It’s finally looking a little like winter and time to get back into some nutritious winter-time comfort foods that will warm you up in this (slightly!), cooler weather. Stews, curries and soups are all back on the menu, and whilst winter is often associated with heavier, less diet friendly dishes, there is no reason why all these types of foods cannot be healthy and nutritious at the same time as warming and comforting.
This veggie korma is a great example of a nutritious, tasty meal, cooked from scratch, with the added benefit of an extra serve of vegetables in the form of a pilau or couscous made from cauliflower rather than usual rice or couscous base. This also makes a good substitute to couscous for those with a gluten or wheat intolerance.
Not only does this alternative to carbohydrate provide extra nutrients, it also lowers the energy content of the dish, making it ideal for those watching their weight. Cauliflower also provides a good quantity of vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system, wound healing and other roles in the body, such as the formation of capillaries and collagen.
The korma itself is also full of extremely nutritious foods including:
Sweet potatoes: These low GI veggies are a great source of long-lasting energy that keep blood sugars constant and are therefore likely to keep you fuller for longer. They are also a source of fibre and vitamin A, which is an essential antioxidant important for healthy vision and immune systems.
Almonds: An important source of monounsaturated fats and phytosterols, both thought to be important for heart health.
Chickpeas: An excellent source of fibre, these also have a significant amount of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for most structures in the body. They also contain unsaturated fats and plant sterols, as well as a range of vitamins.
- 1 heaped teaspoon flaked almonds
- 2 large sweet potatoes cut into chunks
- Olive oil
- 1 red onion-peeled and finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic-crushed
- One 3cm piece of fresh ginger- grated or finely chopped
- ½ bunch fresh coriander including stalks
- ½-1 fresh chilli
- 1 handful of curry leaves (or a tsp curry powder if not available)
- 1 heaped tablespoon korma curry paste (bought or make your own)
- 1 400g tin of chickpeas-drained
- 1 large cauliflower
- 1 lemon
- 50g low fat feta cheese or 4 tablespoons low fat natural yogurt (optional)
- Toast almonds in a dry frying pan over a low-medium heat until golden, then set aside.
- Scrub sweet potatoes and cut into 4cm chunks
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat and then add the sweet potato.
- Fry for 5 minutes or until golden.
- Add curry leaves or powder to pan and stir for one minute, then add all the chopped veg, curry paste and the chopped coriander stalks.
- Fry for another 10 minutes or until onions are softened.
- Add chickpeas and 600ml of boiling water and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened (about 30 minutes).
- To make the cauliflower, chop the leaves off and cut the stalk into small pieces and add to the curry mix.
- Cut florets into even pieces and pulse in a food processor until it reaches the texture of couscous.
- Microwave on high for 7 minutes until cooked through, just before serving.
- To serve curry: add lemon juice to curry, crumble feta if using, sprinkle with almonds and chopped coriander leaves and serve with yogurt over the cauliflower.
This recipe is adapted from Save with Jamie and can be found, along with a great range of other nutritious recipes at www.jamieoliver.com.