One mantra. Two words. The concept of change is something I have been thinking about a lot recently. Personally, I’ve come to understand that change isn’t necessarily good nor bad. It’s all in our perception of change. I used to hate change. It used to scare the crap out of me, the uncertainty, the unknown. Exactly what I used to hate about change is what I now love, the uncertainty, the unknown. I’m not going to pretend that some changes don’t flat out suck for a while because they do. Break ups suck. Disease sucks. Debt sucks. BUT, often these changes teach us about ourselves, about how we interact with others, and about what we want and deserve in life. I also find change exciting. I love the newness and the adventure. I will definitely admit that I need to work a bit more on contentment than accepting change, but I’ll get there.
This mantra brings me to my change in diet over the last year. Being on this candida cleanse has definitely sucked. At no point during this 6 month (on and off) cleanse have I been super excited about my change in diet. However, it has been hugely helpful and for that I am thankful. I am also thankful for this dietary change because it has shown me that I have more willpower and perseverance than I ever gave myself credit for. Today, I am thankful for this cleanse because it has forced me to create healthier/candida-friendly versions of my favorite recipes, including all my favorite curry recipes. If I had resisted the cleanse I never would’ve created this chicken curry recipe, nor would I be any closer to killing off the yeast in my body. Everything changes, but that doesn’t have to mean that change has to be a negative thing. Our perception of change is crucial.
Speaking of change…
Growing up my family was never big on cooking with spices, but as an adult I use spices in EVERYTHING. I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I am obsessed with all things curry. The day I discovered curry was a life changing day for my palate.
I used to eat lots of beans, lentils, and gluten free grains like quinoa and brown rice. Since embarking on a candida cleanse to fight the yeast that has taken over my body, I have had to eliminate BOTH beans and grains from my diet. I thought for sure that Indian cooking – aka all my wonderful curry recipes – would have to be put on hold until the yeast has died. Then, I remembered my good ol’ friend Chicken Curry! Oh yeah, turmeric, coriander, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, fennel, black pepper, and more! Those are just some of the spices that you can find in curry powders. Garam Marsala is the traditional curry powder-esque blend of spices from India. Generally, curry powder and garam marsala can be used interchangeably in recipes.
Okay, good, chicken curry was on the menu, but I couldn’t just eat hunks of curry coated chicken. Well, I could (and have totally done this before), but needed a vegetable. In fact, I needed a candida-friendly version of my former favorite – the chicken wrap! I used to love chicken wraps of all kinds – thai, caesar, greek – you name it, I loved it! Then, I nixed cow’s milk and gluten from my diet. I felt so much better, but longed for my beloved wraps. Last year, I discovered that lettuce and other leafy veggies can replace tortillas as wraps thanks to the Tropical Quinoa Lettuce Wraps posted by Queen of Quinoa last year. YES, wraps were instantly back in my life! **Side note – I highly recommend trying the Tropical Quinoa Lettuce Wraps by Queen of Quinoa. They are so delicious. In fact, I’m going to make them again soon, myself!
Anywho, I have been trying to vary my greens selection and decided to use swiss chard as my leafy green wrap of choice for this chicken curry. To learn more about the awesomeness of swiss chard check out this post. Lastly, I needed a sauce – a sugar-less, cow’s milk and gluten free sauce. I used to love using greek yogurt as a sauce for curries, but living without cow’s milk has opened my world to other types of yogurt. I called in my new friend sheep’s milk yogurt. It has much less of an after taste than goat’s milk yogurt, in my opinion, and doesn’t at all cause digestive upset in this girl! Of course, you can use any type of yogurt here. Though, I suggest it be unflavored as the tartness of plain yogurt pairs so well with curry. Other options for toppings are sour cream, creme freche, or coconut cream. The choice is yours!
Chicken Curry Wraps w/ Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Sauce
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Cool Time: 5 mins
Serves: 3-4 wraps
2 Chicken breasts (about 1lb total), cubed
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Yellow onion (about 1cup), diced
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Curry powder
1 tsp. Tandoori seasoning (or more curry powder)
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 tsp. Turmeric
3/4 c. – 1 c. Vegetable broth, preferably homemade or store-bought without any funky additives like this one.
1/4 tsp. Sea salt
1 tbsp. Coconut oil
Swiss Chard leaves, washed (or any large leafy green)
Sheep’s milk yogurt, or any other yogurt/sour cream, creme freche (optional)
Melt coconut oil in a deep pan or pot. Add onion and garlic, sauteing about 5 minutes until onions turn translucent. While the onions and garlic are sauteing, mix curry, tandoori, cayenne, turmeric, and salt and set aside. Next, add chicken to the pan and cook until pieces are white on both sides – about 3-5 minutes. You’ll need to stir the pieces to ensure even cooking. Add broth and spices, cover and cook for 10 minutes (or until chicken is fully cooked). Be sure to stir several times throughout the 10 minutes. Remove heat and allow to cool about 5 minutes. Top chard leaves with chicken just before serving and add a spoonful of sheep’s milk yogurt on top.