Monday, February 17, 2014

Thai Red Curry Chicken

I have some explaining to do. My regular posts of the last month or so have masked what has been a pretty crazy end of 2013 and beginning of 2014.   

Robbie re-aggravated a high school back injury in December that led to meetings with surgeons and neurologists and concluded with back surgery two weeks ago.  We’ve had epic amounts of snowfall and very cold temperatures daily so it made traipsing from Robbie’s hospital back to the apartment to his mom’s hotel where he stayed for a few nights  and finally back to the apartment last weekend a bit of an adventure.  Meanwhile, Robbie is on strict orders not to lift anything over 5 pounds or do any repetitive bending.  So I have been carrying his groceries, his overnight bag to/from hospital and dealing with Newt’s needs the past couple weeks (and for the next four) all while managing a body that is 4+-months pregnant. 

Yes, that’s right, we made it ‘official’ last week after we got the additional news that the baby is a girl (at least that’s what two doctors and an ultrasound technologist reported).  We are both in awe that we are bringing a being into this crazy life we live and that we get to introduce one of our favorite cities to this small person who, we hope, will find the magic in it as much as we do.  We find it even more surreal that we are having a daughter.  We were both a little apprehensive at first – ‘Is it better or worse to live in New York City with a baby girl?’ ‘Is the name we are leaning towards going to garner criticism from our New York peers?’  And for me, being a female myself, I remember all the self-esteem struggles of middle-school years (and even those issues that remain today) and wonder if I can be as supportive a mother as my own was and continues to be.   Plus this baby, if it arrives on time, will be a Leo.  Just like me.  Poor Robbie. 

Several things are known for sure though:

·      We are blessed to be experiencing this entire process and how the body just seems to know what it needs to do – with relatively few aches and pains.  I had minimal sickness and have been feeling relatively normal with the exception of some tighter pants.  Talk to me in July though during the throes of a New York City summer.
·      We are so excited to bring a little bit of Samuel-Mullinax blood into this world.  Twenty bucks says she’ll have dimples and a bit of wit.
·      This little girl, who we haven’t even met, is already so loved and obsessed over.  Her pictures already hang on the refrigerator and she is in our thoughts constantly.  I guess this starts the next ‘forever’ of worrying and thinking about her wellbeing.
·      The only odd pregnancy side effect was my aversion to sweets.  For the first couple of months I lost my sweet tooth and craved only salty and comforting things.  Chilis, soups, ramen bowls, etc. were all I wanted. That has since changed, which has greatly helped my daily sodium intake.

Due to this last point, and the fact that it is so cold out, Robbie and I have been exploring with more home-cooked meals.  We anticipate mealtimes will be an important part in rearing this child since, as you now, food is a pleasure for both of us and we hope to share that with her.  All signs at this point suggest Baby Girl Samuel has been enjoying them as well.

We made this dish for two reasons: Valentine’s Day and in honor of the news we will be having a baby girl -- a stretch, I know, but the coloring is more Team Pink than anything else, right?  The dish has gotten even better as each day passes as the flavors meld and merge into something a little more complex.  A fact, according to my mother, that can apply to parenthood.  Each stage of a child’s life is better than the one before it, as he or she grows, learns and develops.   I’ll be sure to report back over the next 18 years and let you know if I agree.

Thai Red Curry Chicken
Adapted slightly from Eat, Live, Run

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp coconut oil (I used refined)
3 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp red curry paste
2 baby bok choy, chopped
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 inch knob ginger, grated
1 cup snow peas, cut in half
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin discs
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
cooked white rice

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the ginger and sauté until fragrant. Add the chicken and stir, cooking until not quite cooked through. Add the curry paste and continue to sauté over high heat for another couple minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Add the bok choy, bell pepper, snow peas and sweet potatoes. Bring curry to a boil (this took us a bit longer than expected.)  Reduce heat and simmer. Stir in the fish sauce, salt, lime juice and sugar. Continue simmering over medium/low heat until veggies are soft, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Serve in bowls over white rice.