Eat Right 4 Your Type

My “Butter Chicken” Recipe

My "Butter Chicken" Recipe

Who doesn’t love great tasting food?

Honestly, I think it is really strange when people profess to be a foodie. We all love food don’t we? We all need it to survive. But there is a big difference between loving food and exercising self-control in the process to not cross that fine line that leads to gluttony. Please don’t tell me you are a foodie. Remember that the pleasure we derive from eating is not the primary goal – nourishment is. Nourishment and pleasure must go together; they feed each other (excuse the pun).  🙂

My eight year old daughter discovered Butter Chicken this past year and though she only eats a small amount (she only ever eats a small amount of anything), but is a discerning eater who eats slowly and savours her food. But because dairy doesn’t work well for her I decided that I would experiment in the kitchen and come up with a “Butter Chicken” that she could eat with confidence!

I have been experimenting with Eat Right 4 Your Type for the last few years and so have made modifications to this fantastic Butter Chicken recipe, to suit my needs. It works well for the rest of my family too (give or take some ingredients); each of us, a representative of the four blood types!

My version is for those who are dairy-free. I know it sounds strange to even call this dish Butter Chicken when there is no butter or decadent cream and by the way there is no chicken either; I have replaced the chicken with Turkey cutlets. My son is blood type B and my husband is blood type AB, both should avoid chicken. Generally, chicken is so over consumed by everyone that I have cut back on the amount of chicken I prepare and serve to them at home. So turkey it is!

I have made this dish only three or four times, but it has turned out great each time, so I feel ready to share it with you. If you try it please let me know how it turns out. My son thinks it could use a little more garlic and ginger for his taste, so I will experiment with those quantities next time.

Also, I find that it tastes even better the following days; I always make enough for leftovers.

Make this ginger / garlic paste ahead of time. Here’s how: chop up at least 2 inches of fresh ginger and 3 to 4 cloves of garlic to make a generous 1-2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger and garlic each; equal parts. But often when using a food processor it helps to have a larger quantity being processed for the machine to run smoothly. This is why I generally make more and keep it in the freezer. Place into a small food processor and add water in small amounts to create a paste. Set aside in the refrigerator or freezer depending on when you will be making the recipe.

Fresh Ginger/Garlic pasteFrozen Ginger/Garlic paste

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg boneless Turkey Cutlets
  • 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 generous tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 dried Bay Leaves
  • 10 raw almonds
  • 4 pods of cardomom
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup or more of chopped yellow or Sweet cooking onions
  • 2 – 3 tsp (or more) of garlic/ ginger paste (see above)
  • 1- 14 oz. Can of unsalted diced Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 2 Cups homemade Turkey stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)

Instructions:

  • cubed turkey cutlets1 kg boneless Turkey cutlets cubed (a cutlet is a breast cut in half or more slices) I use kitchen food scissors for cutting the cutlets into cubes.
  • 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately from 1 lime depending on juiciness)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 generous tsp red chili flakes

Juice from 1 Lime

Sea Salt

1 tsp red chili flakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Combine the above ingredients. Place into a non-reactive (choose glass) food safe container and cover with a lid. (I like Frigoverre by Bormioli Rocco). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Marinating Stage 1 of 2

2) Just before your hour is up, in a flat pan on medium heat, gently roast:

  • 2 dried Bay Leaves
  • 10 raw almonds

Roasting almonds & bay leaves

3) Gently roast until they darken slightly, turning over occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  • Remove seeds from 4 pods of cardomom (there are 12 seeds in each pod).

seeds from cardamom pods

4) In a clean coffee grinder, place cooled roasted bay leaves, almonds and 48 cardamom seeds and grind into a coarse powder.

cardomom seeds and gently roasted almonds & bay leaves half-way ground in coffee grinder final coarse powder

 

 

 

 

5) In a small bowl combine the following spices:

  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

6) Mix the coarse powder mixture with the above spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric)

Spices

7) Add this combined spice mixture to the marinating Turkey cubes. Mix well.

marinating stage 2 of 2

8) Continue to marinate Turkey for an additional hour, covered in the refrigerator.

