Anti-inflammatories never tasted so good.
My interest in food began when I started cycling seriously and feeding a serious cyclist. No longer was I eating simply because I was hungry. Food became a source of fuel, a component as vital to performance as intervals. Now that I am nursing a concussion, roasties and a few other post-crash aches and pains, I am looking at food differently again and using it to fuel and assist my recovery. Some research spurred my culinary creativity and I came up with a “Recovery Curry.”
Anti-inflammatories never tasted so good: The recipe uses tumeric, garlic, ginger, pineapple, sweet potato, and spinach, all of which have anti-inflammatory properties, the focal point of this recipe.
“Take that!” post-concussion symptoms like nausea and low energy: Pineapple aids in digestion and the dish is vegan so there are no big intolerances such as gluten or dairy. Coconut oil is a great source of energy.
Healthy and Yummy: The dish is full of protein from the chickpeas, cashews, and quinoa and you could easily add chicken and/or additional legumes. You get a healthy dose of dark leafy greens from the spinach which comes with anti-oxidants, vitamins A & K, manganese, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium and hardly any calories. Plus, it tastes good! The curry is satisfying but fresh thanks to the pineapple.
Recovery Curry: Vegan Sweet Potato and Pineapple Curry with Cashew and Quinoa
Ingredients for 4 servings.
1 tbs turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 cup cashews (preferably raw)
1/2 cup water
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbs coconut oil (liquid)
fresh chilli to taste (I used 1/2 tsp of finely diced green chilli)
salt to taste (omit if you are using salted cashews)
1 small handful of fresh coriander
2 cups chopped sweet potato
1 tbs coconut oil
1 + 1/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple
3/4 cup water
1 can chickpeas
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
3/4 cup quinoa
Fresh coriander and cashews to garnish
Make the curry paste first:
Put a pan on medium heat and add the turmeric and chilli powder to the dry pan to toast. Toast until they begin to release their aroma, then remove from heat.
Use a stick blender or food processor to blend together the cashews and water until they are smooth and creamy.
Add the toasted spices, 1 tbs of coconut oil and the rest of the curry paste ingredients to the cashew mixture. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Plain cashew mixture.
Moving on to the main dish:
Fill a pot with cold water, ready for the potatoes. Wash the sweet potato (peel if you prefer) and chop into bite size chunks and immediately place into the cold water to prevent oxidization. Place on medium-high heat to bring potatoes to the boil.
Prepare and cook quinoa according to the package instructions.
While the quinoa and potatoes are cooking, chop the pineapple into bite size chunks, drain and rinse the chickpeas, and prepare the fresh spinach by removing the stems and tearing any large pieces. Don’t forget to stir the quinoa occasionally.
When the sweet potatoes are just under cooked, approximately 10-15 minutes from when you place them on the heat, remove from heat and drain. Your knife should be able to penetrate the flesh but there should be some resistance in the middle.
Put the drained sweet potatoes in a large pan with 1 tbs coconut oil on medium-high heat.
Add the curry paste and 3/4 cup of water. Stir to combine.
Check to see if the quinoa is done. If the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and cover it to stay warm.
Add 1 cup of the fresh pineapple and the chickpeas to the curry mix and stir to combine. If the curry is too thick to your liking, add an additional 1/4 cup of water.
While the curry simmers for about 5 minutes, finely dice the rest of the fresh pineapple and prepare the rest of your garnishes.
Turn the heat off. and add the fresh spinach, stirring to combine. Season to taste.
In a bowl or on a plate, divide the quinoa evenly between each serving.
On top of the quinoa, evenly dived the curry between each serving.
Top each dish with the finely diced fresh pineapple, some cashews and fresh coriander.
For more protein, add 1 can of drained and rinsed brown lentils to the cooked quinoa.
For more protein, fry skinless chicken breast chunks before adding the sweet potato in step 5. You will probably need additional coconut oil.
Serve on brown rice instead of quinoa.