Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roasted Curry Cauliflower with Quinoa & Cashews

This recipe for Roasted Curry Cauliflower with Quinoa & Cashews is part of a plan to wake myself up from a "bad habit" coma. Somewhere around September or October the health conscious part of me went into a deep dark sleep. When I woke up, I was standing in a poorly lit dressing room in Macy's, struggling to get a pair of new jeans over my wide ass. The trendy denims were a size I was convinced would be my new "fat" pants and yet they wouldn't even zip. As I sat down on the tiny bench and let the tears pour down my face (while cursing myself for being so shallow), I tried to put my proverbial positive spin on things.

1- This is a wake-up call (wish I could hit the snooze button, now.)

2- I should feel thankful. (I've got legs and arms...and eyes...and hair...and at least I HAVE an ass, right?)

3- I didn't need to spend money on new jeans anyway. I have a closet full of clothes that I'm not wearing (oh yeah, cause they don't fit anymore.)

4- I think designers are changing the size numbers on clothes these days (oh, but wouldn't they make them go the other way?)

5- Maybe this is just my best, and I should accept myself (except I'm also tired, not focused, and by the way, I'm crying in a friggin' department store dressing room. That is not a sign of a healthy body and healthy mind.)
I told the weepy mess of me (three of me, thanks to those stupid "see all of you" mirrors) that I had two choices. They're the same two choices I always have for everything. I can give-up, give-in and not give-a-crap or I can do something about it.

I've never believed in diets that cut out food groups, and I think our food industry is killing us with chemically enhanced, high sugared "low-fat, not real" foods. I believe in the science of burning more fuel than you take in, and balance in all things.

I love all foods. I love creating recipes, baking, cooking, and challenging myself to create specialty treats. I will not stop cooking and serving those things that make me happy (and some other folks around me, too.) I need balance, more conscious eating, and a return to my exercising/dancing/moving and energetic lifestyle.
One exciting way to get more greens into my day is by blending some of the top nutrient greens into a fruity smoothie for the morning. A local blogger friend, Erika, is working on her own plan for a healthier life and she posted about this recipe: The Green Smoothie.

Both my husband and I have been drinking these several times a week along with taking 4 mile walks, going to bed earlier (instead of 3am) and drinking more water.
Another way to add balance is by making sure I have good foods in the fridge to choose. I grew up thinking I didn't like Cauliflower (maybe you're the same) until I roasted it. The flavor mellows out, becomes naturally sweeter with a toasty base. When you add a little Curry, a few crunchy cashews, the ancient and perfect grain of Quinoa (Keen-Wha) and a tangy spritz of lemon juice you end up with a full flavored lunch/dinner/snack that keeps well when chilled.The next thing I make will probably be some kind of chocolate treat, or a cheesy casserole, but you can bet I'll be eating a regular portion and balance it with a heart pumping workout. I'm awake from the coma, and I'm going back into that dressing room in a few weeks and face those mirrors head-on.

Balance. It's always about balance, for me.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope your health is at its best and the mirror is always grinning back at you. :D

Recipe: Roasted Curry Cauliflower with Quinoa & Cashews

1 Medium Cauliflower (cut into bite-size florets)

2 Tbls. Olive Oil

1/2 cup unsalted Cashews

1 teaspoon Curry Powder

pinch of salt/pepper
1 cup Quinoa (I used Red Quinoa)

1 1/2 cup Vegetable Stock (or you could use water)

1/4 cup Scallions (chopped including some green)

1 small Lemon zest and juice

Preheat Oven 350F

1) Spread the Cauliflower florets onto a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and roast in oven for 15 minutes.

2) Add the cashews to the baking sheet and sprinkle the curry powder over all of it. Toss to coat with a spatula and return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes. Hold for later.

3) While the Cauliflower is cooking, add the vegetable stock to a sauce pan and pour in the Quinoa and a good pinch of salt. Heat on Med/High to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook until all the liquid has been used and the Quinoa has sprouted (about 20 minutes.)

4) Fluff the Quinoa with a fork, and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

5) Add the Quinoa and the Cauliflower with cashews together and toss to combine.

6) Add the chopped scallions, salt and pepper to taste. Then lightly toss in the lemon zest and squeeze the juice over the whole dish. Toss and serve or refrigerate for later. The flavors combine and are even better the next day.


Jen said...

ahahah!! were you writing this story about ME???!!!

I think we should keep each other accountable...i don't like dismissing entire food groups either - mostly because i'm lazy but also because I really don't like denying myself like that. having said that it's like you called it - having balance!!! knowing when enough is enough...

Much love, from someone who gets it...MUWAH!

Khali//Bandit and the Scene Stealers said...

I am so happy (and scared) to read this before Xmas and new years. I have been awake from my coma for the past few days as well but refusing to get out of bed. All I can think is my grandma's coming to town and so are her holiday classics. I think reading this now was hopefully just the thing I needed to tip the scales back into balance. It scares me so but I like what you said about your healthy mind and body. If all was well inside I wouldn't feel so sad or frustrated. Thank you so much for your honesty.

Steff @ The Kitchen Trials said...

Cathy: I think a lot of us have been right where you are now. I know I was there not too long ago. When I moved to Nebraska, I gained 100 pounds in about four years. Along with the weight gain, I lost so much sense of myself. It was horrible. I lost about half of the weight working with a trainer for about 18 months. I need to lose more, but feel so much stronger and happy...

Except, I'm struggling not to slide back into my "coma" after my move and after injuring my foot and having to be a lot more inactive than I need to be just to maintain my current weight.

So while I'm heartbroken for you and how you feel right now, I hope you know that I'll be here as your cheerleader, if you need me.

Especially if you'll return the favor and kick my keister every once in a while. =)

linda @spiceboxtravels said...

I am happy you are feeling inspired! And fab looking recipe. Everything in moderation, right? Good luck and happy holidays.

Anonymous said...

I think your food looks amazing! It's so fresh and healthy and complex. I love your writing, as well. You make me laugh and I feel so much whenever I read your blog. Keep up the amazing work! You're Cheese!

Erika Kerekes said...

I think this dish looks amazing too. And I agree with you about "never" and "always" - those words don't work for me when it comes to food. I'm just trying to stuff in as many good things as possible so that, with luck, I'll have less room (and appetite) for the not-so-good things.