Day 37 – Food glorious food, or should that be vegetables glorious vegetables?
Sometime ago, two years to be more precise, I stumbled across a website about not eating meat on Mondays, or to use the given name “Meatless Monday” and I drafted a post about it. I wrote about my thoughts on it and considered why there are more vegetarians and vegans in the world now than ever. But I never actually posted it, the reason why, I don’t remember, but today seems the day that I finally dig it out of the archive and edit it to share the recipe that I worked on all that time ago. And yes, I know, it’s not actually Monday.
The website I read stated that Meatless Monday aims to…
improve your personal health and the health of the planet
Surely that is something that everyone would love right? To be healthier and to help out the environment at the same time, but could cutting out meat once a week do so, or would we be fighting another losing battle? I thought that it wouldn’t make much of a difference to the environment, but might it have some health benefits?
I mean, I’ve never seen an overweight vegetarian so maybe there is something in it!
I love my veggies and so leaving out the meat wouldn’t be a MASSIVE sacrifice, but after meat free meals I frequently come out still hungry, maybe because of the lack of protein, so to partake in Meatless Monday would challenge me to create a meal that fills me up, something that my close friends and family will know, is not an easy task, because I’m always hungry.
But I do love cooking so some time in the kitchen adapting recipes and trying things out is not a problem. So I gave Meatless Monday a go, yet I never returned to the idea because I guess I love my meat too much. I understand why some may find it a great initiative, but I think a healthy balanced diet is the best, and that includes a healthy dose of protein be it meat or fish. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy meatless meals, because I do, a delicious mushroom risotto, vegetable curries, soups, there’s so many, but I also like a nice bacon sarnie and steak.
At the end of the day, it’s all about personal choice, what we like, what we don’t, our beliefs and out thoughts and opinions. Meatless Monday isn’t something that I will follow religiously, but it is something that I do without thinking about it. Sometimes there is nothing better than a nice veggie curry, so here’s mine, and yes it actually does fill the vast space that is my stomach.
Yummy, Scrummy Butternut Squash, Red Pepper and Coconut Curry with biryani rice.
For the Curry:
- 2 tbsp your favourite curry paste
- About 600g worth of butternut squash (1 large) or sweet potatos, peeled and chopped into medium sized pieces
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into large pieces
- Big handful of spinach
- 400g reduced-fat coconut milk
- Salt and Pepper
For the Biryani:
- 150g basmati rice
- A glug of olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cardamon pod
- very small/ half a cinnamon stick
- 1tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp of your favourtie curry paste
- A big handful of raisins
- 400ml vegetable stock
- Heat a nice large wok or frying pan and add your curry paste (I used Goan Masala – but just use what you have to hand) Then add your veggies except the spinach and mix well into the paste
- Pour in the coconut milk and 200ml water, let it simmer. Cook for 15-20 mins or until you veggies are tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Whilst your curry’s cooking start the biryani by soaking the rice in warm water, and washing it in cold until the water runs clear.
- Heat the olive oil in another saucepan and cook the onions with the bay leaf and other whole spices for 10 mins. Sprinkle in the turmeric and curry paste and cook until it smells yummy.
- Stir the rice into the pan with the raisins, then pour over the stock. Pop on the lid and bring to a hard boil, lower the heat to a minimum and cook the rice for another 5 mins.
- Turn off the heat and leave for 10 mins and stir it well. Stir in the spinach to the curry and let wilt.
- Give the curry and biryani a bit of love with some salt and pepper and then plate up and serve with some naan bread…yum!