Those of you who have followed the blog for oh, at least 10 months (haha, like writing of my calibre would attract such faithful followers) might feel a flicker of recognition of the above kitchen - the white stove, speckled counter, striped plate... of course, it's my kitchen in Montreal! But what was I doing cooking there?
Last week I began training at my new job - a semi-private clinic opening in Calgary later this month, and so the week before I flew back to Montreal to celebrate my last week of unemployment in style. While I did have my share of gorging and food babies during my trip, my sensible dietitian side wanted a home-cooked meal for one night too.
This "recipe" is a riff off of a blend of spices I've been doing since freshman year of university. I used to mix it with yogurt to make a creamier sauce, but here I've experimented with just throwing the spices on and it works just fine. I'm hesitant to call it an actual curry as I'm sure curry connoisseurs will consider my blend of spices blasphemous (especially since it includes straight-up curry powder, which can vary depending on who makes it), but I love it because it is quick and delicious, with just a teeny-weeny hint of spice.
I always see my "curries" as just a spiced version of a stir-fry, as in, anything goes. Usually I prefer "heavier" vegetables, like potatoes and carrots which take longer to cook and will also soak up some of the flavours, but now that I'm visualizing it in my head, vegetables that I've tended to shy away from, like mushrooms and tomatoes, might work in their own way as well. Here we used sweet potato and cauliflower just because that's what my host (aka former roommate Jess) had on hand. In fact, since she's not much of a cook herself, her original suggestion for supper was cauliflower, sweet potato fries and... HARD BOILED EGGS, which is why I decided to take the reins and suggest this dish. For protein I opted for canned lentils (dried lentils can be easily made as well since they don't require soaking, but we wanted to save time), but chunks of meat (cook with onions before adding vegetables, or cook separately) or cubed tofu can work just as well.
Sweet Potato, Cauliflower and Lentil "Curry"
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 can (425 g/15 oz) green lentils, drained and rinsed
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) curry powder
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) cumin
- 7 mL (1½ tsp) cinnamon
- Chili powder, salt and pepper to taste
Nutrition Info (per ¼ recipe): 273 calories, 5 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 49 g carbohydrates (15 g fibre, 14 g sugar), 14 g protein, 294 mg sodium. An excellent source of vitamin C, thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin B6, folate, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. A good source of vitamin K, zinc and copper.
- Heat oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Saute onion until it becomes soft.
- Stir in cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Add 250 mL (1 cup) water. Cover, lower heat and let simmer until vegetables are cooked and become softened.
- While vegetables are simmering, mix curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Stir in spices and lentils. Cook until all the water has been absorbed/evaporated.
- Serve with rice (in this case we had wild rice)