Typically when the weather starts to heat up here in Austin, I begin craving light, fresh meals like salads, smoothies and chilled soups. Yet with the Coronavirus craziness we’ve all been dealing with these days, I’m yearning for anything to bring some comfort to the mind, body and spirit.
And for me, cozy, warming meals always do the trick. They feel physically healing and nourishing while the spices and scents are soothing in themselves. Anyone with me on this?
Likewise, we’re all finding ourselves with more time on our hands in quarantine, so now’s the perfect opportunity to get creative in the kitchen! I’ve found cooking to be more therapeutic now than ever, and it’s a great way to pass the time.
First up on your cozy quarantine check list? This Chickpea Curry, of course! It only requires a few pantry-staple ingredients and is the perfect plant-based lunch or dinner to fuel you through those days working from home.
Chickpeas are one of my all-time favorite ingredients, as they’re incredibly versatile and nutrient-dense. They’re rich in plant-based protein, good for digestion and inexpensive, just to scratch the surface.
While the chickpeas and veggies like carrots and tomatoes make up the bulk of this recipe, the spices really make the meal. Curry powder and turmeric are the stars of the show, in my opinion, both in the flavor and health benefit departments.
Curry powder, which consists of turmeric, brings tons of warmth along with anti-inflammatory properties that fight cancer, can combat Alzheimer’s disease and promote a healthy gut. For more curry-packed recipes, check out my Lightened-Up Crockpot Chicken Curry, Curry Chicken Salad and Turmeric Spiced Nuts.
Ginger is another anti-inflammatory spice that adds tons of flavor and can even help reduce muscle soreness and joint pain. It protects against cancer, prevents infections, lowers cholesterol and promotes healthy digestion.
After allowing all of these ingredients to simmer into a warm, flavorful stew, I serve it alongside some cooked cauliflower rice and top with a generous amount of fresh cilantro. Feel free to use basmati rice or whatever type you have on hand. To really take your meal to the next level, maybe throw some naan on the side as well!
Regardless of the temperature outside, I think we can all agree that something comforting and soothing for the soul is much needed these days. And though we’re (hopefully) doing our best to stay home and social distance, that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our heath and wellbeing.
I hope that nutritious, easy to prepare recipes like this bring you some peace and joy .
- 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups carrots, sliced
- 1 can coconut milk (15 oz)
- 1 can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes (15 oz)
- 1 ½ tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- juice of one lime
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh cilantro to garnish
- cauliflower rice, basmati rice or naan to serve
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