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Archive for April, 2009

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Coconut Curry Chicken

As you savor each forkful of this coconut curry chicken over quinoa, you’ll be surprised with the tenderness of the chicken, the texture of the peas, the sweetness of the red onions, and the creaminess of the coconut milk. And… oh yes, the slight spiciness of the Thai green curry that lingers on your taste buds with this quick and nourishing dish.

I usually cook enough grain that will last for four or five days. This week I cooked a pot of quinoa, and prepared different toppings each night. You can also serve this alone and make it a one pot meal without any grain.

Coconut Curry Chicken

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

williamsburg-4961/2 skinless, boneless, range-free chicken breast, cubed

williamsburg-5201 cup organic frozen peas, defrosted

williamsburg-5221 cup coconut milk

williamsburg-51931 cup red onion, diced

williamsburg-4951/4 cup cilantro with stems, chopped

williamsburg-5001/8 teaspoon Thai green curry

books-02532 tablespoons of grass-fed raw butter, or grass-fed ghee, or coconut oil

First  melt about a tablespoon of grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil in a frying pan. Saute the chicken. Wait and let it saute before you toss it so that it browns slightly. Then continue tossing and waiting. Keep waiting to seal in those flavorful juices.

williamsburg-528Now,  here’s the secret to tender, moist chicken breast-remove the chicken from the pan while the chicken is still slightly pink. I know. Don’t worry. It will be recooked later.

williamsburg-532Add one tablespoon of fat and saute onions until translucent. Add more fat if needed.

williamsburg-535Mix Thai green curry and coconut milk in a bowl. Add to onions. I’ve used canned coconut milk previously, but I’ve found two better alternatives. The coconut milk I presently use is Tropical Traditions’ Coconut Cream. I add filtered water to it to create the thickness I desire. I recently read in The Nourishing Gourmet‘s recipes for fresh coconut milk which I’ll try next time. Cover and let simmer for about three minutes.

williamsburg-5371Add chicken. Cover and simmer for about two to three minutes. Toss with scrapings from the bottom of the pan. Mix all the delicious bits from the bottom of the pan with the chicken, onion, and coconut milk.

williamsburg-540Add peas. Simmer until cooked through.

williamsburg-544Serve on top of quinoa or your grain of choice. Garnish with cilantro.

Enjoy!

Modifications: For more servings, double each ingredient; for protein-types, use dark meat and increase amount; for carb-types eliminate peas and increase onions and add celery; vegetarians use tofu, onions, celery, and a grain to complete the  amino acids. You can increase the amount of curry to suit your taste. I used an eighth of a teaspoon so that it would provide some heat yet not overpower the other ingredients. Salt may also be added.

We’ll investigate the benefits of curry, onions, and quinoa in future posts.

Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom

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Dear Friends,

Happy Earth Day 2009!

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In recent years, we have been rethinking how to be good stewards of the planet God has given us to enjoy and care for. We have been making progress in spreading the word to to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Our planet’s resources are finite, and we need to respect and care for the living and non-living. What we do will effect others both now and in the future. Everything is inter-related and connected.

One such movement that’s been spreading the word is Mottainai, an organization started by Wangari Maathai, winner the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her work in Africa and founder of The Green Belt Movement.

Many of us now carry our own bags, or reuse plastic bags, or reuse paper shopping bags when we go shopping. It’s wonderful how far we’ve come, but the old plastic bags and the paper bags will eventually need to go into some landfill that will take many years to decompose. Think about the chemicals that will leach into our water and soil. Think about all the trees that were cut down to make the paper bags!

During this Earth Day, I took a workshop with the Japan America Society of Pennsylvania to learn how to use a furoshiki.

A furoshiki is a square piece of clothe that the Japanese have traditionally used to wrap and carry things. The Chinese, Koreans, and Turks have also used such a cloth to wrap and carry things. Each culture has its own version and related customs.

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Furoshikis have been traditionally used to wrap gifts and carry things in Japan.

The Japanese use of the furoshiki dates back to the mid-Edo Period (1603-1868). Bathers used it to carry their clothing to the public baths. It was eventually used by merchants to carry goods. In the 1970’s, it use was abandoned for the plastic bag. Today, there is a resurgence in its use as a special wrapping for gifts, to carry items in place of plastic and paper bags, and as a fashion item. It is convenient. When you’re not using it, you just fold it up and put it in your pocket or purse. It is also versatile. It can become a handbag, a shopping bag, and a wrapping for gifts.

And is good for our planet!

