January 2, 2012

2012, Balance, and Shrimp Cauliflower Curry

Gosh. It’s been a week and a half since I’ve graced you with any tasty eats. I hope the scalloped potatoes were enough to keep you sustained through the holidays. I didn’t anticipate taking so much time away from here, but with the rush-rush-rush of the holidays and a busy work schedule, I was glad I did.

How was your holiday season, by the way? Merry, I hope, and full of warmth and family and friends, worthwhile indulgences and comforts. We spent the holidays here in town (as we usually do – we are lucky to have most of our family members here in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex), feasting for what seemed like days. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with so many loved ones. We rang in the New Year with family as well, enjoying a retro-yet-fun fondue party in our home. The perfect ending to the holiday was a trip to the Winspear Opera House to see Les Miserables on New Year’s Day. (If you are ever in Dallas, I highly recommend checking out the AT&T Performing Arts Center. I’m ecstatic that Dallas finally has such a gorgeous area for the Arts.) While this isn’t my first time seeing Les Miserables (heck, I practically have the thing memorized), I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, soaking up all that I could from this spectacular performance. It was gorgeous.

And now, I’m transitioning back to “normal” life. While I didn’t post a list of “resolutions” this time around, I did take a look at my 2010 goals. Actually, I was rather surprised - I have achieved nearly all of those. I haven’t posted my very own bread recipe yet, so I imagine I’ll still focus on that goal, but I have worked towards improving the design here at Tasty Eats At Home (more still to come!), and I posted a menudo recipe in 2010, and I attempted puff pastry/phyllo. As for the work/life/blog balance thing, I’m repackaging that into my 2012 focus.

Instead of a list of “resolutions”, I’ve opted for a singular word. A theme, if you will. Balance. I struggle with balance on a regular basis. I think many of us do, always trying to do too much, too fast, too often, and many times ignoring other areas that need our attention as well. Personally, I forget to give myself permission to be still. Most days, I’m up before 5AM, and I am busy-busy-busy, getting my workout in, packing breakfast and lunch to take to work, getting ready for the day, and I’m out the door at 6:30AM or so. I commute about an hour to/from work, and then I’m home, and busy-busy-busy making dinner, washing dishes, doing other chores, and gosh, before I know it, it’s bedtime, and the whole process repeats itself, and I feel I can’t find the time to contribute to the blog, to keeping the house clean, to doing special things with the kids, much less “relaxation” time! I have to remind myself that it’s okay to let things be from time to time, to remain still, to balance the crazy-busy with the calm-happy parts of my life. So, for 2012, balance is the theme.

It only makes sense that on a grander scale, The Balanced Platter launched yesterday!

This is an exceptional place you can visit for balanced, gluten-free eating. You might notice me around there, as I’ll be contributing posts from time to time. I’m extremely excited about this site and its future!

Balance also carries into my diet. While I’m not joining the millions of others in a New Year’s diet, I do want to achieve balance in my eating. I feel best when I am eating in a balanced manner. For me, that means many fresh vegetables, a healthy dose of protein, very little grains, and healthy starches such as sweet potatoes and pumpkin. And fats. I feel satisfied when I have lots of good fats. For me, coconut oil and coconut milk suit me well, and I love to incorporate them in a lot of recipes. In this curry, (which is somewhat a variation on gobi masala) I use both. The result is not nearly as creamy or indulgent as some other curries I’ve shared, but the coconut milk provides a lovely body to the sauce as it clings to the shrimp and cauliflower. It also gives the dish a dose of comfort without being overly heavy; the perfect balance of healthy and satisfying. You might find this dish in need of a bit of extra heat – when I make it again, I’ll likely add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (we like a bit of kick). However, even without the heat, this curry was delightful.

Shrimp Cauliflower Curry (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

3 T unrefined coconut oil, divided

2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used large shrimp)

1/2 t kosher salt

1 T black mustard seeds

1 medium onion, chopped

2 T red bell pepper

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 t grated fresh ginger

1 serrano chile, seeded and minced

2 t ground turmeric

1/2 t ground cumin

1/4 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t garam masala

pinch asafoetida (hing) (make sure it’s gluten-free; many contain wheat)

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

3/4 c coconut milk

1/2 c water

salt to taste

chopped cilantro

Heat skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat. Season shrimp with salt and lightly cook (in batches if needed), 1-2 minutes per side, until shrimp is pink but not cooked all the way through. Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add the mustard seeds and saute for about 30 seconds. Add onion and red pepper; saute 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlid, ginger, and serrano chile. Saute another minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, garam masala, and asafoetida and stir once. Add the cauliflower and stir into the seasonings to coat. Add the coconut milk and water and stir to coat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally. Add back the shrimp and season with additional salt to taste. Cook for another 2 minutes or until shrimp has cooked through.

Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with steamed basmati rice if desired.

8 Responses to “2012, Balance, and Shrimp Cauliflower Curry”

  1. Well said! I am bound and determined to do what it takes to find balance for myself, too ; )

  2. Balance is a goal that many strive to achieve over a lifetime. I still am trying to figure out how some people do it.

    This shrimp cauliflower curry looks like a terrific well balanced meal. I love the spices added.

  3. Yes, please put me into the balanced category, too! Glad to hear you had such a nice break. Not sure if you saw my holiday recap post, but we had your potatoes with our Christmas dinner–fantastic! :)

  4. Balance. That is my goal for this year too. Finding it will be the tricky part but I have high aspirations.

    This recipe sounds wonderful. I have been on this huge curry kick lately and I would completely devour this one!! ;)

  5. So glad you enjoyed the holiday season Alta!
    I really enjoy fats like coconut milk too. You use an amazing variety of spices in this recipe, seriously!

  6. It is so great that you reached so many of your goals last year, I hope you patted yourself on the back! Good luck with finding balance this year!

    I’m a huge curry lover, this sounds amazing!

  7. This is absolutely my kind of dish! I love shrimp and cauliflower, and anything spicy. Sounds very comforting :)

  8. Pingback: How to Use Coconut Milk: Recipes, Tips & Best Brands - Go Dairy Free

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