The Blissful Blueberry

a journey into mindful living and wellness

Month: June 2015

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

I love curry! And delicious sauces that I can use for anything. Like simmering eggs in, which is just what I did with a little bit of this leftover curry sauce – divine!

I have needed, lately, recipes that were so fast they practically make themselves. This is one of those. Minimal prep time. A cook time that requires you not to watch it. And presto! Food. 

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

These little beauties are my inspiration for the story. Lil’ babies are all grown up – and ready to be eaten! I have them growing in multiple spots both inside and outside of the house. Bugs are only getting to them a bit, but I haven’t had time to make a batch of organic bug spray. 

Blargh. I feel like Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell: “There’s no time. There’s never any time!” but without all of the caffeine pill addiction and “I’m so scared.”

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

First up: the curry spice mix! You can use whatever combo of spices, in whatever quantities, you would like. A curry spice is basically cumin, cardamom, coriander, turmeric (or saffron if you’re nasty), and cayenne. This one I used all of those and added salt, cloves, cinammon and black pepper. 

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

Next up: chopping up veggies. Really fast work. Large slices of onions and a quick mince of a jalapeno (or 2) if you like heat like I do! :) 

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

Heat some oil in a skillet and add those bad boys to the pool. Hot pool. Char those little guys! For a few minutes at least. :)

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

Get your other accouterments ready! Ginger, garlic and your pre-made spice blend. Toss them on in!

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

Yum! Spice blend perfection!

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

Once you have that going all nice and pretty, add in some coconut milk!

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

Drop in some meat! You can actually use whatever kind of meat you want. I like chicken and curry. I really, really like chicken thighs for the extra vitamin and minerals boost – and flavor boost. I even leave the skin in the mix because – well, because it’s good. 

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

Sauce! The whole house smells divine at this point – and the husband will wander in and ask how much longer. That’s inevitable. 😉 Tell him not long and go have fun for 1/2 hour or so while NOT watching the pot. Just let it simmer with a lid on while you work on whatever. Cleaning? Sure. Laundry? Probably. Then it’s ready!

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

Like I said, easy. Just add some brown rice if you’re not Paleo and some watermelon – again – just because. Well, watermelon is awesome and is cheap right now, so, yes, add your watermelon dessert. :)

Done and done. El fin. You might also have leftover sauce that you can use to simmer your morning eggs in. Trust me, you’ll want to!  

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry
Serves 4
This basil chicken curry is so fast and healthy that you can enjoy it 7 days a week! :)
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
For the spice mix
  1. 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  2. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  3. 1 teaspoon cumin
  4. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground gloves
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  7. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  9. 1 teaspoon turmeric
For the meat
  1. 4 large chicken thighs, de-boned (I kept the skin in the meat mix but you can always discard it)
For the sauce
  1. 1 sweet onion sliced, not chopped
  2. 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  3. 2 tablespoons sliced, minced or chopped fresh ginger
  4. 2 jalapenos, minced (leave seeds for more heat; discard for less)
  5. 3 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
  6. 1 can of coconut milk (full or low-fat)
  7. 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (or 1 tablespoon concentrate if you don't have fresh)
  8. 20-ish basil leaves, fresh with large ones torn
Optional side
  1. Cooked brown rice (If you aren't low-carb or totally grain-free) - I used one boil-in-a-bag.
  2. Watermelon slices
Instructions
  1. For spice mix, stir all the spices into a bowl. You can double or triple the recipe to save some for later if you'd like!
  2. Using a wok (or whatever large pan you have), heat the coconut oil or ghee over high heat until smoke forms.
  3. Add the onions and peppers. Sear the veggies for 5 minutes, stirring just enough to keep them from burning.
  4. Add garlic, ginger and spice mix. Stir. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk and chicken. Stir. Cook until simmering. Reduce heat, cover and let it go for 25 minutes. Take the cover off toward the end (5 minutes or so) to let the sauce reduce a bit.
  6. When chicken is cooked, remove pan and add basil and lime juice.
  7. Serve with your accouterments. Add a salad if you haven't had one for lunch. :)
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/

Fast & healthy basil chicken curry

 

 

 

Sweet potato, avocado ice cream (dairy-free and processed-sugar free)

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

I was challenged by a co-worker to make this recipe! They are doing the NoSugarTODAY challenge from the Today Show and saw this ice cream featured. 

Everyone knew I had previously made those delightful avocado cocoa bomb cookies, so they knew I was up for making a non-traditional item. I’m not sure she thought I’d actually do it though. :) Friends know I don’t turn down a dare – even not in dare form. 

I tried to find a recipe that was sugar-free, dairy-free and all-natural, but still would taste not (too) healthy. That proved difficult. So I created a hodge-podge of ones already out there. 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

And only 5 ingredients – plus extracts for a little extra flavor! 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

A really important step? Don’t forget to de-pit and soak your dates. I bought pitted because – ease. 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

My favorite ingredient? The avocado, the all-time best ingredient to add to ANYTHING! Healthy fat…which helps stop baby brain (Babies suck out your fat cells in your brain to create their own healthy bodies.), and an easy creaminess factor without dairy. 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

Shove it all in a blender. I use a Ninja. 😉

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

Finished product! Easy, healthy and it works for those who are detoxing and following a no-sugar diet. Even the cat loved it!

