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This is my favorite soup. Warm, hearty, full of spices and veggies, it can heat up a cold winter night and add substance to summer lunch. If you add a couple of pieces of toast to a bowl of this soup, you have a nice meal right there. Croutons work, too. You can also have a small bowl of this soup as an appetizer. When selecting vegetables for the soup, keep the red/green balance in mind. The vegetable mixture  has to be about 50% red and 50% green. In this recipe, I put things like broccoli and sweet potatoes. There is also nothing wrong with string beans and squash: be creative, but keep the red/green balance!

The yield for this recipe is a large soup pot, for about 6-7 people.


1/2 cup broccoli  florets

1/2 cup kale leaves, separated from the stalks

1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup cup celery, chopped

2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

1/4 cup parsley, diced

1/2 cup whole wheat penne pasta or uncooked buckwheat

1/2-3/4 can garbanzo beans

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt, paprika to taste

2 tbsp. curry powder

3 garlic cloves, pressed

7 cups of water

Put the carrots and the sweet potatoes in the water and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the vegetables, cover and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans, the pasta or the grain and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes (taste the pasta or the grain for readiness.) Add olive oil and the spices and simmer for a minute or two. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes before serving.



Remember the carrot ginger soup recipe I posted recently? What would you do with the pulp that’s leftover from juicing 3 cups of carrots? I made a casserole that turned out pretty good.





3 cups carrot pulp (or grated carrots)

1 medium onion

1/2 cup olive oil

4 small zucchinis, sliced

1 cup of grated cheese ( I used the almond cheese variety)

2 eggs or chia gel substitute

a few drops of tabasco

1 tsp curry

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sautee the onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil. add the carrots to the onion and some more olive oil. Saute, mixing periodically, for about five minutes. Add the parsley and the spices and sautee for another minute or two. On a separate pan, sautee the zucchinis in some more olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add the zucchinis to the carrots and mix well. Mix in the cheese and the eggs. Oil the baking dish and (optionally) sprinkle some breadcrumbs on it. Put the casserole mixture in and bake for about 35-45 minutes.

I served this casserole with quinoa and  a salad with avocado in it. Avocado’s moisture balanced this casserole’s flavors really well.

I love spicy food, so these cookies taste amazing to me. In the past I had made them with 4 tbsp. of tahini paste instead of eggs and with more whole wheat flour when I couldn’t find any quinoa flour in the pantry.  I have tried putting black pepper in them ( surprisingly, nice) and ground fresh ginger (really yummy.) I have also tried the cookies with 2 cups of brown sugar instead of agave an the results were awesome. Once I used rolled oats instead of 1/2 the flour amount and it worked as well.

The original recipe (which included sugar and butter and cardamom) came from a book called An Unthymely Death and Other Garden Mysteries: A Treasury of Stories, Herbal Lore, Recipes and Crafts by Susan Wittig Albert.


yield: about 60 cookies




  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 1.5 cups agave syrup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten (or use chia gel instead)
  • 2 cups  whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quinoa or almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Combine coconut oil with the agave ( you may need to warm the oil up first.) Add eggs or chia.

Sift dry ingredients together.  Slowly add  to the oil mixture. Stir in nuts.

Divide dough into four rolls and wrap each in waxed paper. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (may also be frozen).

Slice into ¼-inch slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake  until golden brown, for about 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool for 2 minutes on

baking sheet, then remove to a rack to cool thoroughly.

My oldest child is allergic to soy, so I usually make (and devour) these wraps before he has a chance to see them. You can use cooked chicken breast instead of tofu for a pretty good result, too. I also like to use an avocado here, which means the amount of mayonnaise needs to be cut.


1/2 block extra firm tofu, cut into rectangular strips

1/2 large carrot, grated

1 celery stalk, diced

1 tbsp red onion, diced

1 cup green leaf mix

¼ cup walnuts, crushed

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup mayonnaise (soy is ok, too)

1  tsp curry powder

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. agave syrup

3  spinach wraps

Salt  to taste

Sauce: Mix the mayo,  the curry powder, the agave,  the lemon juice and the salt together in a small bowl. Cool in the fridge for ten minutes. Spread the sauce on the wrap and place all other ingredients on top. Wrap and serve!

