I did my first Fitness Blender HIIT workout on Friday and I thought I was going to die. I legitimately thought my heart was going to stop (which is completely irrational) and it was a huge eye opener for how out of shape I really am. It doesn’t make a difference to me from an appearance perspective since I’ve always been on the smaller size – sometimes too small – exercise or not but lately I’ve had a really serious need to get in better shape from a strength and endurance perspective.
Needless to say, the acts of sitting, bending, going upstairs and going to the bathroom have been torturous. I didn’t even know I was using the butt muscles that I was using during the workout. ALSO… did you know that you use butt muscles to put pants on? You do. It sucks.
I also kind of love that feeling, though. The feeling that I really did something and that my body is repairing itself and making itself just a little bit stronger, even if just incrementally.
I totally carbed up with homemade pizza that night and let my body rest and do it’s thing all weekend because the body takes time to repair itself after a workout- ESPECIALLY if you haven’t in a really really long time- and pushing myself to do more before the pain had subsided would only result in more pain, a slower recovery time and in the long term it would hurt any progress I’m looking to make.
So yeah. I rested, walked, danced to Michael Buble while recipe testing (SO MANY FAILS) and just all around had a chill weekend.
All of that has nothing to do with this easy chana saag except for the fact that it’s kind of ideal for workout recovery. It has plenty of healthy fats, greeeeeeeeeens, carbs, proteins and deliciousness. I mean, it isn’t what I had all weekend (see above: pizza. Also, a lot of coconut oil popcorn which is just dreamy) but it IS what I had multiple times last week. It’s something I tend to make in the warmer months I think just because I want all the green things when the weather is nice and the green things with beans tend to not take very long to cook. This is a very good thing when all you want to do is get outside and soak up that glorious sunshine.
It comes together in like 20 minutes and then you’re all set for super easy and quick meals. PERSONALLY I don’t like eating curry immediately when it’s done mostly because I usually only make curries that take 20 minutes to make... but because the longer the flavors have to hangout, the better it tastes. It’s like with chili or banana bread. Give it time and it just gets better.
What I do is make it, pop it in the fridge, leave it for a day and then gently warm it back up (I also hate hot curry. It tastes better cold or slightly warm). I also make the rice in advance and I eat it cold with said curry. If I’ve warmed the curry up, it will warm the rice through once it’s topped but if I don’t… well… I just love cold rice.
You do you, though. Eat it however you want. Can I recommend using white jasmine rice, though? Jasmine rice is seriously where it’s at. Rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear then toast the rice briefly in coconut oil, add the water and salt and maybe at the end a squeeze of lime juice? It’s perfection.
Also, maybe double the recipe, make it on a Sunday afternoon or evening and have it in the fridge ready to go for easy meals throughout the week. I think they call that #mealprep right? I’m not always awesome at things like that but sometimes… sometimes I can manage it. I’m trying. We’ll see.
OKAY I have more curry things to make and photograph and then devour before I have another go at HIIT. Wish me luck and have a beautiful day!
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 tsp yellow curry powder* see note
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ¼-1/2 tsp ground cayenne - optional
- 3 small/medium tomatoes, diced
- 165g fresh baby spinach
- 1 13.5oz can of full fat coconut milk** see note
- ½-1 C water, depending on how thick/thin you want the sauce
- 1 540ml can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- salt and pepper, to taste
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 1-2 tsp honey or coconut sugar
- cooked jasmine rice, to serve
- In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add the red onion, a generous pinch of salt and reduce heat to medium/high. Cook, stirring often until translucent. Add garlic, ginger and the spices and continue to cook wile stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring every so often until the tomatoes start to break down, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the spinach and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes then add the coconut milk and ½ cup of water. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until spinach has completely wilted, about 1-2 minutes more.
- Blend the spinach mixture in a blender or with a hand mixer (you may need to do this in batches with a blender. Be careful and allow some steam to escape while blending). Once smooth, return to the skillet, add the chickpeas, lemon juice, etxtra salt and pepper to taste and honey or coconut sugar. Add extra water if you prefer the sauce to be thinner. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Serve with jasmine rice and some yogurt on top.
I usually don't eat this until the next day when the flavors have had time to mingle more. You can eat it right away but it definitely gets better with time.
I actually used 1 cup of coconut cream and then extra water to make it 1½ cups. It was the same price for the same sized cans of coconut milk or coconut cream and I'm a stickler for getting the most out of my money. I ended up using the rest of the coconut cream for another curry recipe I have coming this week or next!