Balanced Living

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Kale Curry

Posted by Arja on February 20 in Main Dishes, Meatless

Cold nights call for warm food.  Certain foods and spices are considered warming, and consuming them helps to warm up our bodies.  In cold weather food cooked using these flavours can help beat the chill after a frigid dog walk, or warm us up after an afternoon of outdoor fun with friends and family.

If you’re trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, soups and stews are a wonderful way to pump up your veggie intake.  You can usually substitute ingredients for what you have on hand and not spoil the end result.  For instance, most leafy greens are interchangeable, though spinach breaks down more quickly than heartier greens like kale and chard.  In this recipe, you could easily use any greens you have on hand, and if you don’t have butternut squash, you could try using sweet potatoes instead.  The chickpeas could be swapped out for another white variety of bean.

Butternut squash, which plays a leading role in this recipe, is a nutritionally rich vegetable.  Its orange flesh contains high amounts of carotenes, which have been shown to have a protective effect against many cancers.  Because winter squash, like butternut, has such a long storage life, it’s also easy to purchase local varieties, even in the dead of winter.

I’ve been on a bit of an Indian flavour kick lately, and this recipe, inspired by one I saw featured on The Kitchn is no exception.  Don’t be afraid of the fat content coconut milk used – it’s actually a medium chain fat that’s quite good for you.  If you buy the low-fat variety most of this healthy fat has been removed.  I find this tastes best using a good quality curry powder, otherwise the flavour just doesn’t shine through enough. 

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Kale Curry
Serves 6-8

1 medium butternut squash (approx. 2 ½ lbs)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed well (or two cups cooked)
1 bunch kale (lacinato works best, but any will do)
2-3 tbsp curry powder (depends on how much flavour and heat you want)
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1” knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 14oz can coconut milk (full fat please!)
1 cup water
1 tsp salt (optional)

Step 1 – Peel and dice squash into small, bite-sized pieces.

Step 2 – Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pot (like a dutch oven) over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and translucent.  Add the curry powder and cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes to release the fragrance.

Step 3 – Add the squash, coconut milk, water and salt.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for about 45 minutes, until the squash is tender and starting to break down. 

Step 4 – Add the kale and cooked/canned chickpeas.  Cook until kale softens and is tender.

Serve over rice or quinoa, and freeze leftovers for another meal or lunch!

arja pennanen lytle c.n.p. n.n.c.p certified nutritional practitioner

Arja is a Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for balanced living. She loves to help people sleep better, think better, feel sexier, and just generally feel better by putting the focus on eating foods that make you feel good. Arja uses whole foods, lifestyle adjustments, herbs, and some supplements to help people feel their best and achieve their health and wellness goals.