Food for Thought: Shannon

Welcome Shannon from Lemongrove Avenue. There the former vegetable hater documents her adventures in cooking (in between her work, grad school classes and homework). Check out her site
for some tasty recipe ideas - especially if you are cooking for one!

One of the biggest reasons I enjoy cooking is because I love to eat! (I couldn't agree more - Jess) Since in addition to eating well, I strive to lead a healthy lifestyle, it’s very important to me that I truly enjoy what I am eating. Therefore, I tend to prefer dishes with strong flavors that are both creative and nutritious.
Though I have always loved cooking, I didn’t really discover how passionate I was about it until somewhat recently. In college I had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy where I took an Italian cooking class that was tremendously inspiring. Not only were the ingredients we used the freshest available, often purchased at the market just before our class, but they were very un-intimidating. I remember a simple dish our teacher prepared, cuttlefish cooked in white wine and olive oil, served with fresh shaved Tuscan cheese.  It was far from fancy but it was by far one of the most flavorful things I have ever tasted. Soon after, I learned to truly appreciate fresh and local ingredients. I still dream about the fresh mozzarella I’d pick up at the market on my way home from school and slice up with tomatoes and drizzle with unfiltered extra virgin olive oil.
I love sharing great food with my family and friends but most often I am cooking for one. This allows me to be adventurous and have more flexibility to try new things. Though I don’t cook with any rigid restrictions, I try to eat a lot of vegetables, grains and lean meats. Most of the time I make chicken, fish or a vegetarian dish with tofu as a protein.  During the warmer months, as I live just outside of Boston, I let my farmer’s market finds inspire me in my cooking.
Though Pad Thai might be one of my favorite things to eat, I recently created a Basil Coconut Curry dish with chicken that was simple to prepare yet boasted complex flavors. Since I am quite proud of this dish, I’d love to share the recipe with the readers of The Saucy Kitchen.

Basil Coconut Curry with Chicken
a Lemongrove Avenue Original

1 Whole Chicken Breast
1/2 Can Unsweetened Light Coconut Milk
1 t. Cumin
1 t. Coriander, ground
1/2 t. Cayenne Pepper
1 t. Chili Powder
1/4 t. Turmeric
1 t. Curry Powder
1 C. Vegetable Broth
Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Jalapeno, chopped and seeded
Begin by cutting the chicken breast into chunks. In a bowl, mix all spices and then add chicken chunks, coating chicken. In a large sauce pan, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, heat chicken (medium heat) until cooked through. Remove chicken and put aside. Pour 1/2 of broth into pan to deglaze with cooking juices from chicken. When pain is deglazed, add coconut milk, basil leaves and jalapeno. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Add cooked chicken to pan and allow to heat for a few more minutes. Allow sauce to thicken (doesn’t take very long… I added 1 t. cornstarch to assist). Serve chicken with sauce over rice or veggies (I served mine over sautéed spinach and mushrooms). Enjoy!

2 lovely comments:

  1. Shannon this sounds amazing!!! What great flavors! The cooking class you took sounds like heaven :) I'm off to read your blog now!