Thursday, February 25, 2010

A convenient curry

Usually when I grocery shop I try to stick to two rules: buy whole, natural foods as much as possible, and shop cheap. However, I cut myself a bit of slack on this week's grocery trip. For one thing, it's been snowing in Ottawa for 3 days straight now, and I only wanted to make one stop so I could get home as soon as possible (this meant not stopping at Bulk Barn). Also, I wanted to buy things that would let me cut down on prep time a bit, in the hopes of making it easier to stick to my meal plans.

As a result my grocery cart contained some things it hasn't for quite some time: individual Source yogurts instead of plain yogurt that I add fruit and agave nectar to, instant oatmeal packets instead of oats from the bulk store, and a package of pre-cut butternut squash cubes instead of a whole squash. I suspect no one is judging me too much for this - it's still all healthy food after all - but in the case of the yogurt, I think it was a mistake. I'm finding I can really taste the Splenda in it, and it's not pleasant. The butternut squash, however, was worth the $2.99. It meant I didn't have to kill myself trying to cut through an uncooked squash and I got to make this unbelievably delicious curry - which made at least 4 servings, so really the squash only cost be about 75 cents a meal. Worth it!

Do you rely on any convenience foods to help you stick with healthy eating (or to cope with neverending wet snow?)

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry (adapted from Eat Like a Girl)

1 package butternut squash cubes (or 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced if you must)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can coconut milk
Half of a 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
Pepper to taste
1 cup baby spinach
2 green onions, sliced
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Sauté the garlic and ginger in a little oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander and all the turmeric and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the squash cubes and cook 2 minutes, stirring to coat with the spices. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, remaining cumin and coriander, and pepper. * see note below* Cook for 10-15 minutes or until squash is tender. Add the chickpeas, spinach and green onion and cook until spinach is wilted. Garnish with plenty of fresh cilantro. I served this over some leftover brown rice. So, so yummy!

*I also added a few shakes of dried jalapeno peppers at this step for a bit of heat - this is optional if you don't want heat, or you could also add a finely diced jalapeno when you cook the garlic and ginger if you don't have a BF who grows and dries his own hot peppers!

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