Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family that has many uses in cooking. It is often a great low-glycemic substitute for potatoes in purees and gratins, and it is a nice addition to stir-fries and vegetable medleys. It is often overlooked on its own as a key vegetable to be paired with a meal, but when roasted with a little oil and salt, it turns succulently sweet and caramel brown.
This month’s recipe turns the dial on the flavor profile of roasted cauliflower up several notches. The sweetness of the coconut oil and the maple syrup paired with the soy sauce and the spice of the curry gives it a contrast of flavors that makes the cauliflower tantalizing. It is so easy to prepare that even the most novice cook can pull it off, and it is likely that you already have most of the ingredients in your pantry. The fact that the recipe costs under a couple of dollars to prepare is a nice bonus as well. The recipe makes about 4 servings.
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Melt coconut oil in a small sauce pan.
- Thoroughly mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Spread cauliflower out on a greased/sprayed sheet pan. Leave any remaining juices in the bowl and discard.
- Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
Calories: 119 / Fat: 7g / Saturated Fat: 6g / Carbohydrates: 11g / Fiber: 3g / Protein: 3g
This month’s recipe is a classic Thai curry soup that is very quick and easy to prepare. I have been a big fan of Thai food since my teens, but my true love affair with it commenced during my travels in Southeast Asia a few years ago. After sampling as many different dishes as possible while touring that section of the continent, I have spent many days and nights trying to recreate authentic versions of all of my favorites. I have had mixed luck competing with the authenticity of the pros in Thailand, but this red curry soup comes pretty close to one you might find on the street in Bangkok.
This recipe makes for a very satiating meal that provides numerous health benefits. The herbs and spices, along with the onion, garlic and ginger provide an abundance of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying elements to the dish. While coconut oil and coconut milk have gotten a bad rap in the past for their high amount of saturated fats, recent studies have shown them both to actually lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good cholesterol), while reducing arterial damage and providing minerals such as manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. Using light coconut milk in this recipe helps to cut back on the total calories and fat in the dish.
This curry soup can be prepared in well under an hour even with the lengthy prep work involved. However, when time is on your side, more flavor will develop the longer it sits at low heat. There is always room for any additional vegetables, such as the optional mushrooms and kale, and you won’t go wrong adding in another protein such as chicken or shrimp. The recipe makes about 8-12 servings.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 4 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 3 cups light coconut milk
- 2 cups kale, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup button or cremini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 1 pound extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 1 package thin rice noodles
- 1-2 limes cut up into wedges
- fresh cilantro
- sliced scallions
- fresh basil
- bean sprouts
- thinly sliced fresh red chili peppers (optional)
- thinly sliced bell pepper (optional)
- Heat a large stockpot to medium-high heat. Sauté the onion in the coconut oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and red curry paste and stir continuously for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock or broth and stir thoroughly, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add any desired (optional) vegetables of your choice at this point, such as mushrooms and/or kale.
- Add the tofu at the last 2 minutes of cooking to heat through.
- Taste the broth and season to preference with kosher salt and/or a dash of soy sauce or fish sauce if needed.
- You can either cook the noodles according to the package directions and cool them by running under cold water, or you can break a chunk off and put them in a bowl dry and ladle the hot soup over top and allow to sit for a couple of minutes until they soften.
- Squeeze a couple of wedges of lime into the soup bowl and garnish with the rest of the desired ingredients.
Calories: 235 / Fat: 11g / Saturated Fat: 5g / Carbohydrates: 26g / Fiber: 4g / Protein: 11g
Quick curries are not only one of the most effective ways to use up leftover vegetables, but they can also be one of the healthiest meals you eat all week. While the benefits of increasing vegetable intake is nothing new, some might be surprised to hear about the other nutritional advantages to cooking those vegetables into a curry. The spices that go into most curry powders generally include turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, chili, and cumin (just to name a few). The benefits of these few spices could fill up a whole page, but some of the more important ones include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and immune-boosting properties. Spices such as ginger and cardamom can also help promote digestion and heal stomach issues such as constipation and dysentery, while the onions and garlic used in most curries are powerful detoxifiers.
The light coconut milk in this recipe provides a sweet, creamy taste without so much of the saturated fat for which it is known. While coconut milk often gets a bad rap for being high in fat, it is important to note that recent studies have shown it to have many benefits. Research has shown the saturated fat in coconut milk to metabolize much faster than in other foods, and it has also been proven to contain some anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Enjoy this recipe by itself in a bowl or serve over brown rice or couscous. I have also found it to go great over quinoa when I’m trying to keep an eye on my diet. However, my favorite is pairing it up with some buttery naan bread on the days that I’m cheating. The recipe serves 8.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 large zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Sirracha (optional)
1. Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion at medium-high heat until it becomes light and translucent. Add the curry powder, garlic and ginger and continue sautéing for 1 minute. Add the other vegetables and continue sautéing for another minute.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook slowly for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
3. Taste and adjust seasoning if additional flavor and/or heat is desired. Serve over brown rice, couscous or quinoa.
Calories: 220 / Fat: 12g / Saturated Fat: 2g / Carbohydrates: 21g / Fiber: 9g / Protein: 12g