I have another confession to make; April kicked my butt in terms of healthy eating – I completely fell off the wagon. I think it was the Easter Feaster season full of ham, mashed potatoes and mini eggs, coupled with terrible weather, which gave me a million reasons for not going outside and cooking better meals.
Now it’s May and I’m happy to report that the fridge is once again filled with more clean food choices. I have been attending classes at the University of Alberta over the past couple of weeks, and had been finding it hard to eat good food on the road without spending a ton of money, so I’ve begun making dishes that aren’t too high-maintenance, too stinky and that travel well. I immediately know what you’re thinking “curry has a totally strong smell.” Just calm down and pack it properly (i.e. air tight container) and enjoy this lovely meal you’ve made for yourself.
Before you start cooking, make sure that you have read all of the cooking instructions through, as there is a bit of timing required. The methods, however, are quite simple and as always, very adaptable to whatever food or diet issues you may be dealing with.
Curry Rice Bowl
Ingredients: 3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
2 tbsp coconut oil, divided
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp agave syrup (maple syrup or honey will also work)
1 small onion, finely diced
Half head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup black beans (from a tin, rinsed)
2-3 cups baby spinach or kale salad mix
Limes for serving
Sriracha sauce or chili flakes
Chopped mango, apples, broccoli, bell peppers, sunflower seeds, mixed nuts, raisins, granola, jalapeno pepper, sprouts, extra protein such as chicken, shrimp, salmon or marinated tofu … anything you like.
Cook the rice according to package instructions – 1 cup of dry rice yielded me 3 cups of cooked rice. Regular brown rice takes longer to cook, so making it ahead of time is a good idea because it should be cooled off before you mix it with the other ingredients. Otherwise it may be sticky.
In a large frying pan, melt 1 tbsp of the coconut oil over medium heat. Cook the ginger and garlic until fragrant then add the curry, garam masala and syrup and continue to cook until the spices come alive, no more than a couple of minutes. Lower the heat and add the diced onion and cook until translucent, add a tiny bit of water if the mixture seems to be drying out. This onion/spice concoction is the flavour base for the rice; add it to the cooked/cooled rice.
Do not rinse out the frying pan. Melt the other tbsp of the coconut oil in the same pan and add the cauliflower. Over medium high heat, cook the cauliflower, allowing it to pick up any of the residual flavour base goodness that remains in the pan. After about 10 minutes, the cauliflower may start to brown a bit – add a bit of water to create some steam. Add the beans and cook through for another couple of minutes. Add the cauliflower and beans to the rice mixture. This forms the main part of your lunch dinner; you can eat it cold or warmed up – pack it up separately from your add-ins.
To serve, top a plate of spinach or baby kale with a portion of the rice mixture and then garnish with fresh lime, cilantro and sriracha if you like it spicy. From there, customize your curry rice bowl with prepped fruit, veggies, nuts and any other proteins you’re craving.