Meatless Monday: Cauliflower With Sweet Potatoes
Living in New York City, it's easy to get lazy about cooking at home. Most people I know live on takeout (when they're not dining out). It's so tempting though; I have easy access to amazing food to suit any craving. I can get standard American fare, Mexican and Italian, of course, but more exotic options like Ethiopian or Peruvian are just as easy to come by. Takeout isn't always indulgent or expensive either; there are plenty of healthy places (smoothie/juice bars, vegan cafes, raw food restaurants, or restaurants that serve variations on oatmeal or yogurt) within walking distance from my office and apartment, and most are really affordable or have plenty of cheaper options.
So why cook at home at all? My kitchen is ridiculously tiny, it's a pain to carry loads of grocery bags home and cleanup isn't exactly a breeze (I have a dishwasher but it only opens halfway because the fridge is in the way). But the answer is simple: I cook at home because I like to. After a long day at work, cooking a meal actually helps me decompress. And there's no better feeling than making a meal that tastes better than something I would have picked up at a favorite restaurant.
That said, the one cuisine I do (quite often) pick up is Indian food. It's an old habit and misconception that Indian food is difficult to make at home. But it's not and whenever I remind myself of that and take the time to make a curry or dal or even a quick mango lassi, I'm really glad I did -- plus I get to enjoy the leftovers for a few days.
Bal Arneson's Cauliflower With Sweet Potatoes is one such better-than-take-out recipe -- it's ready in under 40 minutes and calls for spices you probably have at home (and if you don't, they're easy to find). I've been known to eat a plate of vegetables as a meal but, to make this more filling, add a fried egg to your plate along with it.
Place the oil in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, and salt and toast for 15 seconds and then add the tomatoes and sweet potatoes, and cook until they are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stir well to combine. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and cook until the cauliflower is crisp- tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Per serving: Calories: 155; Total Fat: 8 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 4 grams; Total carbohydrates: 20 grams; Sugar: 6 grams; Fiber: 5.5 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 552 milligrams