Pumpkin season is out. The New Year is in. But, this doesn’t mean we should stop eating pumpkin during the winter season.
Surprisingly, Seattle has been sunny and dry this New Year. The picture-perfect sunsets inspire this New Year energy. I’ve spent much time in nature the last few days. The most amazing aspect of living in a temperate climate is that nature blooms and blossoms year-round. The winter berries are fresh, and the leaves still foliate.
This particular bush caught my eye. The leaves transformed from a deep green to a dark purple. I can’t stress this enough, but nature is the purest artist on earth.
To contrast the deep hues, I wanted to create something to warm my soul. Spices are important to one’s health and whenever I think of spices, I think of my time in India. The air smelled like curry and the spices from the bins at the market dusted the ground as it blew with the wind.
No matter what direction the wind blows, I will always prioritize my health. Our health is everything and the New Year is the time when we “stress” upon doing something for our health. So, why not cook for good health and hearth?
Winter is the hearty season and during these cooler months, our bodies crave heavier and denser food. Nourishment is important, especially after the sugar-crazed holidays.
I decided to add kale to this recipe in celebration of the harvest of "grunkohl" in Northern Germany. During my time in Hannover, I had the opportunity to partake in a Grunkohlfahrt or green cabbage tour, which is a northern German tradition.
I myself am back on track this January. Part broke, part sugared-out, I’m ready to take charge of the crockpot this New Year to concoct budget-friendly and simple plant-based recipes for every person (and pocketbook) to enjoy!
Are you searching for something to resolute? Join me next Monday for the 12 Days of Resolutions.
Slow Cooker Vegan Pumpkin Kale Red Lentil Curry
Cook Time: 2-4 hours
¾ cup red lentils
2 cups water + 1 bouillon cube (or vegetable broth)
2 cans chickpeas, drained and washed
2 cups (1 can) of fresh or canned pumpkin puree
2 cups kale, washed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup onion, chopped
1 ¾ tsp curry powder
½ tsp cumin
1.5 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
pinch of paprika
¼ cup cilantro
Optional: ¼ cup (or more) coconut milk**
Place all ingredients -except the cilantro and coconut milk - into the crock pot and stir until combined. Set the crockpot on the four-hour setting. Since the bouillon cube takes a while to “melt,” stir the mixture within the first 30 minutes. Everything should be cooked between 2-4 hours.
I turned my crockpot off at the 2 hour mark. From here, stir in the cilantro and if you want a creamier texture, add the coconut milk.
Eat as is or serve over rice.
**Notes: I suggest adding the coconut milk at ¼ cup at a time. I found the curry tasted excellent without the coconut milk, but the milk adds a different flavor. It taste best after 24 hours.
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com