About this Recipe
I have always appreciated quick meals that have flavor and high nutritional density. This particular recipe is rich in magnesium, B-vitamins, phosphorus, vitamin K, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber to name a few. Each serving has about 8grams of protein per plate, but can be increased by adding chopped nuts. This Vegetable Coconut Curry recipe is exactly that and always seems to satisfy everyone who has tried it. Disclaimer: I ALWAYS make it slightly different, depending on what vegetables I have on hand. So far, all the combinations have been as delicious as the next.
Why eat more vegetables? Eating more fruit, vegetables and spices (like the ones in many curry recipes) are all are fantastic rich sources of phytochemicals. Scientific research is now producing pages and pages of studies looking for and finding the potential of phytochemical to benefit oxidative stress and inflammation associated with degenerative diseases. Among other benefits, fruits, vegetables and spices have the possibility of helping degenerative issues involving the bones, metabolism and the heart to name a few.(1)
1. This recipe can use just about ANY vegetables. Just be sure you cook them starting with the slowest cooking vegetables and lastly adding the quicker cooking vegetables. Below is an approximate list of the slowest cooking (toughest) vegetables, to the quickest cooking (softest) vegetables in this particular stir fry recipe.
2. Some vegetables like bell peppers are best left with a lot of crunch, so it is best to add them last and just barely cook them.
3. For the most amount of flavor, add herbs like the cilantro in this recipe very very last just before serving.
4. Keep a lid handy, so when the mushrooms release their liquid you can then add the cauliflower and cover to help it cook down quicker.
5. Cook in a stir fry in a deep and large pan if possible so you have lots of space for your vegetables to cook without crowding.
6. When you cook the vegetables, the pan should be hot, and the you should keep the vegetables moving in the pan so they cook quickly without burning.
7. Optional - make this a more filling meal with some added chopped nuts. My favorite with a meal like this are cashews.
What is the order to add vegetables in this stir fry?
1. Garlic and onions
2. Mushrooms (note - they will release water which is great for steaming)
4. Bell peppers and frozen peas
5. Cilantro (just before serving)
Serves 2-3 people
1 cup brown rice
1 can (400mL) coconut milk
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
1 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into bite sizes
8-9 brown (or white) mushrooms, chopped into quarters
1 cup frozen peas
1-2 Teaspoons curry powder (we used the Spice Sanctuary Butter Chicken Powder)
(*it is a mixture of cumin, coriander, true cinnamon, red chili, fenugreek, cloves, garlic, cardamon, ginger, fennel, turmeric, smoked paprika and chili flakes)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Using a rice cooker if you have one, put in the rice and water turn on to cook. Brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook so it is good to get it started first.
If you do not have a rice cooker: Put 1 cup of brown rice into a small pot (that has a lid), cover it with 2 cups of water and over high heat bring to a boil WITHOUT the lid on. When it boils, turn heat down to low and simmer for about 40 minutes with the lid on. Be sure to check the package of rice you bought for exact proportions and timing since all rice can be a bit different.
2. Prepare all your vegetables first by washing in either white vinegar, apple cider vinegar or a produce cleaner like the Thieves Cleaner from Young Living.
3. To wash produce: fill a large bowl with water and add vinegar to the water (the ratio of about 1/2 cup of vinegar per 1 cup of water). Soak your veggies (except for the mushrooms, which is better to clean with a soft brush or wipe with a wet paper towel to remove the dirt).
4. Let the vegetables sit for 10 minutes and then drain and rinse.
5. Dice garlic and onions.
6. Chop cauliflower into bite sizes.
7. Cut mushrooms into quarters.
8. Slice peppers into thin strips.
9. In a large pan, add the coconut oil and heat over medium-high. You can test if it is hot enough by putting a splash of water to see if it sizzles. Be mindful not to let the oil start smoking.
10. Add onion and garlic and cook to soften.
11. Add mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes.
12. Add cauliflower and stir while cooking for 1-2 minutes. You can slightly steam to cook faster by putting a lid over top.
13. Add peas and pepper and cook for 1 more minute stirring often.
14. Add coconut milk, stir and heat the milk.
15. Add curry powder and stir well.
16. Season with salt, pepper and cilantro.
17. Serve over rice.
Why wash your vegetables? If you ever spend time in a grocery store and watch people shopping, you will know exactly why it is important to wash fruit and veggies when you get them home. So many hands touch this food you are about to prepare and serve. Also, fresh fruit and veggies and herbs can have bacteria, fungi and trace amounts of chemicals that are worth taking the time to remove before ingesting.(2)
The special curry powder that we have found in our local Nature's Fare in Canada is a product from the Spice Sanctuary. You can check out their store locator to find a store near you who sells this brand.
References: (1)Dietary Phytochemicals: Natural Swords Combating Inflammation and Oxidation-Mediated Degenerative Diseases. Islam MA1, Alam F1, Solayman M2, Khalil MI3, Kamal MA4, Gan SH1. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:5137431. Read more.
(2) Guide to Washing Fresh Produce. Colorado State University. Food and Nutrition Series. Read more