Burmese Chicken Curry

Today I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes.  I got this recipe from a lady I used to work for who has turned into a good friend.  She wasn’t sure where exactly she got it from – but it was well loved in her kitchen as well.   When I started on my real food journey, and especially when I started reading Eat Fat Lose Fat , I was excited because I already had a well-loved recipe that I could eat!  To top it off, it’s very versatile – I never make it the same way twice!


2-3 lbs chicken, cubed
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ C vegetable coconut oil
2T soy sauce
2t chili powder (sometimes I just use a few red pepper flakes to spice things up)
1t turmeric
2t coriander
1t ginger
½ t cardamom
1 can coconut milk
hot pepper, to taste

Sauté chicken in coconut oil.  Add onion and garlic when chicken is just about cooked through.  Add spices and coconut milk to the chicken when the onions are soft.  Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. {I don’t think it needs a full 40 minutes!}

this is before the coconut milk & spices
Now, here is the great thing about this recipe: you can replace all or part of the chicken with vegetables!  I usually cook about one pound of chicken up and then add in veggies to make a full pot.  I use all kinds of vegetables in this.  My favorites are eggplant, carrots, celery, green beans, and kale.  Not necessarily all in one dish.  I use either fresh, frozen or even leftover from another night (sometimes all in one pot!).  It’s very versatile.  I just put the veggies in according to cooking time.  Most of the vegetables I put in just before I add the spices.   When I do kale, I put it in about 10 minutes before it’s done simmering.   The recipe I have also says to try garbanzo beans.  I haven’t yet, but I bet using beans in place of chicken along with veggies would make a very yummy meatless meal!

Enjoy! And please leave a comment if you have some other veggies you like to add (or think would be good to try)!

This post linked to:

Menu Plan ~ Nov 28

Now that we are moved, I feel like I can truly plan our meals again.  All the dishes are unpacked.  Although the food is disorganized, it’s all out of bags and boxes.

With Thanksgiving last week, we have a bit of leftovers to use.  Not a lot, as I purposely didn’t make a lot and shared what was leftover.  I have some turkey bone broth to make today from the carcass and a couple meals worth of turkey meat.  Everything else is just a few bites of stuff, good for sending in my hubby’s lunch (or giving to Bug for snack). 

The new job doesn’t let me get home until 5:00 or so every night.  If I have errands to run, it is even later!  I’m going to try to use my crockpot as much as possible, so that I don’t have to spend as much time in the evening working on dinner.  I have enough other things to do! Time to start delegating the meals to my handy slow-cooker!

Sunday:  Frozen Pizza and salad
Monday: Crockpot Turkey Tortilla Soup topped with tortilla chips, avocado, cheese and sour cream
Tuesday: Spaghetti and salad
Thursday: Leftovers or YOYO (You’re on your own!)
Friday: Italian Roast Beef (in Crockpot), Brussels sprouts, and rolls

Kvass Giveaway @ Food Renegade!

Food Renegade is holding a giveaway (ends tonight!) for a free 6-pack of Zukay Kvass drinks.

If you’ve never had Kvass, it’s a super healthy fermented drink usually made from beets.  Zukay offers Beet, Beet Ginger, Carrot Ginger and Veggie Medley Kvass flavors.   I really want to try the Carrot Ginger!

You can enter the give away by going to visit Food Renegade

But if you win, you have to share with me!

Win a Bottle of Fermented Cod Liver Oil!!

Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship is talking about fermented cod liver oil!  Yes, that's right, the smelly, nasty stuff that is incredibly good for you!

If you've been thinking about FCLO, but were afraid to take the plunge, well now is your chance.  Katie is having a Giveaway for twenty bottles of the stuff from Green Pastures Products - in the flavor of your choice!  Did you know they have such flavors as orange, cinnamon and mint?  Might make it a little easier to go down!

Head on over to Kitchen Stewardship and sign up to win.

Then don't for get to take your cod liver oil!

Giveaway @ Keeper of the Home

I didn't do a menu plan this week.  Bad me! But it's one of those weeks. 

