Adding colour to your dinners during winter may seem difficult because of the lack of fresh local produce, but in reality, you just need to delve outside of the usual colourful produce you’re used to.

Fruits and vegetables come in many colours, but whole grains and legumes are also great options and eating colourful foods helps to fill your body with rich antioxidants, healthy fibre and much needed vitamins, especially during the sun-deprived months of January and February.

Spicing up your meals with flavour and colour may require a trip to a local Asian grocery store, but I promise it’ll be worth it! The aroma of Thai cooking in the kitchen excites the senses for the upcoming meal and this chicken recipe is no exception – it brings forward flavours and textures that you can’t get in a meat and potato dish.

The sauce is versatile and can also be used for seafood or fish with rice. One of the ingredients is Kaffir, which you may not be familiar with – it has a lemon-lime scent and flavour; but, in a pinch you can substitute it for lemon or lime zest. Black mushrooms are available at Asian grocery stores, which you should pre-soak in warm water and drain before adding the sauce.

Thai Curried Chicken Breast

Sauce

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. red curry paste
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup black mushrooms, soaked
3 Kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
9 chicken breasts, bone-in
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Instructions

  • Sear chicken breasts in skillet, both sides, and place in casserole pan for baking
  • Heat oil in pot, add curry paste, tomato paste, and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes
  • Add coconut milk, broth, mushrooms, lime leaves, fish sauce and brown sugar
  • Simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat
  • Once chicken breasts are seared, place in baking pan and pour half the sauce over the chicken
  • Bake in oven for about 35 minutes on 350˚F
  • Once chicken is cooked through, remove chicken and skim fat off the sauce; place in pot to reduce sauce on medium-high heat to attain sauce consistency – you’ll know it’s right when it can coat the back of a spoon
  • Place cherry tomatoes in just before serving

Jump Fried Asian Vegetables

Ingredients

3 tbsp. sesame oil
¼ red onion
10 Shanghai baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
12 snake beans, blanched
½ julienne of red pepper
1 medium carrot, cut into sticks
¼ cup cashews
Pinch of chili flakes
1 thumb of ginger

Instructions

  • In a very hot pan, pour in sesame oil, red onion and sauté
  • Allow the heat to return to the pan, add the other vegetables, except carrots and peppers
  • Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the carrots and peppers, ginger and chili

 

Image: kangshutters / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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