Thursday, April 2, 2015

What IS Curry?

A few years ago I lived next door to neighbors from the Middle East. I can't tell you how many hours I spent trying to devise a plan to incorporate myself into their daily dinner routine--their delicious, curry-spiced food delighted the neighborhood. delighted everyone except the habitually troublesome neighbors upstairs--they complained about the "suspicious smells" coming from the Middle Easter neighbors. I left a stack of McDonalds cheeseburgers at their door with a fan to remind them of the traditional flavors of 'Merica.

Curry is prepared in a variety of ways either with or without a sauce, vegetarian or including poultry, fish, beef, or any other meet. While curry powder is largely a Western invention, the spices we find in most American Indian restaurants contain a combination of 3 staple spices: coriander, cumin, and turmeric.

There is such a thing as a curry tree and you can include their leaves in any traditional curry. Curry leaves are a mild flavor and should be added at the end of the cooking process so as not to lose their flavor. Turmeric is a sunny yellow flavoring known for aiding rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

You'll recognize cumin from your chili-prep stash. It is also a spice native to the Middle East and you'll find references to it in the Bible (along with what many people feel is oregano--referred to as "hyssop"). Cumin is a powerful antioxidant. Most spices are--that's why they are encouraged in diets from the Candida Diet to the Daniel Plan.

The third seasoning, coriander. Coriander is cilantro seed. Cilantro is a plant that usually polarizes the population. People either love it or hate it. I personally LOVE cilantro--others feel it tastes like soap!

Total Time: 0:25
Prep: 0:20
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings (cost per serving of $1.76)
Serves: 4



  • 1 c. long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1.50 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 small apple
  • 0.25 c. golden raisins
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 c. light coconut milk
  • 1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • Chopped cilantro


  Cook the rice according to package directions.

  1. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is just beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the apple and raisins, sprinkle with the curry powder and cook, tossing, for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk, then the broth and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through and the apples and onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Serve over the rice and top with cilantro, if desired.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Gluten Free Broccoli Rollups

For a great alternative to a Hot Pocket, these broccoli and cheddar roll-ups are easy for travel, filling for lunch, and versatile for health benefits. Although it may be more convenient to pick up a roll of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, the benefits of preparing your own, gluten-free pizza dough.

You can find the original version of this recipe on The Minimalist Baker website:

  • 3 cups gluten free flour blend (1 cup white rice flour + 1 cup brown rice flour + 1 cup tapioca flour + 3/4 tsp xanthan gum)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water, divided
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon/lime soda
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh organic chopped oregano

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine yeast and 3/4 cup warm water - about 110 degrees. Too hot and it will kill the yeast! Let set for 5 minutes to activate. Sprinkle in 1 Tbsp of the sugar a few minutes in.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine gluten free flour blend, salt, baking powder and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Make a well in the dry mixture and add the yeast mixture. Add the olive oil and additional 1/2 cup warm water before stirring. Then stir it all together until well combined, using a wooden spoon (see photo).
  5. Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza stone with non-stick spray and plop your dough down. Using your hands and a little brown rice flour if it gets too sticky, work from the middle and push to spread/flatten the dough out to the edge (see pictures). You want it to be pretty thin - less than 1/4 inch.
  6. Put the pizza in the oven to pre-bake for roughly 25-30 minutes, or until it begins to look dry. Cracks may appear, but that's normal and totally OK.


  • 6 oz. broccoli crowns, thinly sliced (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 6 oz. extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated
  • Flour, for the work surface
  • 1 lb. pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Green salad, for serving


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, parsley, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Fold in the cheese.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, shape the pizza dough into a 14-inch circle, spread with the mustard and cut into 8 triangles. Divide the broccoli mixture among the triangles (about 1/3 cup per triangle). Starting at the wide end, roll dough around the filling.
  4. Transfer rollups to the prepared baking sheet, brush with the remaining tablespoon oil and bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Serve with a salad, if desired.