Creamy Coconut Curry With Lime-Cilantro Rice

Creamy Coconut Curry With Lime-Cilantro Rice

This recipe involves all the healing spices, immune-boosting veggies, protein and healthy fats for energy and brain health. It is full of flavour and can be adjusted to suit your dietary preferences with different veggies and protein. Serve it over cilantro-lime rice for a beautiful mix of flavours.

Curry:

  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 C vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or less of fresh)
  • 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce (or 1/2 diced tomato)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp pineapple chunks
Photo by Angele J on Pexels.com

Veggies: (choose any, to total 4 servings, combined)

  • potato
  • onion
  • bell peppers
  • cauliflower
  • mushrooms
  • carrot
  • bok choy or spinach
  • green beans

Protein: (choose any, to total 4 servings)

  • salmon
  • chickpeas or lentils
  • chicken
  • firm tofu

Rice:

  • 2 C jasmine rice
  • 1 lime
  • bunch of fresh cilantro (or parsley)

Method:

  • On low, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a deep pan or wok. Cook onion until clear, then add in garlic. If you are using chicken, cube it and cook it in the pan, then remove and set aside
  • Cook in the chopped veggies, starting with the more firm ones, like potato, bell peppers, cauliflower and carrots. At this point, you can add in 1 C vegetable or chicken broth, turn the heat to medium, and let the veggies steam while they cook. Add in remaining veggies, like bok choy and spinach toward the end
  • Start to add in the curry sauce ingredients, starting with the spices, honey, pineapple, then cans of coconut milk and tomato sauce. Increase the heat to bring the sauce to a low simmer, add in the remaining 2 cups of broth, and cooked chicken. If you are not using chicken, now is the time to add in a can of rinsed beans, or your salmon
  • Let the flavours cook together, protein cook, and veggies soften a bit more as you simmer it all together for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, cook your rice according to the instructions. Once cooked, stir in juice from 1 lime and chopped cilantro, to taste
  • Serve the curry over the rice, and top with more cilantro and a wedge of lime

Weekly Meal Plan #5 (plant-based)

Weekly Meal Plan #5 (plant-based)

Meal 1: I like to roast a big tray of veggies once a week and use them in dishes like this easy Curry. Chickpeas, spinach, sweet potato, cauliflower and tomatoes are some of my faves. I added in tofu and served it all in coconut rice with lime and cilantro. Oh my. Leftovers usually end up in a wrap the next day!

Meal 2: I made a triple batch of these Gluten-free Oat Flour Waffles and froze them for the week. When you’re ready for one, just pop it into the toaster, add your berries, shredded coconut, and all the delicious maple syrup.

Meal 3: This decadent vegan lasagna had me at cashew cream sauce.

Snack 1: I made these Feel Good Zucchini Muffins last week and I promised I would post the link. I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you because you whip up the batter in a blender, the muffins are packed with fibre, and they’re super moist. I absolutely LOVE this recipe.

Snack 2: My favourite Maple Walnut Chickpea Blondies made it on to this week’s meal plan, this time I sprinkled in some dairy-free chocolate chips for good measure.

Weekly Meal Plan #4 {plant-based}

Weekly Meal Plan #4 {plant-based}

I decided to go completely plant-based for the month of February. I don’t usually label my way of eating, other than to call it “intuitive eating”. If I want some lean, organic chicken, fish or sharp cheddar, I will have some…in moderation. If my body cries out after eating certain foods, I listen.

My reasons for going plant-based for month include PH balancing my body, improving my gut flora, supporting my genetic make up, boosting my immunity to better fight off the strange viruses and cancer that seems to being hitting many of my family members. Others might prefer a more plant forward way of eating to save the planet, clear up skin, lower blood cholesterol, and even save a dollar.

These delicious meals and healthy snacks are ones I have personally created or tried. Always refer to the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, which helps you decide which fruits and veggies should be purchased organic. When you are incorporating more plants and veggies into your diet, expect to feel more full (yes! plants contain fibre), expect your sugar cravings to dwindle, expect to have more energy and feel lighter.

Meal 1: Thai Rainbow Salad with Sweet Honey Peanut Dressing: I chose a rainbow of veggies (purple cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, grape tomatoes, bell peppers), and chopped them all up. In a measuring cup, mix together 2 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 Tbsp tahini, 2 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp tamari or soya sauce, a sprinkle of chili flakes, and a splash of hot water. Stir until creamy, adding more hot water, if needed. Toss the chopped veggies with the dressing when ready to eat.

Meal 2: Farmer’s Market Pasta with Walnut Pesto by Pinch of Yum. This dish lets you customize your veggies, and the walnut pesto really couldn’t be easier to make…plus it is some serious brain food with all those walnuts.

Meal 3: One pan Curried Sweet Potato Chickpeas by Minimalist Baker. Who doesn’t appreciate cleaning up only one pan? This dish is hearty and will not leave you feeling hungry. The flavours marry beautifully and the colours!

