To celebrate World Meat Free Day (and #MeatfreeMonday in general), I’ve created a creamy coconut peanut vegetable curry recipe. We haven’t quite made it to summer yet in the UK and are still stuck with grey weather, but if you’re blessed with warmer weather just swap the rice for a salad for a more summery meal. I picked up lots of unusual recipe tips from Lunch Bxd and Florette Salad last week so will be publishing some tips for making your salads main-meal worthy to inspire you.
Whilst I’m not a vegan, I appreciate the ethical and sustainability pressures caused by the meat, fish and dairy industries and try to minimise my impact. Choosing an organic, grass fed protein powder, swapping dairy products for plant-based milks or water, and eating free range chicken or sustainable fish rather than beef all help, but adding some vegan choices into your meal plan is one the best ways to make a difference.
If just one in seven people in the UK choose a plant-based meal instead of meat today:
- we’d save enough CO₂ to drive around the world 2,438 times,
- we’d save 89,000 tennis courts’ worth of land,
- save the equivalent of 5,000 Olympic swimming pools of water, and
- we might even find a new favourite food, and diversify our micronutrient intakes at the same time.
Taking the meat off your plate can be a little daunting – removing the chicken from your roast dinner could leave a pretty unexciting dish of potatoes and steamed veg! – so a richly flavoured curry is an ideal place to start.
This curry gently spiced so is suitable for all the family (and friends with delicate palates!), and the fish and soy sauces add a taste of Thailand. Each portion contains five portions of vegetables along with 20g protein without using any protein powders or supplements – head over to my blog post on plant-based protein for more information on your protein needs and how to meet them with a vegan diet.
Coconut and peanut curry recipe
Ingredients (serves four):
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 800g)
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 400g cauliflower florets, frozen or fresh
- 400g spinach, frozen or fresh
- 100g black beans (raw weight), soaked and boiled / one 240g tin cooked black beans
- 150ml coconut milk (tinned or make your own by melting 30g coconut cream in 120ml boiling water)
- 150ml plant-based dairy alternative milk (Koko and unsweetened almond milk both work well)
- 80g roasted peanuts, or unsweetened peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 red chilli
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- Add the squash, onions and cauliflower to a casserole dish and toss in apple cider vinegar. Roast at 180°c for 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, steam the spinach and set aside.
- If you are using whole peanuts, blend the nuts with both coconut milks, the chilli, soy sauce, fish sauce and spices to make the curry sauce (if you are using peanut butter, there is no need for this step – you can add all the items to the casserole dish separately).
- Once the vegetables have cooked through, remove from the oven and place on the hob over a medium heat. Add the spinach, beans and curry sauce or sauce ingredients.
- Stir well and simmer for 15 minutes to allow the vegetables to absorb all the flavours, then serve with rice, cauliflower rice or a fresh salad.
Nutritional information (per portion):
442 calories / 19g fat / 53g carbohydrates (16g fibre, 11g sugar) / 20g protein.