Early birthday present and butternut squash curry

I came home to this today: IMG_1378

That’s a Vitamix, people. I’m awe struck. And I was pining for a replacement slicer blade for my old school cuisinart. I guess I didn’t get the message about reaching for the stars. (Or the message about not opening birthday presents six days before your birthday. Oops. I’m still a child at heart). So THANK YOU Terri, Mollie, Emma, and Emily. You made me feel loved and hungry for margs and soup all at the same time. I’m looking forward to spending some time getting to know my new friend this weekend.

Tonight, however, I wanted to use up the rest of my kale (which I’m now buying twice a week– I can’t get enough) and a butternut squash I had cluttering up my counter space. Having made a huge pot of kidney beans today, I thought I’d incorporate them as well. Curry seemed as good an idea as any.

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Ingredients

1/2 a butternut squash, peeled and diced and tossed in coconut oil, salt and pepper

1 small red onion, diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 a bunch of kale, washed, de-veined, and torn into bite size pieces

2 cups kidney beans, cooked

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 tbsp orange juice

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tsp cumin (I’ve been buying the seeds and crushing them myself– much more potent that way)

1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1/4 cup veggie broth

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 425 and roast the squash until cooked through, about 30 minutes, stirring 1/2 way through to prevent sticking.

While the squash is roasting, saute the onion in a little more coconut oil. After a few minutes, add your spices. Then add the garlic (remember– mince the garlic at least 10 minutes before it will come in contact with heat for maximum health benefits!).

Add the kale and some of the broth and stir. Try to stir so that the kale turns dark green uniformly.

Add the beans, squash, quinoa, and citrus juices. Stir everything up and season with extra salt and pepper, if needed.

If you’re a real cheese fiend, I have to admit (against my will) that feta actually isn’t gross on this…

(I’ve just realized that I forgot to use the cilantro I bought today for this meal. So if you have forgotten cilantro languishing in your fridge, this is your cue).

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Lastly, the little known Food Safety Modernization Act is getting its 15 minutes of fame. If you’re a farmer’s-market-going, organic-loving blog reader, take a minute to learn about the issues at stake here and here. It’s hard to predict the outcome, especially amidst all the hype, but I am fairly certain that appointing a Monsanto big wig as “food-czar” is a bad call.

Now that we know (if you’ve read Eating on the Wild Side, which you absolutely must!) how diminished the nutrient values of many industrially farmed foods are, it is especially important that agricultural policy is crafted to nourish a bio-diverse system that protects the integrity of the healthiest fruits and vegetables we still have left, and makes them more affordable than the pernicious calories in junk food. Remember, as a tax payer, you pay for the implications of past farms bills twice: once in subsidy form, to corn and soy producers, and second, in health care costs for the uninsured. Food is our natural medicine, and it makes me ill to know that so much of its power has been lost, and is still being compromised.

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