So last week, I sent out my husband and my 2 year old, Tommy for their biweekly adventure to Whole Foods Market. I had several things on the list this particular day, three of which were coconut items. Coconut products can certainly get confusing for the “non-coconut professional,” so when they came home with the wrong items, I totally kept my cool. As I pulled more groceries out of the bag, one item caught my eye. Something that wasn’t on the list so must’ve gotten mixed up with what WAS on the list. Something I’d not seen before but had dreams of inventing one day. Something that’s the best of both worlds….taste and nutrition. EVAPORATED COCONUT MILK… and not just that, but a coconut milk with a touch of sweetness! Could this possibly be true? A product I can use for recipes for my vegan and dairy free readers and have it taste amazing? My first thought was to actually taste it to see if it was indeed amazing, and it did not disappoint. A creamy, rich consistency with just a hint of sweetness. Perfect to use for desserts, baked goods, and casseroles like my Easy Coconut Chicken Curry. This recipe used to call for plain canned coconut milk, which you can absolutely still use if you can’t find this, and just add a touch of honey to the mixture before baking in the oven if you want that touch of sweet.
Don’t fear the fat
Coconut milk is made from coconut meat that’s been blended and strained. Not to be confused with coconut water (also amazing) which is the first thing you see when you crack open the coconut. Both are nutritional superstars, but today we’re focusing on the milk.
The coconut contains a healthy amount of medium chain saturated fats along with lauric acid which is extremely digestible. This is my favorite ingredient in breast milk since it’s also antiviral and antibacterial. And don’t let the high fat content in coconut milk scare you away. Healthy fats like those found in the center of this white meat are nutrient-packed little energy producers that boost our physical performance, and help keep us free from disease. If you happen to be watching your weight, here’s more good news... Coconut milk supports nearly every system of the body, especially those responsible for our appetite.
And now for the recipe
For this beauty, I used a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, simply transfer the mixture to a baking dish when it’s time to place in the oven.
See the video below to see exactly what I did.
Easy Coconut Chicken Curry
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 cups diced butternut squash
1-1.5 lbs organic chicken breast diced in 1 inch cubes
1 can evaporated coconut milk (here’s the one I used)
1 Tbsp curry powder
Sea salt & crushed red pepper
¾ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Raw chopped cashews for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In large cast iron skillet, melt 1 Tbsp coconut oil on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, followed by the bell pepper, and butternut squash. Saute veggies about 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken and pour the coconut milk, curry powder, salt & pepper on top of the entire mixture and toss together until chicken is well coated.
Bake covered with tin foil approximately 30-35 minutes or until chicken is done and veggies are soft.
Enjoy on a bed of grains garnished with fresh cilantro and sprinkled with cashews.
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