Tag Archives: curry

Food Feature – Kale

Kale is a variety of cabbage that parallels traits found more commonly in wild species, as opposed to the domesticated tight-head varieties seen at most farmers’ markets and food stores.  It is also called Borocle, which is thought to have originated from the Dutch boerenkool, meaning “farmer’s cabbage”.

Kale is a member of the Brassicaceae family, and also known as a Cruciferous Vegetable.  I’m just going to link rather than attempt to explain the ins and outs of biological classification.  By the way, that was me being kind of lazy; it doesn’t happen often, but I’m sure most of my readers don’t care about taxonomic rank.  If you happen to be one who does, I’d be glad to suggest further reading.  I’m sure I’ve worn out my welcome on those books at the library anyway.

Notice the cross like formation of the flower petals?  The word Cruciferae is Neo-Latin for cross-bearing.

Flowering kales, sold as ornamental cabbage, are edible as well.  Their rosette can be found in brilliant shades of pink, lavender, white, blue, violet, and red.  Growing up we always had the pink and purple shades.  I do believe flowering kale may make its way into this Fall’s edible landscaping!

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Why kale is so incredibly good for you:

1. When steamed, the fiber-related components bind easier to bile acids in your digestive track, which allows for easier excretion, thus lowering your cholesterol.

2. The Isothiocyanates (ITCs) in kale lower your risk for breast, ovary, colon, bladder, and prostate cancers.

3. ITCs play an integral role in assisting with the detoxification system.  I can surely attest to this!  I’ve eaten an obnoxious amount of kale over the last few days.  My over-wintered plants are beginning to bolt, so I wanted to eat them before the leaves turn bitter.  Have you ever been standing next to someone who has recently eaten a lot of garlic?  They seem to be surrounded by a strange aroma.  Yeah, well, kale apparently does that to me and I don’t think my coworkers are very happy about it!  Guess I’ll have to bring in a soy candle to burn when it’s a heavy kale consumption day, because I’m sure not going to stop eating this cruciferous veggie!

4.  With over 45 identified flavonoids, kale’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits are unsurpassed.  Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are risk-factors associated with cancer.

Curried Kale

large colander packed full of kale

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp panang curry paste

1 tbsp sriracha

6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp sun-dried tomato oil

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 large onion, diced

3 med-large red potatoes, cubed (I don’t peel mine)

2 cups water

Sautee onions over med heat with olive oil until they begin to brown, about 6 minutes.  While the onions are cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, sun-dried tomato oil, curry paste, sugar, and sriracha, then add it to the onions.  Cook for about 2 minutes, then add potatoes and water; mix well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  While potatoes are cooking wash kale and remove large stems and midribs; slice into strips.  Add kale, cover, and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

For more delicious kale recipes check out the following posts: Kale Chips and Garlic, Kale and Chickpea Soup.

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Curried Cauliflower Soup

Have you ever noticed that most of my soups have an orange or red glow about them?  That is because I adore curry and put it in just about everything!  My love affair with this generically termed spice blend started around 2005 when one of my close friends asked me to help open and serve at her family’s Thai restaurant.  The food was prepared by a kitchen staff of the most adorable older Asian women.  The head of the kitchen (and family) is Mae-pa (pronounced may bah) which translates to Mother Aunt.  Only when I spoke it, it came out Mother Fish!  Laotian is a tonal language, so the same word can have 4 meanings depending on its pronunciation.  Lets just say that they all loved it when I had something to say!

In addition to my awesome language skill set, I also learned a lot about Asian cuisine and culture.  I can wrap a mean rice roll and make a bowl of phở that would knock your socks off…even though phở is historically a Vietnamese soup.

Curry Cauliflower Soup

1 head of cauliflower, roasted

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic

2 cups rehydrated chick peas

4 cups Vegetable Stock (chicken stock can also be used)

2 cups water

1 Tbsp clarified butter

2 Tbsp olive oil

cilantro

salt and pepper

lime

curry paste, I tend to favor red (panang)

Break cauliflower into florets and toss with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Roast for 25 minutes (uncovered) at 450°F.  While cauliflower is roasting, in a large soup pot saute onion in clarified butter over med heat for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Do not allow garlic to burn or it will become bitter.  Add the vegetable stock and water to pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Once the cauliflower has finished roasting, add it to the soup along with the curry paste; stir to incorporate and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.  I don’t measure how much curry I use, I know when its right by the color of the soup, usually it is a very large spoonful.  My advice to you, add a tablespoon at a time, stir, and then taste, repeat until it is hot enough.  Remove soup from heat an allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  Using an immersion blender puree soup until creamy.  Once desired consistency is achieved, add chick peas, a handful of chopped cilantro and the juice from half a lime. Enjoy!

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Curried Cauliflower

With cold weather crops well on their way to freedom, and by freedom I mean transplanting into the ground, I’ve got cruciferous veggies on the brain! Cauliflower is a nutrient rich vegetable that seems to really puzzle people when it comes to using it. If you are one of those individuals, fear not, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you!

