Food For Thought: Cauliflower And Chickpea Coconut Curry
Since giving up meat, I'm absolutely loving cooking. Don't get me wrong, I liked cooking before deciding to change my lifestyle but now, you literally can't keep me out of the kitchen. At every chance, I'm thinking about and planning and preparing my next culinary creation. I'm buying ingredients that I've never bought before; I'm being inspired by vegetables I didn't think I liked that much (I'm looking at you, cauliflower) and I'm even beginning to convince my family that meatless meals don't have to be boring.
I went out for lunch recently with a friend and after looking at the menu for all of 30 seconds, I'd already chosen what I wanted to eat (a first for me - when it comes to food, I usually want everything and have to make an on-the-spot decision when the server comes over). Immediately, my eyes were drawn to a coconut and butternut squash curry, something I've never eaten before in my life. I honestly don't know what made me choose that dish that day but it was incredible. It was colourful, flavoursome and full of interesting textures: each mouthful got better and better until I'd pretty much licked the plate clean.
So when I was out food shopping this week, I wasn't surprised when a cauliflower grabbed my attention. I knew exactly what I was going to cook with it and here it is. My vegan cauliflower and chickpea coconut curry recipe is super healthy, super easy to make and tastes like an absolute dream. (And I didn't think it would be possible but it tastes even better a day later so if you make too much, you'll have a cracking healthy lunch already prepared for tomorrow!)
Even though it's meat-free, the protein from the chickpeas keeps you feeling satisfied for hours, minus that uncomfortable stodginess that can occur when eating rich foods like curries. So if you need a bit of #foodspiration, this recipe is for you - and I guarantee you will love it!
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium cauliflower
1 can of chickpeas
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 can of tinned tomatoes
1 teaspoon of medium curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
Wholegrain rice with quinoa
Mini naan breads (optional)
1. Remove the stalks from the cauliflower and cut into large florets.
2. In a pan of boiling water, add the cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes. When ready, drain from the water and place back in the pan. Cover so it stays warm.
3. While the cauliflower is cooking, chop the onions and garlic and cook in a large pan over a medium heat until soft. This should take approximately 5 minutes.
4. Add the spices and cook for a further 3 minutes until they become fragrant.
5. Add the chickpeas and pour 150ml of water into the pan so the chickpeas are covered. Increase the heat and bring the pan to the boil.
6. Add the coconut milk and the tinned tomatoes and stir well. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
7. In a separate pan, boil the rice until soft.
8. Add the cauliflower to the curry and simmer until you can pierce it with a fork then stir in 2 handfuls of spinach and cook until the spinach softens.
9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
10. Drain the rice, serve immediately and enjoy!