I mean, seriously: it’s been four days. I figured the whole process would take about a week, am I right?
I’m not right, am I? Well, damn. I might have to rethink my commitment.
Dinner tonight, coconut chicken with stir fried veg, comes from The South Beach Diet Cookbook. Yes, I am using the South Beach eating plan; it works for me and feels sane and sustainable. No, I don’t want to hear about it; different strokes for different folks. Yes, there will still be sugar-laden baked goods; I’ll simply pawn them off on others. No, this is not turning into a South Beach Diet blog; that’s what Kalyn’s Kitchen is for.
And that’s all I’m-a gonna say about that. Moving on!
Here’s a picture of some chicken breasts cooking up in a pan, although if you need a photo to tell you what that looks like you’ve been out of the kitchen for WAY too long. I let them brown up while I got my mis en place together for the coconut sauce: onion, garlic, ginger, lemon, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, coconut milk, ground macadamias and tamarind. And there was a great chopping and zesting and grating across the land.
Okay, yes, I maybe feel a teensy bit funny cooking out of a diet cookbook. But see, these two weeks are Phase One, and you’ve gotta be a little more careful about what you suck down, and…
… you know, never mind. I will not apologize for subjecting you to the South Beach Cookbook; you’re free to not read. Besides, this chicken is good, so who gives shits where it comes from? NOT ME.
When the chicken was out of the pan, I quickly sauteed the aromatics with the spices until they were nice and soft, and I would like to bottle that smell and dab it behind my ears except that then the dogs would constantly be licking my head, disrupting my naptimes.*
I dumped in the coconut milk and whisked in the tamarind concentrate and nuts, and left the whole mess to simmer and come together. Once it did, I returned the chicken to the sauce to let it finish cooking through and turned my attention to the vegetables.
I did use the dreaded lite coconut milk. Some sacrifices must be made, so I womanned up and did it.
*Currently, they only spend about 50% of the time licking my head. Yes, I let them. Yes, I’m one of those people.
Oh, the vegetables. I was unprepared for you, vegetables.
You see, vegetables contain something called fiber. And fiber makes you shit. So when you suddenly dramatically increase your consumption of vegetables – especially cruciferous or raw/barely cooked vegetables – there is poop. A lot of poop. Sometimes violent poop. It’s a good thing that I’ve always found time on the toilet to be quality time, because the commode and I have become fast friends over the past few days. (To be fair, it probably doesn’t like me as much as I like it.) I’m assuming things will even themselves out as times goes on. I hope. Please.
Aren’t you glad you know this about me? Hello, my name is Michelle and I pooped four times today.
Because I hadn’t shat enough of my internal organs out today and still had a lung and spleen left, I quickly cooked up a mess of colorful bell peppers and snow peas with a touch of sesame oil. Let’s hear it for poop number five!
I nestled a sliced-up chicken breast on a generous bed of veg, spooned some sauce over and rang the dinner bell. Metaphorically.
I just typed “methaphorically,” but I’m pretty sure that’s something COMPLETELY different and I want no part of it.
This coconut chicken will definitely be making repeat appearances at my table. The chicken is perfectly moist from being gently poached in the sauce, which is slightly sweet (coconut) and slightly tangy (tamarind) and slightly spicy (cayenne). Lite coconut milk notwithstanding, it tastes rich and decadent and not at all like “diet” food. The nuts add a nice textural element, as do the crisp, just-kissed by the heat vegetables.
And now, you’ll have to excuse me. I think you know where I’m going, and the computer can’t come with me.