This easy sweet potato kale and quinoa curry is a perfect weeknight meal when you need something healthy, comforting and delicious. You’ll never miss the meat or dairy in this creamy coconut curry.
How has your weekend been? Have you been baking up a storm? I hope so. I’ve been awake since 5:30 this morning which I’m less than pleased about BUT, I did have time to plan out everything I’m going to be making this week before even getting out of bed which I guess is a bonus. It also means my usual lazy Sunday isn’t going to be lazy at all. You guys, I have so many things to make, take pictures of and post about between now and Christmas that it’s almost ridiculous.
‘Tis the season, right?
One quick thing before we get in to this super easy and delicious sweet potato kale and quinoa curry… what recipes do you guys want to see this year for the holidays? I already have a ton of cookie recipes coming your way, some dairy free eggnog which I’m super excited about and some puddings/cakes, etc. BUT I want to know what you guys want! After all, I’m here because of you so your opinion most definitely counts. Let me know!
I hadn’t totally decided when I was going to be sharing this recipe with you guys but, I received an email from a reader I had back when I had a different blog (that I wasn’t happy with so deleted to start this one) who had spent weeks searching for this very recipe. It’s been one of my favorites for a couple of years and I had shared it on my old site (which had just the most atrocious pictures ever) and when I received the email requesting it to be posted again, I pushed a bunch of other recipes aside to make it for her. Man, I was so glad I did.
A good curry is one of the most comforting meals I can think of that doesn’t involve cheese. If you haven’t noticed, practically all of my ‘comfort food’ recipes on here are usually always loaded with cheese. And butter. Always butter. But sometimes our digestive systems need a break from all that butter and cheese but our souls still deeply crave comfort food- especially in the fall and winter. The solution for us has always been a good coconut vegetable curry. Emphasis on the vegetable.
Since 90% of the curry recipes I make involve full fat coconut milk, I don’t typically add meat. This is also one of those dishes that I know Mark will be completely happy and satisfied eating without any dairy or meat so I don’t have to hear ‘where’s the meat?’ when we’re eating. Often I’ll use chickpeas or kidney beans for extra protein and fiber and to stretch the dish even further but we had just spent 4 days eating chilli with rice for lunch and dinner and while I can never get enough, Mark has a bean limit. He probably also has a rice limit so while I’ll typically serve all of our curries with rice, I opted for quinoa for it’s different (and better) nutrient profile and it’s taste.
This is also one of the few ways that Mark and I actually enjoy kale. If you give it to us raw, we won’t touch it. Cooked in to a rich, saucy and flavorful curry? Give us aaaaallll the kale. Made in to chips? cooked on top of a pizza until it’s crispy? Covered in cheese and butter? Yes, yes, yes. But that’s where the love ends, I’m afraid.
In a lot of my recipes, I go with the ‘use what you have’ motto but for this, I can’t really say that. Over the years I’ve experimented with different vegetable combinations and I’m not going to lie… I’m always 100% disappointed I didn’t just stick with my original recipe. The only thing I don’t mind changing up is the kale for spinach. Those are pretty much always interchangeable.
The whole dish takes about 25 minutes to cook and should really only take you about 5-10 minutes to prep the ingredients so it’s kind of perfect for a weeknight meal when you need something fast, healthy and, on these fall and winter evening, comforting. Depending on how many people live in your house, you may want to double the recipe so you can have leftovers for a few days because lemme tell ya, it makes killer leftovers. For us, it lasts 3 days which is just the right amount of days before you get tired of having the same thing and it means basically no time in the kitchen at night and next to no dishes. We all want that this time of year, right?
Happy cooking and baking, friends!
- 1½ C uncooked quinoa
- 3 C water
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 medium/large onion, diced small
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- 2-4 TBSP red curry paste*
- 1 TBSP high quality curry powder
- ¼-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper - optional
- 1 medium/large sweet potato, peeled and diced (2-3 cups)
- 2-3 cups of cauliflower florets, cut small
- 2 large curly kale leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 13.5oz can full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp honey, agave or coconut sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch + 2 tsp water - optional
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fresh limes, to serve
- Bring the 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid. Add quinoa and salt, place lid on the pot, reduce the heat to low and cook until all of the water has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to stand for 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.
- Add the curry powder, cayenne (if using) and curry paste. Cook, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
- Add the cauliflower and sweet potato along with 1 cup of water and a few generous pinches of salt. Stir until combined, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add ¾ of the coconut milk, stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, or until you can just pierce the sweet potatoes.
- Add kale but do not stir. Cover with the lid and allow the kale to steam for 5 minutes longer or until the sweet potato is completely soft. Stir to combine the kale.
- Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the remaining coconut milk, sweetener of choice and season to taste.
- If the sauce is too runny, combine cornstarch and water in a bowl, stir until dissolved then add to the pot. Return the pot to the heat and cook until it thickens.
- Serve warm with quinoa and fresh lime wedges.
I add cayenne to mine after I have taken out what my mom is going to eat since she doesn't like it spicy- you can do the same for anyone who doesn't like it spicy!
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