My quest for filling, healthy and low-carb recipes has been very rewarding and, dare I say, FUN. You don’t often equate diet food with fun (or much flavour) but that needn’t be the case. Cutting out the big white carbs (bread, potatoes, rice, pasta) has led me to flirt with the Paleo diet but the flirtation has not graduated to full-blown love affair, mostly because making drastic diet changes affects the way the whole family eats and I am not quite prepared for that. So I guess I am Paleo-light or Paleo-when-it-damn-well-suits and I am happy with that!
The diet, and especially the exercise, are on a mini-break this week as my 4 year old somehow got the croup (!) which was freaking scary. I only know about the croup from repeatedly reading Anne of Green Gables but certainly never thought I would have any dealings with it outside the pages of a book… and boy was I wrong! Poor Sam has had a pretty horrid couple of days but I am (cautiously) declaring him on the mend. No more colds or illnesses this winter please we have had our fair share!
Originally I was going to serve this curry on cauliflower rice (another Paleo favourite) but as I was making it I realised I could just add the cauliflower to the casserole and make this a one-pot meal. The Le Creuset Shallow Casserole has had so much use lately I really can’t picture cooking without it. One day I would love a full set of Le Creuset pots it’s really quite amazing the difference they make to the simplest of dishes. A large casserole is especially useful when cooking meat as you can brown it all at once without fear of stewing it (which tends to happen if you crowd meat in a small pan).
The ground almonds and coconut milk make this curry so thick and satisfying you really won’t miss the rice but you could of course serve with with some basmati rice if you aren’t counting the calories. This tastes even better the day after you make it when the flavours have a chance to develop.
One-pot beef curry with spinach & cauliflower
3 onions, peeled and chopped
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced thinly
2 tsp mild curry powder
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp palm sugar
1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
900g | 2lbs braising steak, cubed
450g | 1lb cauliflower florets (about 1/2 medium cauliflower)
1x400g (14oz) can coconut milk
3 heaped tbsp ground almonds
3 large handfuls fresh baby spinach leaves
handful coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish
2 tbsp flaked coconut to garnish
salt and pepper to season
coconut oil to fry (or vegetable oil)
1. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a large casserole dish. Once the oil is hot add the onions, garlic, palm sugar and all the spices and stir together for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
2. Increase the heat and add the beef, stirring to brown all over. Season with a little salt and add the coconut milk. Bring to the boil and add the cauliflower florets (in fairly large chunks).
3. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so the food doesn’t stick (add a little hot water if it is sticking).
4. Add the ground almonds and stir them in. Add the spinach on top and cover the dish again. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Take off the heat and rest for 10 minutes.
5. Remove the cinnamon stick and check the seasoning. Serve with a scattering of fresh coriander leaves and flaked coconut.