The weather has been all over the place. Damp and nearly 60 degrees yesterday, chilly and chance of wintery mix today. After a pleasantly full day (taught a lot of yoga, worked on my new website [Stay-tuned…], picked up wedding bands/tied up some loose ends to get ready for the very tiny Las Vegas wedding we’ll be having on Friday, and volunteered at the soup kitchen of the New York City Rescue mission), I came home last night craving something light, semi-wintery, fresh, and fragrant.
Kabocha squash curry with sautéed kale and Moroccan inspired couscous. Sure, this meal isn’t loaded in protein… You could always serve it up with some lentils on the side. I wasn’t too concerned about protein last night, as I’d had a lot earlier in the day: scrambled eggs with baby spinach I made for brunch and the bit of meatloaf I ate at the rescue mission (their Chef Pedro makes some impressive dishes!).
About 40 minutes for prep and cooking
The Cost $$$
Dinner for 2 and leftover squash for lunch = $9.69
Kabocha Squash Curry
It wasn’t until this winter that I started cooking Kabocha squash, sometimes referred to Japanese Pumpkin. Actually, these Asian winter squashes look like fat, little green pumpkins. Rich in beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C, and potassium, Kabocha squash also has a hearty chestnut like essence.
What you need
- 1 small onion, diced or thinly sliced into semi-rounds ($0.30)
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced ($0.10)
- 1-inch piece organic ginger, minced ($0.25)
- 1 tsp Garam masala
- 2/3 tsp Turmeric
- Dash Nutmeg
- Generous dash Cinnamon
- 1 average sized kabocha squash (wash outside before cutting and removing rind, then cube) (1 organic squash = $3.30)
- 2 organic carrots, finely chopped (~$0.40)
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Prep onions, garlic, and ginger
Heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet or medium sized sauce pan/pot.
Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté, stirring from time to time, until fragrant and softened.
Add the turmeric and garam masala. Stir and sauté for about 1-2 minutes. Everything should be nice and fragrant!
Add the carrot and sauté for about 1-2 minutes
Add the cubed squash and toss ingredients together.
Then, pour in about 1½ cup of water, the nutmeg and cinnamon, and the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Add more water as needed and stir occasionally. It’ll take about 20-25 minutes for the squash to soften. Gently mash it with a spoon or old school potato masher.
Moroccan- Inspired Couscous
- 1 cup organic, whole wheat couscous ($1.00)
- Bay Leaf
- Butter or olive oil
- Vegetarian bouillon (I recently discovered Rapunzel vegan vegetable bouillon with sea salt and recommend it) or chicken or veggie stock
- Pepper (spices + oil = ~$0.40)
Bring about 1 ¾ cups water to a simmer and add in some ground cinnamon or part of a cinnamon stick, some freshly ground nutmeg, 1 clove, 1 bay leaf, some bouillon, pepper, and a little salt. Keep simmering to marry flavors until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup.
When you have about 1 cup, add a ¼ to ½ tablespoon of butter or olive oil.
Then, turn off the burner and add the couscous (1 cup couscous for 1 cup water). Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Large bunch organic lacinato kale, about 1.75 lbs ($3.49)
- ½ small onion ($0.15), sliced into thin semi-rounds)
- 1 garlic clove ($0.10), minced
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Super easy to make. Heat glug of olive oil in skillet. Sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add your kale, trimmed and cut into slightly smaller pieces, and toss with onions. Cover and continue to cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.