I was feeling resentful about this stupid diet this morning before breakfast. I wanted granola with yogurt. Nice and easy and fast, stick the food in your mouth, chew it up, swallow it down, get on with life. But no, that’s not an option if I want to feel healthy. So fine… I went out to the kitchen, browsed around and wound up making myself a nori handroll with smoked salmon, avocado, capers, red onion, and thinly-sliced lemon. As I ate it, I thought about the number of times I might have paid serious money for similar foods at restaurants. $8 for a bagel with lox, red onion and capers, easily, in almost any city I’ve lived in. Or a fancy sushi roll, $10.95, maybe. And yet here I was, lucky enough to be eating such in my own house. I should have appreciated it.

Then lunchtime rolled around. I had some leftover options, but I’d eaten both yesterday already, so I started cooking, feeling grumpy the entire time. I wanted a tunafish sandwich. On good bread. With mayonnaise, and maybe some melted cheese. Instead, I was chopping carrots and onions, pulling out my homemade chicken broth, finding the bag of seafood medley in the freezer… grump, grump, grump. But within half an hour, I was sitting down to a coconut curry fish stew with calamari, mussels, shrimp, and scallops, and rolling my eyes at myself.

This diet looks like so much work. Well, and feels like so much work. That coconut curry was only possible because I’d already made home-made chicken stock and a seedless curry powder with about eight different ingredients. But if I’d been eating at a restaurant with fancy tablecloths, my curry stew wouldn’t have been out of place. So much of the food on this diet is delicious for an amount of effort that is actually not nearly as oppressive as it seems. The stew took me half an hour to make, and I have enough for at least two more servings before I’m through with it.

So… coconut curry fish stew derived from Feed Me Rachel’s coconut chicken curry:

Seedless Curry Powder:
1 tbsp Granulated Garlic
1 tbsp Granulated Onion
1 tbsp Turmeric
2 tsp Cilantro, dried
2 tsp Basil, dried
2 tsp Dill Weed, dried
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Black Pepper (omit for Ballantyne version of AIP)
1 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Clove

Combine all ingredients together thoroughly.

(Note: this doubles Rachel’s recipe, because I’m too lazy to measure 1/2 tablespoons.)

Coconut Curry Fish Stew

1/2 bag of frozen seafood medley from Costco
2 tablespoons seedless curry powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 chopped onion
5 carrots, sliced
1 tsp salt
2 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
some cilantro

Add oil to a large pot on medium heat. Chop onion and slice carrots, then put them in the pre-heated pot. Saute for a few minutes, add salt, keep cooking until vegetables are lightly browned (approximately 15 minutes.)

In another pan, saute the seafood. It’s super-watery from the ice so give it five minutes or so, but be careful not to overcook it.

Turn the heat down to low on the vegetables and add the curry powder. Lightly brown the curry powder, keeping it moving, and adding oil if necessary to stop if from burning. You’re “lightly toasting” the spices. Add the chicken stock, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the stew to a boil. Add the seafood and continue boiling until liquid is reduced to half of what it was. Add the coconut milk and cilantro, turn the heat down to medium lowish, and simmer until again reduced by half, about ten minutes or so.

Eat. Say yum.