I popped over to tell you about a giveaway going on over at Keeper of the Home! Stephanie has got three copies of Herbal Nurturing: A Family Healing & Learning Guide written by Michele from Frugal Granola

I'm excited by this e-book.  We have a tendency not to use anything for help in healing because we don't want to use 'medicine'.  I would love to dive into the natural options that I can feel good about giving to my family.

Keeper of the Home has been sharing a lot of home remedies this month, and this is giving me just a taste.  I did not realize all the natural remedies out there just for dealing with colds and the flu!  When If we get sick this winter, I now know we won't just suffer thorough!

So head on over to Keeper of the Home and leave a comment to win this wonderful new e-book!

Weekly Menu Plan: Oct 10

Back for another week of menus.  I'm a little behind in the posting of this (try 3 days behind!), but I did make the menu on Monday, so that is a plus!

Last weeks big hit was Friday night's Skillet Chicken in Thyme & Red Wine Sauce.  WOW.  Rave reviews from all mouths, even Bug's.  The Dal didn't go over so well, but I will try another recipe another time.

I'm trying to eat as many fresh vegetables from the Farmers Market as I can right now.  I know that the luxury of having fresh food like this will soon be coming to an end as winter approaches.  It's a very sad thought of having to eat either frozen veggies or veggies from far away lands.  I have a feeling we'll be eating a lot of squash! :D

Take N Bake Pizza
(We were watching football and I couldn't be bothered with coming up with something to eat!)

Grilled Chicken
Baked Squash

Stir-Fried Veggie Rice

Breakfast Burritos

Burmese Curry Chicken and Veggies
Brown Rice

Italian Roast Beef
Red Potatoes
Sauteed Kale
Baked Apple Crisp


This post linked to Menu Plan Monday @ OrgJunkie.com

Concord Grape Jam

On Wednesday, Bug and I participated in our first harvest with Portland Fruit Tree Project.  It was fun.  Our small group (8 or 9 of us all together) picked 92 lbs worth of green concord grapes.  This was quite the interesting task because the grape vines were growing on an arbor roof over a restaurant's outdoor dining area (there were no diners at the time).

The way PFTP works, is people volunteer to harvest from trees (or in this case vines) and half of what is harvested goes to the local food bank, and half gets split up between the harvesters.  It's a great project.  The trees belong to people who can't / don't want to harvest themselves.

So I got to bring home 7 lbs of green concord grapes.  But then I had to figure out what to do with the grapes.  We don't eat a lot of grapes here. 

Bug wanted to make them into raisins.  But they had seeds, so that wasn't going to work. (I am drying a few small ones that don't have seeds just for him though.)

So the next logical thing was jelly.  But I didn't have my steam juicer out of storage to make some nice pretty grape juice without all the work.

I then decided on jam.  I pulled the grapes off the stems and washed them.  Then I threw them into a pot and cooked them for about 10 minutes, giving them a smash with a potato masher a few times a lot, smashing grapes is fun!

After they had cooked and released all their juices, I pushed them through a sieve. I ended up with a disgusting looking puke-green juice with quite a bit of pulp.

At this point, I followed the directions on my packet of Pomona's Pectin.  I used 4 C of grape juice (with pulp) and 1 C of sugar.

It turned out much better than store-bought grape jelly.  Doesn't it always though?

my disgusting puke-green beautiful concord grape jam
This post linked at Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.

Weekly Menu Plan: October 3

One of my goals is to make and stick to a menu.  I used to be good at it.  Well, compared to now.  It never became a habit.  But I want it to be.  I like knowing ahead of time what I'm going to cook.  I also like being able to keep my food budget in check since I don't have to buy so much to 'have on hand' (this is totally different than stocking up!).  

One of the other things I love about making a menu is the chance to try a new recipe.  If I don't stick it on a menu, I'm a lot less likely to try it.  My biggest problem about making menus is I'm never satisfied with just putting 'tacos' or some such thing down.  It just seems so boring to put on a menu!  But I do not have the time / energy to always come up with new & different meals, let alone make them.   So this is something I will have to learn to balance when making my meals.

This week's balance is a little heavy on the new recipe side, but not a lot of complicated stuff.

Roasted Veggie Minestrone Soup
Italian Bread

w/ pasta
Baked Squash

w/ brown rice
Steamed Cabbage

w/ yogurt sauce
Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Feta 


Roasted Potatoes
(which is not us, but the recipe is really good!)

