Chicken Tikka Masala with Spaghetti Squash – CrossFit Series

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I’m a huge fan of Tikka Masala!

I was first exposed to it while working at The Kincaid Grill in Anchorage, Alaska. We had a catering contract for the private flight service at the Anchorage International Airport. We’d get orders at all times of the day and had to make them on the fly. We’d get a lot of Japanese business people flying “over the hump” from Tokyo to New York. They’d stop in ANC to fuel up their jets and their bellies. One time, we had an Indian arrival requested Chicken Tikka Masala. I hadn’t heard of it, but one of my fellow cooks had. We googled it, came up with a recipe and it’s been a mainstay for me ever since.

While we used yogurt, heavy cream and rice back then, I’ve replaced them with coconut milk and spaghetti squash for today’s recipe.

This video aired on CrossFit.com last year and we use almost the exact recipe for our Ice Age Meals Chicken Tikka. If you’re looking for a solid way to gussy up your chicken breasts, this is probably my top recommendation. Another great option are my Chicken and Shrimp Rolls.

It’s been a whirlwind week with my first CrossFit Specialty Cert: Culinary Ninja in Del Mar, CA on Saturday and some of the biggest news of my career today. I have to keep the latter a secret, but you’ll learn about it in the near future. I hope you guys are having a great week and are ready for Meal Plan 16.17 tomorrow, this is the week we pass 1/3 of 2016. Make the most of this year guys! The best way you can do this is by being nice, exercising and…

“Keeping It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Chicken Tikka Masala with Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients List:

  • 22 ounces Boneless, skinless chicken breast, large dice
  • 750 grams spaghetti squash, halved, seeded, roasted & scraped (see below)
  • 4 cups onions, diced
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 10 ounces light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • Masala spice mixture (see below)
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of masala mixture. Stir to combine the spices and oil and toast the spices for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and stir to incorporate. Cook for 1 minute longer.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place it, seasoned side down into the pan, then season the top side with salt and pepper and stir to incorporate into the spice mixture.Push the chicken to one side of the pan and add the onions to the other half.Cook for 2 minutes, then stir onions into chicken and cook for 2 minutes longer.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir in, then add the coconut milk and tomato puree. Stir to combine and cook until chicken is done, about 2-3 minutes longer. Then, cut the heat.
  5. Portion out 150 grams of spaghetti squash into 6 containers.
  6. When the chicken is done season the sauce kosher salt and the masala mixture.
  7. Fold in the fresh cilantro and then divvy up the chicken and sauce over the spaghetti squash. Use a scale for accurate measure.
  8. Refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to six months.
  9. Enjoy!

Preparation Instructions for the Spaghetti Squash:

  1. Cut a spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds.
  2. Place the two halves, flesh side up, on a foil lined sheet pan.
  3. Season with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.
  4. Roast at 350 until soft, approximately 30-45 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes, and then scrape into spaghetti-like strands using a fork.
  6. Eat immediately or cool and store in the fridge for up to one week or the freezer for up to 6 months.

Ingredients for the Masala Mixture:

You can use a variety of Indian spices, but a basic mix of what you might have in your pantry would be:

  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

You can add cardamom, cayenne, turmeric, brown mustard, etc… as well, but the above will get you started in the right direction.

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

Proteins: (22)

We have 22 blocks coming from our 22oz of chicken.   One ounce equals one block therefore we get 22 blocks.

Carbohydrates: (11)

We start with 750g of spaghetti squash. One block equals 163g, so therefore we have about 4.5 blocks. We have 4 cups of onions, and with ½ cup equaling one block so we get 8 blocks from the onions. We also get 5.5 blocks from the tomato products with both equaling 4oz to one block. Finally we have 8 garlic cloves which we will count as 1 block as its close to the 10 that equal one block. Therefore we have a total of 11 blocks of carbs.

Fats: (4)

Our fats come from out coconut milk where there are 12 blocks in one cup (8oz). Since we are using 10oz, that is just over one block so we will count it as one for easy math. Additionally we get 3 fat blocks from the oil as 1/3 of a teaspoon equals one block for a total of 4 fat blocks.

Balancing Act:

We have a 2 to 1 ration of protein to carbs. Our fat blocks are very low so you wont really count these in your meal portion.

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