Pumpkin Coconut Curry

I have been gone for over 2 weeks. I would like to apologize.

I would also like to apologize for the fact that I’m really not that sorry.

Why?

I spent 9 days backpacking through Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome.

This was certainly the peak of my semester. I could probably write a book on all the things that I did, saw, reflected on, and smiled about. I saw amazing art, gorgeous cities, had the best falafel and gelato that I will probably ever have, and to top it all off I met some amazing people. It was incredible. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you about it today because I’m paying for my neglect of “Reading Week” now and have a bunch of essays to write and do research for. I did, however, want to share some food with you, and I’ll put some pictures of my trip at the end of this post.

Alright, so, I’m a little obsessed with this dish.

And I am going to give you 10 reasons why you should make it.

1. Curry (the spice mix) is really good for you. It has the health powerhouse turmeric (which reduces arthritic swelling and may even help prevent cancer), lots of antioxidants and vitamins, and it’s really good for digestion.

2. This humongous bowl clocks in at around 500 calories. That’s less than a pumpkin muffin at Dunkin Donuts, way less than most of the salads at Applebee’s, and that’s how many calories EatingWell suggests you have for dinner as a part of a 1500 calorie diet. Nix the currants and the pistachios and you have a 400 calorie dish. Or you could just make a half-batch for lunch and serve it with some toasted pita bread for less than 300. Adaptable to any calorie needs.

3. Coconut milk, while highly contested among nutritionists (as it has quite a bit of fat), is good for you in moderation and can help clean out your insides and make your skin look very nice indeed. Just don’t make a latte with the stuff, and you should be good. Oh, and btdubs, fat is necessary and healthy for your body, as long as you don’t indulge in too much. Nobody is afraid of fat in Europe, and they’re way more slim than Americans, so take a page from their book and just moderate the quantity.

4. This is super protein-rich and has about 4 servings of veggies. And those veggies come with all of their vitamins, fiber, and health benefits. It’s also vegan. So there.

5. All you need for this recipe is a saucepan, a bowl, and a spoon. Dishes are done in about 30 seconds flat.

6. Lentils are crazy good for you. TONS of protein, no fat, a bunch of fiber, plus B-vitamins and a bunch of other happy things.

7. No added sugar!! Only naturally occurring sugars find their way into this dish, and the lentils, chickpeas, and veggies are very blood-glucose friendly. If you’re super sensitive, leave out the currants.

8. Chickpeas. Basically one of the greatest foods on earth. Falafel, hummus, chickpea veggie burgers, and now this? I can’t say enough about them. And they’re the healthiest bean. Boom.

9. Because of the veggies, this dinner looks HUGE. It feels like you’re eating a full-out feast. And, because of those veggies and all the extra fiber from the chickpeas and lentils, it leaves you full for a long time. And even better? Each bowl is really cheap to make.

10. It tastes FANTASTIC. Pumpkin, coconut, curry, currants, and pistachios? Seriously, need I say more?

Also, a quick note: don’t omit the salt, and I really, really recommend the currants and pistachios. The sweet and nutty notes really highlight the other flavors in the dish perfectly. Also, make sure you have a high quality curry mix–that’s really crucial (and it’s not expensive).

Okay, now that I’ve set you up with that, let’s get to the recipe.

Pumpkin Coconut Curry

1/4 cup red lentils
2 tbsp currants (or raisins, etc.)
1-2 tsp curry (to taste)
2 cups frozen veggies
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
3 tbsp coconut milk
1/4 cup chickpeas
salt, to taste
1 tbsp chopped pistachios

Place lentils, currants, curry powder, and veggies in a medium saucepan with 1 cup of water. Heat on high until boiling–turn down to low to simmer. Stir in pumpkin, coconut milk, and chickpeas. Add 1/2-3/4 cup more water if the curry is too thick. Cook until lentils are tender and sauce is desired thickness. Salt to taste. Pour into bowl (or two) and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Enjoy!

I’m sorry, did I neglect to tell you how much I’m obsessed with pumpkin? ;)

Same goes for chickpeas. So, so obsessed.

Also pretty colors. Mmmmm.

If you’ve never had coconut milk, definitely try it. It’s very potent…and delicious.

Empty bowl=Sad bowl.

However can we fix this?!

Oh, right.

Enjoy!!

TRAVEL

Well, now for your viewing pleasure, a few pictures from my trip. I’ll be writing more in the near future, I promise :)

The Louvre!

I think we all know what this is. It was gorgeous when it glittered :)

Le Château de Versailles

The hall of mirrors. Seriously, no wonder the French revolted.

The first in a long line of delicious gelato :)

The whole crew, looking over the canals of Venezia :)

The Duomo in Firenze! Gigantic and gorgeous.

The Colosseum!

The Trevi Fountain. Or, as we American 90s kids know it…the Lizzie Mcguire Movie fountain…2 coins to fall in love!!

The gelato place where Audrey Hepburn went in “Roman Holiday” :)And…the Pantheon. Absolutely stunning.

Until next time! :)

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