Sweet Potato Curry

by Carolina Jantac, MS, RD, LD
Yum

Every year, the month of October kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month with World Vegetarian Day happening on October 1st and ends with World Vegan Day on November 1st. Even though technically this celebration was a while back, many people heard about it for the first time in 2015 and are still trying to understand all the information and new facts that the vegetarian campaigns brought to light. We are all tuned in to what the proposed Dietary Guidelines of 2015 set by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) for all Americans (and now the confirmed 2016 Dietary Guidelines). These apply to all of us, even if we are not vegan or vegetarian. And the message is loud and clear: Eat More Vegetables! Regardless of your age, social economical status, race, dietary restrictions or whatever factors we wish to name and consider, , we should all be eating more plants. These include plant-based protein, fats and fuel (carbohydrates). Let’s get to our Sweet Potato Curry recipe.

Often, the barrier to increasing intake of vegetables is the lack of creativity when bringing them to the table. Let’s be honest, there is just so much steamed broccoli and cauliflower one can eat each week. Therefore, most household cooks plan meals around their main dish, which is, in the vast majority of families, a meat such as chicken, beef or pork. But what if for a change, we could change that mentality —even if just once weekly— to focus on something else other the main dish? Well, that is what the Meatless Monday campaign has been doing, and it has been able to catch the attention of thousands of people since its inception. Inspired by decreasing our intake of animal products, I created this recipe that will entice even more traditional families to give it a try!

It is all about flavor, easy preparation, and delivering nourishment to your body. There is a slight misconception of some people that when eating a meatless meal you may still be hungry, or feel the need for a snack shortly after the meal. But that is simply incorrect! Plant- based protein and fats are just as satiating, and in some cases, even more so than meat- based meals since they tend to be accompanied by higher levels of fiber which aid in the feeling of fullness after eating a meal.

To make this Sweet Potato Curry recipe you will take advantage of a spiralizer, which is a fun way to change the way you look at vegetables, especially root vegetables. By slicing them thinly creating noodles, they will cook much more quickly r. This can facilitate preparing dinner at the end of the day when you don’t have a few extra hours to wait for the oven to preheat and bake. Sweet potatoes can be cooked along with carrots and squash in minutes on the stove top with some added liquid.. This recipe calls for light coconut milk, which you may not be familiar with, but it is a wonderful creamy way to add thickness to sauces without using cream (an animal-derived product). This type of coconut milk is usually sold in cans or cartons; they are made for cooking and not to be confused with the coconut milk now found in your dairy section which is used as a milk alternative. The curry powder adds a wonderful aroma and flavor to the dish, but if you are not a curry fan, you may leave it out completely and the results will still delicious ! The almond butter in the sauce brings this recipe together very nicely adding, not only flavor and texture, but a tad extra vitamins, minerals and healthy fats! Have fun thinking of other vegetables, you can add or substitute in this curry recipe and create your own versions at home!

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