The magic of fresh herbs!

This weekend when I was planning my meal prep for the week, I was craving tomatoes and fresh herbs. Clearly, my body is pining for a true spring, not this cold, snow-filled one we are experiencing. So, I decided to make two VERY different dishes with tomatoes and fresh herbs!

First, inspired by a dish my boyfriend ordered a local Asian fusion restaurant this past week which included ‘coconut rice’ – which is just white rice boiled down in coconut milk instead of water. This stuff was addicting and was sweet like a dessert. Obviously, I had to try to make it myself….so, here comes ‘Indian Tomato Cilantro Chicken with Coconut Rice’!  I decided to make this dish for my teacher friends, just to show a little appreciation for them– we’ve had a long month with the move, Intensives (where we take 7-12 graders out of the building for two whole day for career exploration), fundraising for our end of the year 8th grade trip to DC, and battling the testing shenanigans of NYS.

I used a recipe from Pinterest for the chicken…. check it out here!

Please advise, I can never follow a recipe to the T, I get it from my mother…. so, instead of two fresh tomatoes, I used one can of diced — I wanted the yummy tomato juices to add to the broth of this dish. Also, I did not use 3 Serrano chilies, instead I used one long green hot pepper, and I did not include the brown sugar (duh, no way was I adding that!) or the hot pepper flakes. And lastly, I used two bunches of cilantro instead of one… which was an awesome call on my part!

Here’s the broth cooking down without the chicken…

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Then I put some aside with chickpeas for my friend who is vegetarian, and added the chicken to the rest.

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I also rubbed the chicken with some more cumin and tumeric (you can never have too much of these in Indian cooking, in my humble opinion at least).

Here’s the final chicken dish…

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Oh, and of course, the rice!

I started with 1 1/2 cups of Jasmine brown rice in a medium sauce pan and toasted it in a tiny bit of olive oil. Then I added in 2 cups of coconut milk and one cup of water. I let this simmer on medium low heat for about 25-30 minutes. It didn’t cook soft for a while, so I had to keep adding water, about another 3/4 cup probably.

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Here’s the rice! 🙂 I promise, it tastes as good, if not better than it looks 🙂

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On to the second dish, comfort food just for me! I haven’t made lasagna in a long time (besides the true lasagna I made for my boyfriend this winter that I couldn’t eat). So, I decided to make a vegetarian lasagna out of zucchini, portobello mushrooms, eggplant, and kale. I layered these raw vegetables that I sliced longitudinally with my favorite spaghetti sauce and this lemon basil cashew cheese sauce that I found on Pinterest (of course!)

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The reason this lasagna is considered vegetarian is because I decided to add one layer inside of goat cheese and topped it with some more as well 🙂 I can’t help it, I love the saltiness and gameness of goat’s milk! I know it’s weird given my eating habits, but it’s the one decadence I allow myself.

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I baked the lasagna at 375 for an hour – first 15 minutes uncovered, last 15 minutes uncovered.

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Goat’s milk Kefir in the morning with my homemade Blueberry Pumpkin Granola this week for breakfasts will be a hit with my tummy as well!

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This granola is just random nuts (hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, and cashews), 2 cups whole grain oats, dehydrated blueberries that my stepmom made me over the summer that I still had, and 1 cup of pumpkin puree mixed with 1/4 cup maple syrup and 2 tbs coconut oil, some cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. I baked it at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Five days until April break. I have no plans set in stone. Weather doesn’t look the best for visiting my dad in ADK. I have tons of work to get done for my last unit, review sessions, and summer work. I may find myself at coffee shops in between gym classes and training for my 5K.

Life. It’s all good!

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