Its getting to that time of year again where everyone is coughing and sneezing and all you want to do is snuggle up and eat delicious comfort food…but who says it has to be unhealthy?
As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I love a one pot meal and this curry is very easy to make and you can put whatever you want in to bulk it out such as chickpeas, broad beans, peppers and frozen peas.
The main ingredient, Fennel, is a funny little thing… I have never been a fan of aniseed or liquorish but when you gently cook it, the flavour changes completely and it’s so tasty, you just have to try it!
Fennel is full of Vitamin C which is great for boosting your immune system, especially if you are fighting off a cold! It’s also required for your body to produce the protein collagen, which is essential for cell growth and regeneration, keeping your bones and teeth strong and ensuring that your wounds will heal and blood will clot. It’s also said to help reduce the risk of bowel and colon cancers due to it’s high fiber content that helps to remove any nasty toxins that could remain in your colon.
The other superfood in this dish is spinach! If you aren’t a huge fan then this curry is a good way of increasing your intake of vitamin K, and B vitamins such as folic acid without the strong flavour. Folic acid can’t be stored within the body so it must be consumed through every day diet and is especially important for pregnant women as it is required to develop a healthy baby and keep blood sugar levels stable.It helps keep your brain active and alert and the dark green colour means it contains a higher level of chlorophyll that’s anti-inflammatory and promotes good eyesight. Spinach can be used as a base for salads or lightly wilted into a warm dish just before serving as over cooking will reduce the amount of nutrients you absorb. However, I wouldn’t worry about that in this dish, as you are likely to eat a lot more spinach this way than you would in a salad!
Serves 2 main meals (with two lunch sized portions for left overs the next day!)
- 2 Leeks finely sliced
- 2 Onions finely sliced
- 2 Fennel bulbs, feathery top removed and thinly sliced length ways
- 1 courgette sliced into discs and then halved
- 1 Pack of spinach – (If you don’t have fresh spinach in or don’t buy it very often, frozen spinach is just as good and is usually compacted into little blocks, so use 4-5)
- 1 Tin of coconut milk
- 1 Vegetable stock cube
- 1 Can black-eyed beans drained (you could substitute any sort of legumes you have in such as butter beans/chickpeas)
- Half a bunch of fresh coriander
- 2 Limes
- Over a medium heat, gently sauté the leek, fennel, courgette and onion in a little olive oil until soft
- Add the coconut milk, black eyed beans and chopped coriander and season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Crumble in the stock cube
- Leave to simmer for 10 minutes – If using frozen spinach add the blocks in with the coconut milk but if you are using fresh, add once it’s simmered.
- Squeeze in the juice of 2 limes and serve with brown rice or quinoa
If you wanted to make this even more substantial, double up on fennel, coconut milk and vegetables. Quorn chicken pieces complement this dish really well too or you could try tofu if you want to keep it vegan 😉