Experience Truth in Wellness

Living Shalom is a Biblically-based endeavor that exists to inspire and equip you to experience greater health and wellness. Wellness Advocate, Lisa Gautier, shares knowledge, resources, and her own experiences related to health and wellness, and invites you to join her on the journey toward more abundant life and health!

Curry with Vegetables (and/or Chicken)

Ingredients:

  • olive oil (approx. 3 T.)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 dozen whole cashews
  • 2 bell peppers (halved, seeded, and diced) – 1 green pepper, and 1 of another color (yellow or orange)
  • 1/2 bag frozen organic carrots/pea mix (Whole Foods carries)
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes, diced (or in winter, can use 1 14.5 oz can tomatoes)
  • 2 whole squash/zucchini (if desired)
  • 1.5 c. potatoes, diced in 1 inch cubes (e.g. 2 medium white potatoes peeled, or a handful of new potatoes)
  • 2 c. cauliflower florets (if desired)
  • 1.5 lb chicken breast, diced into 1 inch cubes (optional)
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t. ground ginger powder (or 1 T. fresh ginger, minced)
  • 1 t. curry powder
  • 1 t. tandoori spice
  • 1 t. ground mustard
  • 1 t. ground coriander
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3/4 c. almond milk
  • 1/4 c. organic ketchup (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste (1-2 t.)
  • 1.5 c. basmati rice (I recommend brown basmati, if available)

Directions:

Over medium low heat, saute diced onion and garlic together in olive oil in a generous-sized saucepan like this one pictured, from All-Clad. Allow all to soften. This takes a while and affords an excellent opportunity for chopping other vegetables. Saute until very tender (I’d estimate about 20 minutes).

Optional: If you want to add chicken to this recipe, saute the diced pieces in olive oil in a separate pan until cooked through (but still moist/tender). Set aside.

Add all spices and nuts to onion/garlic mixture. Stir in and allow to meld for about 5 minutes.

Adding spices

Add diced bell pepper – 1/2 of your green one, and 1/2 of your yellow/orange one. Put the other diced pepper aside; we’ll use it later. Cook 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes. Cover. Simmer at that same medium low temperature for about 20 minutes.

Adding tomatoes

Remove bay leaves, and pour mixture into blender. Blend to a puree. Add 3/4 c. almond milk to mixture. Add a generous squirt of ketchup (optional), about 1/4 c.

Return sauce to pan. Add diced potatoes. If sauce is too thick, thin by adding some water. Add salt. Cover and simmer again for 25-30 minutes.

Add remaining vegetables (peas & carrots, cauliflower, diced pepper, squash/zucchini), and chicken (if you’re including). Cover and cook 10 minutes further.

Curry and Rice Cooking

Top basmati rice with a generous helping of your curry mixture. Serve, and enjoy the fragrant aroma of Nepalese curry long after the meal is over.

Curry Dinner

This recipe is based on the copious notes (and many guesstimates) based upon cooking this dish with my superb chef-of-a-friend! She learned how to make curry from our fellow Nepalese friend, also a lover of good food. Thanks to both of them for passing along their recipe ideas one to another and now to me! Though it takes a while to make, this curry is worth it!!

Curry Consumption

In Malibu

Me at Malibu Beach

Me at Malibu Beach

Ever been to Malibu?

My husband and I made a brief stop there last week during our drive from Santa Monica to L.A.

We stopped to grab some food at Neptune’s Net, a seafood restaurant that overlooks the Malibu beach, and is apparently known for it’s feature in films, such as Fast and Furious.

Neptune's Net

Neptune’s Net

We drove along what is called the PCH, or Pacific Coast Highway. It boasted beautiful ocean views next to mini-mountains. Kind of reminded me of Cinque Terre in Italy. Wow.

More of Malibu Beach

More of Malibu Beach

Boating off the beach

Boating off the beach in Malibu

Surfer Dudes

Surfer Dudes

We are driving more of the PCH today as we head up to our new home in the Bay Area. I’m excited to see what else we discover!

My Husband at the beach

My Husband at the beach

Now that I’m in the L.A. area, I’ve been getting to know my wonderful Filipino mother who lives here. She is the greatest mother-in-law!

I LOVE her!

Given how fast I got married (and that I got married in NC), I had not had much time with her previously so this several days has really been my first chance to get to know her more.

My husband and his dance partner competed for the first time with their routine this weekend at the Paradise Dance Festival and won 3rd place! I am so proud of them both and excited for what is ahead!

While Eddie was away, my new mom and I got a chance to spend a day together. See below for a visual journey of our very special day together. It was one of the most relaxing and fun days I can remember for a long while now (as I have been very very busy prior).

At the Filipino Market

At the Filipino Market

Asian Produce

Asian Produce

Our Groceries

Our Groceries

With my Filipino mother

With my Filipino mother

Thai Restaurant for Lunch

Thai Restaurant for Lunch

Banana Tree in the Outdoor Dining Area

Banana Tree in the Outdoor Dining Area

Bananas!

Bananas!

Lunch with Mom

Lunch with Mom

At the Nail Salon: Mom's Pedicure

At the Nail Salon: Mom’s Pedicure

My Pedicure and Manicure

My Pedicure and Manicure

As you can see we had a very Asian day (which I did not mind at all!) My home decor is pretty much all Asian style (and was even prior meeting Eddie, my Asian hubby) and I already very much love many Asian ways, so in many ways I already feel very at home in my new Valdez Filipino family.

And anyways, besides that, I am part Asian…

After all, I’m cauc-ASIAN.

See?

:)

 

Hollywood

Hollywood

Yesterday we arrived in Los Angeles midday.

