Tag Archives: curry

African Hominy and Beans

February is Black History Month. I think we are all aware of traditional Southern United States dishes that get mentioned this month. But it is interesting to look further into the roots of those dishes and the origins of African Americans. Most of us haven’t been to Africa or an African themed restaurant, with the possible exception of Moroccan food. It’s great to change things up and learn about new foods.

This hominy and beans dish is very easy to put together, uses common ingredients, and tastes great. My kids are big beans fans, so they downed this. If you are worried about a spice level, you could halve the curry powder. Depends on if you have a sweet or spicy curry. Enjoy!

African Hominy and Beans (serves 6)

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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can white or yellow hominy, drained and rinsed well
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken stock

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 4 to 5 minutes until soft.

2. Stir in garlic and sauté 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant.

3. Add tomato paste, oregano, curry powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Stir in hominy, pinto beans and vegetable stock and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid is mostly absorbed.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 136
Protein: 5 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 18 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 181 mg

Recipe notes: This is great served over rice.

Source: Slightly adapted from Food and Nutrition Magazine

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Curried Lentil and Vegetable Stew

Last week, I talked about my 4 “F”‘s. Today’s recipe can highlight at least 3 of them. And it is National Soup Month, so soup/stew recipe seemed appropriate!

Fresh – I use a ton of fresh vegetables here. I’ve made many variations on this recipe as well, based on what veggies I have on hand and want to use up.

Flavor – I love using curry and other seasonings because they add a TON of flavor without adding a bunch of sodium. Using a sweet curry powder or sweet veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes also means I don’t need to add any sugar.

Fiber – Lentils are a great source of fiber and make this stew very hearty. More veggie = more fiber. Add in whatever you have on hand. I haven’t found a bad combination yet.

Not related to the “F”s, but I also love this recipe because the leftovers are so versatile. You can put it over some brown rice, in a quesadilla, over nachos, or in a pita. It is so much more than just a bowl of soup. If you find a creative way to eat it, please share in the comments. Enjoy!

Curried Lentil and Vegetable Stew (Serves 6-8)

Curried Lentil and Vegetable Stew

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, diced
1 rib celery, diced
2 zucchini, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped tomato
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups cooked lentils (see below)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
¼ cup chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery; saute 4 minutes.

2. Add zucchini and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Add sweet potoat, tomato, curry, flour, and ketchup. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

3. Add broth to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are tender. Stir in lentils. Cook for 3 minutes.

4. Top with yogurt and cilantro as serving.

Recipe notes: I use brown lentils. Just cook the lentils in water according to the package directions (omit any salt or oil). This is good served over some rice or with naan.

Low iodine adjustment: Use homemade broth and omit the broth. If you can find a salt free ketchup, that would be better. You could omit it, too.

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Pan Fried Tilapia with Curried Greens

Two for one today! Here is a super simple, quick dinner that we all need right now. The fish is as simple as they come but still incredibly simple. Try different seasoning blends (preferably salt free or low sodium) to mix it up. The greens are a great side to try out strong flavored greens. Experiment with different leafy greens – I love mustard greens, but chard and collards are also excellent here. There is an entire world outside of kale.

Happy eating!

Pan Fried Tilapia (Serves 4)

Pan Fried Tilapia

4 tilapia fillets
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

1. Lightly season fish with lemon pepper (or desired seasoning, see note).
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized skillet. Add fillets. Cook for 4-6 minutes per side, flipping once. Cook until fish flakes easily – internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving):

Calories: 143
Protein: 23 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 58 mg
Carbohydrates: less than 1 g
Fiber: less than 1 g
Sodium: 60 mg

Curried Greens (Serves 4)

Curried Greens

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch greens (collards, mustard, kale)
½ onion thinly sliced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sugar
1 (15.5 oz) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add ginger, garlic, greens, and onion; saute 3 minutes, until greens and onion begin to soften. Stir in curry powder; cook 30 seconds.
2. Stir in sugar and coconut milk; cook until reduced by half, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in juice; reduce heat to medium, and cook 2 minutes. Serve.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving):

Calories: 282
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 28 g
Saturated Fat: 22 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 26 mg

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

Low iodine adjustment: The fish is not allowed on the low iodine diet.  But the greens are just fine.

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Thai Shrimp Curry

I love Thai food. I’ve been craving good Pad Thai for months now. I’ve tried several recipes at home to share with you that have all turned out poorly. But if I was to go get Thai food, I would be torn. Should I get Pad Thai? Or curry? Thai curry is so yummy. Either way I lose, because in the end I wish I also had some of the other.

Well, problem almost solved. While I can’t seem to make decent Pad Thai at home, I did find this awesome curry recipe. It was pretty straightforward, simple, and fast. All good things for a week night with crazy kids making time of the essence when cooking. This really made me feel almost like I’d gotten take out. Especially when my husband did the dishes.

Thai Shrimp Curry (Serves 4)

Thai Shrimp Curry

6-8 ounces whole wheat linguine
1 tablespoon canola oil
12 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup vertically sliced onion
1 cup diagonally sliced celery
1 cup juliene carrot
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (see notes)
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
½ tablespoon fish sauce
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
¼ cup unsalted, dry roasted cashews
2 tablespoons lime juice, or 1 fresh lime sliced into wedges

1. Cook noodles according to package directions for al dente, not using oil or salt. Drain.

2. While noodles are cooking, heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add shrimp. Stir-fry about 4 minutes, until turn pink and cooked. Remove from pan without draining the oil.

3. Add onion, celery, carrot, ang ginger to the pan. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Combine coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and fish sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add to pan. Cook 3 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly.