Open the pantry and see if you have any curry.

I have a list of “superfoods:”  foods that heal, help and renew our bodies. Turmeric is high up on that list.  Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that has been used for over 2500 years in India. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has been linked to multitude of health and beauty benefits.

Some of these include:

1. Curcumin has been proven to help weight loss and aid in fat metabolism. A diet high in turmeric can suppress the growth of fat tissue, according to a study, conducted by researchers from Tufts University and published in the Journal of Nutrition.

2. Curcumin is a natural liver detoxifier, which speeds up metabolism and contributes to a radiant complexion.

3. Curcumin is known for strong antioxidant  properties, making it a wonderful fighterof aging and disease in general.

4. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a great treatment for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s,  diabetes, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis. The newest arthritis drugs are COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex.) Turmeric is a natural COX-2 inhibitor. In a 1999 study, British researchers noted its “potent anti-inflammatory action.” Turmeric may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

5. Turmeric is one of the best known immunity-boosting herbs.  Newsweek article (Nov 2005) described the downfall of popular prescription anti-inflammatory Vioxx. The same article  mentioned turmeric as a substitute anti-inflammatory. Some Italian studies compared Vioxx and turmeric for anti-inflammatory power, and turmeric performed just as well, with no side-effects. I always take turmeric at a first sign of a cold to increase my immunity.

6. Curcumin stops the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, therefore helping to fight cancer. It has been documented by multiple studies, seeing different types of cancer. Additionally, curcumin has been proven to increase the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and to reduce its side effects. Curcumin has also been shownto prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

7. Because of it’s anti-inflamatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, turmeric may help in the treatment of acne, eczema, psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns. It also speeds up wound healing.

Here’s how you can include more turmeric in your diet and healthcare routine:


1. Curcumin can be taken in capsules as a supplement, at a dose of 250-500 mg three times daily. Combining curcumin with bromelain may enhance its absorption and activity.

2. Reach for turmeric instead of an ibuprofen: turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties have been well-documented.

3. Use more turmeric in cooking. It works great with virtually any vegetable or bean dish. It can be sprinkled on a soup. It can be put in a sauce. It can be mixed with tahini for a dip or a dressing. It’s delicious with avocado. It’s interesting, mixed with cream cheese. It works with meat dishes. The ideas are endless, really.

4. To treat infections and digestive problems 1/4 -1/2 tsp of turmeric can be added to an herbal tea or hot water. Drink this tea two-three times daily. You can also try brewed turmeric tea.  To make it, place ½ tsp. of powder in a small pot and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Leave the tea to infuse for five minutes, then strain. You can add honey, ginger or cardamom  for more flavor. 

5. Powdered turmeric mixed with water or aloe vera gel can be made into a paste and applied to insect bites, spots and pimples, fungal conditions or even wounds.  It is also good for acne, eczema and psoriasis, although care has to be taken with the amount of turmeric used, because it can color the skin yellow. Mixed with honey or aloe vera gel, turmeric has been used traditionally to treat sprains, strains and bruises, according to

6. A little turmeric powder, stirred into warm water makes an excellent mouthwash to treat inflamed gums and relieve toothache.

7. The Earthclinic offers this great recipe for a “joint pain” tea:

1/8 teaspoon turmeric, 3 cardamom pods (optional), 1/4 cup water. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes, then add : 1 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons almond oil (cold pressed). Bring just to the boiling point (but do not boil). Add honey or maple syrup to taste. Sip slowly as a hot tea.

8. Try this homemade mask I found on Crunchy Betty’s site. It’s supposed to be great for acne.

Crunchy Betty’s Turmeric Facial Mask

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp rice flour (you could also use garbanzo flour or finely-ground oats)
  • 3 Tbsp plain yogurt (you could substitute milk, cream, or sour cream)

Mix everything together until smooth and then slather it on a clean face. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off, gently scrubbing as you go.

9. You can try Pratima’s Turmeric cream. I haven’t tried it, but I love Pratima’s other products.

image anankkm

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