Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sweet Potato Chickpea Coconut Curry

I've been really embracing coconut milk and coconut oil lately. It has received a bad rep for awhile because of its saturated fat content, but current research is shedding lots of positive light on this special nut. You see, this type of plant based saturated fat is actually great for our bodies in so many ways. It has antiviral properties, aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body, improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose, reduces inflammation, and functions as an antioxidant among many other benefits. And this rich creamy milk is so amazing as a dairy alternative because it tastes so damn good! I'm giving dairy a break for awhile, so coconut milk is a nice way to lend creaminess to a dish. This curry couldn't be any easier to make and is so full of nutrition. In addition to the coconut, you also get the added health benefits of super green kale, beta carotene from the sweet potatoes, and antioxidants from the turmeric in the curry powder. Turmeric is what makes the curry powder yellow, by the way, and it too has wonderful benefits for the body. So go make this tasty and healthy meal to start the new year off right.

Chickpea Sweet Potato Coconut Curry (makes 4 generous servings)

1 sweet potato, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 onion, diced
1 tbs coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 can organic coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons Indian curry powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tsp sea salt, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
3 cups chopped kale
Fresh cilantro for topping

1.  Put potato cubes into a vegetable steamer basket and steam for about 7 minutes, or until they are just tender. Remove from steamer and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan or deep skillet on medium heat, saute onion in oil until softened. Add garlic and then the coconut milk. Add curry powder, tomato paste, and salt and stir well until combined.

3. Then, add cooked chickpeas and the cooked sweet potatoes and simmer for about five minutes. Add salt if you think it needs it.

4. Finally, reduce heat to low and add chopped kale. Stir until the kale begins to wilt. Serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro and over brown rice or just by itself.

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