** I feel like I can't really publish this post without adding a comment about what happened in Connecticut. I am so saddened by what happens, and my heart aches for those poor families who have lost loved ones in this tragic event. I cannot even begin to imagine, and all I want to do is hold my Ladybug close to me. I find it terrible that so many people feel so alone and so angry, and don't have anywhere or anyone to turn to, that they feel hurting others is acceptable - that the only way to get people to pay attention to them is by becoming a monster. Please, teach your little ones to love, to respect others, and that all lives should be valued. It is important to know that all people are created equal, but that everyone is also an individual, with different personalities and needs, and everyone needs to be recognized as such. It all boils down to love.
We seem to be on an Americanized-Ethic food kick at our house, trying all kinds of new dishes. We've been trying to shop mostly the perimeter of the grocery store, staying away from the majority of the center isles and the "processed foods". It is a wonder what it has done not only to our diets (lets ignore all the cookies we have been eating, though, ok?) as well as our food budget. I've been spending a lot more time focusing on our menu/budget for each week, trying to get the best meals while not spending all day in the kitchen or going broke. For instance, last week we spent $70 on groceries for the three of us (things like diapers, dog food and toilet paper are usually purchased at Wal-Mart) ! Now I call that awesome planning! If you need a refresher on how to plan meals and budget, you should check out the series I did called Smart Mama's Cook! Anywho, I loved this dish! It is definitely going to make a reappearance in our house! The spices were awesome, I loved the creamy sauce soaking in the rice, yum yum yum! Try it, you'll like it!
Basil Chicken with Coconut Cream Sauce (slightly adapted from Baked Bree)
1 Pound chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 ounces) can coconut milk
2 tsp cornstarch
3 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
Rice to serve (jasmine rice is especially nice)
In a small bowl, combine all of the seasonings.
Cut the chicken into pieces and combine with the seasonings (I only used about 2/3 of the seasoning mixture because I didn't want it to be too spicy for Ladybug. You can always add more seasonings after you thicken the sauce if you feel it is called for) so the chicken is well coated.
Chop and mince the onion, garlic, jalapeño, basil and ginger.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, with the olive oil.
Saute the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño for 2 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Remove from pan and set aside.
Cook the chicken until browned and done, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from pan (place with the onion mixture) and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and coconut milk until combined, and then pour it into the pan.
Simmer the coconut milk until it begins to thicken, stirring frequently.
When the sauce is thickened, add the chicken and onion mixture back to the pan and stir to combine.
Add the basil to the pan, stir to combine, and serve with rice!