I feel my summer break slowly beginning.
It’s been over a week since the last of my meetings ended and ‘vacation’ began. The first week was a whirlwind of ‘to-dos’ – all those things I have been putting off during the school year. It feels great to get so much done, but I can’t keep up the pace. My body has been slowing down the last few days, calling me to rest, to nap, to veg out. With the 90 degree weather this week, I have given in and enjoyed some well deserved relaxation.
On the rare occasions I do lay around all day, I feel guilty. I think of all the things I could have done, the chores, the errands, the progress I could have made towards whatever goal-of-the-moment. But relaxing is incredibly important to living a productive life! You need that time to let your brain relax, to be creative, to explore, or just do sometimes mindless. It doesn’t matter what it is you do, given it’s not destructive. Gardening, reading, a great TV show , time at the gym, time with friends or a delicious home cooked meal can all be lovely relaxing tasks. Today I did a short workout, binged on House of Cards, finally finishing the most recent season (which was SO GOOD), started my new book The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)(read it with me!), and cooked up this wonderful meal for my husband and I to enjoy with a nice bottle of cab sauv. A wonderfully relaxing day for which I should feel no shame.
It’s been awhile since I cooked Indian – and man did I miss it! I just LOVE the flavors and spices, and tikka masala does not disappoint. This quick dish is easy to make, and makes for perfect leftover lunches. Chickpeas provided good protein, the sweet potatoes substance and a nice complimentary flavor, and the rest all the veggie nutrients you need. Typically, this dish is made with chicken and basmanti rice, but the few switches I made made this a much healthier dish. The perfect end to a relaxing day, and the perfect meal to recharge me for what I’m sure will be a productive tomorrow.
Sweet Potato Tikka Masala & Cauliflower RicePrint Recipe
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 inch fresh ginger, diced
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch wedges
- 1-14oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1- 14oz canned tomato purée
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Cilantro for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large head of cauliflower
Begin the tikka masala sauce. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, diced onion, and a little salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the sweet potato and spices. Cook until fragrant. Add tomato puree and water. Bring to a simmer.
With cover askew, allow sauce to simmer for about 15, 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked to desired consistency.
Heat cream in microwave for 1 - 2 minutes until warm to the touch. Add cream and drained chickpeas to the sauce, stir to combine and remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste.
While the sauce is cooking, prepare the cauliflower rice. Use a food processor to "rice" the cauliflower by processing 4-6 florets at a time. Doing less in many batches allows for more even processing.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. When very hot, add olive oil and cauliflower rice. cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until rice begins to caramelize.
Serve with cilantro garnish.