I saw the Hollywood sign for the first time in person.

And we ate at a Mediterranean Global Street Food place, called Spitz. Yum! I wish I’d taken a picture of our salad with falafel! It was amazing…

Spitz in L.A.

Spitz in L.A.

Oh, and Eddie informed me as we were buying lunch: there is no food sales tax in California.

Yesssssss!!!! Cause, after all, I like food. :)

After crashing in the bed at 3 pm, we didn’t wake up until 6 am this morning (that’s 9 am EST).

Phew!

What a trip!

Now Eddie is off to compete this weekend at Paradise Swing with his new dance partner doing their routine for the first time competitively. I am praying you two do very well out on the dance floor!

#13: Desert Sunrise

These pictures from Arizona speak for themselves. The expansive sky and beautiful sunrise bring beauty to a barren desert.

Desert Sunrise

Desert Sunrise

Panoramic View

Panoramic View

The Rest of the View

The Rest of the View (completing the 360 degree view)

Here we are!

Here we are!

In the State

In the State

#12: Into the Night

Toot N Totum

Toot N Totum

Following our Mexican dinner in Texas, we got gas at the Toot’N'Totum then drove on into the night, intent on arriving as soon as possible to California. Overnight driving was ahead.

Our next stop: Albequerque, New Mexico.

That was my first time in New Mexico. We paused for gas in the city – one of the few peopled populated areas – and due to the flat nature of the landscape, the expanse of the city could be seen with so many bright lights in that remote place. I tried to capture it via photo, but alas, this fails to due it even close to justice.

Albequerque

Albequerque

#11: Tex Mex

Mexican Restaurant in Texas

Mexican Restaurant in Texas

The hubby wanted Mexican for dinner last night so we held out until we hit Armadillo, Texas.

Yelp helped us find an authentic hole-in-the-wall place where Eddie said it was a good sign that hispanics were observed to be eating there.

 

In truth, I don’t think I’d had Mexican that tasted like that. And Eddie said it’s even better in California.

Oh, Yelp had a $10 for $20 coupon deal so that worked great. Great! Thank you, God, for that gift!

El Manantial Menu

El Manantial Menu

After the pullover scare, we stopped for lunch when we hit Oklahoma City. I was surprised to hear from a local that it’s the 3rd largest city in the U.S. square mileage wise. Hmm.

I Yelped vegan, gluten-free restaurants and found a fab place that led us to a shopping center that looks a lot like North Hills in Raleigh. High-end.

Too bad the restaurant was closed, per a vague note on the door that seemed to indicate a temporary shut down.

What next?

Yelp found us the Republic GastroPub in the same shopping center so we hit that up.

Along with a chickpea burger and turkey burger my husband and I ordered (to share), he ask for his standard: hot sauce, please.

The bartender brought us three. Funny. Can you tell we are getting closer to Texas? Is hot sauce popular here, too?

Hot Sauce Selections

Hot Sauce Selections

They also had an absurd number of beer bottles on the wall. There were essentially 2 walls with the bottles on display. Want to take a guess on how many they had total? (Put your guess in the comments below, and I can reply with the answer!)

How many bottles of beer on the wall???

How many bottles of beer on the wall???

By this time, the Corolla was feeling ultra cramped and my husband’s back the same along with it. He indicated he needed a massage so we found a spot in a nearby mall with chair massage.

Ironically, it was staffed by all Asians.

As you can see here, my Asian got an Asian massage. Hah.

Asian Massage

Asian Massage

Guess things were turning out “A”-okay in OK…in more than one way.

My man at the mall

My man at the mall

Oh, final stop in the mall before hitting the road. We need ice cream!

They have a gelato shop!

Genuine Gelato

Genuine Gelato

Hungry Hubby

Hungry Hubby

A Guy with Gelato

A Guy with Gelato

Turned out it was as good as our favorite one in Chapel Hill. Props to them.

See you in the next State!

 

#8: Oklahoma!

Oklahoma!

Oklahoma!

“Ooooooooh-klahoma, where the wind comes rolling down the plain!”

Couldn’t resist the sing-a-long since we’re here.

Yes, we’ve been in the car for a total of roughly 20 hours now and you can only imagine what is coming out of our mouths at this point. It’s cramped quarters. What else can I say? Sadly, I think almost anything goes at this point.

Does anyone else feel like driving in the front of a totally packed Toyota Corolla might induce insanity?

I digress…

Not long after leaving the Quality Inn, we entered Oklahoma and stopped to document it.

We’ll see you again soon for our next post!

In the Driver's Seat

In the Driver’s Seat

 

 

Last night we drove into the dark, and would have loved to continue driving all night to keep making time to Cali, but sleep called and we had to stop.

I’ve heard when you arrive late at a hotel, you can ask for a 50% off discount and slam dunk one if they have vacancy.

I tried.

And I’m a negotiator, but it didn’t work. :/

Alas.

$71 at the Quality Inn. Firm.

Or she, told us, if we wanted a less expensive place we could go to the Executive Inn up the street. We opted for the latter.

I told Eddie that place would be okay as long as it wasn’t a prostitute shack up spot.

You look at the picture below and decide.

The Executive Inn

The Executive Inn

Before we even got to the entrance, I hear Eddie saying, “Do a U-turn, Babe…do a U-turn.”

U-turn we did.

Not sure who the executives are but I don’t think they’re staying at that inn.

Back to Quality Inn we went, this time offered a handicap room for $64. We’d take it.

And so we did, right in Ar-Kansas (at least how that’s native southerners have been known to pronounce it).

The Quality Inn

The Quality Inn

In we went last night, and out we came this morning! Off we go on Day 2 of our trip!

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