Cold Winter Curry

Oh, the flavors! Oh, the warmth! Oh, the kale! I can’t get enough of the stuff! I’ve consumed four large bunches and another of swiss chard this week – almost entirely on my own! Once I started eating it, I couldn’t get enough! The same happened with beets, and I think sweet potatoes must be right up there in the Gotta Have It department. While the rest of you “Master” cleanse, juice and go raw, I’m focusing on ROY G. BIV and powerful spices warmed to perfection!

In this recipe:

  • Red – tomatoes
  • Orange – sweet potatoes
  • Yellow – cauliflower
  • Green – kale
  • Blue/Indigo/Violet – last seen in Beety Tweety Bird Nests
  • Powerful Spices: Ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, hot peppers

Ingredients Chickpea Curry:

  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, mince
  • 1 Serrano pepper, minced
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, blended
  • 3/4 can light coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. whole brown mustard seed
  • 2-3 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups chickpeas, pre-cooked
  • 1 bunch kale, finely chopped

Directions: Cook chickpeas or use canned. On medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add red onion and saute until translucent. Add cumin, brown mustard seed and Garam Masala to the oil for a quick toast. Next add garlic, ginger and chile pepper. All these ingredients should be cooked for a minute or so, just until the aromas are released. Next, add the pureed tomato, coconut milk and chickpeas. Allow to simmer on very low heat for about 5 minutes. Right before serving, mix in the kale cooking it just past raw to bright green.

Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes in Madras Peanut Curry Sauce:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs. Madras style curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Warm the coconut milk and the peanut butter in a small pot. When the peanut butter begins to melt, whisk the two ingredients together. Add spices and mix well. Toss in cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Allow to steam on low heat for a few minutes until vegetables are tender.

Note: I tried roasting the veggies with the sauce at 450 degrees. They cooked, but did not crisp at all. I love the idea of serving the cauliflower roasted like I did here. Next time.

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Chickpea Curry – Chole Masala

Eating Indian is like watching a contortionist. Each bite delivers a surprising shape as flavors unfold on your tongue in surprising and interesting ways. This curry, for example, is not at all hot, but powerfully flavorful. There’s a hint of lemon, then cinnamon, then fennel, then the sweet tang of mango. Serve this with Indian Rice Pancakes and coconut cilantro chutney and your mouth will think it’s on holiday!

Ingredients:

  • Peanut oil to lightly coat the pan
  • 1 Tbs. cumin seed
  • 1 Tbs.  brown mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 8 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 14-ounce can lite coconut milk
  • 1 mango peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach torn to bits
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Directions: In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Toast cumin, mustard, and fennel seeds, stirring constantly until they begin to pop. Add onion and stir until soft. Add remaining spices and stir for a couple of minutes while the onions and spices blend and cook.

Stir in garbanzo beans, sweet potato and coconut milk. Bring pot to a low simmer, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are soft. Once the potatoes are cooked, use a fork to mash them to thicken. Next add in the red peppers, mango, spinach and cilantro. Allow the curry to simmer just until the spinach is wilted and bright green.

Curried White Bean and Potato Soup

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Yes, it’s another soup – my ultimate comfort food. I never eat soup in restaurants or buy it from the co-op because it’s never as good as the pots that come from my hands! I find soup totally satisfying on so many levels. First, I love the layers of healthful ingredients like beans and veggies. The heat from soup makes it soothing to consume, and the ease of putting together a large quantity of reheatable food is a true de-stressor! One pot of soup in the fridge means we can easily nourish our bodies through our sixty plus hour workweek without much additional cooking.

The other thing I love about eating soup is that it’s a vehicle for crunchy tidbits and cheese. We almost always cut up chunks of cheddar and then eat the soup with our favorite tortilla chips. Sometimes our soup gets topped with croutons, and Jeff and Max also enjoy the provincial saltine cracker. This soup is a little spicy so it pairs well with sour cream and tortilla chips. One thing is for sure, I never eat a bowl of soup without a crunchy grain along side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger piece, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 bunch collard greens, deveined and sliced into ribbons
  • 2 cups brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 6 red potatoes, diced
  • 4 cups white beans, precooked
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. curry powder

Directions:

Saute the onion in the oil until it becomes translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno and saute just until the aromatics are released. Next add the ribbons of collard greens, potatoes, brussel sprouts and enough water to cover the vegetables. Mix in the beans and spices and cook on a low simmer until the potatoes are tender. Of course, taste it before you serve it to make sure you have a spice combination you like. I often find myself adding a little more of this and that.

Yellow Curry

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Cooking sure takes on a new meaning when it’s performed after a full day’s work. Now instead of leisurely peeling carrots and marveling at their bright orange beauty, I find myself counting how many strokes of the peeler it takes to clean them of their lovely little roots. Did you know that Foxtail Farm’s carrots each take, on average, seventeen peels. The creamy fresh yellow potatoes take on average twenty-four peels and the same number of knife strokes to dice them! I’ve either developed obsessive compulsive traits, or I have math on my brain.

As many of you know I have spent the last two months exploring the virtues of my CSA box while on summer break from my teaching job. You have benefited from my crazy cooking adventures. Now my energetic and very eager fifth graders are anxiously awaiting the first day of school, and I am busy setting up a wonderful learning environment so their learning can be maximized. I’ve turned my attention away from menu planning and back to lessons. The blog is definitely enticing especially when last week’s CSA box was still lingering in the crisper drawer until just a minute ago. Tomorrow is Thursday, my next CSA box arrives, and my students will be coming to meet me at the Open House. The juggling act begins.

I still have five or six weeks of CSA boxes coming, so I’ll still be cooking. I’ll try to continue to post the recipes that work, but in warning, it could end up being a lot of soup.  We shall see.

This yellow curry uses Foxtail Farm yellow potatoes, carrots, yellow wax beans and delicious yellow onions. Not from the CSA were the garlic, spices and cilantro.

Yellow Curry Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into thin rings
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-12 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound yellow wax beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 10 Holy Basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seed
  • 1 Tbs. cumin seed
  • 2 Tbs. good curry powder (I used Penzey’s Hot Curry Powder)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • water for simmering

Directions: Saute the onion rings on low heat until they begin to caramelize and then add the spices. Turn the heat up just a little and remember, you will hear the mustard seeds start to pop and turn a little gray. Move the spices around and add the garlic. Saute just until the garlic releases its’ fragrance. Next add the potatoes, beans and carrots and enough water just to be able to simmer the veggies, perhaps three or four cups. When the potatoes are tender, gently fold in the herbs. Serve immediately over jasmin rice.

Swiss Chard, Baby Bok Choi and Broccoli Curry

IMG_2188Foxtail Farm Veggies – CSA Box Number One

http://foxtailcsa.com/

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It started to rain today! Yeah!!! That means our CSA boxes will be wonderful here in Minnesota this week and the next! We started off this spring with a drought, and lots of farmers and gardeners were worried, but when it rains like it did today, there’s hope! The only bad thing is that the farmers may have to deal with unfavorable work conditions as they pick and pack our lovely boxes. