Tuesday night is time to get ready for the next infusion of delicious veggies in our weekly basket from our CSA membership. Another point of inspiration, is that my friend and office-mate Jason, always has the best smelling lunch. It is because he makes a lot of vegetable curry dishes. These tend to be highly flexible dishes, allowing the swapping out of different proteins, (like lentils, chicken, chickpeas or tofu), vegetables and flavor variations with different curry blends, added spices, coconut milk or broth. Curries are also pretty quick and easy to put together and are great heated up as lunch or dinner, for several days after its first appearance. Curry also usually has the spice turmeric and I often add a bit more to my recipes. The extra turmeric, is so I can feel good about getting my cancer-fighting, anti-inflammatory antioxidants in for today (see references for links). The anti-inflammatory properties have been great for back pain issues and post-workout inflammation for both of us.
So, this Tuesday night I’m going with curry. I still have a few veggies still leftover from last week’s market at my fingertips. This includes onion, garlic, carrots, peppers, eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini and cilantro.
Like most great recipes, this one begins with sauteeing onions, garlic, and peppers. I threw in the carrots too to get them started cooking down. As the onions start to get translucent and more tender in appearance, add 1 Tablespoon of sweet curry powder (with some extra mustard and turmeric, if you love cumin, coriander or anything else, those can be added as well) and actively stir for 1 minute. In this case, I added the chicken (and some fresh ginger root). About 5 minutes later, the eggplant went in. If omitting the chicken, add the eggplant before the spice and throw in about ½ c water or a small can of coconut milk, after toasting the spices. Add cauliflower.
Another 5 minutes later, it’s the zucchini’s turn. I like it when the zucchini adds texture to a dish, so I often add it later in a recipe, but this can be done to whatever your preference of vegetable texture is. Allow dish to simmer for a little while longer – from 5 to 15 minutes depending on what looks good to you. If it seems dry, add water 1/4c at a time as it cooks. Top with fresh cilantro and cashews if you like.
This simple curry can be served with a range of different starch options. I just made Indian-Style pancakes from Sally Fallon’s “politically incorrect” cookbook, from sprouted rice and lentils, they will go well with this tonight. Tomorrow the chicken curry can be put into wraps for lunch. It can be served with salad too, I think the lentil coleslaw we saw at the lentil festival, would be a great pair with this. Black-bean salsa and sweet potato chips are further side options for this meal. I have enough of this chicken curry, that it will pair well with some of the sides I’ve made ahead, to make great lunches and dinners to go, buying us a few easy-meal days!
What recipes catch all of your stray veggies? Have you tried recipes similar to this, but with a favorite variation? Do you love turmeric too? What do you do to buy yourself easy-meal days? Please share in the comments!
Always with gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for helping to clean up the messes I make!