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My husband doesn’t like Indian food. C’mon…did you really think he would? It’s a cuisine I enjoy on precious nights out with girlfriends or those occasional evenings when work keeps my husband out past dinner time and I think to myself “What can I order in that he would never ever want to eat?”
So the first time I made one of Maya Kaimal’s Indian Simmer Sauces, I didn’t tell him what it was. I think I said something along the lines of “Oh, you know, its just chicken with a tomatoey spicy kinda sauce. You’ll like it.” And you know what? He did.
These Indian Simmer Sauces are chock full of nutritious vegetables and antioxidant-filled spices, and provide an AMAZING base for a full-blown Veggie Fake-Out. Our favorites are the Vindaloo and Tikka Masala, and here’s what I do with them…
Small dice a pound of boneless chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cover with the sauce in a large bowl. Store in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and soften some sliced onion, chopped garlic, and diced sweet bell pepper. Add the chicken and sauce mixture, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through. Add a cup of frozen green peas in the last few minutes, and serve over steamed rice or couscous. A little chopped cilantro and a dollop of plain yogurt wouldn’t hurt either. Voila! Veggie Nirvana!
Yeah yeah yeah…its been a while. We cool? Cool.
For the moment, I am going to spare you all the stories of what kept me from you for so long, and get right to a far more important matter – the slow rekindling of my relationship with Jamie Oliver.
I have always been a bit swoony for Jamie. His recipes far outnumber any other celebri-chefs’ on this blog, and his philosophy on food jives right with my own. Add to that the adorable accent and his being, in my opinion, somewhat easy on the eyes, and he had earned rightful inclusion on my Husband-Approved list of “five celebrities I would be permitted to make out with if the opportunity should arise”. That was until, however, he stood me up for Thanksgiving dinner.
Long story somewhat shortened, through a series of phone calls with various producers and the approval of my painstakingly created Turkey Day menu, there was, in 2008, a very real I-could-almost-taste-it possibility that Jamie Oliver was going to join me and my family for Thanksgiving dinner in my Brooklyn home. As you can imagine, this sent the staff at My Husband Hates Veggies Headquarters into something of a tizzy – a tizzy which I fully blame for the lack of cheese in that year’s Pumpkin Cheesecake and the obscene amount of money spent on a certain smart-looking tablecloth. Husband was also in an entirely different kind of tizzy, with the impending arrival of the virile young celebrity chef that he had consented to allow his wife to snog. Shakira, apparently, had not answered his invitation.
The heartbreak when Jamie never showed would have been manageable had I been in a sound state of mind. I was, instead, seven months pregnant at the time, and felt quite sure that Jamie’s snub of my dinner party was directly related to the then gargantuan size of my butt. The marked hormonal avalanche that followed resulted in an abrupt halt in the preparation of Jamie recipes, and his immediate exclusion from my Celebrity Snog List.
It is only now, nearly a year later, that I find myself letting a little bit of Jamie back into my heart. There is a shiny new Jamie cookbook to devour, after all, as well as his continued devotion to improving the quality of school lunches and call for a rise in standards in the meat and poultry industries. Why, I even cooked one of his new recipes today. Yes, it would seem that Mr. Oliver has wormed his way back into my life, albeit in a now entirely platonic way. What can I say? My taste buds are the only body part aching for Jamie at the moment. Could it be because he left me in my hormonally-heightened child-bearing state?
You can’t argue with pregnancy hormones, folks. That shit’s primal.
Well, I certainly hope none of you were searching for something light and healthy after gorging yourself this past weekend on stuffing and gravy. And apple crumb pie. And Bacon & Leek Potato Gratin. Wait…don’t I still have some of that hidden from Husband in the fridge? Back in a sec….
You’d think that the abundance of creamy carbs currently filling my system would make me desire something a little less stick-to-your-ribs than pasta with cream sauce, but, you see, there is another power at work here – a power that makes me pee at odd intervals (like 5x this past hour), burp loudly in mixed company, and crave nothing but carbs, morning, noon and night. This power also firmly plants its heel into my kidney at inappropriate times of day, and causes my body to experience all manner of “little miracles” that are best reserved for a forum other than a food blog. Trust me, there are some things you guys just don’t wanna know about.