Veggie Spaghetti

This post linked to Menu Plan Monday @ Orgjunkie.org.

Menu Monday

I used to do Menu Monday over on my homeschool blog.  But since this is my food blog, this seems the more appropriate place. 

Boiled Cabbage w/ Butter

Spinach Frittata
Lamb Sausage
Whole Wheat Pancakes


Baked Chicken Nuggets
Farmer's Market Veggie

Grilled Steak
Corn on the Cob
Farmer's Market Veggie

Possible dinner w/ friends;
otherwise it's leftovers! 

@ Baseball Game! 

Linked to Menu Plan Monday @ Orgjunkie.com

Camping Food

This last weekend, my husband, son and I went camping with our church.  We had a lot of fun.  There were 100 people (including the kids) in 3 group camp sites.  Nothing better than spending a couple of nights in God's creation with a large group of friends.

When planning for our camping trip, my husband and I brainstormed meal options.  We didn't have a lot of meals that needed to be made.  We needed to cook dinner for both Friday and Saturday night, and then breakfast on Sunday.  Breakfast on Saturday was provided by our church and then Saturday's lunch was a potluck.

When it comes to camping food,  I want it to be easy with little mess.  I also like to be able to cook as much as possible on the open flame.  My husband's #1 request was for hotdogs.  In his book, they are a must when camping.  But what else was I to make?

I wanted to keep things as REAL as possible.  I wasn't worried about well-rounded meals (we were camping, after all!), but I didn't want to put a bunch of chemicals in my body.  We hadn't been camping since I started eating healthy.  I couldn't come up with any ideas about what to make.  It needed to be easy, but in the healthy realm.

Then I stumbled across this article on real food campfire meals.  The last recipe seemed perfect.  Easy, not too messy, I can cook it on a fire, and it was frugal to boot!  (We spent enough $$ on treats, I had to keep the meals to a minimum!)

I ended up making a couple of variations of the burrito recipe.  We loved both of them!  I think the part I loved most about these is the crispy tortillas!

Here are my variations:

~ Bean, Beef, and Cheese Burritos ~ 
I filled a tortilla with taco meat (I made this at home prior to camping), black beans, and cheddar cheese.  I rolled the burrito up in aluminum foil and placed on the grill grate over the fire.   When they were warmed through and toasty, we ate them with salsa and sour cream on the side.  And we would have had avocado too, but I forgot about it!

~Breakfast Burritos~
We made a breakfast of diced potato hashbrowns, beef bacon, and eggs.  We ended up with some leftovers, and as I was cleaning up, I had a lightbulb come on.  I had one egg left that didn't get cooked (and who wants to bring home one egg!), and a slice of bacon that nobody snagged.  So I added these to the rest of the potato hash my husband didn't eat.  I rolled the hash and some cheese into tortillas and wrapped in aluminum foil.  I left them sitting on the table while we took down camp.  I was able to clean up everything and when we started getting hungry, I laid them on the grill.  We had our lunch of breakfast burritos after we were all packed up.  It was easy and oh so yummy!

Burritos will be added to our regular camping meals.  We might have to see what other variations we can come up with!

The Morning Stare-At-The-Fire

What do you like to cook when you are camping? 

This post linked to GNOWFGLINS Tuesday Twister.

Grass-Fed BEEF Sausages - A GIVEAWAY!

Food Renegade is having a giveaway for a sampler of US Wellness Meats sausages!  I SOOO want to win this.  If I don't, I'll to pay for it.  Because I really want to try some of their stuff!

So go on over and enter it!  But not too many times, because I want to win! Hehehe! Or, if you do win.... I want a bite, K?

My New Toy!

I got a new toy earlier this week.  On Tuesday, my birthday actually.  But it wasn't really a birthday present.  Just happened to show up on that day.   Here's a picture of it:

In case you don't know what that is. It's a dehydrator.  The Nesco FD-75PR 700 Watt Food Dehydrator, to be exact.  It rocks.  I've been wanting one of these for a while.  I'm so glad I finally broke down and bought one.  This one has the top heater/fan, which helps dry it evenly.  It comes with 5 trays, 2 fine screens, and 2 fruit leather screens.

