I am constantly on the hunt for tasty plant based meals that have a good source of protein, nutrient rich ingredients and are dairy & gluten free. This means that I can cook and share recipes that cater for most people.
I am passionate about educating the community to increase healthy, plant based meals to their weekly menu. Make no mistake, with the plethora of processed vegan foods that have smothered the market, a vegan diet done incorrectly can have disastrous health impacts just as a diet high in animal products can.
Strategic eating is important when you are vegan as I see many vegans with deficiencies in iron, B12, essential fatty acids and adequate protein in their diet. Fortunately, I also see some incredibly healthy vegans who have taken the time to educate themselves on important nutrients to include in their diet. These two blogs on vegetable proteins and nutrients to consider provide some wonderful advice.
I am happy to see more and more people consciously choosing plant based meals in their weekly menu. As a flexitarian myself who follows an authentic Mediterranean diet, legumes are a regular visitor to my dinner table. A flexitarian diet is essentially focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes & nuts, whilst occasionally still having fish and animal products in their diet.
I also recommend to many of my clients who seek strategies on implementing a healthy diet to consider having a lighter, plant based meal for dinner.
Protein in my opinion is an important macronutrient to include in pretty much every meal or snack. As I work daily with people seeking improved energy levels, a focus on quality proteins is something I am known to harp on about!
I travelled throughout the Indian subcontinent, Nepal, and Bangladesh for over six months many years ago, eating authentic local dishes and experiencing the wonderful flavours and whole spices of this part of the world. Ever since, I have loved curries and foods rich in spices.
This recipe is inspired by a vegetarian dish called Rājmā, also known as rajma masala which consists of red kidney beans in a thick, spicy Indian gravy. I understand that Rajma is the Hindi word for kidney beans.
My version is vegan meaning that cream has been replaced with coconut milk and I whilst I often make this dish with kidney beans alone, I also add tofu (bean curd) once in a while. This particular recipe includes tofu however it is just as delicious if you leave it out. I did not invent this recipe, I have tried and tested many rajma masala recipes and this one I feel is the nicest.
A good curry can be such a comforting and tasty dish and when you stumble upon a terrific recipe it can put most take away curries to shame in both flavour and cost and let’s not forget the bad fats and unknown ingredients of take away. And I love curry in every season. I eat a big salad for lunch most weekdays, so I prefer hotter meals at night even on a summer evening.
I love the herbs and spices used in this curry as they have wonderful health benefits to help improve circulation, stimulate digestion, reduce inflammation, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and support healthy liver detoxification.
Fresh garlic, ginger and turmeric are three of my favourite super herbs and they stand tall in this recipe.
This delicious curry keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days. I usually make it on a Sunday and then it is one of my “go to” dinner options where all I have to do after finishing around 7pm in my clinic, is heat it up with minimal washing up required. This way, I can relax for a few hours and unwind, turning off my active mind and any heightened cortisol from the busy, working day. Dinner on a week-night must be quick and easy in my home so this recipe is a regular for us.
If I have time, I soak kidney beans however this recipe is for the time poor and so canned organic red kidney beans are the main event here.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 cm piece of ginger
- ½ -1 long green chilli, roughly chopped depending on how spicy you like it
- 1 large red onion, roughly diced
- ½ can 400 g organic whole tomatoes
- ½ cup water
- 360 grams of semi fried organic tofu nuggets, cubed (I order the international organics society brand)
- 2 X 400g cans organic red kidney beans, rinsed
- ⅓ cup coconut cream or milk
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A few grinds of black pepper and salt
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- Fresh coriander leaves, finely cut
Add your diced red onion, canned tomato mix, garlic, chilli, ginger, chilli and water in a blender or Nutri bullet and blend until smooth.
Now add your olive oil to a large saucepan and heat. Add cumin, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, chilli powder, cardamom, black pepper, salt and stir until fragrant.
Add the onion tomato liquid to your saucepan and stir. Add pomegranate molasses and mix well before turning to medium heat.
Cook, lid off for 30 minutes, then add kidney beans,, tofu, coconut cream fenugreek leaves and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Serve with fresh coriander stirred through, a small side serve of rice or quinoa and a little mango pickle or chutney.
Enjoy this healthy, nutritious plant based protein dish that is bursting with flavour!