Ahh...feels good to finally write this out on a page. I have been trying to get this recipe written and shot for weeks. I tinkered around with it three times after initially making it and this weekend I was determined to finally get a photo shoot in.
Saturday would be the day when I would be cooking and shooting and nothing would get in the way. Except for everything got in the way. Life is life and days don't always work out the way I had planned.
My husband was busy working on some projects that pulled him away from home all weekend. No problem - I could handle the whole "entertaining kids, rolling on the floor, writing, cooking and whatever else I needed to do" business. But the day kept sliding by with more and more things popping up. My son had a burning desire to play board games, my daughter was moody and whiney and the pile of errands and chores kept growing. I felt stressed and frustrated. I felt my rigidity give way to anxiety and anxiety turn to disappointment.
I quickly realized that our last errand would mean that this shoot wasn't going to take place that day. It was our usual trip to our local farm where I get raw milk for my kids and eggs. About a 40 minute round trip. It's something we do twice a week and truly enjoy it. I know you're thinking: "you're insane for driving 40 minutes for milk and eggs". But yes, it's true.
While driving, I thought about our tendency to overcomplicate things and burden ourselves with many shoulds. The shoulds and to do lists we have in today's world can be immobilizing. There are just too many choices and things we have to get to. Navigating this relatively new world of seemingly endless to-dos can be overwhelming.
So on our way back from the farm with daylight fading fast, my daughter fell asleep in the car. As any parent knows, rule #1 says: "never wake up a sleeping child". So I handed my 4 year old my phone and sat in the driveway watching leaves fall from a tree.
I hadn't been this still in a long time. Even my meditation sessions don't exceed 10 minutes as I'm continuously reminded of the amount of stuff I have to get to. But in that moment, it just didn't matter. Everything slowed down. Leaves took their time, swirling through the air; fiery colors piercing the last rays of the setting sun. What a concept - watching nature and not doing. No phone, no music, no distractions. I was able to fully connect with the present moment.
Needless to say, the chicken curry did get made, it just had to be shot the next day and it worked out perfectly fine. So after that long-winded digression, bottom line is - things will get done, stop rushing them.
cardamom chicken curry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
1 lb chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp coconut oil divided
3/4 tsp salt divided into 1/2 and 1/4
4 large carrots cut into 2" strips
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
2 zucchini cut into 2" strips
1 clove garlic minced
1 tbsp fresh thai or regular basil chopped
For cardamom sauce:
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup cashew, almond or coconut milk
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp Thai red curry paste (you can add more if you like it spicy)
1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 tbsp almond butter (you can use peanut if not paleo)
1 tsp maple syrup (skip if whole 30 or use 1/2 date)
1/2 tsp salt
zest of one lime
1 tsp lime juice
Preheat pan over medium heat. Add one tbsp coconut oil along with chicken and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook chicken stirring regularly until chicken is cooked through (about 8-10 minutes). Meanwhile, cut your veggies if you haven't done so already.
Once chicken is cooked, remove with slotted spoon and let rest on a plate. Add the other tbsp of coconut oil and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds stirring continuously. Add vegetables 1/4 tsp salt and cook for 10 minutes stirring regularly until veggies begin to soften. I don't like mine mushy so check for doneness.
While the veggies are cooking, add all ingredients under cardamom sauce to blender and blend until incorporated. Once vegetables are finished cooking, add sauce and chicken and warm through for another 5 minutes.
Add basil and check flavoring. You can always add a little more salt if you wish.
*You can serve this over rice, caulirice, zoodles or quinoa or enjoy it on its own.