Curried Brussel Sprouts with Squash, Sesame Kale, Cauliflower Beet Salad


Curried Brussel Sprouts with Squash, Sesame Kale, Cauliflower Beet Salad

Curried Brussels, Roasted Squash, Rice Stew

I love a good curry, stew, soup…anything in a bowl. As soon as I received the Simply Vibrant cookbook in the mail, I was immediately drawn to this recipe and it did not disappoint. It may not look like much, but it’s one of my favorite dinners: it’s very creamy, comforting, and almost like a curried congee packed with veggies. This recipe is seasonal and makes use of all the food “waste” so thoughtfully – herb stems and bean cooking liquid are used and reused in this recipe for zero waste food. It’s also perfect for all you one bowl meal lovers too!


1 cup dried beans: adzuki, kidney, or cannellini beans (I used giant beans), soaked in filtered water overnight

3 to 4 bay leaves

2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 to 3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves separated, stalks reserved for cooking the beans

sea salt

1 medium kabocha or butternut squash, seeded, cut into bite size pieces (skin removed only if using butternut)

freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, divided

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, freshly ground

seeds from 5 to 7 cardamom pods, freshly ground

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3/4 cup arborio

handful kaffir lime leaves (optional)

1 pound halved brussels, hard ends cut away

1 can coconut milk

zest and juice of 2 limes

4 cups baby spinach or 2 cups chopped kale


  1. Drain and rinse the beans, then place them in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and cover with at least 14 cups of water.  Add the bay leaved, garlic, thyme stalks, and cilantro stems, and bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat.  Skim off any foam with a slotted spoon and reduce the heat to a strong simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, add a pinch or two of salt, then cook for another 10 minutes or until the beans are tender and butter inside.  Check periodically to make sure the water is simmering.  If the beans are not fully cooked after 30 minutes, continue cooking them until they reach the right consistency-it can take up to an hour or even longer for some beans.  Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid in a large heatproof bowl for the base of the stew.  Discard the bay leaves and the stems.  Set the beans aside, and do not wash the pot.
  2.  While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3.  Place the squash on the prepared sheet, add the thyme leave, salt, and pepper to taste, and 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil.  Mix to coat using your hands.  Spread in a single layer, transfer to oven, and roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring at halftime, until the squash is tender when pricked with a knife.
  4.  In the same pot you used for cooking the beans, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the ginger and spices and stir everything around for 2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add the onion and saute for 7 minutes, until it is soft and translucent.
  5.  Add the rice, a large pinch of salt, and the kaffir lime leaves, if using; and stir to coat.  Add 7 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid and bring the liquid to a boil.  Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is almost cooked.
  6.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the brussels sprouts, cooked beans, and a large pinch of salt.  If using kale, add it at this time as well.  Bring the broth back to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes until the brussels sprouts and the rice are tender.
  7.  Add the coconut milk, roasted squash, lime zest and juice, and more salt to taste.  Bring the broth back to a gentle boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 2 minutes.
  8.  Remove the pot from the heat, taste the broth, and add more salt if needed.  Stir in the spinach, if using.  Serve hot with fresh cilantro leaves and more freshly squeezed lime juice, if desired.  (I added coconut yogurt, mango chutney, and chili flakes too with excellent results.  Yum!)

Sesame Kale

This is super simple and takes 5 minutes to make! No need to strip the stems, keep them for added nutrition and texture, plus zero waste. Add in tofu or chickpeas or rice/noodles for a heartier meal. Tip: use a cast iron as it takes the taste level of kale to a whole other level!

Ingredients (serves 4 sides)

2 bunches lacinato kale, chopped into 1/2 inch or so pieces

1 tablespoon sesame or olive oil (or sub water if you’re oil free)- all give different flavor profiles so mix it up and experiment with what’s your favorite

1 large clove garlic, minced/pressed/crushed

2 teaspoons liquid aminos or 1 tablespoon tamari

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

optional: toppings like green onions or cilantro


  1. heat a heavy skillet on high for a minute or two until its nice and hot (no oil yet).
  2. add in the kale and let it cook without stirring (and without oil) for a minute or two until the edges start to get a little toasty.
  3. add in the oil (or equivalent amount of water) and the sesame seeds and stir fry it around the pan, tossing and mixing until the kale is nice and soft (about 3 minutes for our liking- feel free to go longer if you like it softer or less if you want it more raw)
  4. remove from heat and immediately stir in the raw garlic and the aminos or tamari, quickly stirring it so that all the garlic gets incorporated and in contact with the hot pan- you want it tamed but not burnt.
  5. plate and enjoy!

Steamed Cauliflower Beet Salad

Simple is a theme here. Steam veggies (here I’ve used Japanese potatoes, cauliflower and golden beets), throw in a bean or grain, fermented veggies, raw greens and a simple sauce  (I’ve used avocado pulsed with apple cider vinegar, crushed garlic, finely chopped green onion, and a spoon of white miso), add something crunchy (pumpkin seeds in this case).