Snack 1: Banana Zucchini Muffins by Ambitious Kitchen (sub eggs for flax eggs for a vegan option)

Snack 2: The Easiest #dairyfree Oat Milk. This makes a great base and is delicious on it’s own, but feel free to add cacao powder or strawberries for a different flavour. As it’s a month of plant-based eating, it is important to have a good alternative milk for cereals, coffee and cookies 😉

My suggestion: Put these 5 dishes on rotation for the week. Take a day to prep one or more, or as much as you can. Make double, divide it into single serving sizes, and you’ve just mastered meal prep. Have a great week!

A Holistic Nutritionist’s Guide to Plant-based Protein

A Holistic Nutritionist’s Guide to Plant-based Protein

Heart health, weight loss, clear skin, better digestion, more energy….these are just some of the reasons to include more plant proteins in your diet. You don’t have to go full fledged vegetarian to benefit. Simpy incorporate one plant-based meal each day, or try a #meatlessmonday.

The key to plant proteins is variety. Each plant contains a different amino acid profile, so be sure to include an array of them to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. This doesn’t have to be done in one meal. Instead, include them over the course of one day.

Here is a list of some easy-to-find plant-based proteins that you can add into your meals to benefit from all the wholesome goodness that they have to offer us, naturally.

Oats: (26g protein/cup) A nutrient-rich cereal grain that is demulcent and soothing to the digestive system. Enjoy them as overnight oats, turn them in to a dairy-free oat milk, or add them into smoothies.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Hemp Hearts: (9g protein/oz) This is the nutritious heart of the hemp seed that has a nutty flavour and does not need to be cooked. These add a nice crunch to salads, granola or yogurt, or blend them up with almonds for a delicious non-diary milk.

Chia Seeds: (5g protein/oz) These tiny seeds are native to Mexico and have changed many lives in the plant-based community.  They absorb 10 times their weight in water, so you will want to make sure they are either soaked first, or you eat them with a liquid. Because they grow in size, they keep you full longer and add great bulk to smoothies, granola and pudding. Our favourite way to enjoy them is with coconut milk in a chia pudding, either for breakfast or as a dessert.

Nuts: (7g protein/oz) Nuts, particularly walnuts and almonds, are high in plant-based protein and high in fibre. Ground nuts make a wonderful pie crust, dairy-free milk, topping on salads or yogurt. It is really simple to add nuts in to your meals as they can be eaten raw. Also try nut butters and nut oils on salads. Aim for the raw or dry roasted, unsalted, varieties. Nuts should be stored in your freezer as they can go rancid easily.

Nutritional Yeast: (9g protein/2 Tblsp) aka, “nooch”, is a new fave in the plant-based world. If you are lucky, you can find a brand that is fortified with vitamin B12, which does not normally exist naturally in plant-based foods. These dry flakes give a cheesy, nutty flavour that is naturally low in sodium but still packs alot of flavour. Nutritional yeast can be turned into a dairy-free cheese sauce, a vegan “parmesan”, and crisps up nicely on roasted chick peas.

Quinoa: (8g protein/cup) Considered a superfood, this seed that is eaten like a grain and has more nutritional value and protein than other plants. It makes a great alternative to rice, when boiled, and can also be popped like popcorn, when dry. The seeds can also be soaked and sprouted for easier digestion. Once a week, make a big pot of cooked quinoa and add it to salads, stuff it into peppers for dinners, use it in wraps and homemade granola, to sneak in extra protein throughout your days.

Flax Seeds: (6g protein/oz) Most beneficial when ground, flax seeds contain the most omega 3, which is anti-inflammatory, skin, brain and heart healthy. It is a source of phytoestrogen and lignans for women’s health,  and antioxidants for boosting the immune system. Flax naturally gels when mixed with water, so it is often used as an egg replacement in vegan baking. Add ground flax to granola, bliss balls, cereals, in baked goods, on yogurt and in smoothies.  Also try flax oil in salad dressing or on its own for it’s blood sugar-regulating properties.

Pumpkin Seeds: (9g/oz) Rich in antioxidants, zinc and magnesium, these powerhouses are beneficial for men’s health, post-menopausal health, heart health and immunity. Enjoy them raw in bliss balls, or roast them and add them to salads for a nutty crunch.

Spirulina: (39g protein/oz) A blue-green algae that packs nutritional value, protein and flavour. It is often used in detox programs and face maks!, as it pulls heavy metals from the body and is anti-microbial. It provides energy so avoid using at night. Add it into smoothies for a blood sugar-balancing, uplifting morning pick-me-up.

Beans: (15-17g protein/cup) Soybeans are complete, the other beans can be combined with other vegetables for the 9 amino acids to make them a complete protein. If you have trouble digesting beans, try soaking and sprouting them for a day or two to release the phytic acid that causes tummy troubles in some. Otherwise, steam them lightly and add them to salads and side dishes, roast them for a crunchy snack, turn them into heart-healthy hummus, or cook them with veggies for a delicious chili.

Stay creative, stay open, and let us know how what delicious plant-based dishes you’ve come up with.

To your health,

Jen Casey, Holistic Nutritionist @NextBiteNutritionCoaching

A Guide to Plant-based Protein