I broke down and bought it because I found bags of slightly brown bananas for $1 a bag.  Ended up being less than 30 cents a pound, which is pretty good.  I bought two bags. So I had to get a dehydrator to handle them all. :)

Bug helped me cut the bananas.  It was tedious. Especially since some of the bananas were definitely getting ripe. But he did good.

We ended up with 3 trays of bananas.  I, being of slow mind, forgot to oil the trays.  They were a pain to get off.  But we ended up with a 16 oz plastic container of banana chips.

We also did a tray of strawberry/banana fruit leather.  This was with the extra mushy bananas and some strawberry puree I had in the freezer from last summer.  We put the bananas and strawberries into our Magic Bullet to puree, Bug was very excited.

Since I had the dehydrator, I was able to hit up a sale on pineapples (clean 15) I picked up four pineapples for 99 cents each!  We cut up 3 of them and dried them.  The other one we'll eat fresh (we love pineapple in this house!).  

I'm also exploring what else I'll be able to make.  I'm thinking sweet potato chips, dried herbs, and lots more fruit leather! 
What do you like to make in your dehydrator? 

This post is linked on Simple Lives Thursday.

The Diet - Part 2

The time got away from me.  I didn't mean to go a week between these posts.  But it happened.

So I left off talking about Eat Fat, Lose Fat and Nourishing Traditions.  There is a lot of info in them and I'm not going to explain it all here and now.  But I do want to tell you what I'm trying to eat.

So here's the run down.   First off, no high-fructose-corn-syrup (HFCS), MSG, or partially hydrogenated oils.  This is pretty typical for people eating REAL food, since none of that is real food.

The other thing I've cut out of my diet is SOY.  Soy everything.  I'm even trying to cut out soy lecithin, even though most sources say it doesn't cause any health problems.  The reason I've cut out the soy is two-fold.  One, most sources of soy are GMO and not organic.  The other, bigger reason, is because of the horrible health problems it can cause.  Soy can cause hormone issues and is also a goitrogen and can cause thyroid problems.  Both of these things I suffer from.

So, if I'm not eating that - what AM I eating?  The main thing I have added in, is coconut oil.  I am trying to have a couple tablespoons of coconut oil before or with every meal.  This is doing a few things.  It helps level the thyroid levels.  It also helps fill me up and keep me satisfied.  Really, if you want to know all the health benefits of coconut oil, read Eat Fat, Lose Fat.

Other than that, I'm trying to eat as many proteins, good fats, fruits and veggies as I can.  I am eating grains and starches, but I'm trying to keep them to a minimum.   And when I can, I'm soaking them or buying sprouted flour bread.

I'm not being really strict with myself.  Really the biggest change is just making as much stuff from scratch as I can.  I can eliminate so much of the unhealthy stuff from my diet if I eliminate the processed foods.  Even the 'organic' and 'natural' processed stuff isn't healthy in large quantities. 

In the last few weeks doing this, I've dropped about 6 lbs.  And I haven't even been doing it faithfully every day!  I feel a LOT better.  My energy levels are up.  My hormones seem to be leveling out.  I really am sold on this!  I can feel my system reacting when I eat too much grains or processed foods.

I'm going to try to use this blog to share what I'm cooking and what I'm eating.  I'd also like to share how I'm feeling and the progress I'm making on gaining back, for the first time, my health.

The Diet - Part 1

When I first started this blog, I didn't really have a vision.  I knew that I wanted to focus on real food, but I hadn't completely researched what real food was to me.  One of the biggest things I've found the past couple months, is that those who are trying to eat healthier don't necessarily agree on what that real food is.

There are as many real food diets as there are nasty fake food diets.  You can eat primal, raw, vegetarian, vegan.   I knew I had to get off the HFCS, MSG, hydrogenated oils, but what I was supposed to eat I wasn't so sure. 

I innocently put out a question on Facebook asking for my friends' resources for information on food.  I was pointed to Weston A. Price and Nourishing Traditions.  I just so happen to be able to start reading Nourishing Traditions (NT).   So much of the research and information made sense.  What I was reading was supported by many of my friends as well.  Apparently, I got on the healthy eating train late.

