Chicken Cashew Curry

Curry is one of my favorite, fast meals. The ingredients are super flexible, so it’s easy to make quickly from whatever’s in your fridge, and it’s always delicious! I was craving the chicken-cashew combo last week, so I threw together this curry in only about 30 minutes.

*full recipe below

To start, I chopped three shallots and two carrots:

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I cooked these in a pan with about a tablespoon of coconut oil until the onion started to turn slightly translucent:

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Next, I added one large chicken breast, cut into small pieces and cooked until the chicken was white on all sides:

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Lastly, I added a half can of coconut milk, some curry and paprika, and about a cup of frozen broccoli:

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I stirred to combined and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the broccoli was soft and the chicken fully cooked through. Just before the end, I put in about 1/3 cup of cashews:

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Yum!

Chicken Cashew Curry, makes 3 servings
Ingredients
- 3 shallots
- 2 carrots
- 1 T coconut oil
- 1/2 can of coconut milk
- 1 large chicken breast
- 3 T curry powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup frozen broccoli
- 1/3 cup cashews
Method
- chop shallots and carrots
- cook in coconut oil in a large skillet until onion turns translucent
- chop chicken and add, moving pieces until all sides are white
- add coconut milk, curry powder, paprika, and broccoli
- bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes
- just before removing from heat, stir in cashews
- serve with quinoa, rice, or grain of choice!
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The Lowry and Lemon Kale Salad

This past week, I went for lunch at The Lowry. The Lowry opened in 2011 and has been a hot uptown spot ever since. It has great food for all three meals of the day, and by night it turns into an upscale bar that attracts those who want something a little more sophisticated than what’s found at the neighboring Liquor Lyle’s.

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The Lowry has a fairly extensive menu of great looking breakfasts, appetizers, soups, salads, and sandwiches, so it was a challenge to decide what I wanted.

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I settled on the grilled cheese sandwich because it is served with a shooter of tomato soup. And, really, that is just too adorable to pass up. My friend ordered a breakfast dish that came with eggs, hashbrowns, toast, and turkey sausage:

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In addition to a great meal out, I also had some good food from my own kitchen last week. I had some leftover kale that I needed to use up, so I came up with a salad using a lot of extra ingredients from around the kitchen.

First, I chopped steamed a half bunch up kale until it just wilted:

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After removing the kale from the steamer, I added three shredded carrots, 1/4 cup cooked couscous, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, and 1/4 cup dried currants:

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Finally, I squeezed the juice of one lemon into the mix and served with baked thyme chicken breast and sweet potato slivers:

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The chicken also was simple and fast to make. I topped the chicken with a little bit of olive oil and some chopped fresh thyme and cooked at 450º for 15 minutes. Cooking the chicken at a high heat for a shorter period of time makes it so much juicier (I’m so glad I learned that trick at Kitchen in the Market with Noah last summer!).

A Guide to Spring (in Minnesota)

It’s definitely supposed to be spring right now. Yet, as I write this, snow falls. So, here is a guide to enjoying the season of rejuvenation in Minnesota.

1. Don’t fear the white stuff! If it’s snowy, then you might as well take advantage of it. Noah and I recently went skiing at Theodore Wirth Park. The park in north Minneapolis has 20 miles of cross country skiing trails, tubing, and snowboarding areas.

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We enjoyed a little over an hour of skiing, and we got a great workout. The trails were beautiful!

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2. Celebrate indoors! Luckily for me, the holiday of Purim provided a perfect opportunity to have fun inside. I invited friends over to make the traditional triangular-shaped Purim cookie, hamantashen.

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Another Purim tradition is costumes, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to dress like a taco:

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And a person wearing footie pajamas (read: not really a costume):

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3. Try new food! One of the best indoor activities I know is eating, so I’ve enjoyed spending more time in the kitchen as well as trying some new restaurants.

We tried Victor’s 1959 Cafe, a Cuban restaurant in south Minneapolis.

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The restaurant featured lots of unique Cuban dishes, and I was excited to try a vegetarian dish with yuca and plantains. Noah had a salmon dish with beans, rice, and plantains.

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We also tried a Cuban beer and a Cafe Cubano (espresso sweetened with sugar and a tiny bit of milk):

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Highlights from my kitchen have been chicken with caramelized onion and cardamom rice from the Jerusalem cookbook:

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Salmon with thyme, broccoli, and rice:

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Peanut butter granola from CarrotsnCake:

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And cilantro burgers:

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The cilantro burgers were incredibly easy to make. Recipe as follows:

– 1 lb. ground beef
– 1 bunch chopped cilantro
– 1/4 cup chopped onion
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1/2 cup flour

Mix everything together and then broil for 8 minutes on one side and 5-7 minutes on the other side (depending how pink you like it).

Sweet Chicken Curry and Nico’s

A little while ago, I posted a recipe for Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Dandelion Greens soup. I also made a curry out of the same base ingredients and it turned out really well. Once again, I started with two chopped sweet potatoes in a large pot:

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I added a can of coconut milk plus an equal amount water:

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Two tablespoons curry and one tablespoon cinnamon:

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And let simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes:

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Add approximately 4 cups dandelion greens and cook for about 10 more minutes:

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I shredded three cooked chicken breasts, added to pot, and removed from heat to warm through:

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This curry turned out really well! I wasn’t quite sure how much curry/cinnamon to put in, but I thought the final flavor worked well – it was sweet with the curry flare, but not too much.

Sweet Chicken Curry, serves 4
Ingredients
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 can coconut milk plus equal amount water
- 4 cups dandelion greens
- 3 pre-cooked chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
Method
1. Chop sweet potatoes and add to a large pot
2. Add coconut milk, water, and spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add dandelion greens and simmer for another 10 minutes.
4. Shred chicken and add to pot, remove from flame to warm through.

