Totally out of the blue, I’ve developed a love of yellow. The strange thing is, I never used to love yellow – in fact I actively avoided it, but now yellow is all I see! I recently bought mustard yellow shoes (it’s a amazing how much wear you can get out of a pair of yellow shoes in a wardrobe totally devoid of yellow) and I bought a beautiful yellow flowering pot plant for my desk at work. I’m also considering yellow nail varnish.
According to this article about yellow in colour psychology, yellow is “the colour of the mind and the intellect”. Imagine that! But I have to say it kinda makes sense because I have been giving the big questions in life much more thought recently. I want to be, and know more about, spirituality, becoming more enlightened, acting more from love-based thoughts than fear-based thoughts, and of course get to the bottom of the biggest of all questions: Why Am I Here? (By the way, it’s these thoughts that also lead my husband and I to become vegetarian.) At the moment I’m listening to Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays podcasts on Spotify and it’s amazing. I’m learning a huge amount and want to know even more, so if yellow really is the colour of the mind and the intellect, it totally makes sense that I’m attracted to it.
The yellow-loving is even appearing in the dishes I cook. Case and point this butternut, couscous and veggies with a hint of curry and cinnamon. I mean, I didn’t HAVE TO add curry powder to the courgette and cherry tomatoes – it was perfectly yummy as it was, but I just couldn’t resist adding the deep yellow curry powder. I also went All In with the butternut: dainty squares of butternut wouldn’t cut it (get it), no, I had to have a huge piece of dark yellow butternut on my plate!
Yellow. Love. It.
Butternut squash is a great source of fibre, as well as vitamins including A, C, E and B vitamins and has more potassium per 100g than a banana. I adore it. (By the way, can anyone figure out why it’s called butternut because nothing about it says “butter” or “nut” to me….)
I chose to cook my butternut in the microwave. A lot of people will frown upon this, but when I get home in the evenings I don’t want to wait almost a hour for a large butternut to roast in the oven. It took only 20 minutes in the microwave! I don’t see anything wrong with microwaving butternut or other dense root vegetables like sweet potatoes if you are in a hurry. Microwaving also saves a lot of electricity.
Due to the size of the butternut (thank you Tesco Online Shopper for picking the biggest butternut in the store), I had to serve each person only a quarter. Of course this dish would look super cute and appetizing if you put the couscous and vegetables inside the hollowed out “tummy” of a butternut.
You can also add more curry powder to the cherry tomato and courgette mix, and if you want it very spicy, add chili. If you do, a side of natural yoghurt will work very well to contrast with the heat of the chili. Speaking of the spices, do try to use the sweet and healthy Ceylon cinnamon that I told you about here.
Butternut, Couscous and Veggies with a hint of curry and cinnamon
- 100 g Ainsley Harriot Spice Sensation couscous made with 160 ml water, or any other couscous prepared according to instructions
- medium to large butternut
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 1 large courgette
- 1 red onion
- 2 heaped tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp of Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- olive oil for frying
- fresh parsley
- Score the skin of the butternut with a sharp knife and half lengthwise. Place on a plate in the microwave for 10 – 20 minutes depending on the size of your butternut and cook until soft, bearing in mind that it will continue to cook even after microwaving.
- While the butternut is cooking, prepare the vegetables: slice red onion finely, quarter the cherry tomatoes and slice the courgettes into cubes. Chop the parsley.
- Boil a kettle and dissolve the vegetable stock cube in 200 ml of boiling water. Use the remaining water in the kettle to prepare the couscous according to the instructions on the packet.
- Fry the onions in a little oil. When soft, add the curry, Ceylon cinnamon and tomato paste and fry another minute until fragrant.
- Add the quartered cherry tomatoes and fry for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add the courgettes and fry for another minute.
- Add the vegetable stock and cook uncovered until the sauce has thickened.
- By now the butternut should be cooled. Scoop out the pips. Quarter the butternut if required.
- Serve the vegetables on top of a bed of couscous, alongside the quartered butternut. If you halved the butternut, fill the butternut with the couscous and vegetables.
- Sprinkled with chopped parsley and a dusting of Ceylon cinnamon.
Natasja King – food for the body, food for the soul