chicken tikka masala

chicken tikka masala
chicken tikka masala
chicken tikka masala in bowl

I paused, the feverish clicking of keys coming to a halt. I listened closely, almost in disbelief. It was the second morning I heard its song; a lonely bird chirping outside the window. Only a few chirps and it was gone. I waited for more but was satisfied to have gotten even a prelude. We’re still in the dead of January and yet its spring song made my heart flutter.

Winter is long where I live. Not as long as in other parts of the country but too long for my liking. Everything is grey, silent and rather sleepy. It’s not a bad thing per se but I find myself yearning for more light and warmth. But I know my wanting and the reality of winter are two very different things.

As we’re on the cusp of temperatures in the single digits and perhaps even as low as 0 Fahrenheit, I can’t help but want to curl up in a blanket and hibernate for the remainder of this season. But as that’s neither feasible or physically possible, I’ll do the next best thing, which is cook comfort food - in the form of curry. Warming, satisfying, hearty curry.

This curry is one I’ve taken through more testing than perhaps any other recipe. I wanted to get it just right. I was hung up on the textures and consistency of the sauce (because after all, it’s the sauce that’s everything). I would like to say that I hoped for it to taste as authentic as possible - whatever that may mean.

Chicken Tikka Masala is a surprisingly easy recipe to make, filled with loads of spices and flavors, with Garam Masala being the star of them all. I put a little spin on this curry by making it even heartier and adding carrots and potatoes. You can eat it on its own, serve it with rice or cauliflower rice.

chicken tikka masala in bowl
chicken tikka masala in bowl
chicken tikka masala
limes
chicken tikka masala

Print Friendly and PDF

chicken tikka masala

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • marinating time: 1-12 hours

  • cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • makes: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

For marinade

For curry

  • 1 tbsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion, chopped

  • 3 coves garlic, minced

  • 1” knob ginger

  • 1/2 marinade spice mix (see above)

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 2 cups tomato puree

  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar (skip if whole 30)

  • squeeze of lime

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 4 medium carrots peeled and sliced

  • 1 large russet potato peeled and chopped into cubes

  • 1 rounded tbsp freshly chopped cilantro

Equipment:

  • large dutch oven or other heavy large pot

  • large soup pot

  • ziplock bag or container with lid

  • small mixing bowl

Directions:

In small mixing bowl, mix all spices under marinade. Reserve half and add half to ziplock bag or container. Add olive oil and mix well. Add chicken and let marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 in the refrigerator.

Heat dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil or ghee and chicken and brown chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside on plate.

In same pan, add onion and salt, and cook for 8 minutes until translucent. Next add garlic, ginger, reserved spice mixture, garam masala, pepper, paprika and cook for 30 seconds.

Add in coconut milk, tomato puree, tomato sauce, coconut sugar, chicken and let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, add cut potato and carrot to soup bowl and cover with enough water to submerge. Bring to a boil and cook for about 8-10 minutes until vegetables are tender but still have a bite. Drain and set aside.

When sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through, add cilantro, squeeze of lime vegetables and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve over rice or cauliflower rice with additional cilantro if desired.


How to make a classic chicken tikka masala dish, paleo and whole 30? Coconut milk, of course. Check out this delicious and hearty recipe that’s full of vegetables and tender chicken. It’s warming, comforting and loaded with anti-inflammatory spices. #paleofood #curry #paleocurry #paleochickencurry #chickentikkamasala #calmeats #whole30curry #dinner #chicken #whole30recipes #paleorecipes #howtomakecurry #easycurry #chikenrecipes


how to cook a perfect soft boiled egg

soft boiled eggs with radish and avocado
soft boiled eggs with watermelon radish, avocado and greens
soft boiled egg and watermelon radish

The window was slightly ajar letting out some of the steam that had built up in the small kitchen. My grandmother feverishly stirring what looked like an absurdly large pot while chattering about the neighbors. I sat at the kitchen table staring out the 7th story window, daydreaming and patiently waiting with my piece of fresh, crusty bread. Six minutes is a long time for a kid.

I turned back to the scene behind me. My grandfather’s towel wrapped hand, swiftly maneuvering past my grandma with the boiling pot; some sort of bickering exchanged. Cold water running, I waited; stomach growling. I knew the routine. It was predictable, timed and always perfect.

