I have not met an ethnic food I do not like.
Well, let me clarify. I have not met a vegetarian ethnic dish that I do not like. I don’t do animal parts, insects, and the like. No Reservations and Bizarre Foods creep me out.
But. Spicy Indian curries, Thai noodles, Moroccan Stew… now we’re talking.
Not that I’m much of a world traveler. The furthest my passport has been is Denmark, and while I enjoyed amazing bread & cheese, I wouldn’t exactly call it must-travel ethnic food.
None the less, I do enjoy some sort of weekly ethnic take-out, perhaps making me a part-time world cuisine connoisseur.
Or just a little piggy who needs her fix of curry on the reg.
I’ve personally tried every Indian restaurant in Stockton and the downtown Sacramento area. (Some people have bigger goals, taste testing curry was mine at one point).
Sadly, I don’t branch out much. I almost always settle on one of three dishes and Vegetable Korma tops that list. I can scan a menu pretty fast, looking for the words Korma or Navratan. If I spot it, watch out. I’ll probably be enjoying one there and taking one home with me for lunch the next day.
It’s THAT good. Creamy, cashew rich sauce loaded with spices and vegetables? I could eat this for 6 weeks straight and not get tired of it.
I made this version a few nights ago to enjoy with girlfriends. Yes, it’s not traditional but it’s pretty darn good. And it taste close to what I order at Bombay, a winning argument for me to make it more and take-out less.
Did I mention that it’s simple enough to come together on a weeknight and 1/2 the price of takeout?
DK’s Vegetable Korma
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. curry powder
1/2 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, diced
2 cups diced cauliflower
1 cup diced broccoli
1 cup frozen green peas
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeño, diced
1/2 cup ground unsalted cashews
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 cup coconut milk (the canned kind, light is fine)
4 oz. tomato sauce
1 bunch cilantro, for garnish
Heat the coconut oil in a dutch oven or large skillet pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and stir in. Add fresh grated ginger, garlic, and cook an additional 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic.
Add the jalapeño, curry powder, paprika, chili powder, and turmeric. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until spices are fragrant. By now, your whole house should be smelling like an indian restaurant…
Add the potatoes, carrots, cashews, and tomato sauce. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook another 15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Continue to stir frequently, so not to burn the mixture.
Add the peas, garbanzo beans, cauliflower, and broccoli, and coconut milk. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Coconut milk will curdle, so make sure your heat is turned down to a low setting.
Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro. Make sure to have plenty of Naan available for dipping.
I admit, I am kind of glad the holiday’s are over.
Don’t get me wrong, I am loving my week off from work, catching up with family & friends I haven’t seen all year, but I’m a little over the excess that happens every November & December.
What is it about coming home that turns me into a teenager again? You would think I had never had my mother’s cooking before!
Since I only return to Virginia about once a year, I try to cram as many things into one week as I can. This notion also applies to food. Making sure I hit all of my favorite spots, all in one week, is no easy feat.
Somehow though, I manage to do it year after year.
Gah! I’m full just thinking about it.
And that’s about the time I return to green smoothies & kale.
I mentioned a few weeks ago the magic of kale, and it is just as fitting as I write this today. There is something so nourishing about this little leafy green that wakes me up from too much junk and snaps me right back into place. Better than any pill or cure-all tea, I feel instantly better after incorporating more kale salads into my diet.
The nice thing about this salad is while it’s so very healthy for you, it also feels a bit naughty. Almost like I’m easing back into my clean eating plan for January. Baby steps.
I call this my protein-kale salad because it is loaded with satisfying protein. Crispy bits of tempeh, sesame seeds, and lentils. This salad will keep you full for hours- perfect for lunch after days of grazing.
Make extra of the dressing, you will want to put it on tofu, brown rice, or as a dip for vegetables. I sometimes even make it a little thicker and smear it on sprouted bagels & toast.
Creamy Kale Salad
6 cups kale
1 cup shredded carrots
1/8 cup dried cranberries
1 avocado, diced
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup cooked french lentils
8 oz. tempeh, cubed
1 tbsp. oil
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. tahini
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. white miso paste
2 tbsp. water- or more if you like a thinner dressing
To make crispy tempeh: Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large skillet. Add tempeh and spices. Stir occasionally, until most sides become golden brown and crispy. Line a plate with a dish cloth or paper towel. Spoon the tempeh onto the towel to absorb excess oil. Set aside until ready to use.
To make the dressing: combine all ingredients in a small blender or whisk by hand. Taste before serving- depending on the brand of tahini and miso you might need more/less salt.
To assemble: Combine kale, cabbage, & carrots for salad in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. With clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale. Don’t be afraid to get messy! Massaging by hand helps to break down the tough kale! Add cranberries, avocado, sesame seeds and lentils. Toss together and let sit for 5 minutes. Top with crispy tempeh and serve!
February’s Recipe Redux theme is everyone’s favorite, chocolate! I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate. One of my favorite treats is a glass of red wine and dark chocolate.
In coming up with this months recipe, I wanted to redo the classic truffle. Since my day job is a sports dietitian for the University of the Pacific, I created these with a post-workout snack in mind. Chocolate, protein powder, dates, and nuts come together to make this delicious, gluten-free treat.
With just the right balance of carbohydrates and protein, a few of these balls make the perfect recovery snack.
Chocolate Protein Bites
1 orange, juiced, 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/4 water, or 1/2 cup water. (If you don’t like chocolate-orange flavor, use water)
2 cups pitted dates
3/4 cup protein powder, chocolate or vanilla flavor
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp. flax seed meal
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp. liquid sweetener, like agave nectar or maple syrup
1 cup crushed walnuts
In a food processor, chop the dates. Add the water or the orange juice and pulse a few times to combine. Add the cocoa powder, peanut butter and blend together. Slowly add the flax seed and protein powder until just combined. Add the syrup and pulse a few more times.
Remove the mixture and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Roll into a small ball and then roll in the crushed walnuts. Freeze until ready to eat.
Enjoy the rest of the Recipe ReDuxer’s chocolate treats!