AFTER the second 1 Hour (two hours total), remove marinating Turkey from the refrigerator. It’s cooking time.

9) Heat 3 TBSP Olive Oil, on medium heat in a large high-sided frying pan or pot.

*NOT Virgin or Extra Virgin Olive Oil, because these oils are not meant for cooking with.

Olive Oil

10) When the Olive Oil is hot add approximately 1 Cup of chopped yellow or Sweet cooking onions. Fry until golden brown. About 10 minutes.

11) Add 2 generous teaspoons of previously prepared garlic/ ginger paste. Fry for one minute.

12) Add marinated Turkey cubes and any juices that may have collected in the marinating container. Cook on medium until Turkey cubes have sealed; they will take on an opaque appearance.

Cook until sealed

Simultaneously…

    • 1- 14 oz. Can of unsalted diced Tomatoes
    • 1 TBSP dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)

13) With a food processor or in a container using a hand held blender, ground the tomatoes and fenugreek leaves into a smooth paste. Add to pot and combine with Turkey.

Dried Methi

Tomatoes & Fenugreek Leaves

14) Add 2 Cups Turkey stock to pot and combine. Add 2 Cups Turkey stock

15) Cook until Turkey is cooked and sauce is reduced by half. (approximately 45 minutes total cooking time.)

OPTIONAL: I don’t do this but as an optional Butter addition, melt 3 TBSP Butter or Ghee in another pot, then pour over top of cooked Turkey and mix in to finish.

Serve with homemade steamed Cumin Basmati Rice (easy recipe to follow – one of these days) and fresh steamed or roasted vegetables.

ENJOY!

Here are the instructions without photos for easy reading:

1) Combine the above ingredients. Place into a non-reactive (choose glass) food safe container and cover with a lid. (I like Frigoverre by Bormioli Rocco). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

2) Just before your hour is up, in a flat pan on medium heat, gently roast: 2 dried Bay Leaves and 10 raw almonds

3) Gently roast until they darken slightly, turning over occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  • Remove seeds from 4 pods of cardomom (there are 12 seeds in each pod).

4) In a clean coffee grinder, place cooled roasted bay leaves, almonds and 48 cardamom seeds and grind into a coarse powder.

5) In a small bowl combine the following spices:

  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

6) Mix the coarse powder mixture with the above spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric)

7) Add this combined spice mixture to the marinating Turkey cubes. Mix well.

8) Continue to marinate Turkey for an additional hour, covered in the refrigerator.

AFTER the second 1 Hour (two hours total), remove marinating Turkey from the refrigerator. It’s cooking time.

9) Heat 3 TBSP Olive Oil, on medium heat in a large high-sided frying pan or pot.

*NOT Virgin or Extra Olive Oil, because these oils are not meant for cooking with.

10) When the Olive Oil is hot add approximately 1 Cup of chopped yellow or Sweet cooking onions. Fry until golden brown. About 10 minutes.

11) Add 2 generous teaspoons of previously prepared garlic/ ginger paste. Fry for one minute.

12) Add marinated Turkey cubes and any juices that may have collected in the marinating container. Cook on medium until Turkey cubes have sealed; they will take on an opaque appearance.

Simultaneously…

  • 1- 14 oz. Can of unsalted diced Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)

13) With a food processor or in a container using a hand held blender, ground the tomatoes and fenugreek leaves into a smooth paste. Add to pot and combine with Turkey.

14) Add 2 Cups Turkey stock to pot and combine.

15) Cook until Turkey is cooked and sauce is reduced by half. (see feature photo above).

OPTIONAL: I don’t do this but as an optional Butter addition, melt 3 TBSP Butter or Ghee in another pot, then pour over top of cooked Turkey and mix in to finish.

Serve with homemade steamed Cumin Basmati Rice (easy recipe to follow – one of these days) and fresh steamed or roasted vegetables.

