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Curry Time

By Cheryl Forberg, RD

As a chef and dietitian, I am always asked about healthy cooking tips, especially as they relate to weight loss. With the holidays behind us, there are a lot of people trying to make amends for their culinary indulgences in December, and, quite frankly, for the whole year of 2020. Who couldn’t stress eat after what we’ve all been through the past twelve months?! Whether you choose to count calories, points or carb grams, I like to remind my clients that the quality of your calories is more important than the quantity. If you choose high-quality calories, you will not be eating fast/fried/processed food with high sugar and salt, and low fiber.

Focusing on high quality calories means you will be choosing minimally processed foods, with loads of fresh vegetables, a moderate amount of fruit, lean protein and good fats. The combination of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber these foods contain will naturally provide satiety while boosting your immune system and helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

The recipe that comes to mind as I write this, is a scrumptious vegan dish adapted from my first cookbook, “Stop the Clock! Cooking.” It’s loaded with vegetables, good fats and antioxidants and bursting with flavor; It also freezes well, so I usually make a double batch.

Vegan Edamame Curry
This thick and robust stew is hearty enough for a main course. You can add extra broth for thinner soup. It's loaded with both protein and fiber. Feel free to swap out peanut butter for almond or cashew butter. Serve over rice or quinoa if desired.

Yield: 2 quarts
Serves: 8

Ingredients for Vegan Edamame Curry

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 medium green (or red or yellow) bell pepper, finely chopped
½ cup chopped carrot
½ cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon Melissa’s Chopped Garlic
2 tablespoons Melissa’s Chopped Ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable broth
12-ounce sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 package Melissa’s Cooked and Shelled Edamame
3 tablespoons creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter (or almond or cashew butter)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ pound baby spinach leaves or other fresh greens, torn into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger and curry powder and sauté until fragrant; do not brown garlic.

Add garlic, ginger and curry powder and sauté until fragrant; do not brown garlic. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and cook, uncovered, until tomato juices are slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.

Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add sweet potatoes.

Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add sweet potatoes. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in peanut butter until combined. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in edamame, spinach and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
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