Oven Baked Masala Chicken Skewers
- 2 boneless chicken breasts
- 1 green bell pepper
- 8-10 baby bella mushrooms
- 10-12 grape tomatoes
- 1 8-9 oz package halloumi, cut into 8-10 slices
- 1 cup brown rice (sub white rice)
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon vegan buttery spread
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- salt & pepper
Easy Masala Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup canned coconut milk, full fat
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (sub honey or sugar in the raw)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flour, I used brown rice flour, you can use any
- Mango Basil Hot Sauce
- In a small pot heat your coconut milk and garlic over medium-high heat for your masala sauce.
- Once simmering, add your tomato paste and all of your spices. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, take off heat and stir in your flour. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Cube your chicken into bite sized pieces, and place in a baking sheet. Pour masala sauce over the chicken, and allow to marinate for 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Heat a medium pot with two cups of water over high heat until boiling. Once boiling, add in vegan buttery spread and brown rice.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Chop your green bell pepper into bite sized pieces. Start to fill your skewers with bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and marinated chicken.
- Add your skewers to a baking sheet, pour over extra masala sauce, bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on how thick your chicken pieces are), flipping halfway.
- When your rice is done, toss with parsley, basil, white vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat a pan over medium heat, cook your halloumi slices on each side for 2ish minutes (or until browned.)
- Assemble your meal by adding rice to a bowl, topping with a skewer or two, slices of halloumi, and a dash of mango basil hot sauce.
- EAT UP.
*If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water overnight to prevent them from burning in the oven!
This #realdietstory idea was inspired by Rene of Will Frolic for Food. Reading her story was both so inspiring and so revealing that I felt moved to talk about my own. Diets and body image and disordered eating are such hush hush topics in our culture. And I think that’s dumb. Problems only get solved if they are talked about openly. We need to start a new cultural discussion about what health looks like, and the struggles that people go through to achieve their ideal image.
So I’m here to add my voice, my story, to the table – do with it what you will. If it relates to you, come talk to me. If you hate me for it, be nice. Either way, I know it’s important for me to tell my story as a small means for changing the stigma and to start redefining health. Here goes nothing… this is the ever changing, ever evolving, story of how I came to #celebratehealthier…
In high school I gave up red meat partially because the sight of it grossed me out and partially because a friend of mine told me she gave up red meat and lost weight. I was a dancer, so the idea of losing weight appealed to me. The next day I cut it out of my diet.
In college I went through my first break up and I turned to food to heal me – to numb my emotions. (This is a pattern that would come back over and over again – and honestly I still have to keep it in check.)
After realizing that I had gained some weight, I decided to start weight watchers along side my mother. This was the beginning of a slow fade into a world of diets and restriction. I went from weight watchers, to calorie counting when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. I was eating just over 1200 calories per day, NO MATTER how much I exercised. And I exercised A LOT. Like, enough to stress fracture my ankle. I ruined relationships by underfeeding myself. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I felt immense guilt over everything I ate. I was intensely unhappy.
Then I went through a second breakup, and decided to become vegan. The two instances are related, because I wanted a diet that allowed me to numb myself with food without gaining weight. I didn’t want to feel the hurt, so I fed myself. I became gluten free, refined sugar free, and vegan. This lead to binge eating bags of grapes instead of donuts or whatever. (Aka. It didn’t fix me like I wanted it to.)
Around this time I started Brewing Happiness, and it was a far cry from the #celebratehealthier motto I claim now. Back then it was an effort for me to find some of myself – regain some of my happiness. I was blogging about food and finishing college by day, while binge eating and crying myself to sleep at night. It was not a bright time in my life. But I was trying to find myself again.
During this dark time, I wrote this poem of sorts that speaks to the struggle that I was feeling. And out of an effort to truly cut myself open and expose myself here, I thought I’d share it with you. Because if you’ve ever felt like this, I need you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
How do I say that food makes me cry?
How do I say that when I am alone the refrigerator becomes a war zone?
How do I say that I don’t know how to love anything but grocery lists?
And that hating myself is now a full time occupation.
How do I say the words I’ve never said out loud?
That somewhere in the days of hidden M&Ms and mixed messages,
My poor mother showed me that hating yourself gives you power.
Well she’s all fixed now, but here I am in a room full of people,
And I’m thinking about ways to hide away.
I want to start new all the time, shed my skin, fix myself.
But like the elusive new years resolution, I fail myself daily.
I find the midnight snack and the 1am loathing again and again.
I tell myself tomorrow will be better.
How do I say that I’m scared to be alone?
How do I cry for help when no one believes there is something wrong?
I started reading self help books, going to seminars, workshops, therapy, etc. I identified myself as a compulsive overeater and I worked SO HARD to correct it. I worked hard to love myself. (I was failing miserably at both, but hey – at least I was trying.)
It was around this time that I read Intuitive Eating. The crux of the book states that there is no need to limit your body, because it knows what it wants and needs. It also says that the limitations cause the backlash that becomes overeating. It sounded legit, but I was scared, because I had cut off my body/mind connection for. so. long. I didn’t trust my body. (Or my mind.)
But in the end this has been the idea that has worked for me. I started eating eggs again because my body wanted them. I ate some cheese. I started to exercise for health instead of weight loss. And I started to trust and even *like* my body.
It has really only been in the last year that I can say I have grown to love the body I see in the mirror (most days), and I am *mostly* able to eat intuitively. I still have to check back in with myself a lot, but it’s all becoming more natural – easy even.
However there are still times where I come to a crossroad. For instance, a few weeks ago I started craving roasted chicken LIKE CRAZY. I let it sit in my body for a week to make sure it was truly my body telling me what I need, but after that I knew… it was time to introduce chicken back into my world. Immediately I struggled with weird feelings of guilt. It wasn’t an easy decision. But it’s my body, so in the end it’s MY RULES.
I ate the damn chicken. And I loved it. I loved it enough that I decided to make these Oven Baked Masala Chicken Skewers. Because to me that’s what celebrating health-ier is all about – listening to what your own body needs, allowing yourself to journey and change, celebrating all the “successes”, and providing mass amounts of self love during the struggles.
Food should be a way that we LOVE ourselves and our bodies, not a way to punish or limit or control it. That will look different for everyone, and it should. We all have very unique bodies and lives and systems of thought. That’s what makes this world beautiful. Let’s trade out diet stories for stories of self love. #realdietstory