My sister and I made this during our meal prep session last Sunday because we were craving curry, and we had quinoa and veggies on hand. The pairing of curry flavors with pomegranate arils was inspired by my mega talented friend Krystle (The Minty Anne). Not only do the pomegranate arils add a delightful pop of fall color, they also enhance the flavors of the curry!
This was going to be a simple, comforting dish for a weekday meal, but as it came together, I realized the colors of the ingredients made it quite holiday-appropriate. It is cozy, yet full of vibrant flavors and colors! Make it for dinner or bring it to your Thanksgiving gathering as a fun, unique fusion dish.
After deciding to classify this as a holiday recipe, I realized it’s probably (a little) closer to what my family and I would make for Thanksgiving than the traditional turkey (or tofurkey, in my case), potatoes, etc. We tend to make Vietnamese food or go out for Chinese food for our family gatherings. Sometimes my aunt does make Vietnamese curry! 🙂
For the rest of this month, I will be coming up with non-traditional holiday recipe ideas! So here you have it, the first in this series–a fragrant lemongrass curry infused quinoa dish with savory veggies with bursts of tart pomegranate.
makes 4 – 5 servings
Total time: about 1 hour
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets (more or less)
- olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 4 tablespoons lemongrass puree, heaping (available at any Asian market or Whole Foods)
- 8 oz sliced button mushrooms
- 1 15 oz can full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 t chili flakes
- sea salt, to taste
- mushroom powder, to taste (found at most Asian supermarkets, or you can also make your own!)
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup pomegranate arils, baby spinach (or arugula), and a handful of fresh basil, for serving
- smoked paprika, for garnish (optional)
- Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets (more or less–I made most of mine a little bigger than bite size).
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the cauliflower across a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the tops with turmeric, smoked paprika, and sea salt.
- Roast the cauliflower florets for half an hour, flipping them over in between.
- Divide the diced onion and minced garlic in half.
- On medium-high heat, in a medium sized cast-iron pan/skillet, saute the first half of the onion and garlic in some olive oil until fragrant and translucent. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of lemongrass puree, the mushrooms, and ginger. Saute everything for a few minutes, and add seasonings to taste (sea salt and mushroom powder) until the mushrooms are tender.
- Remove the sauteed mushrooms from the heat and set aside.
- On medium-high heat in the same cast-iron skillet, saute the rest of the onion and garlic, and lemongrass puree with olive oil until fragrant and translucent.
- Add the coconut milk and water to the skillet. Mix in the curry powder, turmeric, chili flakes, and sea salt to taste. Add more lemongrass puree if you think it needs more oomph! Add the quinoa and reduce the heat to medium–cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- After the quinoa is cooked, take it off the heat, let it cool for a few minutes, and then fluff it with a fork.
- Serve on a bed of fresh (or wilted) baby greens, topped with the mushrooms and roasted cauliflower. Garnish with some fresh basil and pomegranate arils. I ate this with fresh avocado slices and it was A++, so I highly recommend that if you like avocado!
Note: I had some leftover coconut milk, so I made a little sauce by whisking it with lemon juice, sea salt and garlic powder. I drizzled that over the cauliflower! Pretty gorgeous and extra decadent, but not required. 😉
I hope you enjoy this recipe!! Let me know in the comments what you would like to see next; I would love to hear from you!