Yogurt Masala Chicken and Green Salad with Lemony Almonds

Yogurt Masala Chicken and Green Salad with Lemony Almonds

This week I give you two foolproof family dinner recipes that are healthy, easy, and bound to please. How do I know this? Because they were part of the 18grains Cooking Party I threw several weeks ago: the twelve moms that attended were impressed, and so were their families.

Yogurt Marinated Masala Chicken

A few recipe notes:
*You can use chicken breasts or thighs, though I prefer thighs. Due to the yogurt and the ginger in the marinade (both of which have enzymes that help tenderize the meat and break down proteins), even a chicken breast will come out moist with this recipe. But, sometimes chicken breasts just don’t cut it. Thighs are much juicier, tastier, and, well, fattier- but there ain’t nothing wrong with some good quality fat in your diet! Besides, dark meat contains more minerals than white meat, I’m told.
*Mmmm spices: Some nutritionists feel heavy spices are too stimulating and should be used sparingly, while others feel that they add flavor and nutrients and help digestion by stimulating saliva production. I say, anything that makes fresh ingredients taste good (and man, this flavor combo will knock your socks off)- use it!
*If you don’t have a food processor, finely mince the cilantro, garlic, onion, and ginger and combine with remaining ingredients. Also, you can make extra marinade and freeze it for another quick dinner.

6-8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
1 cup plain whole Greek yogurt
½ cup packed cilantro
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. garam masala
½ tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger

1) Combine the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2) Combine marinade and chicken in a large ziplock bag or bowl and marinate for 3 hours or, better yet, overnight. Make sure chicken is coated well.
3) Preheat oven to 400.
4) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove chicken from marinade, shake off excess, and place chicken on sheet. Discard remaining marinade.
5) Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through.

Green Salad and Toasted Lemony Almonds

This salad is a formula you can use all year around. Regardless of your choice of greens, these toasted almonds (hot coconut oil + lemon zest = YUM… thanks Claudine!) and simple dressing can always make a salad magically appear. Since it’s fall, why not mix shredded lettuce with some new leafy greens such as purslane, pea shoots, watercress or mustard? Branch out and you’ll enjoy the pungent, spicy, and complex flavors of the other fall salad greens.

1 head of butter or romaine lettuce
1 Tbs. coconut oil
½ cup slivered almonds
Zest of ½ lemon
1 ripe avocado, cubed
Dressing: extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper

Wash, dry, and shred the lettuce; zest lemon. Heat coconut oil in a small pan and saute almonds for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and immediately mix in lemon zest: this extract the oils and infuse the lemon flavor Let cool and combine with lettuce and avocado. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

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