So whats the deal with "super foods" you ask? We think that's a great question! With so many foods or food products being marketed as the newest, best super food it can definitely be confusing. Now we are not saying that all food claims and marketing can be believed (consumer always beware!) but there are some foods that have been shown to have added benefits to the body beyond the calories or flavor provided. Turmeric is definitely one of these "super foods" and this recipe will give you a delicious way to boost this fabulous spice in your diet.
Turmeric is beautifully colored (as you can see!) and is used widely as a culinary spice and coloring, especially in Indian curry. It has a warm, peppery flavor that lends itself to savory foods but can also provide a kick to sweeter dishes. Besides it's striking taste and color, what makes turmeric super? The active "super-powered" substance in turmeric is curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that has been studied extensively and found to have various health benefits. Antioxidants are essentially "super-heroes" in our bodies because they scavenge, fight, and neutralize free radicals. Free radical is a term for a damaged molecule in the body but you can think of free radicals as "evil villains" because they can damage or even kill healthy cells in our bodies, which unstopped may eventually cause disease. Antioxidants work to counteract the effects of free radicals (yay!) essentially preventing or even reducing some of the damage they cause. Curcumin research has shown benefits for multiple diseases and specifically inflammatory conditions, but it's important to note that curcumin is typically studied in higher doses than would be found in turmeric used in foods. But we still believe that the addition of turmeric can benefit the body through its anti-inflammatory and free radical fighting properties.
The Super Golden Curry Bowl
PREP TIME: 45 mins
TOTAL TIME: 90 mins
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp vegetable stock (we make our own from leftover vegetable scraps, store bought is also good)
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup dry ivory white lentils, or lentil of your choice
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup purple snow peas (you could also use green)
1 bell pepper, color of your choice
1 small zucchini
2 small, or 1 medium yellow onion
1 heaping Tbsp red curry paste (our favorite is Thai Kitchen)
1 stalk lemongrass
1 inch fresh turmeric root, peeled and diced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled diced
2 Tbsp coconut oil
sea salt to taste
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
A few sprigs cilantro
Rinse lentils under running water until water runs clear. Combine 1 cup rinsed lentils with 4 cups water in a deep pan over medium to high heat. Bring lentils to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 25-30 minutes. Once lentils are fully cooked, drain remaining water and set lentils aside.
Begin the rice. Rinse rice well. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a pan. Add 1/2 cup rice. Return to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and allow to cook for 35-40 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove lid and let sit.
Add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to a deep sauté pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Dice onion and add to sauté pan with sprinkle of sea salt. Cook onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and add curry paste, diced turmeric and ginger to pan, continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add 1 can coconut milk and 1 cup vegetable stock to the pan. Slice lemongrass in half lengthwise and add to pan. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Begin preparing your vegetables.
Cut zucchini into half circles, roughly chop cauliflower, and slice bell pepper into long strips. Add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to a large wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the chopped cauliflower and sprinkle of sea salt and cook for 5 minutes stirring often. Next add peppers and snow peas to the hot pan and continue cooking for 12-15 minutes stirring every few minutes. Last add zucchini and cook for an additional 5 minutes until all vegetables are soft with golden edges. Turn heat off and set pan aside.
Now it's time to assemble your bowls! Add 1/4 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup lentils, and 1/4 of the cooked vegetables to each bowl (recipe serves 4) and carefully ladle 3/4 cup golden coconut curry broth over the top. Add a few springs of cilantro and the juice of a fresh squeezed lime wedge. Grab a spoon, sit back, and enjoy the beautiful and oh-so-flavorful masterpiece you have just created!!
With this inviting bowl we hope that you will enjoy the warmth, flavor, and "super-powers" of turmeric as much as we do. Not to mention the color; should something this beautiful really be eaten? Definitely. Yes.
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.