From NT, I found Eat Fat, Lose Fat (EFLF). As soon as I started reading it, I knew it was what I needed.  Between NT & EFLF,  all my health problems were described and it told me exactly how I had been eating.  It also offered the solutions that made the most sense.

Tomorrow, I will tell you what those solutions are and what 'diet' I have been using to regain my health and lose weight.

Friday Finds - July 16

I'm getting closer to really starting to blog.  I think.  :)

But until then, here are a few more items to ponder over. :)

(Do you see a theme going on??)

And a recipe that looks wonderful ~ I'm going to try and make it with better ingredients (whole wheat bread, yogurt cheese, etc).  I'm hoping to do some blueberry picking this next week so maybe this will be breakfast next weekend!

Frugal Living NW ~ Blueberry French Toast Bake

I think that's it for now!  Enjoy! 

Friday Finds - June 25

I finally got the book "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" by Mary Enig & Sally Fallon.  I just checked it out of the library, but after 3 chapters, I know I want to own it!  I will probably start in with some real posts soon, based on what I'm eating and learning from this book.  It's as good a place as any to start. 

Here's what I found interesting this week:

Man-Made Flavors Are Bad For Your Health - Kelly the Kitchen Kop (Guest Post by Dr. Michael Teplitsky)

USDA Dietary Guidelines 2010 - Baloney! - GNOWFGLINS -- There were a few posts this week on the USDA Dietary Guidelines.  I enjoyed Wardeh's take on it and her call to action. 

Cold Culture Eating - Sacred Appetite 


I read a lot more than that... but I can't think of anything specific at the moment.  I guess it just was one of those weeks. :) 


My Friday Finds

I come across so many interesting blog posts across the 'net, I thought I'd share some interesting ones.  Since I'm not adding new content here yet, I might as well share other people's thoughts and information!

Your Thyroid: Understanding The Keys To Health from Food Renegade really hit home for me.  I was diagnosed last fall with hypothyroidism and have been exploring ways to manage it without synthetic hormones.

Real Gardening vs. American Lawncare from Kitchen Stewardship, along with her related post Michael Pollan on “Can Grassfed Feed the World?” were wonderfully well written and brought up a good point on whether the whole world can be supported by eating real, whole foods (my thought: of course, that's the way God created the world to be!)

That's a good start. :)  I think I might start doing this on a regular basis as I need a way to share all the good stuff I read.

Thursday Cooking Club ~ Tomato, Avocado and Chevre Toast

My friend Lisa has started a Thursday Cooking Club on her Facebook page.  It's an ingenious idea.  Post one recipe a week for everyone to try and then discuss what we changed it and what we thought.

The first week's recipe was Heirloom Tomato Sandwich with Herbs and Creamy Tofu Spread from Whole Living. The original recipe sounded pretty good, but I never rarely stick with a recipe as its written.  When Lisa posted the recipe, she commented that she was going to use goat cheese in place of the tofu.  That immediately clicked with me as I love chevre. The soft, tangyness sounded perfect with tomatoes and herbs.

I didn't plan well this week, so I didn't have the fresh basil on hand.  What I did have, was Fine Herb Chevre from Trader Joe's.  This chevre has enough flavor that I didn't need to add any additional herbs.  I also wasn't satisfied with just tomato.  I had an avocado in my fridge that needed to be used, so I figured, "Why Not?".  I just used boring old toast, because someone ate the last slice of the yummy seed bread I was going to use.

But with all the throw-together-ness of this, it turned out really yummy.

My Recipe (not that you need one for this):

1 Slice of Toast (I just used TJ's Organic Oats & Honey ~ would have tasted much better with an artisan bread.)
Herbed Chevre (You can easily add your own herbs into a plain chevre) 
Tomato (fresh from the garden, if you have it, mine wasn't!)

Spread desired amount of chevre onto the warm toast (get a tad bit of melting going on), layer on thinly sliced tomato and avocado.  Top with a basil leaf, if you have it. *I did not add any additional oils to the chevre, as I felt it was unnecessary.  I think the reason it was added to the tofu (in the original recipe) was to give it the right consistency.  Chevre is already spreadable.

