Curried Coconut Cauliflower and Chickpeas
I'm kind of in love with curry right now - I've been using it in positively everything these days. I find it infuses seamlessly with coconut milk and coconut oil; and many of the things that I consider pantry essentials - like turmeric, cinnamon, cilantro, garlic and shallots. I've waxed poetic about my love for coconut oil and its benefits, which can be found in many of my go to recipes; but today I want to talk about curry.
This bold and exotic spice is a staple in my kitchen; as it has the ability to infuse any dish with that warm, spicy and intriguingly satisfying flavor. My love for curry is far from misplaced, because not only is it delicious; but it also helps protect us against the negative effects of aging.
Curry may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive decline associated with aging; by reducing the negative effect of plaques deposited our brain. And although Curry has a reputation for upsetting stomachs, it is in fact used to improve digestion- including stomachaches and constipation. With temperatures finally reaching their seasonal norm (read: cold), we are finding ourselves deeply entrenched in the cold and flu season, curry is an excellent nutritional tool to boost our immunity; because it is so nutrient rich-containing vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B6 which help our bodies withstand infection.
Chickpeas are a nutritious and cost effective way to provide a filling meal; and with the addition of cauliflower it not only fills us up, but is full of nutrients. This recipe is excellent for the curry lover among us and also the spice newbie; the coconut milk allows the curry to blend into this creamy sauce that serves to coat the chickpeas and the cauliflower with a light but velvety sauce. Now, chickpeas are naturally meaty making this perfectly inclusive for the meat lovers in our lives - they will certainly leave the table feeling satisfied. Filling and fibrous because of chickpeas and hearty and healthy because the cauliflower - it's the perfect combination.
Curried Coconut and Chickpea Recipe
Makes 4 servings
- 2- 398 ml can/ 3 cups cooked and drained, chickpeas
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 1/4 tbsp high quality coconut oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp curry
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- 160 ml coconut milk
- 1 tbsp cilantro leaves
In a pot of boiling salted water, blanch the cauliflower by cooking them in boiling water for 3 minutes; drain and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan on medium high heat; add the shallots, garlic, curry, turmeric, chili flakes and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until everything is translucent and fragrant- about 4 minutes.
Add the cauliflower and cook for 3 minutes, allowing some color to develop; add the chickpeas and season with the remaining salt. Stir and cook for 3 minutes and then deglaze with coconut milk; be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat, stir in cilantro leaves and serve on a bed of whole grains, such as quinoa, bulgur or millet.
Bianca Osbourne is a freelance writer and natural foods chef; she writes voraciously about holistic health - one of her passions is advocating natural birth control.
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