My Hernia

 

This post started out as a reply to a comment from AZ. But, because I am still learning to edit myself to say more with fewer words, I have exhausted the allowable space in the comment section 🙂

AZ wrote:

“Thank you so much for a thorough and helpful advice. I really appreciate the time you have taken to respond to me, including attaching the links for easy navigation. Your thought of “saving me time” in attaching the links is recognized and valued. Thank you again very much. I have to come up with some in bed stretching routine that does not involve laying on my back, since as you know, at this point in pregnancy, even that is not allowed 
I am somewhat active still, running around after my toddler and my dog  walking, cleaning, the usual household chores one does, but not nearly as active as in my first pregnancy. I was even using a kettle bell and a medicine ball in the beginning, until I noticed every time I would do a strenuous move or lift, my hernia above my bellybutton would stick out even more, so I decided not to “promote” it’s growth. I will try your suggestions and let you know how it goes. Thank you again, Sincerely,
 AZ”

I realize that the post below may only be interesting to a very select group, however, it is alarming at how common hernia’s are and how unaware most of us are about how they are caused and what we can do to prevent them.

When I was pregnant with my second baby, not only was I uncomfortable during my third trimester, but I also found it very challenging to be pregnant with a toddler in tow. I remember taking comfort, in imagining that things could only get better and more manageable once the second baby was born. Some things were easier, like actually being able to bend down to tie a shoelace. But, while bio-mechanically the body is somewhat like its old self post-partum, other challenges surfaced, like being so tired from lack of sleep and in an effort to keep the calm, always trying to anticipate my toddlers’ actions and emotions in order to be one step ahead of tantrums or falls, etc. I think my nerves were so shot from being on duty 24 hours per day that I often found myself carrying both the newborn and the twenty-three month old simultaneously. I think that feat of strength falls under the heading of over-worked adrenals and the super-human-mommy-survival mechanism. Oh, and managing two Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

All the above, just to tell you, that all that unnecessary lifting (and the tons I did during the second pregnancy – because I could!) may have contributed to my developing an umbilical hernia. The hernia that I didn’t even know I had until the summer of 2010, which was a long time after having my kids.

 

My navel looked kind of bizarre during and after both pregnancies (2002, 2004), but I chalked it up to just that: two pregnancies is going to leave their mark. Besides, I thought my new outie belly button was kind of cute during my pregnancy! Now that I reflect on it, I find it interesting that none of my health care practitioners noticed it or if  they did, never commented on it. Maybe, because it was so small it really did look just like an outie? I only discovered the hernia after doing a workout, which (similar to you) involved using a Kettlebell for a Turkish-Get-Up or weighted sandbag sit-up. After this particular workout, when for whatever reason, I touched my navel to discover how incredibly sensitive it had become. Suddenly, I noticed how certain movements caused a little pea-sized something to pop out. It left me feeling nauseated!

Unfortunately, a few days after I discovered the hernia, we went on a family vacation to the lake so I had to wait a week before seeing my doctor. I could still do everything, save for certain movements, which caused minor discomfort – though I avoided touching my navel entirely, except for occasionally pushing the little ‘pea’ back in.

Upon our return, I visited my doctor who sent me for an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that it was only a partial hernia, since nothing had broken through the fascia. A visit with a general surgeon suggested that it looked as though this weakness could very well have been there since MY birth and that the two pregnancies combined with certain exercises and quite possibly the nine months of an intense chronic cough, may have made it worse. Knowing that I was a very active person, the surgeon recommended a basic suture, which would prevent it from becoming a full hernia and it would only leave less than a one-inch scar on the fold of the skin just above my navel. (The idea of the scar didn’t bother me).

The surgeon compared the procedure to going to the dentist; it may be uncomfortable at times but manageable. Post-operation, he said that I’d be able to get back to my regular routine, even exercise (clearly NOT High Intensity Exercise, but able to resume exercise) the very next day! Described like that, I figured that I could handle it considering I endured the pain of two home births. Yeah, go ahead, I can take what you’ve got…It’s funny-peculiar, how enduring the pain of the home births used to mean something to me, like if I could handle that I could handle just about anything. Somehow, I’ve lost my ability to handle certain things, (mostly observing and dealing with others’ accidents), which I won’t digress about here, but believe me I have been found on more than one occasion in a crumpled heap feeling nauseated, moaning for my mommy.

