Try Something New

Posted: November 4, 2011 in healing
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I tried something new tonight: Indian food. Among other things.

It’s true. I’ve never had Indian food. I think I may have tried a bite or two once when I lived in Seattle, but it never went very far. If you’re familiar with Indian food, then you will understand my dilemma with it – Indian food is very heavy on the onions and garlic, and I can’t have those things in any substantial quantity. So I’ve always avoided foods that exacerbate my allergy. Who wants to go out to dinner and then be sick all night?

I came across an Indian food recipe that looked delicious, and I decided to go out on a limb…and try it.

This might not seem like a big deal, but to me, it’s a big step.

I’ve always been a retreater when things got uncomfortable. Whether it was trying new foods, or meeting new people, or just getting out of my shell, I’ve never been much of a risk taker. The ability to take chances and be okay with the fact that the outcome might be unknown is something I’ve really had to develop. Putting in the extra effort to try new things, like foods I’ve always avoided, has been a big part of that.

I got a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala from a blog I enjoy: Can You Stay for Dinner? I made the adjustments I needed to make in order to accommodate my allergies by omitting the onion and garlic, and substituting garlic powder instead. I lightened it up a tiny bit by using half and half instead of heavy cream. This was relatively inexpensive to make (it worked out to about $2 a serving) and overall very healthy (about 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Points). I served it over half a cup of rice, with marinated mushrooms.

In addition to trying a dish I’ve never had before, from an entire category of food that I’ve never really given a chance, I did two other new things while making this dish:

I grated ginger (and got to use my tiny little spice grater that I’ve had for forever, but never whipped out):

I’ve always been a little afraid of ginger in savory cooking. I don’t know what I was thinking.

And…I minced a jalapeno!

That’s right: I’m 27 years old, and before tonight, I had never interacted with a jalapeno. I don’t know what I was thinking on this one either…this could have been way spicier!

I’ve always been afraid of these things: ginger and spicy food. But like so many other things, I was afraid of them because I’d never tried them. It’s amazing how a tiny little step to the edge of a comfort zone can open up whole new worlds of possibilities.

Chicken Tikka Masala and Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms.

About these mushrooms…

I made them. I loved them. So I’m going to share them.

Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms

1 lb small button mushrooms

15 oz (1 can) low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp parsley

Wash mushrooms and place in a medium sauce pan. Add chicken stock, white wine, balsamic vinegar, garlic salt and parsley. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until mushrooms are cooked through, about 20 – 30 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.

I will be making both of these again. Even boyfriend cleaned his plate. And I feel good because I tried something new, expanded my comfort zone, and made a nice dinner that both boyfriend and I enjoyed. I’m a little impressed with myself.

 

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