As we start to near the colder months of the year, we start to crave heartier, more comforting dishes like curries, soups, and stews. The winter also brings darker, longer days where getting out of bed in the morning takes a good bit more energy than in the bright summer months. Just because the sunlight starts to diminish doesn’t mean that we have to lose our summer glows; there are plenty of ways we can keep our energy levels high and radiate beauty from the inside out. I believe that the key to preparing our bodies for the change in season begins entirely with diet.
October, November, and December bring such an abundance of beautiful foods and flavors into season. Some of my favorite autumn treats are acorn/butternut squash, apples, cranberries, figs, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, chard, and radishes. Fortunately, these foods do absolute wonders for our bodies by promoting healthy digestion and metabolism, decreasing inflammation, defending against free-radical damage, and healing our skin/hair from the harsh summer sun.
To me, there’s nothing better than a big bowl of velvety curry packed with seasonal veggies and bold, warm spices. Even better, it’s super easy to pack curries and stews with an abundance of vitamins to fuel our bodies for optimal energy levels. There are so many different methods of making curry and a plethora styles to choose from, but this recipe remains my go-to because it’s simple, quick, delicious, and easy to store for leftovers.
(Makes 4 generous servings)
2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes
2 large handfuls of spinach
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium white onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tomato, diced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1-2 tbsp oil (I prefer to use coconut or canola)
1 tsp maple syrup or agave nectar
1.5 tsp turmeric (I like to go heavy on turmeric in curry dishes)
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch red chili flakes (optional, but adds some nice heat to the dish)
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 handful fresh chopped cilantro (for garnish)
1) I like to start this recipe by portioning out all my spices in small bowls or simply in the caps of the spice bottles- it makes the process of actually putting the curry together much easier. This step is obviously optional, but I highly recommend it.
2) Heat your oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in your minced garlic and let it cook until it becomes fragrant. Next, add in your diced onion and sautée it until the onions become translucent. If the garlic starts to get too brown, turn your heat down a little as garlic tends to burn pretty quickly.
3) Next, add the diced tomato, bell pepper, minced ginger, maple syrup/agave, coconut milk, all spices, and lime juice to the skillet. Stir to combine everything and turn your heat down to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes.
4) Once this has simmered and has begun to get fragrant, turn your heat down to low and add in your peeled and chopped sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and spinach. Stir to combine again and cover the skillet with a lid. Let the curry simmer on low for about 15 minutes until you can poke through the sweet potatoes with a fork. Garnish the finished curry with fresh chopped cilantro and serve it over rice, quinoa, or a grain of your choice.