Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recipe Time: Curry in a Hurry!

Bad news, guys. I didn't win the Powerball. Well, I did get the Powerball, but the rest of the numbers didn't cooperate. Looks like my dream of coming home from work to my very own personal chef will have to wait until I win more than $4 in the lottery.

I'm just going to put it all out there... cooking dinner can be a drag after a long day at work. That's right... I said it... a drag. Sometimes you just want to kick back with a glass of wine and sink into the comfort of your couch. For me, the key to defeating my lazy side lies in a little weekend prep work. If I take just 30 minutes to an hour to prep on Sunday, my weeknight meals are that much easier. So today we're going to talk curry - a really simple dish to make when you're in a hurry. If you do all the cutting and chopping beforehand, this meal can be thrown together in about 15 minutes, leaving you ample time to catch up on all your favorite reality TV shows. No shame... I have my favorites too.

Let's dive right in with the weekend prep work...

Mince 2 cloves of garlic.
Wash and chop about 1/2 lb. green beans (you can really use as many as you like here).
Wash and chop a small red bell pepper.
Wash thoroughly and thinly slice an 8 oz. package of mushrooms -  we chose baby bella but any type will do.
Peel and cut 1 white onion into slivers.
If you don't have a zester or grater, wash and slice the rind off 1 small lemon.
Then finely dice the rind and save the lemon for another use.
Prep work done! Bing, bam, boom! Now, here's what you do when you're ready to eat...

In a measuring cup, add 1 1/4 cup coconut milk (disregard the picture... we added too much!). We chose to use unsweetened coconut milk, but the dish will be much more satisfying if you go sweet. It's just a matter of preference.
Now add 2 Tbs. of soy sauce to the coconut milk...
...along with 2 teaspoons of sugar (if you used unsweetened coconut milk).
Toss in about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and stir the contents of the cup to distribute the ingredients more evenly.
Grab your curry powder and crushed red pepper.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 Tbs. of coconut oil (or any cooking oil that you prefer). Add the garlic, lemon zest, 1 1/2 Tbs. of curry powder and 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir fry until fragrant (about 15 seconds).
Now add all the veggies (except for the mushrooms) and saute until everything is almost completely cooked.
Add the mushrooms last because they cook the fastest.
We chose to add pre-cooked frozen shrimp to the mix - they will only need to heat up since they're already cooked. See? I told you this was easy!
Now stir in the coconut mixture and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly - about 2 minutes. 
While the sauce is cooking, slice a handful of basil into long, thin strips.
At the very last moment, add most of the basil (reserving some for a garnish) and turn off the heat.
Now doesn't that look delicious?
Plate it up over the grain of your choice - rice, quinoa, freekeh, etc. - and enjoy your curry in a hurry!
And of course, this wouldn't be a proper post without a few nutrition stats. The main ingredients in curry powder are usually turmeric, cumin and coriander. All three of these spices are beneficial for your health.

TURMERIC - This bright orange spice is a natural liver detoxifier, a potent anti-inflammatory and a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent. It also aids in fat metabolism and weight management. But I consider it's most fascinating feature to be its ability to stop the growth of new blood vessels, which tumors need to grow. Turmeric is being studied more frequently for its ability to inhibit the growth of cancer.

CUMIN - This spice has many benefits of its own! Cumin improves blood flow and increases oxygen delivery to your cells. It also boosts your metabolism and helps your body absorb maximum nutrients from the food you eat.

CORIANDER - Did you know the spice coriander is just dried cilantro seeds? Coriander is great for keeping cholesterol in check, protecting against urinary tract infections and easing the symptoms of an unhappy digestive tract.

So... when you eat my Curry in a Hurry this week, remember all the wonderful things this dish is doing for your health!

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