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#OwenCooks: Healthy "Butter" Chicken

Part of #ProjectNomad has been a commitment to healthy eating, so from time to time I'll share my experiences in the kitchen. I'm no culinary genius, but I try to make everything at least edible.

One of the things that I know I could have done better in my last relationship was to have taken a more equal role in the cooking. Most nights, I left the decisions up to my partner; she had dietary restrictions and specific preferences, after all, and anyway, I was buying most of the groceries and paying for our nights out. Shouldn't I get something in return?

This is not a positive way to handle a necessary aspect of cohabitation, at least not without serious and clear communication. I suspect that my lack of initiative in the kitchen caused serious resentment. Certainly, I could have tried harder.

On nights when my partner didn't want to cook, we ordered in or ate out. There were stretches where we ate pizza twice a week. We lived downtown, near plenty of restaurants. It was easy to be lazy.

I gained weight, slowly but surely. I'd never given much thought to nutrition. I decided that if I worked out three times a week I could eat and drink whatever I wanted. Even after I set out on #ProjectNomad and landed in Prince Edward Island, my diet was mostly trash.

I would eat, for example, three very large bowls of Corn Flakes at about midnight. And then I would go to bed.

I ate chocolate muffins, cookies, and other assorted sweets as a part of my daily meal plan. My snack game was terrible.

Around my birthday (February), I realized I needed to make serious changes to my lifestyle. Chief among them was a change to my diet.

I do a lot of the cooking here at the farmhouse. We live 10kms from the nearest town, and about 30kms from the nearest decent restaurant. I do most of the grocery shopping, too.

I control what I eat. I don't have restaurants or Just-Eat to fall back on. So I've tried to embrace a nutritious diet and looked for healthy things to cook. (Essentially, I just type the things I like into Google and add "healthy" to the search.)

This week, I tried this Healthy "Butter" Chicken recipe from Jessica In the Kitchen. It's made without butter (my friend Kate says it should be called No Butter Butter Chicken) or heavy cream and uses coconut milk instead.

Because I am a culinary neophyte, I screwed up some measurements and so I added some chicken broth to keep things viscous. I also put bell peppers and broccoli into just about everything, so I added those, too.

And I made whole-grain rice and topped the whole melange with a dollop of Greek yogurt, and I paired it with a delicious IPA from Propeller Brewing in Halifax.

(After going booze-free for all of March, I'm allowing myself one beer a week, because I love visiting craft breweries and I know I'll be wanting to sample some local brews on my travels.)

Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend the No Butter Butter Chicken! For dessert, I'm thinking flourless avocado fudge brownies, which I'll discuss in detail another time :-)