Chickpea curry

Our wonderful doula brought us this curry just after Plum was born. It was so good then, and it’s so good now. I’ve also cooked the potatoes and carrots together in the Instant Pot so that the only monitored cooking you have to do is sautéeing the onions, adding the rest of the veg and sauce, and heating it all up.

1 can coconut milk
2 TBS yellow curry paste
1 TBS palm sugar
1 tsp turmeric
1 large carrot, cubed
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 cup green beans, cut into ½ inch pieces (I just whatever veggies are in the house – broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash, whatever)
1 can chickpeas
1 medium onion, cubed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (or 1/2tsp ground ginger)
2 TBS of coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 tsp of salt

Heat the oil in a deep skillet. Saute the onions until almost translucent. Add potatoes, carrots, green beans and grated ginger, cook until almost soft. While that is cooking slowly whisk the coconut milk with the yellow curry paste, turmeric, salt and palm sugar. Pour over the vegetables, add the chickpeas and bring to simmer. Cook for about five more minutes. Serve over white or brown rice.

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Homemade chicken noodle soup

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Buy a whole chicken and cook it any kind of way. I cook mine in my Instant Pot (chicken breast side down in pot, add a cup or so of water, high pressure with natural release for 30-60 minutes depending on the chicken’s size and how frozen it is).

Next, let the chicken cool and remove all the meat from the bones and skin. I store the meat in the fridge, add the bones and skin to a big pot and then cover them with lots of water and boil on high all day long, adding more water as needed so the carcass stays covered. You can also make stock in your Instant Pot (there are plenty of suggestions for best practices online). The stock should get cloudy and the carcass should fall completely apart. The longer you boil it, the yummier it will be.

During the last hour or so of cooking the stock, chop an onion and several carrots*, and saute them in another large pot until onions are translucent and carrots get soft-ish. Then I pour the stock I’ve just made over a fine mesh strainer and into the onion/carrot pot. Roughly chop half the chicken and add it, too. (The other half of the chicken can go into the freezer or you can add it all if you want very chicken-y soup).

I season up the stock at this point: salt (don’t overdo here; you’ll add more at the end), pepper, marjoram, sage, rosemary, parsely, and any other spices that seem chicken soup-ish. Add a bag of frozen peas and cook over medium heat for 15-30 minutes to let the peas get to the texture you like and the flavors go together. In the last 5-10 minutes, add your noodles. If you’re using egg noodles, they cook very quickly. If you’re using different pasta, it might take longer. I often add the noodles and then just turn off the heat on my flat top electric stove, cover the soup, and let it sit ’til we’re ready to eat. Add salt to taste here, too, if you’d like.

*You could add celery here, too.

 

Plum at nearly 19 months

WALKS confidently and most of the time, though still looks like a toddler and likes to crawl for occasional funsies.

Makes all kinds of facial expressions; she’s probably best at surprised faces and furrowed brows

Eats most everything; especially loves cheese, blueberries, sauces (aioli, ranch dressing), and donuts

Says more words than we can count. Most are recognizable to us, but still somewhat toddler-ified

Climbs confidently onto everything, including tables if we let her (we usually don’t)

Has started to communicate about peeing and pooping (sometimes in advance, most often after the fact)

Names and touches/points to body parts on herself and others; we’re trying to limit her to poking herself in the eye

Points to various family members and herself while saying names: “Mama, Dada, Bubba, Zeze, Doggy, Mae [sounds like a My/Mae hybrid]”

Plays peek-a-boo expertly with family via Facetime

So social! Loves riding the bus, visiting with friends, park time, babysitters