16 Oct RECIPE OF THE MONTH – OCTOBER
VEGAN KALE AND PEA SAAG ALOO
This dish is packed full of phytonutrients, fibre, and bursting with flavour. It’s a take on the traditional Indian Saag aloo, using tofu instead of paneer, and kale instead of spinach. Saag Aloo isn’t a vegan dish as it’s usually made with ghee, but this one is 100% plant based because I’ve replaced it with coconut oil.
We should be aiming for around 30 different plants per week to help support a healthy microbiome, and this dish contains 15 plant-based foods. Remember this includes herbs, spices, teas, legumes (beans and pulses), not just fruits and vegetables. The key is diversity. So for example if you’re eating spinach all the time, try swapping it for another leafy green like kale or collard greens. Research has shown that individuals that consume 30 different plant based foods a week had more diverse microbes than those that were eating less than 10.
I always like to have a source of good quality protein in my meals. This dish contains tofu and peas which are two excellent sources. Many plant based protein sources have the added benefit of being high in fibre, which you don’t get in animal protein. Protein is an essential part of our nutrition, making up about 15-17% of the body’s weight and it is the main component of our muscles, skin, internal organs, especially the heart and brain, as well as our eyes, hair and nails.
White potatoes often get a bit of bad rep, and yes they do have a higher glycemic index than say sweet potatoes, but they also contain lots of beneficial nutrients. They provide even more health benefits when they’re cooked then cooled, and eaten the next day due to the resistant starch. Resistant starch is similar to fermentable fibre. It helps to feed the friendly bacteria in your digestive system and increase the production of short chain fatty acids, like butyrate which play a vital role in gastrointestinal health.
There have been studies that show that resistant starch can aid weight loss and improve heart health. It can also improve your blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
Other examples of resistant starch are:
- Grains like sorghum and barley
- Beans and legumes
- Green bananas
- Cooked and cooled sweet potatoes
Vegan | 1 hour | Easy | Serves 4
- 1kg of new potatoes
- 1 small bunch of fresh coriander
- 4 tbsp of desiccated coconut
- 2 limes
- 2 shallots
- 3 garlic cloves
- Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp of curry powder
- 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
- 1 red chili
- A bunch of kale
- 2 blocks of firm tofu (pressed)
- 3-4 tbsp coconut oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Mango chutney (optional)
Cut the new potatoes into small chunks, if they are on the bigger size. Boil in a saucepan for around 10 minutes until tender. Drain in a colander.
To make the raita – blitz the coriander (including stalks), coconut, yoghurt and zest and juice of one lime until you have a lovely textured green dip. Then leave in the fridge until ready to use.
Peel and chop the shallots. Then get a large saucepan and over a medium heat add a tbsp of coconut oil. Add the shallots and fry until soft and translucent, this usually takes around 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile crush the garlic, chop the ginger and finely chop the red chilli. Add to the pan and fry for another minute or so. Add the cumin seeds, and 1 tbsp of curry powder. Cook everything for around another 30 seconds and then tip in the drained potatoes.
Give it all a good mix to coat the potatoes in the spices. Next add the kale and the peas. Poor in the 200 ml of water and leave it to simmer, stirring occasionally leaving the kale to wilt.
Cut the tofu into smaller cubes, roughly around 2cm diameter. Tip into a bowl with some coconut oil and the remaining curry powder.
Get a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the spiced tofu along with some more coconut oil. Fry for around 4-5 minutes, turning regularly until crisp and golden.
Cut the remaining lime into four wedges. Season the kale and pea aloo with salt and pepper. Add to a bowl along with the spiced tofu, add a dollop of the raita and some mango chutney if you like. You can also eat this with a side of rice or naan.
If you want to learn more about ways to support your digestive system and have any health concerns, then do get in touch. You can book a free 15 minutes discovery call with me before you make any bookings.