Monday, March 21, 2011

Warming Curry Medley

Tonight I had a warming curry medley which integrated the inspiring colors of spring, but was grounded in the reality that it is still somewhat cold outside!

Here is the recipe for Warming Curry Medley (see picture to the left):
For the beans - 1 cup white beans, soaked for 4 - 6 hours, rinsed, brought to boil, and simmered for 45 - 60 minutes

For the rice - 1 cup long grain brown rice (brown basmati rice would also be fine), 2 cups water, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 4 garlic cloves, minced, 1 cup carrots, diced, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp red chili flakes, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 tomato, chopped, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup peas (I used frozen peas because I didn't have fresh peas at this time of year!), 1/4 cup cashews, chopped, 1 green onion, chopped

Place brown rice in pot, bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Place olive oil in an additional pot over low heat, add cumin and mustard seeds, cover and allow mustard seeds to pop for 1 minute. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add carrots, turmeric, red chili flakes, curry powder, and sea salt and saute for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes. Remove rice from heat, add to mixture, add additional 2 cups water, bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in peas and cashews and simmer for another 2- 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in green onion.

For the stir fry - 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 medium onion, chopped, 4 garlic cloves, minced, 1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated, 1 cup mushrooms (I used a combination of portobello and white button mushrooms), chopped, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp sea salt, 2 cups zucchini, chopped, 2 cups cauliflower, chopped, 2 cups black kale, chopped

Place olive oil in large pan over low heat. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and saute for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes. Add turmeric, curry powder, cumin, and sea salt and saute for 1 minute. Add zucchini and saute for 3 minutes. Add cauliflower and saute for 2 minutes. Add black kale and saute for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Combine all 3 dishes together and serve.

Once this meal was dished up, it was seasoned with sea salt and flax oil and was a delicious cooler Monday meal.

Green Smoothie!!!

I attended a class at the end of January that focused on healthy blood sugar balancing and one of the concerns that the teachers brought up was that a morning fruit smoothie tends to contain higher glycemic index foods, which are rapidly digested and absorbed, and can cause imbalanced blood sugar as a result. Although I haven't felt like the regular fruit smoothie that I have been drinking in the morning for many years caused blood sugar fluctuations for me, I still wanted to experiment with introducing more lower glycemic index foods into my smoothie. Low glycemic index foods have a rating of 55 and lower. Many fruits do fall into the low glycemic index category (apples are 30, pears are 38, and strawberries are 40, all of which I have still been including in my smoothie), but most vegetables have a considerably lower glycemic index (spinach and cucumber, both of which I have also been including in my smoothie, are 0). I have also been soaking chia seeds (which are rich in protein, fibre, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorous, and manganese and also have a low glycemic index of 1) in water over night and adding them to my smoothie - when soaked, the chia seeds form a mucilage which also slows down the absorption of the nutrients in the smoothie, further supporting healthy blood sugar balance. When I initially thought of adding vegetables to my smoothie, I couldn't imagine being able to drink it(!), but I have been very pleasantly surprised by the taste and now thoroughly enjoy my new smoothie (and I feel like my blood sugar remains well balanced for many hours after drinking my smoothie).

Here is the recipe for the basic green smoothie (see picture to the left): 1 cup greens (I have been using a mixture of spinach and parsley), chopped, 1/4 cucumber, chopped, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 apple (or I have also used 1/2 pear instead of 1/2 apple), chopped, 1 tbsp chia seeds, soaked, 1/2 cup water
*I have also been adding 1/4 cup of pecans for extra protein and 1 tsp of coconut oil for further blood sugar balancing support

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

It looks a bit scary, but it does taste very good!

Happy Spring!!

With the official arrival of spring, I am looking forward to the upcoming gardening season (even though it still seems quite far away with all of the snow we still have!!). I was very happy to find Stellar Seeds and Urban Harvest certified organic seeds a few weeks ago at Earth's General Store (9605 - 82nd Avenue, Edmonton, 780-439-8725) - previously I have a hard time finding certified organic kale seeds in Edmonton, but last year I was able to find them at Earth's General Store and I was happy to see them so early this year. I picked up a great variety of lettuce, spinach, kale, collards, carrot, bean, pea, arugula, zucchini, cucumber (which never seem to grow for me, but hopefully I will have better luck this year!), and leek (which I haven't planted before and I look forward to seeing how things unfold) seeds. I can't wait to plant the seeds, watch the plants grow and then eat the freshly picked veggies!