4. Add noodles, shrimp, sports, basil, and lime juice (if using) to pan. Toss to coat. Divide into bowls. Sprinkled with cashews. Serve with lime wedges (if using).

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 440
Protein: 22 g
Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 161 mg
Carbohydrates: 59 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 534 mg

Recipe Notes: If you wanted to use rice noodles, it would be delicious here. I just prefer to buy as few special ingredients as possible. I have regular whole wheat noodles on hand pretty much all the time. Make sure you slice the veggies very thin, as they don’t have long to cook. I did not find the red curry paste at my regular grocery store. I made my own, with ingredients I had from online recipes, such as this one. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, just kind of eyeballed it. The original recipe also called for sliced mint along with basil. I don’t love fresh mint in savory dishes, so I omitted it here. Please remember that shrimp is high in cholesterol when looking over the nutritional information and that dietary cholesterol is not the best indicator of what to eat.

Source: slightly adapted from Cooking Light

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Curried Squash Soup

Back in college, I got to try recipes as part of one of my jobs. Butternut squash soup was the first recipe, and I loved it. Every autumn, I would make it again. And progressively, I liked it less and less and each time. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Then last October, I went to Panera for lunch one day and tried the Autumn Squash Soup. Light bulb!

All of that is to say, this recipe has evolved over time. I took my basic recipe and then edited it heavily with some copycat recipes I found online. The bad news is this is no longer a “one pot wonder” soup. The good news is that the flavor is a million times better. Enjoy!

Curried Squash Soup (Serves 8)

Curried Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium baking or yukon potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
½ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
¾ teaspoon curry powder, divided
pinch of salt
1 small onion, chopped
1 sweet apple (gala, red delicious, golden delicious), chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon garam masala
¾ teaspoon cumin
6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup orange juice
Chopped cilantro, optional garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Combine squash and both potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon curry powder (make them heaping if you’d like), and salt. Toss together to coat vegetables. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, until fork tender.

3. When vegetables are almost done, heat ½ tablespoon oil in a bottom of a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and apple. Saute 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, ½ teaspoon curry powder, ginger, garam masala, cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Saute 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and heated through. Do not let this burn.

4. Add roasted vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft and flavors combined.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in orange juice. Blend soup until smooth. Add more juice or broth if needed to thin out the consistency. Serve warm, with cilantro if desired.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 124
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 22 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 449 mg

Recipe Notes: Adjust the level of curry based on your heat preference and the heat of your curry powder. I currently have pretty potent curry powder, so these might be low.

Source: adapted from several sources online

Low iodine adjustment: Use homemade broth and non-iodized salt.  If you can find salt free curry powder, that would be good.

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Curry Rice

Shortly after I got married, I was looking around for a rice pilaf recipe with some pizzaz. I didn’t want to always have to buy mixes at the store. However, a good recipe was somewhat hard to find. I finally stumbled upon this recipe in a cookbook, and it quickly became a staple at our table. It has some strong flavors, but not so strong that it overpowers the other parts of your meal. Enjoy!

Curry Rice (Serves 4-6)

Curry Rice

1 tablespoon canola oil
½ medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrot
1 ½ cups brown rice
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons garam masala
½ – 1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cardamom pod, smashed open
3 cups water
Cilantro, optional

1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until onion begins to soften.

2. Add rice, cumin, garam masala, curry, and cardamom. Saute for 1-2 minutes, until spices are fragrant but be careful not to burn them.

3. Stir in water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook for 30-40 minutes, until rice is cooked through and water is absorbed. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 205
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 39 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 18 mg

Source: adapted from Joy of Cooking

Low iodine adjustment: Keep rice consumption within grain limit for the day.

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Dal Makhani

I mentioned in my Chicken Shawarma post that I hesitate to use traditional names for ethnic dishes. This dish definitely falls into that category. I am not from India. I have honestly never consumed this dish at any Indian restaurants. I have no idea what the “real” dal makhani is like, other than recipes I have found online.

With that disclaimer, this is one of my new favorite Indian dishes to make at home. This comes together fairly quickly and packs a huge flavor punch. And it is the best way I have ever had lentils. Enjoy!

Dal Makhani (Serves 6-8)

Dal Makhani

½ tablespoon canola oil
½ large onion, diced
¾ cup diced carrot
1 small bell pepper, diced
½ jalapeno, diced (seeds and membranes removed per preference)
1 clove garlic
1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated or minced small
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 cardamom pods, smashed
2 cups pureed tomatoes (3-4 tomatoes pureed in food processor)
1 cup red lentils
1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans (about 2 cans, rinsed and drained)
1 cup water
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion, carrot, bell pepper, and jalapeño until onions are softened and becoming golden. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, curry, garam masala, and cardamom. Saute until fragrant.

2. Stir in tomatoes, lentils, beans, and ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low (enough to keep it simmering). Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Stir frequently and add more water as needed to keep enough liquid to cook lentils. Just before serving, stir in heavy cream.

3. Serve warm over rice and garnish with cilantro.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 235
Protein: 12 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 14 mg
Carbohydrates: 35 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sodium: 104 mg

Recipe Notes: My curry powder is quite strong and hot, so I don’t use a lot. Feel free to adjust the levels of curry powder and garam masala to your preference. I have also used black beans in this. I preferred the flavor of kidney beans, but it worked well enough. I only found red lentils at my grocery store. You can use any variety that you like. However, look at the label to see how long they take to cook. If they take longer than 30 minutes, you may want to partook them a bit first, or you will need more pureed tomatoes and water. Your choice.

Source: adapted from http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/dal-makhani-restaurant-style-recipe/ and steamykitchen.com

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