The dry heat of the summer sun weakens our bodies.

This is the time of year to focus on foods which bring moisture and lubrication into our systems.

Coconut and lemongrass are both delicious summer ingredients and potent healers.

Coconut is moist and cool. It is building in nature and pacifies the dryness and weakness of Vata and the heat and inflammation of Pitta. It can make heavy, wet, cold symptoms of Kapha worse.

Lemongrass has proven very effective for soothing headaches, particularly migraines. For sufferers of migraines, the summer headaches are particularly common. It is also a digestive aid, relieving gas and bloating cause by Vata.

Ginger and turmeric are both very effective anti-inflammatories. They aid in digestion and have been shown to fight micro-organisms and purify the blood. Ginger is also a pain-reliever and eases constipation from the dryness of Vata aggravation.

This dish, especially with the fenugreek added, is an excellent meal to promote milk-production for a nursing mom.

Add a bit more heat, with dry ginger and some black or white pepper, and use more root vegetables and this will make an excellent meal well into the autumn.

 

Coconut Curry Chicken and Veg

2 stalks lemongrass or ¼. C. dry lemongrass

3 c. water or soup stockCoconut Curry Chicken and Veg

2 tbsp coconut oil, ghee, olive oil or a combination

1/2 c. fresh fennel, chopped

¼ c. leek, sliced

½ tsp. coriander

1 large carrot

1 small sweet potato

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

1 c. fresh snow peas or sugar snap peas

2 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped finely

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp. salt or 2 tsp. Herbamare

 

optional:

1/2 c. cauliflower, chopped

1/2 c. beets, steamed and chopped

1 tsp. fresh turmeric, chopped finely

1/2 tsp. fenugreek powder

¼ c. fresh cilantro (coriander)

1 lime

In a small pot, pour the water or soup stock and add lemongrass—if you are using fresh lemongrass, chop it roughly first. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then turn down to a high simmer. Allow to cook until liquid volume is a third to a half of the original. Cool and strain.

Heat a pan over medium heat with oil or ghee and fennel and leek and ½ of salt or Herbamare (also add fenugreek if using). Sautee fennel and leek until they are translucent.

Chop up carrots and sweet potato and add to the pan with the leek and fennel (add any other hard vegetables like cauliflower or beets now as well). Stir to coat everything in oil or ghee.  Allow the carrots and sweet potato to cook until they start to brown slightly.

Add a bit more heat, with dry ginger and some black or white pepper, and use more root vegetables and this will make an excellent meal well into the autumn.
Add a small amount of the lemongrass water and the ginger (and turmeric if using) to the vegetables. Cover and let steam for a few minutes. Don’t let the water completely cook off. Add more if necessary.

Chop peas into large pieces and add to pan with other vegetables. Add the rest of the lemongrass water and cover for 2 more minutes.  Add coconut milk and turn heat low to simmer.

Add ghee or oil to another small pan and set over medium-high heat. Salt one side of chicken breast and when the pan is hot, place that side down in the pan. Allow to rest and cook without being turned until that side has browned a bit. Salt the other side of the breast and flip. When the second side is browned, turn off the heat but let the breast sit in the pan for 3 more minutes to heat through.

Slice chicken breast and add to curry just before serving. Cooking the chicken separately allows it to stay moist while cooking thoroughly.

Serve over rice or quinoa with a sprinkling of cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

This also makes an awesome grain-free meal without the rice or quinoa.

 

 

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