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In the effort of keeping things real, I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. For a while actually.

I recently celebrated my 25th birthday – and although it was special, it served as more of a reality check than the monumental moment I had hoped for. I’ve always been the woman whose mind runs a million miles a minute managing a plethora of different things. The woman who challenges herself to the extremes; always working towards something more. And, while some consider it borderline psychotic, it’s a norm for me.
And, I doubt that’s a trait of mine that will ever change. Sorry future hubby.
Leaving a legacy behind is a concept that continuously plays on my mind. I’ve always had a plan, checking off accomplishments as time went on. But lately, I’ve found myself with more empty spaces and less to check off.
Most of the time, we’re great at advising others on how to move forward, what to do, where to focus; yet, we’re the worst at following our own words. Funny, isn’t it?

We all go through these mental roller coasters and it’s no surprise that we inevitably hit a wall. While the challenge can be intoxicatingly exhilarating, we all have our limits. And, that’s a concept that’s taken me nearly a lifetime to accept.
So, even though I’m a couple months late, I want to make a resolution that I think we can all benefit from. Instead of beating yourself to the bone about what’s being checked off or what isn’t, where you are today versus where you planned to be -I think it’s high time to slow down and view this as an opportunity to restrategize and rise stronger.
It’s moments like these that really make me miss home – the comfort of mom’s cooking – or her yelling at me to stop being a wimp and face life head-on. Sadness was never allowed in our household. Fighting and winning – always was.
So, in honor of celebrating my Mom’s way of saying “Get your shit together Sonia and go win”, here’s one of my favorite dishes!

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Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala

This healthy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is easy to make, full of rich flavors, and absolutely delicious!
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
COOK TIME: 40 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 50 MINS
Serves 4 people
INGREDIENTS:
1 lb skinless chicken cut up
1 – 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp non-fat milk
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
2 whole green cardamom
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
3 tbsp tomato paste
salt to taste
2 cups of water – to be added in small increments to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Make Dahi Puri at Home

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat and saute onions until lightly browned.
  2. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for 1 minute. If you notice the mixture starting to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a couple dashes of water and continue to cook.
  3. You may now add cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, chili powder, black pepper, coriander, paprika and fenugreek seeds and stir. Lower heat and add a couple dashes of water to cook spice mix until fragrant – approximately 3-5 minutes.
  4. Once the water has dried up, add in the tomato paste and chopped tomato. Mix well and add water if sticking. Add salt in at this time, approximately 1 – 2 tsp and cook for another 3-5 minute.
  5. Increase heat to medium and add washed / chopped chicken. Mix thoroughly and cook until chicken is cooked through. Approximately 5-7 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid sticking.
  6. Once the chicken has cooked, taste for salt / spices. Depending on the fullness of the chicken, more spices may need to be added. If needed, add in the needed spices with a little water to cook through.
  7. Once any moisture has been cooked through and the chicken begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add in approximately 1-1.5 cups of water and reduce heat to low. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes.
  8. After 20 minutes, check / stir. Taste for salt and then add yogurt and milk and mix well.
  9. Top with cilantro and serve immediately.

Tip: For more depth of flavor, marinate the chicken over night by combining the yogurt, milk, ginger garlic paste and all dry spices noted above. Cover and refrigerate for 4-12 hours. To prepare, brown onions and add chicken mixture with marinate and cook on medium heat until chicken is tender and cooked. 

Spicy garlic and tomato basil penne

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