I also recently went to the new taco joint in Uptown: Nico’s Tacos.

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Nico’s is located on Hennepin in the ever-changing storefront next to Namaste Cafe. In the last 2.5 years, this spot has been home to Duplex Restaurant, The Birdhouse, and now Nico’s. Nico’s is owned by the same folks behind Amore Victoria – one of my favorite Minneapolis eats. Yet, I don’t think that fact alone can tell us much about Nico’s fate given that Birdhouse was owned by Heidi and Stewart Woodman (Heidi’s acclaim).

A few friends and I went to Nico’s for guacamole and tacos. The guac was delish (but when is that not true?):

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There’s a nice selection of taco fillings, and I selected one vegetarian (with cactus!), fish, and beef:

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Tacos are not a go-to food for me, so I might have been less impressed than a big taco fan, but I don’t feel the need to go running back here soon. They are open later though (1am daily), so if you’re in need of a late-night Uptown munch, this could be a good spot to put on your rotation.

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Dandelion Greens Soup

My weekly trip to the Wedge Coop last weekend resulted in me coming home with several large sweet potatoes and a humongous bunch of dandelion greens. Now, nearly a week later, I still have both of those items in bulk. What to do? After flipping through a few cookbooks, the Gypsy Soup recipe in Moosewood caught my eye. The original recipe calls for sweet potato, tomato, onion, and green peppers, but Mollie Katzen says in her recipe notes that any orange and green vegetables will work. So, I modified the recipe heavily and made my own….

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Dandelion Greens Soup *full recipe below

To start, I chopped up three stalks celery and two sweet potatoes and added them to a large pot with a little bit of olive oil:

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I didn’t think they were cooking much since they were piled so high, so I added a little bit of water in the pot and let steam for about 5 minutes. After a few minutes, I added three cups water along with paprika, turmeric, basil, cinnamon, cayenne, a bay leaf, and some soy sauce:

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After simmering for about 15 minutes…

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I added a half bunch of roughly chopped dandelion greens:

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I simmered for another 10 minutes and then added some leftover cooked chicken. I used one wing, one breast, and three legs, but you could use whatever you have on hand!

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As soon as I added the chicken, I turned the heat off, stirred to combine, and left in the pot to heat through:

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I had the soup for lunch with a cheesy tortilla. I wasn’t familiar with dandelion greens before making this, and they were a little bitter – perhaps a sweeter green, like spinach, would be a bit better. Nonetheless, the soup was delicious with a good spice level. Plus, anything with sweet potatoes is fine by me.

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Dandelion Greens Soup, serves 4
Ingredients
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 cups water
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- pinch cinnamon
- pinch cayenne
- half bunch dandelion greens (approximately 5 cups)
- leftover chicken (approx. three cups or whatever you have)
Method
1. Chop sweet potatoes and celery and heat in large soup pot with oil 
for approximately 5 minutes. Add a bit of water depending on size of 
the pot.
2. Add 3 cups water and spices and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
3. Add dandelion greens and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Add chicken (shred or chop, according to preference), stir, and turn 
off the heat. Let sit until chicken heats through.

And…since I was in the kitchen I also made a batch of Tina‘s no-bake Almond Joy Cookies. I haven’t had one yet, but they look good!

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Amore Victoria

Even though I generally have trouble picking favorite restaurants, Amore Victoria in the heart of Uptown at Irving and Lake is definitely a favorite. My love for this restaurant can be illustrated by the fact that I have gone here over 5 times since I moved here (a statement that could probably only be repeated for Mesa Pizza). Amore is a little on the nicer end, so I really only go when my family is around or for a special occasion. During their most recent, I went with my family the first night they arrived.

As soon as you’re seated, you can expect to be greeted with a nice basket of fresh bread, olive oil, and shredded cheese:

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Not all of Amore’s pastas are homemade, but the fettucine is and it is SUPERB. Usually I ask to sub the pasta in whatever dish I’m getting with the fettucine. This time, I ordered chicken breast stuffed with spinach, pesto, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes with fettucine. It was delicious and enormous. An entire half of the dish was leftover for lunch the next day:

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My dad ordered the homemade gnocchi with pesto, chicken breast, and broccoli. My brother ordered gnocchi with a gorgonzola cream sauce and pistachios. Everything was excellent, as to be expected.

Now, to conclude my own personal restaurant week, I would like to introduce my brand new Minneapolis page! Check it out for links to all of the restaurants and activities where I’ve been out and about around the Twin Cities.

Crock Pot Chicken Soup

The crock pot made an appearance in my kitchen last night. Or, more specifically, all night. One joy of the crockpot is that it’s okay to put it up right before bed because nothing bad will happen when you leave it to cook all night long. I made chicken soup that followed the Hungry Chick Chunky Soup recipe from Hungry Girl pretty closely. full recipe below

Preparation for the recipe consists of compiling all ingredients, throwing them together in the crockpot, and letting them cook for hours. Simple, right?

First, slice chicken and chop carrots and onion:

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Gather chicken broth, cannellini beans, stewed tomatoes, cabbage, seasonings, and frozen peas:

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Combine in a crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours:

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Wake up in the morning to a delicious smelling kitchen:

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Crockpot Chicken Soup
serves 5
Ingredients
- 1.25 lbs chicken breasts
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 2.5 cups chopped coleslaw mix
- 14.5 oz can cannellini beans
- 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- several liberal shakes thyme
- 2 small bay leaves
- 3 cups chicken broth
Method
Combine all ingredients plus 1 cup water in a crockpot.
Cook on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, shred chicken before serving.