Healthy Dinner: Creamy Butternut Squash Curry

November 7, 2016
Some of my friends and family members talk about a bowl of pasta like it's a drug--a food the mere thought of making on a chilly fall evening could send them on a carb spree that would make Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond the proudest mama out there. I can't say I understand the pasta thing, but I understand the insatiable, bottomless pit feeling of having before you the meal that just makes you feel so...happy in the belly but really more in the soul. For me, that food is curry, which I only discovered a few years ago, and I feel cheated for having placed before me countless bowls of pasta as a girl in the attempt to conjure that magic food-love sensation. The combination of spices, creaminess, and vegetables hits the spot as does--maybe even more so--the entire process of making it. It was a truly ungodly hour for making curry when I set out to prep this recipe: I was going to be out the entire day, and I knew that I wouldn't have time to make it *right* if I rushed when I got home that evening; it was also likely that I'd be too hungry to take on the endeavor and opt for baby carrots and hummus instead. (Yes, that's one Sad Poor-girl Dinner.) Did I want to be chopping onions and garlic before I even had breakfast and a cup of tea? Not really. But the food-love kept me going, and when I got home to a big pot full of this delicious curry I was so glad I made the effort. That's what good food can do for us--it not only nourishes the body, but it nourishes our spirits. Whether you cook for yourself or for others, it's an action that speaks so much louder than words or even the most thoughtful gift. And as we enter the season of giving, I hope you'll find your own version of food-love to cherish and share: and if you're looking for an idea, give this recipe try--I promise you won't be disappointed!
Healthy Dinner: Creamy Butternut Squash Curry

Healthy Dinner: Creamy Butternut Squash Curry

Recipe Type: Detox Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 8 servings
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons, divided cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 small broccoli crown
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach
  • 2 cups adzuki beans, cooked
  • For garnish, fresh parsley
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1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven set over medium heat, sauté the onion in the coconut oil until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
2. Add the garlic and spices, and cook until the garlic starts to get fragrant (2 minutes). Make sure the spices don't burn.
3. Add the tomato paste, stir, and lower heat. Slowly add the coconut milk and raise heat. Bring the liquid to a simmer.
4. While the liquid is simmering, cut your squash into cubes (I don't peel mine, but you can if you want) and add to the pot. Then add broccoli, cut into small florets/pieces (I include the stem). Stir to coat the vegetables in the curry liquid, and cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until they're soft.
5. Add the spinach and beans, stir, and cover for another 10 minutes or until the spinach is just wilted.
6. Remove the lid from the pot and let cool slightly before serving. Top with fresh parsley, extra cumin, and/or a dash of mineral salt as preferred.

Also by Jennifer: Vegan Thai Avocado Noodle Bowl

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Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla

Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.


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