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.

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Cilantro Bison Tacos and Sweet Orange Carrots

I want to preface this post by saying that these two recipes do not go together. I just happened to make them on the same day. 🙂

I had some leftover cilantro in my kitchen from the fish cakes I made last weekend so something Mexican-inspired seemed appropriate. The result?

Cilantro Bison Tacos

This recipe was incredibly simple and came together in less than 20 minutes. First, chop 1/2 of an extra large onion and cook with a little bit of coconut oil. When the onion starts to become transparent, add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro:

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Add 1 tsp. each of cumin and oregano and stir to combine:

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Once combined, add 1/4 cup salsa and 1/2 lb. ground bison meat:

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Cook for a few more minutes until the meat is no longer pink. Serve with taco shells, tortillas, salad, etc.

Sweet Orange Carrots

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I don’t have any pictures of the process for this recipe, but here’s the rundown:

Sweet Orange Carrots, serves 4
Ingredients
- 1 lb. carrots
- 1 orange
- 6 medjool dates
- 2 tbsp. mint
- nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. water
Method
1. Thinly slice carrots, pit and chop the dates, finely chop the mint 
and place in a skillet with a few shakes of nutmeg.
2. Juice the orange and pour over the carrot mixture. 
Add the zest from half the orange to the skillet.
3. Turn on the flame to medium-high. When the juice begins to boil, 
cover and simmer for approx. 8 minutes (until carrots are tender).
4. While the carrots are cooking, separate the orange flesh from the rind. 
Chop into small pieces.
5. After the carrots are tender, uncover the skillet and add the 
chopped orange.
6. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Add to the 
skillet and cook for a minute longer to help the moisture thicken.

Beef and Mushroom Taco Salad

I have two food goals currently.

1. Cook smaller recipe sizes. Even though I’m only cooking for myself, I’ve been making full recipes. The result is I will end up eating the same thing all week. I want to get more variety, so I’m trying to make less food at one time. This will force me to cook more during the week. While time consuming, I really enjoy cooking and think that will be a positive thing.

2. Have more variety in the foods I buy. Although I make a variety of recipes, I typically stick with the same set of staple foods and just make them in different ways. Yogurt, apples, bananas, chicken, spinach. Eating a wider array of foods will – I’m hoping – be both fun and nutritious since I will getting a greater range of vitamins and nutrients.

As a result of these goals, my grocery shopping trip to the farmer’s market and co-op included these food I don’t normally buy: ground beef, chicken sausage, cantaloupe, peaches, rainbow chard. I also tried to round out purchases with foods that I get sometimes but aren’t regulars. For this, I got: mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, and turkey sandwich meat.

From this spread, a taco salad was born. *full recipe below

First, cook 1 onion in some coconut oil spray:

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Add 1/2 pound ground beef:

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As the meat starts to cook, add a heaping 1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, paprika, and stir to combine:

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Add mushrooms:

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Once cooked through, serve atop greens:

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And add the fixings:

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I added cheese, avocado, salsa, and black bean chips.

This dinner was delicious! Since the recipe I made was for two portions, I get to look forward to the next serving tomorrow. Some chocolate and coconut milk finished off the meal perfectly. 🙂

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serves 2
Ingredients
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- generous 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- generous 1/2 cup mushrooms
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
Method
Heat a skillet with non-stick coconut oil spray. Add onions and saute.
As the onions starts to become translucent, add beef.
As beef begins to brown, add crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, and paprika.
Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until meat is done and veggies are tender.
Serve as a salad or tacos!

Friday Smiles

Given that it’s the end of the week, I want to look back and recognize some of the things that I really enjoyed this week. Sure there was some stress and rocky moments, but when it comes down to it, this was a great week and I am a very lucky person. Here are my top Friday smiles:

1. Morning Runs

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The weather hasn’t been consistently nice yet this spring, and it was nice to have some relaxing (albeit chilly) morning runs.

2. Seeing Michael Pollan Speak

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I – along with 1500 other people – listened to Michael Pollan speak about the significance of cooking for health, democracy, ethics, and development. Meals, according to Pollan, are a shared experience that help to create bonds and love between the individuals who enjoy them together. Speaking of….

3. Taco Dinner with Friends

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Potluck taco dinner with beloved friends = big happiness

4. Art Class

This week I worked on a mushroom value and perspective drawing. Here is the original picture:

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And here is my version:

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5. The Love Fern

Yes, this is ridiculously hilarious creepy girlfriend-ish wonderful…but I have created a love fern to help me survive my anguish while Noah is away in Italy (did I mention I am going to visit in 7 days?!?!?!).

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Bonus: it’s blooming!

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And there you have it, my Friday smiles. 🙂

What are your Friday smiles?

Turkey Tacos

As promised, here is the turkey tacos recipe to accompany yesterday’s black bean salad. This recipe is fast, simple, and delicious. In fact, I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t make it. Unless you’re a vegetarian…but then you could make it with soy crumbles. So, yep, absolutely no reason why everyone shouldn’t make it. (full recipe below)

All you need are these ingredients:

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Plus ground turkey. Raw meat, as it turns out, is not photogenic.

Cook ground turkey with taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water in a skillet at medium-high heat:

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Chop tomatoes and add to the turkey once the meat has browned:

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Chop cilantro and add to skillet:

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Serve in tacos and enjoy!

Turkey Tacos
Serves 4
Ingredients
- 1.25 lbs extra lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 taco seasoning packet
- 3 small tomatoes
- 1/4 cup cilantro
Method
Cook turkey, water, and seasoning in a skillet over medium-high heat 
until meat has browned.
Add chopped tomatoes and chopped cilantro.
Mix and cook until vegetables are warmed through and the meat is 
no longer pink.

Meal example:

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Last nights dinner was turkey tacos plus black bean salad, 1/2 avocado, and a few scoops salsa.