Monday, April 17, 2017

Butternut Squash Curry

This delicious butternut curry has been a favourite at work potluck lunches all winter, so I had to share the way I like to make it before the rainy days of spring are over.  It's a simple, but fragrant, spicy creation that warms you up on gloomy days and gives your body good energy.  🌶

I usually eat a bowl or two of this curry like a chili without the rice and I noticed that my stomach and my body feels light, satiated and good.  What more could you want from your lunch?  I hope you get the chance to make this recipe and share it with your friends. 😋

This recipe makes four servings with some leftovers.

  • 1 small to medium sized Butternut Squash;  cut into 1/2 inch dice 
  • 2 Tbsp. Oil
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp. Hot Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp. Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground Pepper

  • 2 stalks Celery; finely sliced
  • 2 inch nub of Ginger; grated or finely minced
  • 1 Green Jalapeño Pepper; de-seeded and minced
  • 1 bunch of fresh Cilantro; stems finely minced and leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1 large can of crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 small cans of Black Beans
  • 1 small can of Kidney Beans
  • 3 Kaffir Lime Leaves

  • 1 can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 bunch of fresh Spinach; chopped
  • Salt to season
  • 2 cups of rice (optional)

    1. The curry dish was usually enjoyed with the girls at work and therefore required pre-roasting the butternut squash and then cooking the curry in a large crockpot.  When you're looking to make this curry, start by preheating the oven to 375° F.  Peal the hard skin of the butternut with a vegetable peeler (or a sharp knife if you're skilled and brave) and then cut the butternut open.  Remove the seeds by hulling the butternut insides with a tablespoon and then cut the butternut into 1 inch dice. 
    2. Next create the spice rub by combining the ground cumin, ground coriander, hot pepper flakes, curry powder, ancho chilli powder, salt and ground pepper.  Add this mixture, the butternut squash pieces and the oil into a large mixing bowl and combine until the butternut is evenly coated with the spices.  Spread the butternut pieces onto a large baking tray and roast them for 40 minutes.
    3. In the meantime, cut the celery, the chili, chop the cilantro stems, grate the ginger and add them with 1/2 a cup of water to the crockpot on high.  After the vegetables are softened, add two additional teaspoons of curry powder and 3 whole Kaffir lime leaves.  Stir the mixture and then add the crushed tomatoes, the beans, 1/2 cup of water and the roasted butternut squash.  
    4. Cover the pot and cook on high heat for 1 hour.  Select the low heat setting if you don't mind to cook it for 4 hours.  One thing to remember when using a slow cooker is not opening the lid any more than you have to.  Every time you open the lid it extends the cooking time.  I know, if you are like me, you would want to look inside, give it a stir and a try, but trust me, this type of cooking works best if you leave it alone.
    5. After the cooking time has passed, stir in the coconut milk, brown sugar, and spinach and cook for another 15 minutes.  Finally, adjust the seasoning with salt and fresh squeezed lemon juice until you are happy with the flavour.
    6. Ladle into bowls or over a bed of rice and garnish with a generous amount of cilantro leaves.

    Sunday, April 9, 2017

    My Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2017

    This is capsule number 7 for me!  I'm still happy with the concept and I'm also still learning from it.  I'm learning how little I need, I learning which colors, fabrics and styles I like and I'm learning to dress for comfort and as a form of self-expression.  Each spring I’m excited to grab some lighter pieces from my clothing box and wear them.  I’m so over wearing a million layers just to stay warm and I know this will stop soon, but we're not there yet.  Where I live the temperature in Spring can swing between 30 and 70 degrees and it is also the time of year when it rains the most, so it's difficult to know how to dress.  I might get excited by how sunny it is outside and when I step into the icy breeze without a jacket I instantly regret my choices.  Some days start in the mid 30s and by lunchtime the temperatures climbed into the 60s.  When I take a train to work I'm dressed for an artic excursion and on my way home my scarf, hat and coat are no longer in service (usually stuffed into a cotton tote).  How is Spring where you live?

    Here is my selection of Spring 2017:
    (As usual, I will mark all new items with a * and I will show the brand name of ethical made vegan items.)

    1 - white/blue striped t-shirt
    2 - blush pink sleeveless blouse

    3 - white long sleeve button down
    4 - white and blue peplum button down
    5 - buffalo check flannel peplum
    6 - black turtleneck sweater 
    7 - olive green v-neck sweater
    8 - navy blue sweater
    9 - cream knit sweater
    10 - grey cardigan
    11 - navy blue swing cardigan

    DRESSES (2)
    12 - blue patterned wrap dress
    13 - black and white sleeveless flare dress* (new to me from a used clothing swap)

    14 - fleece sweater* PATAGONIA
    15 - black peacoat

    BOTTOMS (3)
    16 - light blue jeans
    17 - indigo jeans PATAGONIA
    18 - white jeans* (new to me from a used clothing swap)

    SHOES (4)
    22 - black lace up boots NICORA SHOES
    23 - black lace up heeled boots* NICORA SHOES
    24 - white tennis shoes
    25 - black hiking sandals

    26 - grey camera/work bag
    27 - black wallet VELO CITY BAGS
    28 - black adjustable belt
    29 - sunglasses
    30 - black beanie
    31 - black scarf
    32 - everyday jewelry: wedding ring/band, watch*, pandora bracelet and 1 pair of stud earrings*
    33 - ??

    What is in your capsule this season?  I’d love to hear about your choices for spring if you care to share.  For more information on the concept of capsule dressing, I recommend visiting Courtney Carver's website (linked here). 

    Thanks for stopping by!
       ♡ Nina