Sweet & Spicy Curry

There is something so grounding and soul satisfying about eating a curry or any Indian dish for that matter . Maybe it’s the abundant use of earthy spices. Maybe it’s the time and care it takes to make Indian dishes. Maybe it’s the complexity of the flavour. Maybe it’s because the cuisine dates back over 8,000 years and marries British and Portuguese influences. But whatever the reason may be, Indian cuisine is absolutely delicious and nourishing! At least that’s how we feel about it in my house…

I was inspired to make this dish by looking at the ingredients I already had on hand. This is my new starting point when meal prepping for the week. I used to spend time drafting a menu, starting off with what I wanted to cook/bake first, then making my grocery list, detailing all the ingredients I needed to buy and lastly looking in my cupboards and fridge to see what I already had on hand.

Lately, I’ve decided to reverse the process as my cupboards are bursting at the seams with unused ingredients and my fridge is always way too full for my liking. So now, I search for inspiration in my own kitchen and go from there. I can’t tell you how much time and money I’ve saved by proceeding this way. And how much more fun the whole process has been…

I’ve made it into a challenge with myself: what can I come up with that is nourishing, easy to make and delicious. My son and husband are the critics to this challenge. Luckily for me, they are easy critics! Hahahaha

So I looked into my cupboard and found a can of full fat coconut milk (love that stuff!), a can of chickpea and a bag of couscous. Then I walked over to my spice rack and the indian curry powder caught my eye. I was on to something…

A quick look into my fridge and I grabbed sweet potatoes (not a surprising find there, I always have those on hand), fresh ginger, onions and fresh cilantro. Done. These ingredients were going to turn into a delectable sweet and spicy indian chickpea curry. And no need to go to the grocery store. Even better. And this could all be put together in no time. Gold.

The key ingredient in this dish are the sweet potatoes which bring  sweetness to balance out the spiciness of the curry and texture to balance out the creaminess of the coconut milk. This dish was a huge hit in my family as I’m sure it will be in yours.

Now before we move on to the curry recipe, I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the anchor concept I presented to you guys in my previous post (if you haven’t read it yet, you can read it here).

After publishing the post, a friend of mine called me to asked how she could define her own anchor. She’s already eating a plant based diet, but she wanted to define her anchor for something else that is going on in her life. She liked the concept and felt it could really help her with what she wanted to accomplish.

She knew relying on willpower wouldn’t be enough. She knew she needed something stronger to keep her grounded and focused. She knew she needed an anchor. She just didn’t know how to define it.

It got me thinking that maybe some of you feel the same way and you also need guidance onto how to define your own personal anchor.

So what is a personal anchor: it’s something that holds a special power because of it’s importance to you. Something that goes above and beyond the simple will or want to do something or achieve something. A personal anchor is powerful because it comes from you and is rooted in you.

So how do you define your personal anchor?

Here are the steps I’ve taken to identify my own personal anchors (you can have more then one anchor. ) Know that anchors can change over time and it’s ok to revisit them every once in a while. Know also that identifying them requires inner work that will demand some soul searching on your part so it’s best to follow these steps when you have some quiet time set aside and you can focus and be connected to yourself.

  1. Prepare your work place and have pen and paper on hand.
  2. Take a few minutes to breath deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  3. Close your eyes as you breath to really connect to yourself.
  4. Once you feel connected, open your eyes and start writing.
  5. Don’t over think this and just let your pen write
  6. Start by writing what you love about yourself. Write as much as you want. If you feel you have nothing to write, start small like you love your eyes, your nails, the colour of your hair, the way you smile… The point is for you to feel love for yourself.
  7. Then write what you value most in your life like your children, your dog/cat, your comfortable home, your friends
  8. Lastly, write down what you want to achieve.

Write as much as you want. Don’t stop yourself. Let your inner voice guide your writing.

Once you’re done. Set the pen down and close your eyes for a few minutes. Pat yourself on the back for going through with this exercise. When you’re ready to open your eyes, read through everything you wrote and combine your thoughts.

Here’s an example from my anchor work:

  • what I Iove about myself: I’m compassionate
  • what I value most in my life: my family
  • what I want to achieve: eat less sugar (quite difficult when you’re job is partly food blogging!)
  • The resulting anchor: my family and the compassion I choose to show myself.

So when I am faced with a challenge: like a decadent carrot cake I just baked. I simply remind myself that I decided to quit sugar for myself, because I love myself, and for my family, because I love my family and I want to be healthy to enjoy my life with them. Love is at the basis of my anchor. Love for myself and love for my family. And when I remember my anchor, I feel that love and it is at the base of what allows me to achieve what I set out to do.

Try the exercise and let me know how it’s help you identify your personal anchor. Just click on the title of this post and write your comment at the bottom post, in the comment section.

And now that your soul is nourished, let’s nourish your belly. On to the recipe…

Sweet & Spicy Curry
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 portions
You can control the heat of this recipe by adjusting the amount of curry powder you add to the coconut milk. My husband can handle a lot of heat but my son and I, not so much. So I’ve kept this on the milder side.
  • 1 can (398 ml) of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can (398 ml) chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbs indian curry powder
  • 3 medium size sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 Cups of water
  • 1 1/2 Cup couscous
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes, dice the onion, finely chop the ginger and cilantro.
  2. In a large pot, add the the sweet potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the potatoes and set aside.
  4. In the meantime, melt the coconut oil in a deep sauce pan over medium high heat.
  5. Add the diced onion and cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and add the curry spices.
  7. Stir for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the spices.
  8. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir.
  9. Add the coconut milk and chopped ginger pieces.
  10. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  11. Add the sweet potatoes.
  12. With a potato masher mash some of the sweet potatoes in the coconut milk but leave some pieces whole.
  13. Add the chickpeas and cilantro and stir. Remove from heat.
  14. Allow flavours to marry for another 10-15 mins.
  15. While the flavours marry, in the same pot you cooked the sweet potatoes in, add 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
  16. Add the couscous and remove from heat. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  17. Serve the curry over the couscous.


