Nearly a month home from Nepal and I can’t get the craving for those robust Nepalese spices out of my mind! I keep thinking about bowls of curried vegetables over fragrant rice or steamed vegetable momos with zesty tomato chutney. And let’s not forget that spicy Sadheko! Man, the food was great in Nepal even when we were over 12 thousand feet without heat and electricity.
Since it’ll be a few years before I return though, I decided to see what I could come up with here at home to soothe my cravings. Lucky for me I had a head of Romanesco around that I needed to cook up and it was the perfect inspiration for a delicious side dish that allowed me to indulge in my current taste preferences while feeding my body a wonderful blend of vegetables and spices that are not only delicious but also health promoting.
It has been well documented that including turmeric in your diet can have cancer fighting and anti-inflammatory benefits. Curry, a popular spice in Southeast Asian cuisines, contains turmeric. And, as I mentioned in last week’s video on Freaky Food, Romanesco belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, the most potent cancer-fighting vegetables you can include in your diet. It is also very beautiful, with its fractal buds, making it appear like a hosting site for dozens of tiny Christmas trees. And since Christmas is around the corner, I thought it appropriate to share this recipe with you. Perhaps it will find it’s way onto your holiday menu… Or on your New Year’s Resolution list of recipes to include for a healthy New Year!
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!
Roasted Curried Romanesco with Cilantro Chutney!
- 1 head romanesco, leaves and core removed
- 5-teaspoons mild curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- ½-3/4 cup olive oil… depending on size of Romanesco. I used ¾ cup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove core and leaves of romanesco and place in a baking sheet, pixilated buds facing up.
- Combine spices and salt in olive oil and blend well
- Pour mixture evenly over romanesco until it’s covered in spicy oil. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour until golden and cooked through. Depending on texture preference you may want to maintain crispiness or you may want to bake it until soft. The more it maintains texture, the more nutritious it is.
** Chutneys don’t typically include oil but I used it here so that I could store it for longer in order to use with other dishes. If you think you’ll be using your chutney within a couple of days you can leave out the oil.
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves (cleaned and de-stemmed)
- 1” piece of peeled ginger, minced
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced (quantity depends on preference. I like mine garlicky)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 green chilies, deseeded, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of water
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Plate a nice chunk of warm, spiced romanesco and add a dollop of chutney. Serve as an excellent side dish for plain grilled meats or on its own as a hearty appetizer or light main dish.
Leftover Idea: Sauté some garlic and onions in olive oil, add vegetable or chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the leftover roasted romanesco and heat until vegetables are warm. In batches, puree the romanesco with some broth in a blender and add back to the pot. For a chunkier soup, use pulse setting on blender and pulse until desired consistency. If you have half a head of romanesco, use only about 2 cups of broth. You want the end result to be somewhat textured, chunky, and loaded with flavor. Top with a dollop of cilantro chutney. ENJOY!
Vegan Cuts: A Review
I was recently introduced to Vegan Cuts, a great monthly delivery service of vegetarian, often gluten-free snacks and products. What a treat! Not only did I get to taste the most delicious raw chocolate ever, but I also learned that there’s a wonderful millet/rice noodle that cooks up in just minutes, making it perfect for a quick soup.
If you are looking for snack ideas or new innovative vegetarian options to include in your diet, then check out Vegan Cuts. Sign up for their monthly delivery and you’ll get 7 to 10 snack or full size products automatically delivered to you with free shipping in the States… you can also cancel at any time.