Massaman Curry

 There are few things more comforting than a hot bowl of curry – Thai, Indian, green, red, or massaman – I’ll never turn down an oportunity to try a new vegan curry recipe. Luckily, most supermarkets these days stock up on an amazing selection of curry pastes and chutneys which makes it easy to recreate what you order at most restaurants. This recipe for Massaman Curry comes from www.veganricha.com and has a smooth, creamy coconut milk base with an earthy peanut and ginger flavor. The tamarind concentrate add an unexpected hint of lip-smacking sweet and sour which blends well with the subtle heat from the curry paste. I’m kind of obsessed with coriander chutney these days so of course added a heaping spoon on top when serving.

MASSAMAN CURRY
2 tsp coconut oil 
1 diced white onion
2 tsp minced ginger
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 small head cauliflower, florets chopped small
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped green beans
1 potato, diced
2 Tbsp red curry paste (I used a mild cumin coriander red curry paste)
2 Tbs garam masala 
3 Tbsp peanut butter 
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 can coconut milk, 2 for more of a soup base
3/4 cup water
Basil
Whole, raw cashews
In a large sauce pot, add oil and heat at medium heat. Add onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, bell pepper, cauliflower, potatoes green beans, salt and mix. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the carrots, curry paste, garam masala and cook for 2 more minutes. Add peanut butter, salt, tamarind, coconut milk and water and mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 -20 minutes until the curry thickens a bit and the veggies are tender. Garnish with slivered basil and whole cashews. Serve hot over rice.   

Easiest Chana Masala

chana masalaIn the Western World, turmeric root is often used as an agent to color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But in the Eastern World, turmeric root is widely used as a medicinal ingredient used to treat inflammatory and irritated skin conditions, and to encourage healthy digestion and liver function. Surprisingly, just 1 tablespoon of turmeric contains 15% of your daily iron needs and even contains a moderate amount of vitamin B6 so it’s health benefits are verifiable. Native to Southeast Asia, turmeric has been considered highly auspicious and holy in Hindu and Tamil spiritualism for millennia so I find it especially intriguing as a spice.

My Easiest Chana Masala recipe is so soul satisfying even my toddler eats it (well, he picks out the cauliflower parts and then devours the chickpeas). The warm, bitter flavor of the turmeric and the rich, earthy curry powder are the two shining ingredients in this embarrassingly simple dish that piques everyone’s interest when I heat it up in the office microwave. By now you should know that I like to get my bang for the buck, and this dish does not disappoint coming in at around $10.

EASIEST CHANA MASALA
32 oz can of diced tomatoes
32 oz can of chickpeas, drained
1 head of cauliflower, stems removed and florets set aside
2 medium onions, diced
1 Tablespoon turmeric powder
2 Tablespoons curry powder
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
Olive oil

Add a generous amount of olive oil to a large saute pan. Saute the garlic and onions on medium heat until they are browning. Then add the cauliflower florets and cook for another 4-5 minutes, constantly turning. Add turmeric and curry powder and mix until well combined with the cauliflower mixture. Add the diced tomatoes and chickpeas, cover the saute and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is just soft enough to stab with a fork but still has as bit of a crunch. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve immediately. The great thing about this dish is you can easily improvise and add your favorite vegetables to change up the recipe.

Ev
Chard Soup

Senegalese Peanut Stew, and Vegan Too!

peanut stew Our first dinner date at my apartment I made my now-husband cry. It was over my home-made salad dressing. And right then I knew that I could cook for this man the rest of our lives and be happy. I am very pleased to share that this past week we celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary, and in celebration we renewed our vows with our little boys and dearest friends in tow! Asher wore a suit with a clip-on tie which he thought was “cute”, and Everett wore a onesy with a picture of a bow-tie and suspenders!

family Over our five years of marriage, there have been a handful of dishes I have prepared for Robby that he has happily claimed is a “keeper”, and today’s recipe is one of them. It’s a vegan Senegalese peanut stew that is superb served over brown rice. You could also add some tofu and fresh peanuts if you are feeling adventurous and need a bit of crunch.

Cooking spray
2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 medium green pepper, cored and roughly chopped
1/2 pound uncooked sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium uncooked carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp ginger root, fresh, minced
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups vegetable broth, reduced-sodium
6 Tbsp peanut butter, natural, creamy-variety
8 cups fresh spinach, leaves, stemmed, packed, chopped

Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato, carrots and garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the ginger, cloves, salt and cayenne; cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly, stirring once in a while, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the spinach; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Keep the heat low as the soup simmers so the peanut butter doesn’t separate.