Hi All! I’m in the middle of doing a complete back-up and organization of my entire computer right now, so I’m sorry for the lack of posts. When you take as many pictures, create as many documents and save as many files as I do and combine that with a complete and utter lack of organization motivation, it can eventually come back to bite you in the rear. Right now I’m in the middle of making sure that doesn’t happen. Despite my organizational deficiency on a day to day basis, at times the mess gets too overwhelming to bear and I have the sudden need to organize everything to the max (we’re talking Martha Stewart level organization). Once completed, I can once again sit back, relax and let everything fall to pieces all over again until something else inevitably sets off my urge to arrange things back into their proper place. It’s a vicious cycle. You see, I have a place for everything but everything is very rarely in its place.
As I type this out, I am backing up my pictures from last year onto an external hard drive. It says I have three more hours before the backup is complete (I take a lot of pictures), and that is just for my personal pictures. I haven’t even begun to back up my work pictures. So, while the backup is taking its sweet time, I thought I would take a moment to say “hello!”
With work being as crazy as it has been (not complaining) I haven’t had time to experiment in the kitchen very much and have been relying on my old standards. I also haven’t been very good about taking pictures of the food that I do make, so I have been reluctant to share. That ends right now.
Last week I was in the mood to experiment. David had a basketball game so while he was away, I got to work on a new recipe. I have been tossing around the idea of an orange chicken type dish for a while, but I have been trying to avoid anything processed (and since my mom was eating with us, I obviously had to make something gluten-free). I had the idea to make some kind of honey chicken (I have a killer recipe for a honey mustard chicken that I have been making for years, so I used that as a jumping off point for this recipe… I was shocked at how different the end product ended up being though). I also wanted to make some sort of rice to go along with it and once I decided to add coconut to the chicken recipe I thought that it was only appropriate to add coconut to the rice as well. I had some black rice in the pantry that I have been meaning to use and I remembered when flipping through Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, she had mentioned making black rice using coconut water. Unfortunately I didn’t have the cookbook with me (I left it at work), so I had to wing it. You can find black rice at most health food stores (the regular grocery store by my house carries it as well). Black rice is used to describe a variety or heirloom rice types originating in China, Indonesia and Thailand which are also known as “forbidden rice” or “purple rice.” After doing a little research I found that the grain is often called forbidden rice because only the Emperor in ancient China was allowed to eat it due to its rarity. According to wisegeek.com, there is another theory that the rice may have garnered forbidden name because of the possibility that the Greeks banned the rice after conquering the Middle East. However the forbidden name came about, once you cook it, you will have no doubt as to why it is sometimes called purple rice (it was so purple that my mom thought we were having a side of beets with our chicken). When black rice is cooked it is much more “al dente” than your typical white or brown rice and it has a rich, nutty flavor similar to that of wild rice. I followed the package directions, substituting coconut water for water, but I didn’t feel that the rice was done after following the directions, so I added some more coconut water and increased the cooking time a bit and was satisfied with the end results. They were a total hit with (almost) everyone (my dad is not a big coconut fan). Hope you like them!
Honey Coconut Chicken (Gluten-Free)
- 2 large, organic chicken breasts
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (plain or honey)
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of parchment paper and pound with a mallet until they are about ½ inch thick (they can be slightly thicker, I like them thin).
- Cut the chicken into small pieces (again, whatever size you like best) and place in a 9×13 glass baking dish and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and honey over low heat, continuously stirring, until the coconut oil is completely melted.
- Remove from heat and add the Greek yogurt, curry powder and salt.
- Once the yogurt is no longer visible, fold in the coconut.
- Pour coconut mixture over prepared chicken and toss the chicken to coat on all sides.
- Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-50 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked.
- Serve with black rice.
Coconut Flavored Forbidden Rice (Gluten-Free; Vegan)
- 1 cup black rice, rinsed
- 2 cups coconut water (not coconut milk)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Rinse the rice in cold water and transfer to a medium sized sauce pan.
- Add the coconut water and salt and bring the rice to a boil over medium heat.
- Cover the rice and reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer over low heat for about one hour.
- Remove from heat and allow it to sit, covered, for about five minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and serve.