As we trudge through the mud and rain into February I thought I would offer you a bright and nourishing winter warmer in the shape of this delicious and mild roast tomato and coconut curry. The lovely colourful peppers and tomatoes are carotene rich vegetables. Beta carotene stimulates immune response by enhancing the function of our white blood cells. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body which helps defend our mucosal surfaces and their secretions, so very important when we think of eye health, runny noses and sore throats. Tomatoes are also rich in a phytochemical called lycopene, which has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, protect against prostate and breast cancer and stimulate the immune system. Adding oil from the olive oil and coconut oil will improve absorption of lycopene and also help your body convert beta carotene into vitamin A.
The curry contains more immune supporting foods including garlic, a powerful infection fighter, containing the pungent but potent compound allicin which is antimicrobial, making it so affective against nasty bugs. Chopping or crushing garlic stimulates the production of allicin. Onions are known as “immune boosting” due to their ability to stimulate our macrophages and lymphocytes, white blood cells that mop up invaders in our bodies. They are also an expectorant, meaning that they making the mucous in your nose and chest less sticky, helping you expel it from your body. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and the oils in the curry will help you to absorb the active compounds from this wonder spice.
Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach and Tomato Coconut Curry
This mild curry is a delicious winter warmer. Makes 5 portions and freezes well.
- 2 red peppers
- 1 orange pepper
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 400ml coconut milk
- 230g chickpeas
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 handfuls spinach
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ½ inch Turmeric root (grated) or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- Chopped coriander (to sprinkle on top once cooked)
- Chop the peppers roughly and roast in the oven with a little olive oil for about 30 minutes at 180C.
- Add the coconut oil to a large saucepan and once melted, add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft and then add the turmeric and stir for about 1 minute.
- In a blender, mix the cooked peppers, onion and garlic, tin of coconut milk and smoked paprika until a sauce consistency and then transfer back into your saucepan.
- Add the chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, and a little salt and pepper to the saucepan, stir to mix through and cook on a low simmer for about 15 minutes
- Add the halved tomatoes and spinach, salt and pepper to taste and stir. Cook on a low simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Serve with brown basmati rice with a sprinkling of chopped coriander on top.
If you are having this with brown basmati rice, put this on to cook at step 4 as it takes 25mins to cook.