As he cracked the top open, I could see the orange glow against the white. It was a magical sight. A pinch of salt, a dash of pepper. A beautifully cooked soft boiled egg. It was the perfect egg for dipping my bread in it first, then scooping out the white with the spoon. A few pieces of hard, aged salami, tea and breakfast was complete.

Something as simple as eating an egg, when done slowly, with intention, can become nearly ceremonious. There was an utter delight in having this carefully cooked egg before me that took just minutes to make. I’m not certain I appreciated it as a 7 year old, but the memory is deeply ingrained and I look back on it with fondness.

I hesitated writing this blog post because it seemed a little silly at first…everyone knows how to cook a soft boiled egg, right? But after posting an image on my Instagram feed about cooking the perfect soft boiled egg and receiving questions about the technique, I thought maybe not. So a single egg is getting its own blog post. After all, the egg is a coveted food around these parts. So let’s jump right in to the method of cooking the perfect soft boiled egg.

soft boiled egg and watermelon radish
soft boiled egg and watermelon radish

Print Friendly and PDF

how to cook the perfectly soft boiled egg

  • prep time: 1 minute

  • cooking time: 6 minutes

  • makes: 2 soft boiled eggs

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic eggs

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 4 cups of water

Equipment:

  • small sauce pan

  • timer

Directions:

Add 4 cups water to small pot. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and gently place eggs in water without bouncing them. Return heat to boil, cover with lid and set your timer for 6 minutes.

After 6 minutes, dump out water and run eggs under cold water for 1 minute.

You can crack the top or peel the whole egg and serve right away with salt and pepper

*Bonus: To cook a perfect hard boiled egg, follow the same steps for boiling water, reducing heat but just add eggs and boil with lid on for 13 minutes. Rinse under cold water for 1 minute and peel.


If you’re looking to make the perfect soft boiled egg, you’ve come to the right place. In this post you’ll find out exactly how to cook the perfect, gooey, delicious soft boiled egg that will be perfect every single time. #softboiledegg #egg #howtocookeggs #boiledegg #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #recipe #calmeats #grainfree #dairyfree #realfoodrecipes

chicken tetrazzini with rutabaga noodles

rutabaga noodles
shiitake mushrooms and parsley
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles

Does everything happen for a reason or does a haphazard thing merely set something in motion making it appear as though it does? I don’t have the answer to that but I will say rutabaga is amazing. Okay perhaps a rather bizarre way to start a blog post but it always fascinates me when one seemingly insignificant event leads me to make a dish that turns out to be a favorite - maybe of all time.

If you follow this blog or my Instagram stories, you probably know all about my infatuation with produce; my need to obsessively photograph what I see. A rutabaga, which I would often pass over as not being particularly striking, on that day, caught my attention. The details and subtle colors of this large root demanded to be captured. There was something about it…a depth I hadn’t before noticed.

That evening while looking for ways to use leftover chicken, I came across a recipe for chicken tetrazzini - the classic style, which includes milk, flour, butter, breadcrumbs…in essence all the things I cannot have. It was something I didn’t give a second thought to and moved on until I woke up the next morning convinced that I had to make chicken tetrazzini the paleo and whole30 way and not only that but that I would be using rutabaga noodles instead of pasta.

I admit, I’d never made rutabaga noodles prior to this dish but thought, why the hell not? And so an idea was born and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. At 8am I was at the market buying rutabaga, shiitake mushrooms and chicken with vehement determination to make my version of paleo chicken tetrazzini come to fruition.

It is so very rare that something I envisioned so clearly actually turns out to match the idea. The earthy flavor of the rutabaga works incredibly well with tender chicken thighs and creamy mushroom sauce finishing the whole dish with almond crumble, which gives it depth.

Since milk is out of the equation, I opted for coconut milk. I wasn’t sure how this would work out as I didn’t want an overly coconutty flavor but the salt and lemon cut through the forward coconut taste, leaving only the creaminess behind.

