A New Experience, Thai Chicken Curry, + Saturday Shares

Never in my life did I imagine that at 44 years old I would:

1. wear a singlet in public
2. lift weights in front of judges and a crowd of people

But last weekend I did just that when I competed in my first powerlifting meet.

squat

And I had a awesome day, you guys! I lifted well and I had a really great time. I very much look forward to doing it again. I’ll try to write more about the experience when I’ve had a little more time to process “all the feels”.

Now let’s talk about this Thai Chicken Curry recipe. It comes from The Real Food Cookbook: Traditional Dishes for Modern Cooks by Nina Planck. I received an advanced reading copy of this cookbook from the publisher a few months back, and I have tried a bunch of the recipes since then. In addition to this Thai Chicken Curry, my favorite recipes so far have been the Caesar Salad, the Ricotta Pesto, and the Fermented Ginger Ale. The Downy Vanilla Cheesecake is also terrific!

thai chicken curry | healthy green kitchen

I really like Nina’s writing. I enjoyed her book Real Food: What to Eat and Why(2008) very much, and was excited when I heard she was writing a cookbook. The great thing is this cookbook is not preachy or pretentious, and it’s filled with exactly the type of food that I like and want to eat: food that’s nourishing and immensely satisfying, without being fussy. You don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to find the ingredients needed to make the food in this book :)

My son proclaimed this his favorite Thai dish that I have cooked, and since I use Thai flavors a fair amount, I think that says a lot. FYI cold leftovers are quite wonderful!

Read more

Overnight High Protein Oatmeal

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I am competing in my first powerlifting meet tomorrow. I am nervous but also looking forward to it. I’ve spent this week training pretty light, stretching a lot, and trying to get as much sleep as possible so I can go in with lots of energy and minimal anxiety.

I decided to compete in this meet about two months ago and since then I’ve made some adjustments to the way I eat, especially when it comes to my protein intake. Protein is always important, but perhaps even more so when you strength train with heavy weights. I work particularly hard to make sure I am eating enough of this macronutrient.

High Protein Oatmeal | Healthy Green Kitchen

Though I previously wasn’t that big a fan of protein powders, I have found them to be nothing short of essential as of late: without supplementing with some protein powder on a daily basis, I simply don’t eat enough protein to meet my current needs. Right now I am eating about 110 grams of protein a day (this is 1 gram or protein per pound of my body weight).

Does this mean I think everyone should be supplementing with protein powder? No, not at all. While protein at or near the amount I am consuming may be useful to you, the amount of protein you need and whether or not protein powder is right for you depend on the context of your lifestyle and activity level, not mine.

{Ah, context. Such an important concept when it comes to matters of nutrition. We don’t all inhabit the same body nor do we live the same life (obviously!), so “one size fits all” nutritional recommendations really don’t make sense, do they?}

I like this recipe because I can quickly mix up 4 individual servings. Then I can grab one from the fridge in the morning and add a little more milk and maybe some fresh fruit (in these photos I’ve used pomegranate arils) before I head out to the gym. The lid makes tucking one into my purse super easy.

I don’t usually put my recipes through a nutritional calculator but just for kicks I decided to do it this time. The calorie and macronutrient breakdown of this overnight high protein oatmeal recipe (without any fruit or anything else added on top) comes out as follows:

For each serving (presuming 4 servings), approximately:
300 calories
10 grams fat
34 grams carbs
24 grams protein

I think this is great because there’s almost 1/4 of my protein requirement right there.

This recipe was inspired by Refrigerator Oatmeal from The Yummy Life. I used short 1 cup glass canning jars with plastic lids to make this recipe.

Read more

(Hip Girl’s Guide-Inspired) Garlic Parmesan Popcorn

Kate Payne is someone whose work I really admire and her second book just came out. It’s called The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen: A Hit-the-Ground Running Approach to Stocking Up and Cooking Delicious, Nutritious, and Affordable Meals: I absolutely adore it.

The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen is not a typical cookbook. In Kate’s words, it’s more of a “friend, someone sitting with you helping to bust your fears in the kitchen”. From the introduction, I learned that though she always loved the idea of cooking, for much of her life Kate did not feel good about the reality of preparing food for herself and others. Kate was not someone who naturally loved to cook…it stressed her out.

A few years ago, Kate decided to work through her discomfort and take charge of the “sustenance cooking” in her household due to reasons related to food quality, nutrition, and economics. She set out to “master” wholesome, delicious, budget-friendly everyday cooking and along the way, this book was born. I think anyone who is struggling to feel themselves nourishing food on a daily basis will get a ton out of The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen. (But I got a ton out of it and I already consider myself a pretty confident/competent cook.)

As I mentioned above, this isn’t the kind of cookbook you may be accustomed to. There are some recipes, yes, but mostly it is filled with extremely helpful tips and advice, as well as info on techniques for making pretty much anything from scratch. Reading through, I was particularly impressed with how Kate tackles tough issues such as how to eat “real” food when you are on a really tight budget; she also discusses the problem of food waste quite a bit, and I was pleased to see this.

The way Kate writes is incredibly down to earth and funny (ex. Chapter 5 is called “Kitchen Kick-Ass”) and the book is really so inspiring: you can read the whole thing- or just snippets of it- and I am willing to bet money that when you put the book down, you’ll be excited to go create something in your kitchen.

garlic parmesan popcorn | healthy green kitchen

To honor what I love about this book, I chose to make some Garlic Parmesan Popcorn. This isn’t a recipe that’s in the book, but it’s very much inspired by Kate’s words on page 161. Popcorn is so easy to make, and so delicious when it’s homemade, and yet so many of us don’t spend the time to do it…we make microwave popcorn instead.

There are some potential health concerns with microwave popcorn (which Kate does mention in the book), but that’s only part of why I prefer homemade popcorn to the microwave variety. I prefer it mostly because I can flavor it how I like! Some melted real butter and sea salt is always wonderful, but it’s so fun to get creative with popcorn. There are lots of different ways you can season it- from truffle salt to curry (both mentioned by Kate in the book) to other spices, to sweet popcorn…raid your pantry and have fun with it! I certainly had fun coming up with this Garlic Parmesan Popcorn which I’ve never made before (and I’ll definitely be making it again…it’s delicious).

Read more

Seared Wild Salmon with Spicy Brown Butter Corn and Cucumbers

If you read my post about why and how to choose fish wisely, then you know that I think wild Alaskan salmon is a great choice for those who eat fish. I generally gravitate toward Asian flavors when I make salmon- and I typically utilize the broiler or grill- so when I spied the recipe … Read more

One Simple Change: How to Make a Healthy Smoothie

Welcome to Week 13 of One Simple Change: my year long series of weekly tips dedicated to enhancing your health and your life. If you are new to my blog, One Simple Change is a series I began early in 2012. I try to post something for OSC every Friday; I also post new recipes … Read more