Tag Archives: curry

My Nutritarian Diary: Japanese Vegetable Curry

Japanese Vegetable Curry Header

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.

Cookbook Collage

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

Japanese Vegetable Curry (Gluten-Free)
(From Robin Robertson’s book one-dish vegan)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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.

DIRECTIONS:
“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).

MY NOTES:
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.

My Nutritarian Diary: Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry

Butternut Header

This recipe is my ode to butternut squash. While its season has technically passed, thankfully, we still can find it in the produce sections of our favorite grocery stores.

Butternut squash is winter squash that tastes similar to pumpkin and is often puréed into soups. I have found, however, that this vegetable is great peeled, seeded, and cut up in bite-sized pieces, roasted in the oven, and eaten hot by itself or as a large side to a meal. It can also be mashed with a potato masher and eaten like that, after it’s roasted, boiled, or microwaved into a soft consistency.

With so many ways to eat this squash, there is no excuse to at least give it a try. It has a lovely nutty and sweet flavor, a beautiful color, and an excellent nutritional profile.  It is a good source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, magnesium, and potassium—a veritable symphony of healthy vitamins and minerals!

So, before it disappears from our pantries and our food aisles until next season, I encourage you to join me as I celebrate its culinary delight in this delicious, low-fat curry recipe.

Curry Pic for Blog

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry
(This a quick, stovetop version of Tasty Yummies “Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry (Crock Pot Recipe)”)

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 small to medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 can (15.5 ounce) of chick peas
• 1 can (14.5 ounce) of organic, low sodium diced tomatoes
• 1 can (13.5 ounce) light coconut milk
• 1 cup low-sodium organic vegetable broth plus more for sautéing
• 2-3 tablespoons yellow curry powder (depending on taste)
• ¼ tsp turmeric (optional)
• Salt to taste
• 4-5 large handfuls of bagged spinach (you could also use 1 bunch of fresh spinach or kale)
• 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
• Shredded coconut for garnish (optional)

MY DIRECTIONS FOR STOVE TOP VERSION:
Preheat oven to 420 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Prepare butternut squash as directed above and place evenly on lined cookie sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in oven and roast for about 40 minutes (until you see some browning) making sure to flip the squash halfway through so it cooks evenly. (This isn’t technically the “quick” way to prepare the butternut squash, but it’s my preferred way, as roasting brings out its flavor more.)

In a Dutch oven (or stock pan), sauté the onions in vegetable broth until clear. Add the cloves of garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes. Then, add the chickpeas, the can of diced tomatoes, the coconut milk, the cup of vegetable broth, and all the spices. Stir, bring to a boil, and then simmer while you wait for the butternut squash to finish roasting.

Once the squash is done, place it in the Dutch oven along with the peas and the spinach. Cook for several more minutes until the peas are cooked through and the spinach is wilted.

Serve it over some brown basmati or jasmine rice, or eat it by itself as you would a stew. Top with some shredded coconut.

Should you like a soupier consistency, add more broth. Or should you like this curry a bit thicker, mix a little cornstarch with some hot water and stir it into the sauce to thicken it.