Red lentil and butternut squash curry



Hello beautiful people,

So where did we leave off… ah yes, the steps I took to implement more compassion in my life!

In my last post (with the pumpkin brownie recipe as a bonus for reading through my post! lol) I talked about what it meant for me to be vegan, what the rule of ahimsa represented, what I discovered about myself in regards to compassion towards myself but also towards others and what steps I took to bring more compassion into my life.

Well let me be honest with you: it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was gonna be! It’s actually still not easy and it’s something I have to remind myself to do everyday. I’m hoping that with practise, it’ll become as routine as brushing my teeth and walking my dog.

My two great struggles were compassion towards myself and my selective compassion towards others.

I needed a plan.

I truly thought that all my years of yoga practise had given me the necessary tools but as it turns out, I’ve still got a whole lot to learn. So I turned to the experts like Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins (ok, not the first name that comes to mind when you strictly think of compassion, but he is number one – in my book at least- when it comes to success) and Dr. Axe (ok, not your typical “compassion” pick again, but he wrote a great article on activating your brain’s caring centre, that you can find here).

To tackle my selective compassion towards others, I jotted down a list of actions (thank you Tony Robbins!) that I mindfully choose to take daily, towards everyone. And I mean everyone. Not a selective few. Everyone. And this is key. I apply these steps to those that have hurt me in the past, those that I no longer share a friendship with or simply those that have always rubbed me the wrong way. This list was designed with them in mind. So here goes…

First thing in the morning, before I even leave my bedroom, I meditate. This may sound simple but it’s really the foundation on which everything else rests. I start by taking deep breaths. Nothing too complicated. I just breath. Once I feel that my mind is calm, I repeat the mantra (phrase) Om Mani Padme Um. It’s a Tibetan Mantra to invoke the blessing and compassion of the divine.

I repeat the mantra 11 or 25 times and then I go back to my deep breathing. By this time, I usually feel an immense relief and sense of happiness wash over me. I’m simply happy and I want to share this happiness with others. This is a good start for more compassion!

Then comes the hard part: I choose one person that I’ve purposely not shown compassion to and I hold that person in my mind. Then I smile. Internally and externally. I smile. That’s it. That’s my big plan: I smile. I smile at that person I would normally not smile at. I don’t allow any other thought to enter my mind then to smile and feel happiness, all the while thinking of that person. And I stay like that for as long as it feels right and then I let go.

Once I’ve let go, I chant Om and I’m done.

People, believe me when I say, the difference in my day is huge! Not only am I generally more happy, but I find myself doing a lot more random acts of kindness throughout the day. Like smiling at perfect strangers, calling a friend to ask about her day instead of texting/messaging her (come on, let’s admit it to ourselves, texting is a lot faster but calling is so much more personal), reaching out to someone (even those on my selective list!) I’ve heard is going through a difficult time to offer a few words of encouragement, really listening when someone talks to me instead of racing through my to-do list in my head, offer someone the benefit of the doubt instead of thinking the worst of why they’ve acted in a certain way…

But what have I done specifically for myself. 1 thing.

Every morning, I stand in front of the mirror, I look into my own eyes and say out loud: I love you.

That’s it.

And I dare you to try it! It is not as easy as I sounds… Or at least, it wasn’t easy for me at all. Sure, you can just say the words while you’re standing in front of the mirror or say it jokingly, but to really look at yourself and mean those words… there’s the challenge.

At first, I could barely say it out loud. I would start out loud then finish in my head or simply say it all in my head or I would look away. But it’s not the same. It doesn’t have the same impact.

So I kept trying. And eventually I got it. And now, not only to I “have it”, but I smile at myself when I’m saying it. And that little gesture, those little words, simply changed my world…

I really encourage you guys to try some of the steps I’ve written down. And if only one, try saying “I love you”.

And now, onto the food! In honour of the Patnajali’s ahimsa, I’ve made an Indian red lentil and butternut squash curry. This recipe is adapted from Vijay’s curry recipe over at NoshOn.It

I hope you guys enjoy it and leave me a comment to let me know how you practise compassion or how you’ve improved your compassion towards others.




Red lentil and butternut squash curry
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 portions
This curry is lush and creamy and the perfect meal for a cool Autumn night. It also makes amazing leftovers for lunch the next day. I kept the recipe on the mild side but if you like a little more heat, add a little cayenne pepper with the other spices.
  • 2 Tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbs garam masala powder
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tsp coconut oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced finely
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed then cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lime for serving
  • Vegan sour cream for serving
  1. Take out your mortar and add all your spices. Pestle away until the cumin seeds are broken up. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you add mix and ground the spices together in a coffee grinder.
  2. Set the spice mixture aside
  3. In a pan set on medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil.
  4. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir and cook another 3 minutes.
  6. Add your spice mixture and stir to coat the onion mixture evenly.
  7. Your pan will look pretty dry and sticky. Add the tomato paste and stir until all the mixture is well combined. Your kitchen should be nice and fragrant by now.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes turn and off the heat. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure you get all the little bits that are stuck.
  9. Transfer the tomato mixture to your slow cooker.
  10. Add the red lentils, butternut squash and water to the slow cooker.
  11. Stir to combine well.
  12. Set your timer on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
  13. Once cooked, open the lid of your slow cooker and stir. It should have a nice creamy-ish texture.
  14. Add some salt if needed and the juice of a lime.
  15. Serve with loads of fresh cilantro and vegan sour cream.