Saturday, May 17, 2014

Making use of leftovers - curry recipe!

One of the important things when eating a healthier diet is cooking meals from scratch. Restaurant meals are expensive and fast foods are generally high in fat, salt and kilo joules. The best way to know exactly what you are eating is to make it yourself. But how best to make this economical? One tip is to make the most of leftovers! 

A decent sized freezer and a range of containers are a godsend when you're busy. Pack away leftovers in single meal sized containers, label and date them clearly and stack them away. If you're busy, out late or don't feel like cooking it's great to be able to have easy quick reheatable meals, cheaper and better for you than any ready made packet meal!

With some imagination and planning you can really cut back on waste. Two nights ago we cooked a spectacular roast pork, but it was a large piece and we had half left over. We had been meaning to have it for lunch but hadn't, and I certainly wasn't going to throw it away! This sounds like a job for CURRY!!

I put the rice on first as the rice cooker does a great job but Is pretty slow. When it comes to rice, check the GI of the rice you are using. Basmati or doongarra rice are good options, as are some brands of low GI brown rice. I add turmeric and cardamom to the water for colour and flavour. Now, back to the curry! 

Start with diced onions, ginger, garlic, chilli, chopped coriander stalks and some spices. I use ground coriander, cumin, garam marsala, cardamom, paprika and dried chilli flakes. Add a slop of olive oil and start cooking the onions until translucent and making a paste of the spices. At this point you need to take a big sniff...mmmmmmm ;)

Then add your chopped leftover meat - I used the pork, but this would work well with rotisserie chicken, beef or lamb, even leftover sausages. Stir until browned.  Or if you don't eat meat, skip this step and move on to the sauce and veggies!

I then add a ready made sauce to simplify the process (if I have time I make the whole lot from scratch... And I'll share that recipe later LOL) and my sauce of choice is usually something by Taylor's or Patak's.  Read your labels, choose something with as few artificial ingredients as possible, check the fat sugar and salt content and once you find one that works for you, keep a jar in the pantry for curry emergencies!

Add the sauce, some tinned or fresh tomatoes, a handful of frozen peas or small tin of canned peas, a small can of chick peas. Add whatever veggies you have kicking around in the fridge - green beans, steamed sweet potato, carrots, spinach, cauliflower - you name it, the more the merrier! If the sauce is a bit thick add some coconut milk or yoghurt to thin it out a bit and simmer until the rice is done. 

Once your rice is ready you can serve as is, or to make it a bit more like a kashmiri pilau I added pepitas, fennel seeds and sultanas to the rice. If rice is too much of a carbohydrate load for you (I usually avoid it) then consider having your curry on a big bowl of spinach. Top with yoghurt, flaked almonds, chopped coriander and enjoy! Delicious!

The whole meal is quick, tasty and a great way to avoid throwing away perfectly good food. Enjoy!!

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

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