Let’s get some cloth, 75 cm. square is a good size or 105 cm. for a larger bag. Express yourself with the pattern and kind of cloth that appeals to you.

Join me in practicing folding and tying! Let’s start wrapping!!

Next time the cashier asks you, Paper or plastic?

Say, furoshiki !


Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom

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Dear Friends,

Have you ever tried different diets and eating regiments to find out after a few days, or weeks , or years that you’ve been feeling pretty rotten? Have you ever fallen asleep right after a meal? Have you felt tired all the time? Have you looked less than vibrant?

furoshiki-573

I’ve played dietary roulette almost my entire life. I have read about and practiced many types of eating regiments . I’ve been a vegetarian, eaten a raw foods diet,  followed a macrobiotic diet,  practiced the Blood Type Diet, combined my foods properly, managed on the Atkins’ Diet, tried the Zone Diet, enjoyed recipes from the Rosedale Diet, and implemented the Metabolic Typing Diet.

After many years and many recipes, I’ve concluded that the foods I eat must nourish my body. Eating whole, organic foods is a basic essential. When I say whole, organic foods, I mean foods that have been grown in soil that is herbicide and pesticide free,  foods that are preservative free, unprocessed, not genetically modified, and grown locally and sustainably.

In addition to eating the best real food, I’ve also learned that listening to my body is essential. I had been a vegetarian for about ten years when one day, I felt a tremendous need to eat some beef. It was a struggle for me to give up my vegetarianism, but when I took the first bit of beef, I felt totally satisfied. On another occasion, I had an urge to eat lamb. I don’t believe I had ever eaten lamb before, but after the first bite, I again felt totally satisfied. I didn’t eat a plateful. I only ate a small portion. It just hit the spot! I had more energy. My body knew exactly what it needed.

The strange thing was twenty years or so later, my husband suggested that I read a book he had just finish reading, The Metabolic Typing Diet by William Wolcott and Trish Fahey. The book describes three metabolic types. Each type needs different ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in each meal: the protein type does better eating more protein, less carbohydrates, and more fat; the carbohydrate type does better eating more carbohydrates, less protein, and less fat; and the combination type will do better eating equal amounts of protein and carbohydrates. I read the book and took the test to identify my metabolic type. The results did not surprise me!

We are bio-chemically individuals. We each need a diet that suits our individual nutrition needs. The same foods for my vegetarian friends made me feel fatigued. This is an example of the proverb, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”. We need diets tailored to our individual bio-chemical needs.

What do you think is my metabolic type based on the above account?

Which diet or eating regiment has been just right for you? Check off the one that has been just right for you in the poll. If your diet or eating regiment is not one of the choices, you can write it in.

I’d love to hear about your experiences.


Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom

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Dear Friends,

How was your Easter?

I’ve always loved the Easter Season! All around me are signs of growth and renewal. Everywhere I look, I see God’s paintbrush at work: the bright yellow forsythia, the magenta azaleas, and the newly-birthed grass pushing through winter’s thaw. It is a feast for my senses. The air is fresh and invigorating. The songbirds’ melodies are interspersed with the gleeful voices from the neighborhood playground.

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I have fond memories of Easters past: new outfits of pastel dresses, white shoes, and Easter bonnets; Easter baskets filled with chocolate eggs, jellybeans, and marshmallow chicks and bunnies; decorating Easter eggs; taking part in Easter pageants, sunrise services, and festive dinners with my family.

Although Easters past with all its traditions have given me much comfort, this Easter Season has had a special significance for me. No other year has my heart been awakened to His love and leading as it has been this year. His gentle touch has prompted me on a spiritual journey that’s been far wider, deeper, and higher than I ever imagined. He has been transforming me into the person He has intended me to be. He has been gently molding me, shaping me, and changing me.

This year I fully understand the significance of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. I have a new awareness of the magnitude of God’s love for me. My understanding has flowed from my head into my heart. He has softened my heart to be more receptive to Him.

I am reminded of a song I used to sing in church:

Something beautiful, something good,

All my confusion, He understood,

All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife,

But He made something beautiful out of my life.

This intimate relationship has only been made possible by a very loving God who thought enough about me to send His only Son to die on the cross for me so that I can become all He intends me to be. Jesus paid the penalty for me so that I will not have to pay it. I am free to be truly alive-to love, to be at peace, and to experience joy. His Holy Spirit has been empowering me and guiding me. He’s been working a miracle in my life. He’s been changing me moment by moment, day by day.

How about you?  Which Easter was your most memorable or most significant?

Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom

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