Estimated WW Points: 4 Pts
Toast - 1 pt (It's easy to find 1 pt bread that is organic/all natural.)
Chevre - 1 pt (Chevre is 2 pts per oz, I used about 1/2 oz for one slice of toast.)
Tomato - 0 pts
Avocado - 2 pts (I used 1/4 of an avocado.)

Verdict:  This was very yummy.  Although simple, it is not something I would have thought to do.  I will be trying this again, for sure!  And for only 4 points, you can add a side of fruit and have a satisfying lunch. 

1st Visit of the Year to the Farmer's Market!

Just got back from our first visit of the year to the Portland Farmers Market. We had so much fun! We spent a good 30 minutes just wandering around the stands, looking, sampling, deciding.  We could have EASILY spent twice as much than we spent.

One nice thing about PFM is they have a match program when you use your EBT card (ie food stamps, which we qualify for right now). At the Buckman FM, where we were today, they match your first $5.  I, of course, spent twice that much.  But some of that was splurging on non-produce stuff.

Here's what we finally decided on (all the produce was organic):
  • From Denison Farms, we picked up some sweet spring turnips, a bunch of green garlic, and a pint of sweet red strawberries. 
  • From Gathering Together Farm, we picked up a bunch of radishes. 
  • From Reister Farms, we picked up a couple of lamb pepperoni sticks. 
  • From Pesto Outside the Box, we picked up... (yep, you guessed it) PESTO! Roasted Asparagus and Hazelnut Pesto to be exact.  Which we will be having for dinner tonight.  We sampled it and then couldn't say no. 
The kiddo was very excited about the radishes and turnips.  I chopped some up for him to take along, with some strawberries, as a snack tonight.  That would be why I don't have any pictures to share.  Half the food is gone before I had a chance to blink!  But really, who can blame him?

As for what's rest, here's the plan.  We'll chop of the remaining turnips and radishes to go in a salad.  The turnip and radish greens will be braised along with some of the green garlic.  I've never used the greens from the radishes before, and we never buy turnips.  So we'll see how they turn out!  I wasn't even sure if the radish greens were edible until I got home, but from the look of things we can braise them just like the turnip greens.

Green garlic is a new thing for us too, so I'm excited to taste the difference between them and mature garlic!  After doing a quick Google search, it seems green garlic is milder and can end up a bit sweeter when cooked.  I'm excited about the experiment!

This is definitely my favorite time of the year.  I love the excitement that comes from getting fresh, local, healthy produce.  And it's even more fun when you can try something new!

Linked at Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.


I love to eat. I love to cook. I love to eat and cook healthily. I love to eat and cook healthily with local, natural products.

I haven't always been this way.  There was a time in the past when my diet consisted almost exclusively of food from Burger King and occasionally out of a box.  I still loved to eat. But I didn't cook.  And I didn't much care about what it was I was eating.

Over the years, I came around.  I started caring about the food I put in me.  I have a desire to be a healthy woman so I can be the wife and mom that God wants me to be.  I also have a desire to create healthy eating habits in my son.

In October of 2009, I joined Weight Watchers for the 3rd and final time.  I was determined to get my weight under control.  But in doing so, I didn't want to fall back on the frozen boxed meals and artificial sugars that plagued my last couple rounds.

I wanted to use WW as a way to stay accountable to the AMOUNT of food that I ate.  WW is also a wonderful tool for dealing with the emotional issues surrounding overeating.  The meetings are very encouraging and inspiring.

But so much of the food that is commonly eaten by people following WW is not really food.  It's a list of chemical additives and preservatives with a smidgen of real food thrown in.   I didn't want to eat that stuff!  The list of nasty ingredients are just as bad, if not worse, for me than being overweight!

So when I joined WW, I told myself I was going to not only follow the WW program - counting points, exercising, etc - but do so as naturally and as close to real food as possible. While still staying within my food budget at the grocery store!

I am learning about real food now.  I am still a baby in this real food life.  And I've been slow about embracing it.  But I'm determined.

I'm determined to continue eating right.  I'm determined to reach a healthy weight. I'm determined to be healthy. I'm determined to not blow my budget.  I'm determined to keep learning about food. I'm determined to buy local and natural foods when possible. I'm determined to be the wife and mom that God wants me to be.