicken Stock. This is a great thing to find in your fridge or freezer! If I didn’t have any homemade chicken stock, I would have just added one cup of water
- Ground Salt, Himalayan Crystal. A few turns.
- Ground Pepper, a few turns.
Allow to simmer on low for about 15 minutes. Put some Quinoa or rice on to cook and it will be ready at the same time.
Optional: cashews. If you are a bit short on the meat, add cashews, or if you have an abundance of cashews, just add them for the taste!
While simmering, make a quick salad and Voila, a wonderful dish to delight the family – and they didn’t even guess I wasn’t prepared! I promise I didn’t use any recipe for this, except what was stored in my head. That doesn’t mean no one else gets any credit, I just can’t remember who I need to acknowledge for how I’ve learned to make curry. I used to have no idea how to make a nice curry and asked a lot of people along the way. It turns out, it isn’t really all that hard! And it gets easier and better with a bit of practice!
I don’t think this curry was spicy at all. If you want it a bit more spicy, add a chili pepper with the onions during the sautéing process.