November 16, 2011

Coconut Curry "Resurrection Bowl"

As you may have noticed, I've been busy resurrecting the Bankrupt Vegan site, and updating all of the previous posts with new photos (I have no clue why the old photos disappeared) and nutritional information. So, here's the almost-quick version of what's been going on with me...
Regular readers will remember that I gave up veganism a few months back with the hope of curing my chronic fatigue and my inability to lose weight. And, for a while, it seemed to work. For a short time I felt like I was thriving. But the weight came creeping back on (with a vengeance), the energy flagged once again, and old chronic health problems that I had all but forgotten about reared their ugly heads.
One was arthritis - I'm only in my 30s, but I have it bad, partly because of genetics, and partly because of knee surgery in '88. But a vegan diet is also an anti-inflammatory diet and when I ate vegan, my only reminder of the arthritis was an occasional ache when the weather changed. Problem number two is several uterine fibroid tumors, which I have kept in check over the past few years by eating a vegan diet. [Those who know my story may recall that it was a trip to a free Cancer Project workshop that started me on this vegan journey to begin with.] But, after a few months of feeding the tumors with hormones from animal protein, I was quickly reminded of their existence by extreme pain and a host of... um... how shall I say.... "lady problems." Several days of each month is now spent in bed and in terrible pain. The tumors have gotten so big that my abdomen is tender to the touch and I can't even let my daughter sit in my lap without yelping in pain.

Desperate for answers, I recently wrote a letter to my trusted friend Katherine from Plant-Based Health and The Cancer Project, asking her advice about my struggles and what nutritional road I should take. I told her about the problems I experienced the last time I was a strict vegan - low energy and the inability to lose weight - and I told her about the problems I was experiencing as an omnivore - painful arthritis, initial weight loss followed by more gain, and the rapid growth of fibroid tumors that were causing extreme pain.
Her answer? Cutting out animal products to stop the influx of excess hormones, which are feeding the tumors, is the key. And then... get this... Fiber! Lots and lots of fiber. Which makes sense because toxins and excess hormones attach to fiber and are carried out of the body on it. In the poop, you see. It's also her recommendation that getting enough fiber may work to cure my energy crisis too.

So, I'm back. I'm back and I'm going to make veganism work for me, and I'm going to experiment with recipes until I find what keeps me going. I'm going to thrive. I'm definitely happier cooking as a vegan. I love vegan baking. And, even though compassion for animals was not my initial motivation for becoming vegan, I do love that no animals are harmed in the making of a vegan dinner. It's just a really nice feeling.

So, in honor of my return to veganism, my return to health, and my return to the wonderful world of vegan cooking and baking, I present to you, "The Resurrection Bowl."
Yeah, I know my last post (way back in June) is also a coconut-curry concoction, but I don't care. I love that flavor combination so hard!
This recipe makes a LOT of food, so it would be great for a potluck or to store in separate containers for quick lunches. Here's how you do it...

2 cups uncooked long-grain brown rice
4 cups water
1 head of fresh broccoli florets
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 purple onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup flaxmeal
1 small can of sliced black olives, drained
1 15-ounce can of coconut milk (don't use 'light', trust me)
1/2 cup of no-chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon red curry paste, or more to taste
1 avocado, diced (for garnish)
A sprinkling of seaweed Gomasio* (for garnish)
  • First, you want to cook up your rice. Boil the water, throw in the rice. Reduce the heat and cover until rice can be easily fluffed with a fork and no water remains. Takes about a half an hour.
  • When rice is close to being done, throw all of your veggies, your beans and olives too, into a steaming basket (or a colander perched on top of a pot, which is what I use) and very lightly steam until veggies are just beginning to get tender. Broccoli will be bright green and still a bit crunchy.
  • In a large pot gently stir together cooked rice, coconut milk, broth, flaxmeal, and curry paste. 
  • Gently fold your cooked veggies into the rice mixture. 
  • Cover and allow to sit for a few minutes on lowest heat setting, gently stirring occasionally, so that all of the flavors can mingle.
  • When you serve, top with some diced avocado and seaweed Gomasio.
  • Makes 8 servings.
  • Enjoy!
*Ever heard of seaweed Gomasio? It is my latest obsession! There are several different varieties, but the seaweed version is my favorite. It's made up of sesame seeds, seaweed, and sea salt. It adds a lot of crunch and salty flavor, but has nowhere near the sodium of table salt. One teaspoon of the stuff has only 80mg of sodium. That's awesome! I sprinkle it on salads, soups, and even top my macaroni with it. I buy it at my local health food store, and it's only a couple of bucks for the jar you see in the photo. Seriously, try it. It's great!
P.S. Eden Organic did not put me up to this. I just honestly love this stuff.

NUTRITION INFO (per serving, calculated without garnishes):
Calories: 208.8 / Total Fat: 8.9g (Saturated Fat: 5.7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g) / Cholesterol: 0mg / Sodium: 338.4mg / Potassium: 419.1mg / Total Carbohydrates: 25.7g (Dietary Fiber: 4.9g, Sugar: 0.1g) / Protein: 5.9g)


Anonymous said...

Yay! Welcome back :-)


Shelley said...

Question? How do you grate and dice a carrot. Seriously I am curious because I do want to try this recipe, it sounds really good. and if it helps Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia I am all for trying it.

Jennifer M. said...

Oops! That was supposed to say "peeled and diced." My bad!

Anonymous said...

what a tasty recipe! I hope veganism will work out for you in the long term, i mean so that you can actually stick to it now without having to struggle with weight and health problems! thanks for sharing your struggles, there are so many positive opinions abut veganism on blogs that it is good to read that some people also struggle with it. In my case, a vegan diet helped me gain weight, i have been eating lots more fats which i basically cut out before. it made my hair and skin great but i hope the weight gain does not continue on the next couple of years :)

Anonymous said...

Hmm, interesting site. I'm so glad to see so many vegans out here, though I'm at the beginning of the discovery process. Have you heard of the classic book "Back to Eden" by Jethro Kloss? Check it out regarding cancer, natural healing.