I knew I was going to love this dish the second I smelled the shallots, garlic, wine and mushrooms and I hope you will love this creamy chicken tetrazzini just as much.

italian parsley
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles
tetrazzini chicken over rutabaga noodles

Print Friendly and PDF

chicken tetrazzini over rutabaga noodles

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 40 minutes

  • makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

For rutabaga noodles:

  • 1 large rutabaga

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • pinch salt

For chicken tetrazzini:

  • 2 tbsps olive oil divided

  • 1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs

  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided

  • 1/2 tsp ground, pepper divided

  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 large shallots finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 rounded tsp fresh thyme, chopped

  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped, divided

  • 1/2 glass dry white wine (use broth is whole 30)

  • 1.5 cups full fat coconut milk

For almond crumble:

  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, ground

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • pinch salt

Equipment:

Directions:

Spiralize rutabaga and set it asides.

In food processor or blender add toasted almonds and grind finely. Add to small bowl with olive oil and salt and set aside.

Remove chicken from package and pat dry with paper towels and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and chicken and cook for 7-8 minutes per side until cooked through. Cover with foil and set aside to rest.

In the same pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil, shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until shallots are translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Increase heat to high, add wine or broth (if Whole 30) and deglaze pan by scraping off the brown bits. .

Reduce heat back to medium, add mushrooms, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper thyme and parsley and cook for 10 minutes until mushrooms are soft but still have a bite.

Add coconut milk and lemon juice, turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and add it back to sauce and heat through for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat medium frying pan, add oil and rutabaga noodles and cook stirring continuously for 3-5 minutes until noodles have softened.

To plate, add rutabaga noodles, chicken and mushrooms sauce, sprinkle with almond crumble and top with additional fresh chopped Italian parsley.


I haven’t been this smitten over a dish in a long time. This creamy chicken tetrazzini over rutabaga noodles, topped with almond crumble will wow you and you won’t believe it’s paleo and whole 30 too! #paleo, #whole30pasta #whole30 #paleopasta #mushrooms #chicken #chickentetrazzini #calmeats #eatrealfood #grainfree #glutenfree #dairyfree


roasted carrots with orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

carrot bunch
carrots on parchment paper
roasted carrots, orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

The coffee was lukewarm, making my stomach feel slightly oceanic. It was comfortable inside, the smell of books filling the air. I looked out the window - fog hanging low, branches bare; the field in the distance stripped of its vibrant green. December always makes my heart ache a little. 

The cafe was busy, so I opted for a big, comfortable chair. I turned back to the reason I was there in the first place and opened to the winter section. It was the book I was desperately trying to at least partly devour during my short visit to the book store. 

When I first laid eyes on it, my heart skipped a beat. Photograph upon photograph of beautiful food, landscapes, quiet and slow living. Then I read her writing. She spoke like I felt. Her appreciation for food, wine and life gave me pause. A much needed pause in my generally harried days. 

Coffee long abandoned, I read, I imagined, I filled myself up with as much as I could. It was a sweet hour. For only a short while, I was teleported to the sleepy town of Medoc, where people spoke of mussels, wine and weather. 

Mimi Thorrison is my favorite blogger, turned author. Her love and appreciation for cooking seasonal food from scratch has provided much influence over the years. And granted that she cooks French food with lots of cream, butter and flour, her approach has nonetheless inspired me to look to the seasons when I cook and use what’s available. Her cooking philosophy and approach much match mine by keeping things simple and letting ingredients shine through in all their glory.

So this is exactly how I approached this roasted carrot recipe. I just took what I had recently purchased at the market and made it work. Carrots, pomegranate and citrus are all in season right now and a quick tahini sauce, marries all the flavors beautifully. Since winter is cold and grey, these bright orange carrots and shiny red pomegranate seeds provide some much needed warmth and color.

roasted carrots with orange tahini dressing and pomegranate
roasted carrots (9 of 15).jpg
roasted carrots with orange tahini dressing and pomegranate

Print Friendly and PDF

roasted carrots with orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • roasting time: 20 minutes

  • yields: 4 servings


Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches thin carrots, greens trimmed and cut in half

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 tbsp runny tahini

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro


Equipment:

  • 2 baking sheets

  • medium mixing bowl

  • optional: use blender

  • whisk

  • parchment paper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide carrots between 2 sheets and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Line them up face down.

