Curried Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Along with our new gym adventures, we’ve been working on eating better. We generally eat pretty well, but there’s always room for improvement. Because of our busy schedule, we scrounge for food during the day and Brian takes a lunch to work, so I focus on making a really good dinner.

Our current focus is more whole foods, less processed food and starches overall, balanced with our budget restrictions. I also follow a gluten free diet, so I am focusing on making meals in a way that doesn’t require me to cook twice.

We are further limited to our cooking appliances! We traded our propane stove out for an electric one, but haven’t been able to get an outlet installed for it yet, so I use two hotplates, a toaster oven, an electric skillet and a turkey roaster to cook. This all sounds great, but our old trailer only allows two of these to run at a time without tripping the breaker, so I have to cook in stages, and plan ahead! Ah, the joys of learning to make do!

Also, I should note that I am no Pioneer Woman! I don’t have a snazzy camera or the skills to use it, I don’t often measure ingredients, and I generally use the recipe more as a guide than a rule book. So, I can’t really tell you how much cumin to use…I do it to my family’s taste! I also rarely make anything the same way twice, beyond the basics like tacos and spaghetti. I apologize ahead of time!

Tonight, I have some leftover chicken from the whole chicken I roasted for last night’s chicken chef salad, and some sweet potatoes that I need to use up, so I decided on curry!

Traditional curry is usually served with rice, and often has a rich sauce, but I’m trying something new and going without the extra starch and added sauce.

I diced three smallish to medium sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces, added a whole onion sliced in slivers and a can of rinsed chick peas. I added these to a ziplock bag with some olive oil, garlic salt, cumin, a touch of cinnamon and cayenne, and curry powder. I shook it all together until well coated, dumped it into an 8x8in baking pan,and put it in the toaster oven for 30 minutes at 450°.

I added a bag of frozen broccoli florets and the left over shredded chicken meat to a deep sauce pan with a little more olive oil, and spiced them a little pink Himalayan salt and pepper. I cooked until the broccoli is heated through, and added the roasted veggies. After a few minutes of letting the whole mix mingle, it’s ready!

I will serve this with tortillas tonight for anyone who wants one, and some fruit cocktail. Brian and I plan to start using time on Sundays to cook some things ahead, and I’ll make some good flatbread for our curries :).

Float on, alright

I’ve put off getting my blog going for the longest time. I’ve always had reasons. Too busy, too much to say, not enough to say, too much to do…you name it, I’ve come up with the excuse. Truth is…I’m scared.

I’m scared that I will have something to say, but it will only be significant to me. That my simple life, my basic existence is simply too dull to chronicle for the masses. That this pull I’ve felt for years to put my thoughts into form and present them is just a pipe dream, and a waste of time.

My whole life, I’ve been scared of something. Always scared to jump in to something because what if? What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if I disappoint someone? If…if…if…

One could say I’ve ruined my life with all the ifs…that I’ve waited too damn long to decide what I wanna be when I grow up. I’m 42 now, and I still don’t have a direction, and some days that just eats at my soul.

Today, I was working, folding laundry and kind of zoning out…meditating as it were, and came to me. Maybe floating IS my calling.  Now what, you ask, am I rambling on about this time? Rambling, that’s what.

Who made the rules that said we must, by a certain age, have decided on our life’s purpose (making sure it contributes to the GNP), put ourselves in debt to reach it, then slave away at it for the rest of our lives, love it or hate it? Why is there a stigma placed on those who never truly choose? Those who never settle down? What’s wrong with floating?

What if I stop looking at my life as a straight road with road blocks, tire strips, hard left turns, reroutes and tolls? What is my life has been a long, lazy, meandering river, with occasional rapids, a few little beaver dams, and some damn nice fishing holes? What if I’m meant to float?

As I float on, I bump into people along the way…some float with me awhile, others are busy paddling past…but these people I interact with, they’ve all had a purpose. Sometimes, it’s simply for me to be there at the right time to help them through a rough spot. Sometimes, they are there to teach me a lesson I desperately need to learn. Often times, I don’t know why they are there till much later.

I’ve never had what most feel is an important job, nothing really significant, just something to pay the bills, or fill the time, or pad the coffers. Nothing world changing…I’m not saving anyone’s life here, folding laundry and daydreaming.

All in all, my life hasn’t made a big splash in the waters…but I’ve been tossing pebbles for years, and making little ripples. I try to be a good person, to reach my hand out to those I see in need, to help kids, to support my husband and family and friends in whatever way I can. That matters, doesn’t it?

Somebody’s gotta lag behind and toss pebbles, for the waves to grow.

Come float on with me awhile…the water’s fine!