Here’s the coverage on air! 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream
 

 

Sweet potato, avocado ice cream
Serves 10
A sugar-free, dairy-free delightful frozen dessert
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Total Time
40 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup mashed sweet potato flesh
  2. 1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  3. 1/2 medium avocado
  4. 6-8 dates, pitted and soaked until plump
  5. 1/4 cup almond milk
  6. 1 tbs. vanilla extract (make sure they are all-natural and sugar-free)
  7. 1 tsp. raspberry extract
  8. 1 tbs. maple extract
  9. Optional mint garnish
Instructions
  1. Remove pits from dates. Soak in water.
  2. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Add mixture to ice cream maker and freeze according to its directions. (I did 40 minutes' worth of blending)
  5. Serve immediately with fresh mint garnish. (I used my own garden mint!)
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/

 

How to pack for 10 days using only a carry-on bag: The art of Chinese folding

2-bags-and-done

I took a vacation! A much-needed vacation.

We packed up and headed to the in-laws in Harlingen, Texas, for a whole week! We also made a quick stop in San Antonio on the way down for some river-walkin’ fun.

Now that my waistline is expanding rapidly and I’m not sure what will feel comfortable from one day to the next, I wanted to make sure I packed plenty of clothing options.

Also, I knew it would be 88-92-ish degrees the whole time I was down there, but I also needed to factor in air conditioning.

Also, also, I love variety when it comes to clothes and dislike having to wear something twice.

So, I packed for 10 days. I also packed 3 bathing suits because they have a pool, and there’s nothing worse than putting on a wet bathing suit… :)

i-packed-all-this

Here’s what I packed!

The chair to the right has my travel-day outfit: a comfy pair of $5 faux Keds, silky stretchy-waist pants, a loose tank top, a long-ish white sweater and a lightweight denim jacket. Because airport and plane temperatures can be crazy! As are Central New York temperatures at 5 in the morning (departure from house time).

Here’s what went into the bag for clothes:

  • 4 pairs of shoes (flip-flops, ballet flats, sneakers and nicer sandals)
  • 3 bathing suits (2 two-pieces and 1 one-piece)
  • 6 dresses (4 sleeveless, 2 short-sleeved)
  • 1 skirt
  • 3 tank tops
  • 1 pair of jean shorts with belt
  • 2 pairs of dressy pants
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 button-down shirt
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 nightgown
  • 1 pair of workout shorts
  • 1 pair of workout/sleep capris
  • 1 sun hat
  • underwear, socks and bras

Other items packed:

  • quart Ziploc of liquids
  • lots o’ snacks (meat sticks, Paleo snack bars and almonds)
  • sunglasses
  • 3 books
  • tablet and cord and headphones
  • 2 cell phones (1 work, 1 me) and cord
  • 1 inflatable neck travel pillow (a fun purchase! Usually the travel pillows are too big for my little head)
  • swim cap and earplugs

I think that’s it. But I didn’t write things down either. Obviously the typical stuff like makeup and a hair brush.

Things I didn’t pack: a hair dryer. Vacation is for air-drying hair! Give it a break! A laptop – because my job is computers and I needed a total break from using one. Uh…that’s all I didn’t pack that normal people might I guess.

Now, it’s worth noting that my carry-on is, technically, a professional’s weekend bag. It has a slot for folders and a laptop. so, it’s really smaller than a carry-on.

Also, worth nothing: I think that’s way more than 10 days of clothes.

How did I fit it all in?

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

This beauty taught me all I need to know to make the most out of small spaces.

The key for packing? Folding!

 Here’s how jeans look all folded.

folding-jeans

And here’s a closeup of jeans in a drawer!

jeans

Here’s a tank top!

sturdy-fold

And here’s a finished drawer of shirts!

shirt-drawer-all

You can even make your sock drawer pretty using the tips in the book. There’s a lot of discussion of “How would you feel if you were one of your socks? Wouldn’t you rather breathe and be free…?” I like the idea that my “stuff” might need some happiness, too.

socks

And here’s how using that folding technique worked for packing. Crazy, I know!

I tucked socks, underwear and bras into my sneakers.

it-all-fits-in-the-smaller-

My personal item fit my purse, my tech devices, books and my hat! Oh, and snacks for the way there, of course!

personal-bag

So, if you’re planning a trip soon, or if you’d like to de-clutter your dresser drawers, check out the Chinese folding techniques to help save some space – and save on ironing.

The book goes into how to de-clutter your entire house to keep your spirit light and your mind at ease. Once I’m done being pregnant, I plan to put it into action to clear out the house and my closet. I’ll probably do a post on creating a “capsule wardrobe” at that point, too! Scandinavian-style!

I promise I’ll start cooking again. It’s been crazy with work! :)

Next weekend will involve a big foodie fest for blogging purposes. I guarantee it!

What are your tips for packing? Let me know! I love a good tip!

How-to-pack-for-10-days-usi