Saturday, January 12, 2019

Tofu, Broccoli and Sweet Potato Yellow Curry

My sister and I decided that we would embark on one month of clean eating this month. No sugar, no alcohol, minimally processed, no dairy, no white flour, no white rice and no bread or pasta. To be clear, this is NOT a New Year's resolution as I personally find those to be silly fodder and a great way to set people up for failure. What motivated us was not the start of a new year, but a desire to improve our energy levels and reduce the environmental stress on our bodies.

My sister will be the first to admit she is lazy when it comes to her diet and cooking. She would rather not eat at all than to be committed to the kitchen. This is very interesting to me as she always cooked for her kids growing up. Thankfully I am more than willing to take on the kitchen in all its glory. It has been a very long time since I have been motivated and excited to be in the kitchen, so this challenge has been good for my spirit as well as my body. I'll stop waxing philosophic and get to what you came here for...the food.

I love curry. I love making it myself even more. This gives me the freedom to add the veggies I love the most and leave out all the stuff that I usually pull out (think bamboo shoots). I scoured the internet for the perfect recipe and found elements from different recipes that sounded good, but just not quite what I was looking for in a curry. I'm not afraid of healthy fats. If you are, this might not be the recipe for you. It is full of colorful veggies and lots of flavor. This recipe is not as saucy as a lot of curries I've experienced in my culinary travels. This was by design as I wanted a version that could hold up on its own with or without rice. I went for no rice myself.  Feel free to sub your favorite veggies, but I recommend leaving the sweet potatoes as they add a beautiful creaminess to the texture.

Tofu, Broccoli and Sweet Potato Yellow Curry

4 Servings

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
3 tablespoons coconut oil, separated (more if needed)
12 oz package of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1-2 tablespoons non-GMO corn starch or arrowroot powder
1 medium yellow or brown onion, diced
5 cloves minced garlic separated
3 tablespoons hot yellow curry powder (use milder if you aren't a fan of heat)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 - 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
pinch cayenne pepper
1 can coconut milk (you can use light if you are fat conscious)
1/2 cup rich vegetable broth
2 heads broccoli, cut into bit sized florets
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro, chopped (optional)
Sriracha or sambal olek (chili sauce) to taste

Preheat oven to 350. On a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet toss diced sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Bake until softened but not mushy (check at about 15 minutes cook longer if needed). When they are done, remove from oven and set aside.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, pat the cubed tofu dry. Toss in corn starch to lightly coat. In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Saute the tofu cubes until golden brown (turning half way through to brown evenly). You may have to do this in two  batches and add more oil depending on the size of your pan. Gently transfer tofu to a paper towel lined plate. 

In the same skillet melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Add onions and saute until they are softened and slightly translucent. Add 1/2 of the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add dry spices and saute until fragrant (approximately 30 seconds). Pour in coconut milk and vegetable broth. Reduce heat to a low simmer. 

In another large skillet, saute the broccoli and peppers until they are al dente and bright in color, about 7 minutes. Add remaining garlic and saute for about 1 more minute being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from heat. 

Add the tofu and the sweet potatoes to the onion/coconut milk mixture and heat through, about 3 minutes. Stir liquid mixture into the broccoli/pepper mixture and stir until combined. Cook slightly longer until all ingredients are heated (maybe another 3 minutes). Stir in cilantro if using. Ladle into 4 bowls on its own or over brown basmati rice. Season to taste with Sriracha (optional).

I hope you enjoy my foray into the world of curry. If you try the recipe, please leave a comment to let me know how it came out and how you liked it. Thanks for reading.