Kabocha Squash and Red Lentil Curry (V, GF)

photo of kabocha squash-red lentil curry in white bowl on purple placemat on the dinner table

Community cookoffs are a delicious way to bring people together!

It’s almost time again for the Austin Food Blogger Alliance (AFBA) Annual Community Cookoff! This year’s theme is “Oodles of Noodles” and will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 2-4 pm at the Brew & Brew. It will be a celebration of carbs and the recipes of many chefs working hard to please your palate!

This year’s cookoff motivated me to post about last year’s AFBA 2017 Collossal Curry Cookoff. As a brand new member of the AFBA, I decided to enter my Kabocha Squash and Red Lentil Curry in the cookoff. I was a bit scared, but I thought it would be a good way to meet my fellow AFBA members and showcase the type of food that I cook.

Curries don’t have to be hot to be flavorful, aromatic, and delicious!

I was excited for people to try my vegan curry which was not at all hot and spicy. I wanted to make the curry flavorful (with sweet kabocha squash, fennel, sweet potato, and curry leaves) and spicy rather than hot (with ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon). I also used red lentils to give the curry great body, flavor, and texture. Yum!

fresh ginger and bowl of spices for Kabocha Squash and Red Lentil Curry

Kabocha Squash and Red Lentil Curry (V, GF)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 quarts
Ingredients
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup carrot, finely diced
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 fronds fresh curry leaves, chiffonade or 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 cup sweet potato, small dice
  • 1 cup fennel bulb, small dice
  • 2 cups kabocha or butternut squash, small dice
  • 1 cup zucchini, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups filtered or spring water
  • 1 teaspoon tamari, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar, or to taste (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • lemon or lime wedges, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Rinse red lentils several times and soak in a bowl with water for about an hour.
  2. Heat heavy-bottomed soup pot on medium heat. When hot, add coconut oil, onion, and pinch of sea salt. Sauté on medium heat until soft.
  3. Add the carrot, celery, curry leaves or bay leaf, ginger, and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir in powdered spices.
  4. Add the chopped sweet potato, fennel, squash, zucchini, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 4 minutes.
  5. Drain red lentils and add them to the vegetable sauté. Add water, bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer until lentils and vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in coconut milk. Season with tamari and ume vinegar (or sea salt). Heat until simmering.
  7. Add fresh herbs and turn off heat.
  8. Serve on top of rice with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

3rd place finish!

After a few hours of curry tasting and ballot casting, I was thrilled to get a 3rd place finish, and went home with various gift cards and goodies from local businesses. It ended up being such a fun day!

I hope you’ll try making this recipe when you are in the mood for something sweet, savory, and nourishing. It is delicious with basmati rice and a crisp green side salad. I also add baby spinach when warming up leftovers to give it some freshness.

Sign up for this year’s cookoff!

And by the way, get your tickets here for the 2018 AFBA Oodles of Noodles cookoff on September 23rd. It will be an experience to remember!

Please let me know if you’d like to chat about cooking lessons, corporate team building, dinner parties, or yoga retreat catering. My public group cooking classes are listed here.

Quinoa Kitchadi with Vegetables, Turmeric, and Ginger

quinoa kitchadi

Kitchadi, a one-pot meal from the Ayurvedic tradition, is considered very healing and nourishing (or sattvic), and is typically made with split mung beans (moong dal), basmati rice, digestive spices, ghee or oil, and non-starchy vegetables. Here I am using quinoa, moong dal, and coconut oil, but you may experiment with different grains and beans for variety.

Kitchadi is soothing to the digestion, as it contains turmeric and ginger, it is cooked until soft in texture, and it is served warm.  It contains complex carbohydrates, good quality fats, and vegetables, which help to regulate blood sugar.

Kitchadi is a go-to breakfast meal at my home, when I am wanting something heartier than miso soup, but still want something soothing to the digestion. It seems to work as a “reset button” if I am having stomach troubles or just lacking appetite. I make enough so that I can have leftovers for lunch or breakfast the next day, adding some fresh greens and herbs when reheating.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quinoa Kitchadi with Vegetables, Turmeric, and Ginger
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Ayurvedic
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • ½ cup moong dal (split mung beans), rinsed and soaked overnight then drained
  • ½ cup quinoa (tan or mixture of red and tan), rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ teaspoon organic turmeric powder
  • 2 cups sliced vegetables (such as zucchini, carrot, celery, butternut squash)
  • 3-4 cups filtered or spring water, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • lemon, cut in wedges, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot on medium heat and add coconut oil. Add soaked moong dal and stir to coat well with the oil. Add quinoa and mix into dal. Toast on medium heat for a minute or two, then add ginger and turmeric and saute for a minute more.
  2. Add 2 cups water, stirring to make sure quinoa and dal are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add vegetables, sea salt, and additional water (1-2 cups) to achieve desired consistency (it can either be soft or a bit soupy). Simmer another 10 minutes, or until quinoa and dal are very soft.
  4. Add a few grinds of black pepper. Taste for seasonings. If it seems too dry, add more coconut oil.
  5. Serve in a bowl garnished with fresh cilantro and lemon.

 

Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

My daughter Isabel and I made our first cooking video together a few weeks ago. Well, actually, my daughter invited me to come do a video with her for her Curly Girl youtube channel. We decided to make Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies because they are such a delicious treat, especially for people on gluten-free or vegan diets. I have been on a gluten-free diet for many years and appreciate finding recipes that are simple, tasty, and healthy.

vegan Choc Chip cookies-3

We used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour to make our cookies, but we have also had success using plain brown rice flour or other gluten-free all-purpose flour mixes. I like Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour because it does not contain xanthan gum, which is known to be an intestinal irritant. The ingredients in this mix include: garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour, and fava bean flour. Because of the bean flours in the mix, it tastes unpleasant before it has been cooked, so don’t try eating the cookie dough before it is baked!

Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
These cookies are perfect for the occasional treat for someone who is on a gluten free and/or vegan diet.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed meal (ground flax seed)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons water
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (such as Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl or cup, mix together flax seed meal and water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture has the consistency of a beaten egg. This is your “flax egg.”
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut oil, almond or cashew butter, maple syrup or agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Add “flax egg” and mix to combine.
  3. In a larger bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and sea salt.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients in the larger bowl. Mix until smooth with a wooden spoon. Add chocolate chips. Batter will be sticky.
  5. Transfer dough onto 1 or 2 sheets of wax paper or parchment paper. Fold paper over the dough to make cookie dough “logs.” Put the logs into the freezer for about 15-20 minutes, or until dough has become firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto the cookie sheet and form into round cookie shapes, leaving about an inch of space between cookies. These cookies will not flatten out a huge amount, so you can flatten them a little before baking them.
  8. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies begin to flatten and are golden brown on the bottom.
  9. Remove cookies with a spatula onto a plate and serve warm.
Notes
  1. Leftover cookie dough can be wrapped up well and stored in the freezer for up to a month and taken out as needed to make a sheet of cookies.

These cookies don’t spread out as much as normal cookies do, so be sure to flatten them out a bit before baking.

vegan Choc Chip cookies-5

These cookies go great with a glass of almond milk or coconut milk!

vegan Choc Chip cookies-6vegan Choc Chip cookies-7

Kid-approved! Please check out the video on Isabel’s Curly Girl channel.