On November 9, 2010, I drove myself to and from my surgery. The surgeon’s description about the simplicity of the procedure was spot on, except that for whatever reason, my body didn’t quite heal as quickly as it should have. Quite possibly, because of my previous tendency for joint inflammation, my recovery lasted nearly ten days, as opposed to the usual three to five days!! It took an additional fourteen days before I could get back to my usual routine.

When I went for my ten-day follow up appointment, my surgeon was genuinely astonished by my experience. Meanwhile, I’d been cursing his name under my breath, wondering what kind of a joker-surgeon had I been dealing with. Ha, Ha, just wait till she tries to do…anything. Muahahaha!!! 🙂

In all seriousness, he was a lovely person and highly respected general surgeon. We agreed that my slow recovery must have been due of the ‘Palindromic Rheumatism’, which I had been diagnosed with the previous year. (Though I’ve been able to eliminate any joint pain and inflammation by strictly following ER4YT, eliminating all gluten and consulting with an MD, who consults in homeopathy and Integrative Medicine).

For nearly ten days, post-operation, I couldn’t do anything without intense pain. Driving home after the surgery was uneventful, though, I just had to be cautious and aware of the incision. And because I was told that I could go about my usual daily activities, I did just that. But later in the day when I went to pick my kids up from school, the simple act of turning the steering wheel became awfully difficult. So I got the message and had no choice but to take it much slower. Over the next few days, I couldn’t walk the dogs, for any sudden pull of the leash made me wince with pain. Vacuuming was next to impossible not to mention simply turning over in bed or getting up from a chair! That experience only reminded me how much we depend upon our core for absolutely every minute movement. Only once a part of us is out of commission do we realize how much it actually does for us.

Now, at the beginning of June 2012, it has been a year and a half since I had this minor surgery and quite frankly I’d forgotten all about it until I read AZ’s comment. However, as a result, I DO NOT include the above-mentioned exercises as part of my regular workout routine anymore – because I don’t NEED to do them. And quite frankly, I don’t know if I every really needed to do them to be super fit. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of challenge and lose our grounding in common sense in the process; whether because we have a need to prove our fierceness to ourselves or others. I will do Prisoner-Get-Ups from time to time, but under no circumstances will I perform full sit-ups, with or without a sandbag. Besides it being a useless exercise, which leads to lower back problems because it recruits the psoas muscles to pull the torso up to seated as opposed to the abdominal group. There are a lot of fancy exercises that are in vogue these days, that fall into the useless category, that are causing more harm than good; however, because it’s unlikely that doing those exercises once in a while probably won’t cause much damage, but then we have to really think about WHY? we would do them in the first place? What is our motivation? Our best bet is to stick with the basics, but also to work with an expert who can identify which basic exercises will actually be beneficial for our specific needs. Sure, we can go ahead and do exercises, which are not appropriate for us and survive…(clearly, there are worse things we can do!). But, from my perspective, if we’re going to bother in the first place, doesn’t it make sense to at least try to do it right? I have come to have this same opinion about food as a result of exploring which foods actually support my health. We can go ahead and eat anything for energy, but if we’re going to bother, doesn’t it make sense to do the research and fuel ourselves according to what will actually enhance our health?

However, had I done it right from the start, I would not have had the opportunity to entertain you with my umbilical hernia saga.

So, AZ – I hope all this rambling hasn’t put you to sleep or worse, made you worry. But, like everything else, we get through the tough stuff. We change with change – (now isn’t that a revelation!), but things usually work out in the end – often because we don’t have much choice either way. The end just turns out different than we thought it might. For me, that’s what makes for a great story, though…the unexpected endings.

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Roasted Roots with Ginger & Lime Juice

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

with Ginger & Lime Juice

Here is the suped up version of my Roasted Winter Squash with a Twist.

In this version I use Jewel and/or Garnet Yams and/or Sweet Potatoes and mix in Butternut Squash and/or Acorn Squash (whatever is available). Although, did you know, that the “Yams” we consume in North America are actually Sweet Potatoes? To get true Yams, apparently requires some effort, one must source them from a market that specializes in Tropical produce. This link: Sweet Potatoes & Yams gives the breakdown for anyone interested in clarifying the confusion.

