Tasty Tuesdays – No Butter Chicken
Welcome to my first entry for Tasty Tuesdays.
I am looking forward to posting weekly entries of my favourite recipes, made healthy. Many things inspire me to cook; restaurant menus, cooking shows, my Grandmother and Mom’s collection of cut out magazine recipes, watching my Dad cook while growing up and my many travels. Basically, I love to cook!! And I especially love creating healthy alternatives to my most favourite dishes.
So, thank you for taking a look and I hope you enjoy!
No Butter Chicken
I saw this recipe on the Food Network, tweaked it a little, and absolutely love it!! I tend to make it during the week because it is super quick to prepare and fantastic as a leftover. It is a very easy recipe to manipulate, and add in any vegetables you like while you are cooking the onions. I have tried chopped Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and broccoli…all work well.
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (*I use the entire small can because I like the taste, and the tomato paste seems to go bad quickly when I try to save it)
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-size cubes or 15-20 Pacific white shrimp, raw and peeled
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup water or low-sodium vegetable stock
- Serve on rice or roasted potatoes
- Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When it gets hot, add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook for 4 minutes, or until the onion is golden. If you would like to add more vegetables, which I suggest, this is the time to toss them in.
- Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, cumin seeds, garam masala, red chili flakes, turmeric, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken cubes or shrimp and stir well to coat.
- Add the yogurt and water (or vegetable stock) and cook for approximately 8 minutes
- This dish serves very well on your favourite rice or even sliced, roasted potatoes.
The popular spice turmeric is well known for aiding digestion, fat metabolism and lowering cholesterol, which could help in weight management (Peschel et al., 2007). Recently it has been studied much more because of its possible anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which could be very helpful for treating arthritis and various skin conditions such as psoriasis (Pari et al., 2008). As well, incorporating turmeric in your diet not only could help relief from rheumatoid arthritis, but could also be an inexpensive, well-tolerated treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohns (Ali et al., 2010). In a few studies, it has been found that curcumin, which is a chemical compound found in turmeric, is linked to slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloid plaque buildup in the brain (Balasubramanian et al., 2006). The last interesting fact I will mention concerns a research study by Egan et al. (2004), which showed that curcumin may help people who suffer from cystic fibrosis. There is a lot of research on this disease and the possible benefits of ingesting turmeric. If you are interested to know the physiology behind how this works or would like any more references, please email me (there is also some very interesting literature examining the link between frequent use of turmeric and decreased rates of certain cancers).
Tomatoes are a wonderful source of vitamin C and many phytonutrients. They contain a carotenoid pigment called lycopene, which gives them a bright red colour. Furthermore, it has been noted that orange/tangerine coloured tomatoes also contain lycopene, and are actually more efficiently absorbed. Lycopene is highly studied because of its anti-cancer and antioxidant properties (Borguini and Torres, 2009). More importantly, all of the wonderful health benefits of eating tomatoes can be increased by cooking them, as well as combing with a fat, such as olive oil. The cooking process helps release lycopene by breaking down the cell walls, and the olive oil actually helps increase absorption by the body (Lee et al., 2000 ). Lastly, lycopene has the ability to help decrease total cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride levels, thus decrease the risk of atherosclerosis (Lippi and Targher, 2011).