Since I’ve started this blog, I have completely neglected my cookbooks. They have remained in the cabinet above my oven for weeks – if not months – without a single disturbance. It’s been so long that there are cookbooks in there that I swear I have never seen before. I’m sorry, cookbooks! How could I neglect you for so long?!
Even though my non-meat eating ways are quite new, I have always taken interest in vegetarian cuisine. Mind you, I’m not a vegetarian. I still have it in me to eat fish. I can’t give up my salmon or shrimp… that’s just NOT going to happen. I also consume dairy and eggs so I think the proper term is “pescatarian”. My friend Becca introduced me to that term. I feel a little strange using “pescatarian”. I don’t know… am I really going to give up meat forever? We shall see )
So anyway, I climbed up to my cookbook cabinet (I’m slightly over 5 feet tall and the cabinet is about as high as you can get in my kitchen) and went through my vegetarian cookbooks. My fruit and veggie drawers were becoming quite bare so I had to find a recipe that was flexible in terms of what foods went into it. Yep – it’s time to throw what I have in a meal again!
That’s when I came across Vegetable and Coconut Curry in The Vegetarian Cookbook. I have vegetables, I have spices, and I randomly have coconut milk in my kitchen. Awesome!
This recipe pretty much tells you to unleash your veggie drawer into the dish. It’s a great way to get rid of the nearly sprouting potatoes and frozen green beans that have been in the freezer for too long. It also calls for tumeric, coriander, and cumin, which make curry. If you have curry already in your spice cabinet, then by all means go for it. I had it, but I didn’t want to use it all up so I stuck with the recipe on this one.
As I was preparing it I was reminded of a Moroccan Platter I made so I threw in chickpeas for amusement. I need protein, right?
I served the vegetables on top of brown rice but cous cous would be great, too!
Vegetable and Coconut Curry
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-inch piece of fresh gingerroot, thinly sliced
2 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. ground tumeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 lb mixed vegetables (such as broccoli, potatoes, green beans, cauliflour, carrots, zucchini), cut into bite sized chinks
1 c. coconut milk or cream
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
1 Tbs. shredded coconut, for garnish (optional)
freshly cooked rice or cous cous, to serve
(If you have frozen vegetables that will be thawed and cooked already, please take note that your meals will take a lot less cooking time.)
Put the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies in a food processor and process until almost smooth.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-low heat, add the onion mixture, and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
Add the tumeric, coriander, and cumin (or just curry powder), stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.
Add vegetables and stir to coat.
Add the coconut milk or cream to the vegetables, cover, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender. If your vegetables are already cooked then it will only take about 10 minutes.
Season to taste wtih salt and pepper, garnish wtih cilantro and coconut. Serve with rice.