Nothing warms the heart and body like a good curry. Curries come in all shapes and sizes: from a Japanese curry made with stock and wheat flour to Indian dal whose beans act at thickeners. "Curry" is a blanket term for a saucy or stew like dish that is rich in ground spices and herbs. Most curries slow cook so the ingredients (typically vegetables and meat) have time to absorb the flavors and spices.
The "heat" in curries has several health benefits. First and foremost, studies show that the main compound in chilies (called capsaicin) has a thermogenic effect that boosts metabolism. Chili peppers can reduce the damaging effects of bad cholesterol and capsaicin may fight inflammation. And my personal favorite: spicy foods boost production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin. So they may help ease depression and stress AND make you feel more satisfied at the end of your meal. Eat curry for these reasons or eat it because it's just plain delicious.
A healthy, low-calorie alternative to conventional rice
- 1 head cauliflower, de-stemmed
2 tablespoon of coconut oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Grate the head of cauliflower with a hand grater. You can grate directly into a bowl or put into a bowl afterwards. Alternatively, chop cauliflower head and put peices into a Food Processor. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice grains.
Heat the oil in a wide skillet and lightly saute the cauliflower “rice” and sautee until softened but not mushy– do not overcook! You may want to cook it al dente so you can re-heat it before pouring the curry over it.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Thai Pumpkin Curry
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin Coconut Oil or Vegetable Oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated or minced
1 white onion, diced
- 1 15oz can of Coconut Milk (I used Thai Kitchen's Light)
1 ½ cup pureed pumpkin
- 2-3 tablespoon curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen's Green Curry Paste)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 head bok choy, chopped
- *other veggies: cubed butternut squash, eggplant, cauliflower, bamboo shoots etc
- salt and pepper, to taste
- * Optional Protein: 1lb chicken, cut into cubes; 8 jumbo prawns
- Garnish: basil, shredded coconut, cashews
Melt the coconut oil in a large pot set to medium high heat. Saute the onion and garlic until fully cooked. Add the coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce and pumpkin. Heat until well mixed. Add the veggies, cashews and optional protein (chicken or prawns-add 5 minutes earlier). Simmer till veggies are tender but firm (and protein cooked). Serve with Cauliflower Rice, brown rice or quinoa and enjoy!