Warming, grounding vegetable curry

Winter is officially HERE. The temperature has dropped, holiday parties are in full swing, and my slippers are permanently fixed on my feet.

This particular time of year is a very special one. For starters, this is the month when winter begins. Transition is a very critical experience for our bodies. It's a natural way of life, and it's our birthright to embrace the ebbs and flows of life. As our external environments change throughout the seasons, our internal needs are suddenly different. Out with our smoothie bowls cravings and in with our yearnings for soups and stews. Turns out, when we eat in accordance with the seasons, our bodies actually work more efficiently. [You can read more on the benefits of seasonal eats here.]

Eating with the season aside, this is also the time of year for living large. We attend holiday parties. We celebrate holidays with family and friends. We ring in the New Year. We eat out often, and some of us drink more often, too. As a society, we indulge way more in the month of December than we do throughout the rest of the year.

So, you think I'm gonna tell you to avoid sugar like the plague? In case you don't know by now, I am anti-restriction. I don't believe in cutting groups of food out of my diet. It may work for you, but in my experience, it's always resulted in a food binge or over-indulgence in another food just to compensate. So rather than avoiding our holiday celebrations, or abstaining from the celebratory toasts, I have a better solution.

I invite you to survive this season with at least 1 big batch cooked recipe. 

That's right! Batch cooking always saves the day, and ESPECIALLY during this time of year. Our schedules may be nutty, our eating may be a little out of the ordinary, and our bodies may be feeling a little out of sorts. But if we cook 1 big pot of yummy goodness each week, I guarantee we'll all be feeling a little more balanced throughout the entire season. 

Good thing I've got you covered! This is one of my favorite go-to recipes. I already whipped up a batch last week, after just 2 days in our new Richmond apartment with barely half our kitchen unpacked. Translation: it was simple, easy, and totally do-able for even the most basic kitchens. The delicious spices, the grounding vegetables, and the richness of those healthy fats were enough to keep me satisfied and taken care of throughout a week of unpacking. And you betta believe I'll be making it again right before the holidays. Enjoy!

Warming, Grounding Vegetable Curry
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
1 sweet potato, cut into 1" chunks
2 bunches broccoli, cut into florets
1 large bunch cauliflower, cut into florets
1-2" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1-1" knob fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-13 oz. cans full fat coconut milk
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
Sea salt/pepper
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks (optional)
 

Directions:

  1. Cut and prepare all vegetables and chicken (optional) before beginning, so that everything is ready to go in order. The order is key!
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot but not yet burning, add the onions and pinch of salt. Stir until onions begin to sweat, about 3 mins. Add fresh ginger and fresh turmeric, and continue another 3 mins. Add garlic and stir for about 1 min.
  3. Add dry spice mixture (curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon), stir, and allow the juices in the pot to absorb the dry spices. The texture should get thick and dry. 
  4. Once fully combined and spices smell fragrant, add the potatoes, bay leaf, and coconut milk. Stir, cover the pot partially, and allow to simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and allow to cook another 10 minutes. Finally, add the broccoli and optional chicken, and allow all to simmer another 10 minutes.
  5. Check vegetable doneness with the fork test (gently fish out one of each vegetable and see if a fork will easily slide into the veggie). Remove from heat or continue cooking as needed until all vegetables are tender but not overcooked.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust seasoning to taste.

Pro Tips:

  • Each time you reheat a serving, add a handful of leafy greens, like spinach, to the small pot. By the time your curry is heated up, you'll have an extra pop of nutrition in your bowl, without the risk of the greens being over-cooked! 
  • If your supermarket doesn't have fresh turmeric, you can double the ground turmeric amount.
  • Also tastes extra delicious served over rice.

Send me your batch cooked veggie curry photos! Tag me on Facebook and Instagram @MichelleKabler, and show me how the recipe came out!