Butternut squash and chickpea curry
This curry is super simple and you can make it as thick or thin as you want – just keep it simmering away for longer to get a thicker sauce. This curry is a staple dish – keep it in a tupperware in the freezer so you can always fall back on it! The dish is rich in nutrients, essential for vegan diets – spinach is high in protein, fibre, vitamins A, E and C to name a few. Butternut squash is abundant in vitamin C and the seeds are a whopping 30% protein, so be sure to add them! Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein.
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 medium butternut squash
1 tin of chickpeas
1 tin of coconut milk
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 an onion
3 cloves of garlic
A handful or two of spinach
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of tumeric
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 teaspoon of chilli powder (to taste)
1) Begin by cutting up your butternut squash into one centimetre chunks. Roast them in the oven with some oil for 20-30 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.
2) Fry your onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil until soft. Turn the heat down and add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and the chickpeas (drained). Stir and simmer for about 10 minutes.
3) Add the roasted butternut squash along with the spices – you could add more if you prefer a stronger taste.
4) Let the sauce cook for 10 more minutes, unless you want it quite thck, in which case leave it for a further 10 or 20 minutes – but keep an eye on it!
5) Just before serving, add the spinach and allow it to wilt slightly.
Serve with rice or a naan bread.
Seeing as it’s Veganuary, I thought a winter-themed salad would be apt. This salad can be switched around and the ingredients changed for alternatives, so it’s incredibly versatile. Like the curry, this recipe is super simple, but filled with nutrients and goodness. Kale is completely fat-free and high in fibre. Sweet potatoes and carrots are great sources of vitamin C. While quinoa is passed off as a food fad, it’s actually one of the best sources of protein available, vegan or not.
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 large sweet potatoes
2 handfuls walnuts or hazelnuts
250g prepared quinoa or bulgar wheat (follow instructions on packet as they all vary)
2 handfuls dried cranberries
1 standard packet spinach
1 standard packet kale
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Chop the sweet potato, carrots, and beetroot into one centimetre chunks. Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven at 180 degrees celsius. After 15 minutes, put the carrot and beetroot in with them and roast for another 10 minutes or so. Keep checking on them: different ovens do them differently!
2) Take a large wok or pan of that style and drizzle a small amount of olive oil in the bottom. Sauté the kale for about five minutes, until softened.
3) Add the roasted vegetables, your choice of grain (I use quinoa or bulgar wheat, but can be anything), stir and warm for about 5 minutes, to ensure everything is nicely mixed.
4) Add your nuts and cranberries in the last minute, and your spinach just before serving to ensure it’s warm but not completely wilted. Season to taste.