My journey into plant-based eating started out rather slowly. I remember sitting at a meal I had made after two weeks of trying to eat better thinking, I’m not going to make it if all I eat is a variation of flavorless rice and beans and vegetables. I was totally depressed and lacked any creative idea when it came to making plant-based meals. What I needed was inspiration in order to find my “voice” in cooking this way for me and my family.
So to the library I went to check out books, books, and more books on vegan, vegetarian, nutritarian, and plant-based eating. All of a sudden, I went from no inspiration to too much inspiration, which was a bit overwhelming. After a time, though, I began to gravitate to certain cookbooks, and those were the ones I chose to buy so that I could reference and learn from them at my leisure. You can see the results of my current plant-based cookbook library pictured below. The one-dish vegan book on the right by Robin Robertson contains the recipe I feature today.
Any step you make toward plant-based eating is a good one. Through my research so far, what I’ve learned the most is that we all need to start somewhere. I started cold-turkey and was quickly depressed by how much I didn’t know about how to cook this way. Instead of quitting, I did what I do best, I began to research. And this blog is a way for me to share with you what I’m learning along the way.
Now, onto today’s recipe.
Japanese Vegetable Curry (Gluten-Free)
(From Robin Robertson’s book one-dish vegan)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or ¼ cup of water (I used vegetable broth)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 1½ to 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
- 1½ tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp wheat-free tamari
- 1 to 2 tsp of agave nectar
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- ⅓ cup applesauce
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp mellow miso paste*
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, well drained, blotted dry, and diced
- ¾ cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
*You can find miso paste at your local oriental food markets.
“Heat the oil or water/vegetable broth in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, then stir in the curry powder, tomato paste, tamari, agave, cayenne (if using), applesauce, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the potato and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Transfer about 2 cups of the mixture to a high-speed blender or food-processor. Add the miso paste, and puree until smooth. Stir the vegetable puree back into the curry along with the tofu and peas, and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve hot” (Robin Robertson).
I love the way this stove-top simmer is thickened with the use of applesauce and a russet potato. The stew comes out very creamy without any dairy or fat added to it. For the meat eaters in the family, you could easily pan fry some chicken breast, lightly seasoned with curry powder and salt, to add to their curry.
I also used a hand blender, instead of a food processor or blender, to make my puree.
This curry would go well on top of some brown rice, any variety, garnished with a small serving of coconut flakes.