Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cami's Cauliflower, Chicken and Chickpea Curry Stew

I'm that girl who can't decide on her outfit the night before.  Nor can I really commit to just one outfit a day.  I'm constantly changing my clothes.  It's true.  Just ask my college roommates. 

Just as I can't be committed to a clothes shedule, I have a really difficult time following my meal plan.  Or my grocery list.  I always buy things that aren't on my grocery list. Always. It's horrible. I don't think I could stick to my grocery list to save my life.

Sometimes you just don't feel like cooking/eating/cleaning up whatever you have planned.  And you never know when inspiration is going to strike.  Some of our best dinners have come from straying from the meal plan. 

Like tonight.  A random head of cauliflower became the inspiration for this deliousious Indian style meal. 

The Ingredients
1 head cauliflower, cut into forets
1 onion, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cumin
1 lb chicken breasts
1 bay leaf
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 can stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
Unsweetened coconut flakes for garnish (optional)

At Ten O'Clock
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the cauliflower and onion in a roasting pan (I just used a baking sheet).  Sprinkle with the garlic and coat with the olive oil.  Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

In large saucepan, bring to boil the coconut milk, broth, curry powder, cayenne pepper and cumin.  Once at a boil, add the roast cauliflower and onion.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Puree the soup in a blender until it has reached the desired consistency.  Return it to the pan. 

Meanwhile, boil the chicken in water with the bay leaf.  Cut into bite sized pieces.  Add to the pureed soup.  Add the garbanzo beans and tomatoes.  Let cool and refigerate until ready to use.  You could also keep it warm in a crockpot, or simmer it one the stove if dinner time its within an hour or so. 

Before Serving
Reheat on the stove top.  Garnish with coconut.  We ate ours over quinoa, but would be great with rice or served with bread. 

Family Approval
I was actually surprised because everyone liked it.  I loved it.  It was exactly what I wanted. 

My husband thought it was delicious and that the spices were really good, but he said he wasn't so sure about the texture of the pureed cauliflower.  He never is - he loves cauliflower, but he's the type who doesn't love "cauliflower mashed potatoes."

I, on the other hand, was actually craving mashed up cauliflower, so this soup hit the spot.  I think that if you didn't want it pureed, the cauliflower would be really good just mashed up a bit.  Or, if you want it creamier, a cup of cream would do the trick. 

My three year old liked all of it but the garbanzo beans.  And my little guy LOVED it.  He couldn't get enough. 

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