We’re already into our last month of winter but I’ve been warned that Melbourne doesn’t actually get warm until November. So that means more curries, soups and stews for me. Which isn’t a bad idea as I haven’t been well … Continue reading
I’m sure many of you who work full-time understand this already but after a busy day at work it’s difficult to find the motivation to cook a healthy meal.
Since starting my internship in Melbourne last week, I’ve realised the way to tackle this problem is to be organised. The more prepared I am at the start of the week, the easier it is to eat healthily during the week. As there are no excuses not to eat healthy when I have all the ingredients in the fridge!
I bought this curry paste from Coles in the Asian section. It’s a healthy yet convenient way to add instant flavour to your meal.
I understand traditional curries require hours of cooking however this is an easy recipe that requires limited cooking time and is full of flavour!
What is great about this curry is that you can use whatever vegetables you have – feel free to add some chicken if you want too!
This curry can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for two days – or great for lunch the next day!
Green chickpea vegetable curry
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 TBSP green curry paste
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1 TBSP ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 bunch shallots, washed and sliced
- 1x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch pak choy, washed and sliced
- 1 cup green beans, washed and sliced
- 1x 400g can coconut milk
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- In a large frypan over medium heat melt coconut oil.
- Add green curry paste, garlic, ginger and shallots and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
- Add chickpeas and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Add pak choy, green beans and coconut milk, then simmer for a further 5-7 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve with cooked quinoa. Enjoy!
How do you add flavour to your meals?
When entertaining guests I love choosing a theme for the food as it forces me to try new dishes. Last Saturday night I decided on a Moroccan food theme as the flavours are earthy and warming which were perfect for a rainy winter night.
Traditionally, tagines are cooked in the oven however I was more than satisfied with cooking it on the stove. I still kept the term tagine as it refers to the blend of sweet and savoury flavours, which this dish has.
It’s important to brown the lamb in batches before slow cooking as it lends the dish a great depth of flavour.
Slow cooking lamb is well worth the time as it tenderises the meat resulting in it falling apart and melting in your mouth.
To me, pumpkin and parsnip signify winter as they are earthy vegetables and are the perfect addition to this tagine.
The tagine will keep in the fridge for one day in a sealed container.
Lamb, pumpkin and date tagine
- 1 kg lamb, diced
- 1 TBSP macadamia oil
- 1 brown onion, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 1 TBSP fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 cups beef stock
- 500g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
- 3 parsnips, peeled and diced
- 1 cup dates, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, washed and roughly chopped
- Serve with turmeric quinoa
- Heat oil in large casserole dish and cook lamb in batches, until brown. Transfer to a plate.
- Add onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until brown. Add garlic, cumin, ginger and paprika, cooking until fragrant.
- Stir in beef stock and add lamb to the pan. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add pumpkin, parsnip and dates, and cook for a further 1 hour.
- Sprinkle with coriander and serve with quinoa. Enjoy!
If you follow me on Instagram (@emmalaurenfood) or Facebook then you have probably already seen the spread I made for dinner.
Here is a snapshot of the main meal and all the recipes are on their way!
As nights are getting cooler on the Gold Coast, it provides the perfect reason for me to start making hearty meals such as curries. This curry requires very little cooking time so it makes for a great mid-week meal.
A little tip: the smaller you cut the pumpkin, the quicker it will cook. So if you’re time poor just cut them into 1cm cubes and dinner will be ready in no time!
I personally believe herbs and spices are the best way to add flavour, colour and aroma to your meal. This is especially important if you’re trying to eat clean as your meals will still be very tasty without adding fat, sugar and extra salt to them.
Chickpea pumpkin coriander curry
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 TBSP ginger, finely sliced
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 TBSP cumin
- 2 TBSP ground coriander
- 1 TBSP turmeric
- 500g pumpkin, diced
- 330mL coconut milk
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup spinach leaves, washed
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
- Sambal oelek and coconut yoghurt for serving
- In a large pan, place coconut oil, garlic, ginger and onion over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add cumin, ground coriander and turmeric and cook for a further 1 minute.
- Stir in pumpkin and coat in spices. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Add in coconut milk and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft.
- Add chickpeas, spinach leaves, fresh coriander and lime juice (this lifts the flavour of the curry). Stir until well combined.
- Once warmed through season with salt and pepper.
- Serve by topping it with sambal and coconut yoghurt. Enjoy!
Note: this can be served over cooked quinoa or brown rice.
What is your go-to mid-week meal?
This is one of my all-time favourite dishes. I like to call it my one-pot-wonder as that’s what it essentially is. Everything is cooked in the one pot meaning cleaning up is (usually) minimal. This dish has the perfect combination of flavours, especially if you enjoy indian food.
Cook the chicken separately to ensure it is cooked through and slightly brown. I prefer to buy organic, free range chicken as they are free from antibiotics, hormones and pesticides. I understand that it is more expensive to purchase organic proteins but I have the mentality that ‘if you’re willing to invest in expensive clothes and accessories to make you look good on the outside, you should be willing to invest in expensive proteins to make you feel good on the inside’.
Many of my recipes include quinoa as I find it so easy to cook with due to its versatile nature and I feel so good after eating it. There have definitely been days where I have had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Indian spiced chicken quinoa pilaf
Adapted from Taste
- I TBSP coconut oil
- 4 organic free range chicken breasts, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP ginger, finely grated
- 1 tsp sambal oelek, add more to make it spicier + extra for serving
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups mushrooms, finely sliced
- 2 cups green beans, finely chopped
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- Coconut yogurt to serve
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until brown all over. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add onion to pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add garlic, ginger, sambal oelek, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
- Add quinoa, stock and chicken, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
- Add mushrooms and beans, stir through until well combined. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Scatter peas over quinoa. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Add cashews and gently toss until just combined.
- Serve immediately with coconut yogurt, salt, pepper and sambal oelek, if desired.
Such a tasty and simple meal that is always a winner with my guests!
What is your favourite quinoa dish?