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Chicken Masala Stew Whole 30 Day 3

Whole 30 Day 3
Wednesday, July 23rd

Today I sprang out of bed at 4:30am! I was wide awake and considered getting a super early start on my day. By 5:00am the cozy bed, cozy manfriend, and cozy pets were too enticing, so I went back to sleep until 7:00am. I had a kind of ghost of a headache in the morning. I’m not sure if it was an incredibly dull headache or if I was just focusing on that part of my head worrying that my headache would return. It did not return! Hurray! I had another green smoothie for breakfast because I had no eggs in my fridge. It was satisfying as usual. I felt normal today, until I went to my aerial fitness class. I climbed up the silks, wrapped myself up into a trick called the candy cane, and as I was posing, my back began to hurt. So I unwrapped and climbed down, then began the next trick. Halfway into that trick I lost my balance and nearly fell out of the silks and onto the mat below me. That was about all my body would have liked to take… 20 minutes of physical activity. I felt so incredibly weak. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to get up and keep moving. I finished out the entire hour. I was paying for it, after all. My instructor ended up paying for it, too, with a knee to her temple! I was in an upside down pose, and upon dismounting I lost balance and my leg went swinging down before the rest of my body, my knee perfectly connecting to her left temple. I am more embarrassed writing about it now than I was at the time. She was a perfect angel. She helped me down and laughed with me about the incident. I attempted the pose again and it went much better. By the fifth attempt, my hands just couldn’t hold on any longer and I fell completely to the ground. So we ended the session with a basic climb, which I wasn’t able to complete, and some stretching. On the one hand, I was disappointed in how weak I felt and how poorly I performed. On the other hand, I felt like I got an intense workout today. Super sweaty and super wiped out from 1 hour of training on aerial tissu.

The Whole 30 timeline has a few dates of feeling very tired, and it seems I’m a few days ahead of schedule on these less than stellar side effects. So I’m guessing I’m in the “I just want a nap…” portion. Hopefully that means I have skipped the “Kill ALL the things!” step. For the sake of my household, I sure hope I skipped that step! I did have a nap today. After aerial class and running a few errands I just couldn’t keep myself up any longer. I laid down on the couch and fell asleep within ten minutes. I set my alarm for 1 hour, but I don’t even remember it going off, and ended up sleeping for about 2 hours.

Breakfast: Green Smoothie. 2 large handfuls fresh spinach, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract, water to reach desired consistency.

Lunch: Green Salad. Romain lettuce, shredded carrots, sliced mushrooms, black olives, hard boiled eggs, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Roasted brussels sprouts and roasted cauliflower on the side.

Afternoon Snack: 1 pluot, small handful of coconut chips.

Dinner: Chicken Masala Stew with Cauliflower “Rice”.

Dessert: Small bowl of fresh strawberries. (No, I didn’t have just two strawberries. I just thought those little and big buddies were cute so I snapped a photo. My bowl contained probably 10 strawberries.)

What I was craving for dinner was chicken tikka masala with basmati rice and cripsy, fluffy naan. I tried to make my own version, subbing coconut milk for the traditional yogurt and heavy cream. I also chopped up some raw cauliflower in my food processor to make “rice”. What I ended up with was something quite yummy, but definitely Not chicken tikka masala. In a way, I’m glad the flavors weren’t spot on, because I was getting a major hankering for sopping up that sauce with some hot naan. I fear if I had the true taste of chicken tikka masala I would have had a difficult time sticking to the no grains portion of this challenge. This Chicken Masala Stew is super flavorful, and when served over the cauliflower “rice” is filling and satisfying. You get all the flavors of the masala spices and the tender chicken. Whole 30 comfort food, I’d say.

A note about cauliflower rice: It is not anything like rice. Don’t for one moment think you can replace your rice craving with cauliflower rice. It is, however, an easy was to get an extra vegetable into this dinner, and it works well for sopping up the extra sauce.

Yield: 2

Chicken Masala Stew


  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk, separated
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, separated
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons masala spice blend
  • 1 cup tomato puree, or canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • kosher salt, to taste


  1. Slice the chicken into 1-inch thick slices
  2. In a small bowl, or a freezer bag, combine 1/4 cup coconut milk, juice of 1 lemon, and 1 garlic clove. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Leave the bag on the counter while you prepare the sauce, or marinate up to overnight in the fridge.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the ghee, then add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spice blend and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomato puree, water, remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
  6. While the sauce is cooking, heat the oven to broil.
  7. Place the marinated chicken on a baking sheet, and broil until just cooked though, about 4 minutes on each side.
  8. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and chop into 1-inch cubes.
  9. Transfer to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. Serve as is or over cauliflower "rice".

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