March 1, 2012

Don't Worry, Make Curry!

I have found curry dishes to be quite controversial.

People either love curry, or they hate it.  I am of the former group - I personally can't get enough of it.  The spices are absolutely intoxicating - both in aroma and flavor.  But not only does curry spice smell and taste great, the spices are great for you!  Who knew!?

Why are you so awesome, curry?
Turmeric, a spice typically found in curry, is a beautiful yellow powder that is made by crushing the dried stalk of the Curcuma Longa plant.  It's often referred to as the "anticancer spice" because it's been known to interfere with the growth of cancer - in a study with mice, it prevented the appearance of tumors and studies have shown that it might be useful in the prevention and treatment of several cancers including stomach, intestinal, colon, skin, and liver.  In fact, according to Foods to Fight Cancer, "The daily addition of a teaspoon of turmeric to soups salad dressings, or pasta dishes is a simple, rapid, and inexpensive way of providing a curcumin intake sufficient to help prevent the development of cancer."

Turmeric is also full of antioxidants including vitamin E, has anti-inflammatory effects, and is a gorgeous yellow hue.

Pretty cool huh?

Turmeric is purty

Turmeric - along with the other curry spices such as coriander, cumin, yellow mustard, ginger, cinnamon, chili powder, cloves, cardamom - are just amazing, amazing little spices.  Although I hesitate to give all this information about one particular spice - because I don't believe diet and nutrition should focus on just one element of a food at a time.  Not to mention, that's how people have made so much money, confusing the crap out of everyone (such-and-such is good for you one day, not good for you the next).  It's about eating a wide variety of whole-foods.  That's it.

So my point in giving you all of this information, is to maybe convince you to incorporate more curry dishes into your diet.  If you never liked them before, maybe try your own version at home, and use a little less of the spices, then work your way up.

Considering all of the awesome health benefits, it's worth another try.  Of course if you already love curry, like I do, then just ignore everything I've said and skip right down to the recipe part.  Because the recipe is freaking awesome.

I have been making this curry dish for a few years now, refining it and tweaking it along the way (like adding kale - duh).  Like I've mentioned before, when transitioning to a plant-based diet, try not to focus on the things you can no longer eat - and focus on the new flavors and foods you will be eating!  Curry dishes are just bursting with flavor - spicy, sweet - yum, yum, yum!

Love & Kale,
Ali

                          ___________________________________________________

Sweet Potato Curry
A kick of heat from the curry, the intoxicating flavors from the variety of spices, some sweetness from the sweet potatoes - and you've got yourself a warm, hearty, healthy curry meal.
Servings: About 4-6

Print here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large (or 2 small) sweet potato, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 1 large (or 2 small) russet potato, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion (or 1 medium), diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom (it's okay to omit if you don't have it)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (plus more for sauteing veggies)
  • 1 - 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • A few handfuls of chopped cashews (optional for garnish)
  • 2 cups cooked brown or basmati rice - to serve
Instructions:
  1. Start cooking your rice as you prep your veggies.  Also, as a short cut, I usually combine all of the spices into a little bowl - saves time later.
  2. Over medium heat, saute your onion and red pepper in a splash of veggie broth for about 5-8 min, until tender.  Add the ginger and garlic, and cook another minute or two.  Add in all of your spices and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the potatoes, chickpeas and vegetable broth.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat for about 20 min, until tender.  Uncover and add kale.  Cook for another 10 min or so.  Stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Serve over rice and top with cashews, if desired.  ENJOY!

Dice everything up - it's easier to just combine all of your spices into a little bowl for later.

Saute onions and peppers.

Saute garlic and ginger.

Saute spices....here's where things start to smell AMAZING!

Add potatoes and chickpeas, and your veggie broth.  Cover and cook.

Add your kale and a splash of lemon juice - Mmmmm...

Serve over rice with some cashews on top.

I love you curry - and you love me too!

5 comments:

  1. Oh my, this looks so good. In fact just today I was going to write and ask you for more white potatoe recipes.....thanks girls!

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    Replies
    1. We're must be vegan mind readers ;)

      It is such a good recipe - one of my all-time favorites! Very versatile too - if you have a ton of white potatoes and no sweet, then you could make it that way. No red pepper, use a can of diced tomatoes!

      Let us know if you like it :)

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  2. For Ann - Loretta and I hate curry too! When we were kids, my mom would make this alternative, incredibly bearable curry powder stuff for us when she would make lentil curry, and I still beg for it!

    Curry Powder Substitute
    2 Tbs. Turmeric
    2 Tbs. Cumin
    1 Tbs. Coriander
    3 Bay leaves
    ½ t Onion powder
    ¼ t Garlic powder
    Put all ingredients together and grind to fine powder in Moulinex grinder. (A blender works, but not as well.)

    Basically, it's the same thing except w/o the curry itself, but the other spices add a curry-ish flavor to dishes that is rather pleasing! You might give it a try. (:

    -Sandra D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you.... I actually wanted to try this recipe but didn't want to end up hating it.

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    2. What an AWESOME curry alternative - while still getting that turmeric in there! Thank you!

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