Roast for 10 minutes, flip carrots to face up, and switch oven racks so both sheets of carrots cook roast evenly. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until desired softness. (I like mine to still have a bit of a bite)

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl or blender, combine remaining ingredients aside from pomegranate seeds and cilantro to create tahini sauce.

Once carrots are finished roasting, lay carrots on serving platter, pour over tahini sauce, chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds.


Take roasted carrots to a new level with this flavorful, creamy tahini sauce, topped with finely chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds. They’re a feast for the eyes and the taste buds! Bonus, they’re vegan, paleo and whole 30 approved! #calmeats #paleo #whole30 #vegansides #paleosides #vegansides #whole30sides #roastedcarrots #carrots #realfood #glutenfreesides #dairyfreesides #tahini #pomegranate



zucchini pancakes from korean paleo cookbook

korean paleo cookbook
zucchini pancakes
zucchini pancakes
zucchini pancakes

Have you ever had gochugaru? I hadn’t until recently and it was eye opening.

I feel, while I try my best to eat and cook a variety of food, I inevitably get stuck in my ways and in my food bubble. I know what I like and I generally play around within my comfort zone without much sway. But when Jean Choi, the author of Korean Paleo asked if I would review her new book, I was honored and excited to cook outside my safe space.

While there are numerous recipes I will be making, I wanted to try something that I felt was a bit intriguing. A recipe with only a few ingredients but one in particular that I had never been exposed to before - gochugaru. I didn’t know what to expect.

While a zucchini pancake seems fairly straight forward, it is utterly transformed the moment it touches the sweet and sour dipping sauce. For me it was a moment of awe. After the first bite, I had to stop and take in the experience - it was new, unfamiliar and intriguing. A simple sauce can elevate a food to new heights and in the moment, I knew, I was going to love the rest of the book as much as this recipe.

Unless you have a specialty or Korean market in your area, I recommend purchasing gochugaru on Amazon as well as the cassava flour, which isn’t commonly found in your standard stores.

So let’s talk about the pancakes. You’ll need zucchini, cassava flour, egg and sea salt. Few ingredients but they create a crispy, light, savory pancake that melts in your mouth. And I hope you will experience the same moment of intrigue as I did the moment you dip a delicious hot zucchini pancake in the sweet and sour sauce.

So be sure to check out Jean’s Korean Paleo cookbook and get your hands on incredible, flavorful recipes!

zucchini pancakes with sweet and sour dipping sauce
zucchini pancakes
sweet and sour dipping sauce
gochujang
korean paleo cookbook

Print Friendly and PDF

hobakjeon - zucchini pancakes from korean paleo

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 5 minutes

  • yields: one large panacke or several small

Ingredients:

For pancakes:

  • 2 cups zucchini, julienned (about 1-2 zucchini)

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 cup cassava flour

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil of your choice

For sweet and sour dipping sauce:

Equipment:

Directions:

Combine all ingredients for sweet and sour dipping sauce and set aside.

Toss the julienned zucchini with the sea salt in a bowl. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Use a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the zucchini, and reserve and set aside the liquid.

Place the zucchini in a mixing bowl and add the cassava flour, egg and 1/2 cup of zucchini liquid. Mix with a fork. If the batter seems too thick, add more zucchini liquid. (1 tablespoon at a time) until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter. If you run out of liquid, use plain water.

Heat your choice of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Wait 5 minutes until the pan gets very hot. Add the entire batter if you want to make 1 large pancake, or you can add a few tablespoons at a time to make smaller pancakes. Let it cook for 1 minute and then reduce heat to medium and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until browned and crispy on the bottom. flip and cook the other side for 2 minutes adding more oil if needed.

Serve immediately with a side of sweet and sour dipping sauce. You can cut the pancakes in smaller pieces or rip them apart as you eat.


A delicious crispy zucchini pancakes dipped in a mouthwatering sweet and sour sauce. Recipe created by Jean Choi, author of Korean Paleo. @whatgreatgrandmaate #whatgreatgrandmaate #koreanpaleocookbook #koreanfood #zucchinipancakes #koreanzucchinipancakes #paleo #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree #calmeats #jeanchoi