Okay so I have a funny story to tell you about where I found my inspiration for this post. I’ll be honest, I promise. Last week, during my foodservice rotation in my Dietetic Internship I was helping out in public school kitchens. I worked three days alongside the foodservice workers to get a better understanding of how much hard work goes into making cafeteria food taste good but still contain exceptional nutritional components for the kids. Each day I worked in the kitchen I left feeling sore and tired. I never thought such hard work goes into school lunch programs. I was blown away, and I’ll admit a little humbled.
During one kitchen work day, I was put on duty at the fresh produce station (shadowing an experienced employee of course). We washed, chopped, and arranged fresh fruits and vegetables for the high school students to enjoy during lunch. After conversing with my new friend at this station, she mentioned she was going to make curry that night. I had never made curry and quite honestly it had never crossed my mind.
So the idea she planted in my mind had harvested and I tried my hand at making my own (non traditional) chicken curry. The first batch I made was okay, nothing to rave about. The trick is the timing, the flavors, and of course the colors. I present to you my own creation of chicken curry. Using turmeric, curry, and cayenne throughout the dish, they create an explosion of flavor but more importantly, the colors. This dish is pretty simple and easy to make even on the most hectic days. So sit back, relax and enjoy dinner tonight- it’s on me this time.
Turmeric is a wonderful spice to add to your dishes due to it’s plentiful anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a polyphenol called curcumin, which has been shown in multiple studies to be a helpful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Other research suggests curcumin could be helpful in protecting against alzheimers, the spread of cancer, and the reduction in arthritis diseases. Further research in this area is still needed to condone this spice as a saving grace.
Serves 4 meals
- 1 cup uncooked Jasmine rice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 1/2 small onion chopped
- 1 lb chopped chicken
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
- 2 tsp curry spice
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 cup milk (your choice: curry traditionally uses coconut milk, I used a heavy almond milk, several other recipes call for dairy milk. The thicker the milk, the better the outcome)
- In a small sauce pan, cook the Jasmine rice according to directions on the package.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sized sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the red and green bell peppers and onion together, sauté until slightly soft.
- Add the chopped chicken in the sauté pan and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and let cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, can of Rotel, curry, cayenne, and turmeric spices to the sauté pan. Stir well, incorporating all the spices evenly. Let simmer for about a minute.
- Add the milk and continue to let simmer on low for about 5 minutes.
- Serve curry on top of cooked jasmine rice. ENJOY!
-Turmeric: an overview of potential health benefits. Nutrition today; volume 45(5), September/October 2010.
-DK Books; Healing Foods, eat your way to a healthier life. May 2013
-3 Reasons to eat turmeric. Dr. Weil.com
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