The green grocer


A blocked writer encounters a mystery muse



The Green Grocer was feeling a little blue. A deadline was quickly approaching, but the ideas were lagging behind. Suddenly, it was as if a mystery muse had opened her recipe box just long enough for one inspirational recipe to slip out. An index card floated down from the sky, landing inches in front of my shoes. On one side was a recipe, a lovely recipe, and on the other were the following words: “When a person makes food, it is imbued with their history, their hopes and their dreams. When you eat, you become part of the story.” A powerful quote with a cryptic delivery.

The more I thought about this quote, the more I understood what it meant, and why it is important to share during this season of resolution. There is an intimacy to both preparing and eating food, and it is imperative that anyone desiring to make healthier eating choices recognize and observe this. We need to respect food, care where it comes from, honor what it does for our bodies, and eat with appreciation. Once this happens, there will be no need for food-related resolutions. Those will all have taken care of themselves.


Cryptic But Delicious

Tikka Masala Chicken

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs, 

cut into one-inch pieces


1 cup plain yogurt

Juice of half a lemon

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


Masala Sauce

3 tablespoons 

vegetable oil

1 medium onion, 


2 tablespoons 

garlic, peeled and 


2 tablespoons fresh 

ginger, peeled and 


1 serrano pepper, 


1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup tomato sauce, plain

1 cup heavy cream


1. To marinate the chicken: In a large glass or metal bowl, combine all marinade ingredients. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. For the sauce: In a six-quart saucepan, heat three tablespoons vegetable oil and sauté the onions for five minutes over medium heat, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, garam masala, cumin, paprika, coriander, and salt and sauté three minutes more. Add tomato paste and cream and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. For the chicken: While the sauce simmers, heat two tablespoons vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken, sautéing until browned on all sides.

4. Add cooked chicken to the sauce and stir to combine.

Enjoy over basmati rice.


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