Oven-roasted Curried Cauliflower adapted from WFCF blog

1 head of cauliflower, washed and broken into florets

1 large onion, quartered and sliced into strips

1 cup chickpeas, rehydrated and cooked

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I’ve made it with apple cider vinegar as well)

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1 tbsp curry (I’ve used both red (panang) curry paste and yellow curry powder.)

a sprinkling of salt

the seeds from 4 Thai Dragon peppers

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 400. Place cauliflower, onion and chickpeas into an ungreased 9×13 baking dish, set aside. Mix vinaigrette by whisking together the remaining ingredients, except for cilantro. Pour over veggies and mix well. I found that rolling up my sleeves and using my hands was the best way to coat everything. My wooden spoons seem to work against me at times and encourage those veggies to jump out of the dish! Place the dish in the oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and enjoy!

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Roasted Buttercup Squash Soup with Curried Apples

I still have a slew of winter squash, stacked in crates, hanging out in my living room. While thumbing through some old recipes, looking for a bit of cooking inspiration, I found one that sparked my interest. This recipe is loosely based off a roasted sweet potato soup from body + soul.

Ingredients:

3 buttercup squash

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chopped

1 ancho pepper

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

3/4 cup marsala cooking wine

4 cups veggie broth

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 Tsp curry powder

1 smallish tart apple, peeled, cored and diced.

dried cranberries, chopped

plain yogurt

olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Wash squash and slice in half, remove seeds and slice halves into wedges. Place squash wedges into baking dishes with a bit of water. Roast for 45 minutes to one hour. When squash has cooled to the touch scoop cooked squash out and place in a bowl. Discard or compost skins.

Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat, add onion some salt and pepper and cook until caramelized, approximately 15 minutes. Add bell pepper, hot pepper and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add marsala wine, squash and broth; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, until flavors have melded. Remove from heat and allow soup to cool. Using an immersion blender puree soup to desired consistency. Soup can also be poured into a blender, in small batches, and pureed.

In a small sauce pan, over med heat, bring vinegar, agave and curry powder to a boil. Add apple; stir for about a minute, remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls, add a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle some apple and cranberry on top.

This soup can easily be converted into a vegan dish by omitting the yogurt.

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Coconut Curry Veggie Soup

Hands down this is one of my favorite soups! I make it slightly different each time depending on what veggies are on hand. And let me tell you not once has it let me down! You can make it on the stove, but I purchase most of my beans and peas dried, so I just toss everything into my crock pot and forget about it!

Coconut Curry Veggie Soup
This recipe makes A LOT! (and it freezes well too)

6 cups water plus 4 bullion cubes or stock of your choice
1 16oz bag dried chick peas
1 large onion chopped
1/2 bag baby carrots, cut into large chunks
4-5 medium potatoes, cubed (I don’t peal mine)
1 bag of corn, probably about 2 cups. I never measure when I bag and freeze corn.
1/2 head cauliflower broken into bite sized florets.
1 large red or green pepper, chopped. I ran out of room in my crock so I omitted it this time.
Lots of (I used red) curry paste…use your own judgment here folks.
1 can of coconut milk
Mombasa Powder ( As I’ve mentioned before I like my food wicked hot. For those of you who do not, the curry paste may be enough for you. If you need an additional kick add cayenne or any other hot pepper powder you have on hand.)

Combine everything except the coconut milk in your crock pot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 8-9 hours. If you are home you can stir it up every few hours. The soup is done once the taters are tender. Add the coconut milk, spoon into bowls and enjoy!

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Curry Lentil Stew

It has been forever since I posted a recipe or shared any of my latest cooking adventures, so I thought I should remedy that starting today! Honestly, I have lots of unfinished posts just hanging out in my que waiting to be published, maybe someday I will actually get around to finishing them! Maybe.
A little over two weeks ago I went home for a family get together and ended up getting more than I bargained for. My niece had a cold that quickly spread throughout my brother’s family. Not wanting to exclude her Aunt DD I ended up getting sick as well. My colleagues are always on my case about the fact that for someone who eats very healthy and exercises regularly I am ALWAYS getting sick! Folks, I’ve been this way my entire life. :/
Last Sunday, which was day seven of my 2 week cold, I was not in the mood to cook. I wasn’t in the mood to do much of anything really. So while putzin’ around on Facebook I noticed a friend was making lentil curry soup for lunch. Instantly I knew that was exactly what I needed to get out of the blah mood I was currently drenched in. I attribute that to the spice!
There was no recipe following here, just a lot of tossing together what was on hand and I am happy to report it turned out deeee-lish!
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1/2 bag of baby carrots, coined
2 large jars of my canned tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bag of dried lentils
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes (make this recipe vegan by subbing veggie stock)
red curry powder
seeds from 5 Thai Dragon Peppers
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Step 1. Chop your veggies
Step 2. In a large soup pot heat oil on med-high heat. Add onion, carrots, potatoes and garlic, saute for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, chicken cubes, lentils, celery, pepper flakes and curry powder. The amount of curry powder depends on how hot you like your food. I like it HOT so I generously sprinkled enough to cover the top of the soup pot, twice.
 
Reduce heat to med-low, cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
  
I ended up taking the final picture several days after the soup was cooked, so by then it had evolved into more of a stew consistency!

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