Sunday, July 31, 2011

Coconut Curry with Jicama and Chick Peas

I'm still feeling energetic and loosing weight from my Spring Whole Foods Detox. One of the easiest tricks on my 30 Day Detox was a bean and rice challenge. We started by soaking dry beans overnight. Any dry bean, just not a mixture of beans. Use one variety of bean at a time. I picked garbanzos. There were a ton in the pot. Make sure you add enough water. This photo has one less inch of water than needed. I should have used a larger dutch oven to boil the beans. Chick Peas are great in curry and this is the best way to know they are fresh and gas free. Yes, I just said gas free.

Bring your water, beans and a few bay leaves to a boil. The bay leaves help remove the gas from the beans.

When the beans just start to boil a white foam begins to form. Let the beans come to a roiling boil.

Skim this foam off and discard in the sink or the gas will stay in the beans and that is so not a good plan. Do not add salt. Simply boil the beans for 20-40 minutes or until soft. You do not want an undercooked bean.

Skim off any remaining foam in the first moments of boiling. Let the beans cool and measure out 2-3 cups in storage ziplock bags. Lay flat in the freezer and pull out the beans when you need. Chick peas are great for hummos too.  

When living in DC and working at Restaurant Nora, one of my favorite splurge lunch meals was the Thai Chicken Curry at Teaism. It's one of those crave-able meals that I dream about on occasion. It's made with coconut milk, green beans, carrots, chicken and jicama.  I had a few recipes that called for jicama and picked one up at the grocery store for the first time ever. Jicama is a root vegetable that has the texture of an apple or pear without the sweetness. To prepare it, cut off both ends, like you would to peel an onion. Take a pairing knife and peel the skin as seen above until all the rough skin is removed.

Cut the round edges so the jicama is square in shape. Slice into big pieces and julienne in long strips.

Coconut Curry with Jicama and Chick Peas

vegan, gluten free

(2) tablespoons of coconut oil (olive oil is a good substitute) 
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
(2) tablespoons of curry powder

Add all of the above in a dutch oven beginning with the coconut oil, onion/pepper and powder last. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until onions are soft and you can smell the curry.

(4) cups pre-cooked, non-frozen chick peas (I'm sure you could use frozen too but didn't want to risk it being to watery.)
1/2 cup coconut flakes (non-sweetened)
(1) can coconut milk, shake it

Cook for 10-20 minutes on medium heat making sure you don't burn the coconut milk mixture.

Add the jicama
(1) tablespoon of Celtic Sea Salt

Serve over brown rice.

You can add peas, green beans, carrots or any other vegetable your heart desires. I have even added a can of chopped tomatoes. If there isn't enough liquid feel free to add a little bit of vegetable broth. I added another tablespoon of curry because I love curry. You could also use a dash of dried wasabi powder if you want a spicier kick. It killed E. that we couldn't have this dish for dinner that night but it is the perfect lunch meal with a balance of fat, protein and complex carbohydrates that Kasia drilled into us during our Detox. So I packed up our lunches and let the flavors marry overnight. My husband emailed me Monday afternoon saying, "Your curry...was amazing. Better than Teaism. Way better." Makes my heart happy.

So what do you do with the remaining jicama? Use it in a salad. I made a simple balsamic vinaigrette, had a perfectly ripe avocado and tossed these items all together for a perfect summer salad. Add fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime to finish. This is the perfect Kasia dinner, free of carbs if you are looking to loose weight.

Thank you jicama! You are a funky little root vegetable that evokes  such a strong food memory every time I speak your name. Teasim, thank you too for being such a restful, soulful place in the middle of Dupont Circle. It was great going back after nine years, ordering the same menu item that tasted exactly the same. You rock.


Jackie said...

Nelle, this looks SOO good!! I am now hungry for curry! Might have to make some this week.... :-)

Bethany said...

Jicama DOES rock. It's so sweet and crisp. I ate it all the time in Mexico...raw and with a sprinkle of chili powder and a squeeze of lime juice. Yum! I may have to go find one of these today. xoxo

Ella said...

That looks so good! I've never heard about Jicama but I've read about it now (thanks internet!) and I hope I can find it here in the future. I'm gonna ask for it in the food shop.

Evie said...

just stumbled onto your blog...and this looks DELICIOUS! I'm a vegetarian so I can't wait to give this healthy recipe a try...