At this time of year we need warming foods. Here is an easy and delicious recipe from Daniela, our Nutritionist, that will get you through those cold winter nights with all the health benefits of good food.

Simple and easy to cook, use whatever seasonal fresh vegetables you prefer. I love broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, carrot and mange tout  – bursting with colour, flavour and nutrients. A little vegetable stock and some fresh lime juice lightens this dish. For added protein, you can include some cooked mung beans or pan-roasted tempeh or tofu.

The aromatic curry paste can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Make a batch and then use it for curries or it can be added to stir-fries and soups.

Nutrition benefits:
Enzyme-rich vegetables aid the cleansing and detoxification process and the aromatic flavours of the curry paste will stimulate the circulation and boost metabolism.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric and provides the vivid yellow colouring as well as the impressive list of health properties. Turmeric has been linked to the prevention of cancer cell growth and can be highly beneficial in the management of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel disease. It’s also rich in vital minerals – manganese, zinc, iron and also B vitamins.

Black pepper is known to enhance digestion and work as an anti-inflammatory; the magic compound in black pepper is called piperine. It works hand in hand with turmeric by boosting the bioavailability of curcumin.

Ginger has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It helps to boost immune function and combat cellular damage. Black pepper is known to enhance digestion and work as an anti-inflammatory; the magic compound in black pepper is called piperine. It works hand in hand with turmeric by boosting the bioavailability of curcumin.

Garlic boosts the immune system, helping to protect us against infections and illness. Garlic contains allicin, a potent phytonutrient that is great for cardiac health. It has been shown to help lower blood pressure, inhibit blood clotting and promote healthy cholesterol levels.

Shiitake mushrooms are well known for their medicinal properties including enhancing immune function, specifically in assisting our macrophage cells to ‘scavenge’ and destroy cancer cells. Shiitake mushrooms can also help to reduce cholesterol and are a great source of antioxidant minerals, zinc, manganese and selenium.

Aromatic Curry Paste
1 shallot, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sticks lemongrass, (remove the tough ends) finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 kaffir lime leaf
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons chopped ginger or galangal
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
3-5 dried red chillies (depending on how you hot you like it!), deseeded and chopped finely
1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon dry

Add all these ingredients in to a food processor or blender and mix for 1 minute until combined.
Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of water if paste looks a little dry.

To make the vegetable curry

Ingredients

300 ml coconut milk
300 ml vegetable stock
2 – 3 tablespoons homemade curry paste (see recipe above)
450 g (14 1/2 oz) assorted seasonal vegetables (carrot, mange tout, asparagus, peas, broccoli, cauliflower)
Handful of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2/3 Kaffir lime leaves, crushed
1 lime
sea salt and pepper to taste
fresh herbs to garnish (Thai basil or coriander)

  1. Combine the coconut milk and vegetable stock in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Add the detox curry paste and kaffir lime leaves.
  3. Simmer gently for 3 – 5 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetables and mushrooms and simmer for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are just tender. (Include the pan-roasted tempeh, mung beans or tofu at this stage if using)
  5. Squeeze in 1 tablespoon of lime juice and season with a little Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add a little water if needed
  6. Ladle curry straight into serving bowls and garnish with coriander. Serve with some brown basmati rice for slow-release energy if you like.

Serves 2

Written by Daniela Barbaglia

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