For me it was particularly interesting because I am exploring Eat Right 4 Your Type. For me as a type O, Sweet Potatoes are beneficial and Yams are Neutral. Turns out, the Yams I thought I was eating are actually ALL sweet potatoes (Yay!), but are labeled as Yams at the grocery store. It all kind of makes my head swim though.

UPDATE: Recently, I got the results from the Secretor Test. Turns out I am a Non-Secretor, which means that both Yams and Sweet Potatoes are neutral for me. I’ll still keep eating them, but maybe not quite as often!

Anyhow, this recipe has become quite a staple. I love it! And now that I’ve made it so often, I can whip off a batch in no time. Sadly, it disappears just as quickly. The kids will sample it from time to time when they are feeling adventurous, but mostly it’s a dish that my husband and I eat. Lucky for my husband, who is an AB – Secretor, both Yams and Sweet Potatoes are beneficial.

It’s good cold, but outstanding when served warmed up – which brings out all the flavours.

Kitchen Supplies:

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Bowl for mixing
  • 2 Cookie Sheets
  • Parchment paper (optional)
  • Grater

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Sweet Potato Tubers (mix of varieties) peeled & cut into chunks
  • Butternut Squash or Acorn Squash (optional) peeled & cut into slices
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Ginger peeled and grated Or 1 Tsp. ground ginger root (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tsp. or less of Dried Red Chili Pepper Flakes
  • 1 – 2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1/2 to 1 Fresh Lime
  • 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro, leaves plucked from stems & finely chopped
  • 3 Scallions (green onions), chopped

Instructions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Wash, peel and cut sweet potatoes and squash into desired shapes and sizes. Enough for two cookie sheets or more for batches.
  • Place in large mixing bowl. Add approximately 2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I usually just make a splash with it into the bowl).

Peel & grate, 1-2 inches of fresh ginger.

I use a spoon to peel the ginger. It works much better than a vegetable peeler.

1 tsp. grated – depending how spicy you like it 🙂

Add approximately 1 TBSP. of Dried Red Chili Pepper Flakes to the mixing bowl.

Here is a picture showing 1 tsp. dried ginger, less than 1 TBSP. chili flakes and a 1/2 tsp. ground Himalayan Salt.

However, of late I’ve not been adding any salt.

Stir to combine and coat the vegetables.

Transfer to parchment lined cookie sheets.

Place into pre-heated oven for 30 minutes (depending on oven). Check periodically. I find that the sweet potatoes need 10 additional minutes for a nice roasted appearance. For the squash, I usually roast them 20 additional minutes (but turn them over when I take the sweet potatoes out of the oven), to achieve the same roasted appearance on both sides.

Once the vegetables have been removed from the oven I allow them to cool slightly before returning them to the mixing bowl.

While the vegetables were roasting I would have added to the mixing bowl:

1. Separated 1 Cups worth of cilantro leaves from their stems and chopped them.

2. Cut up the scallions

3. Squeezed the juice from 1 fresh lime

Note:  I usually only add the juice from one lime and see how it tastes. It’s easy enough to add more the next day. I’ve made the mistake of adding too much lime juice and regretting it, but easy enough to remedy by adding more roasted vegetables.

Also, I’ve noticed that not all limes are juicy, so I always buy 4 or 5 limes at a time. A few times I’ve cut open limes and though they ‘feel’ perfectly juicy from the outside, they are completely dry; it’s disappointing when you need them right then and there.

Finishing Up:

Depending on how things look I may add a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the bowl and mix it with the lime juice, cilantro and scallions. Then I toss in the Roasted Vegetables and gently combine to coat the vegetables well. I then cover the bowl or transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours.

Reheat before serving.

Dedicated to my friend V, whose husband isn’t fond of cilantro, but he gave the dish a try when they visited us last month – and he said he liked it. So maybe for all those averse to cilantro, give this recipe a try…(?).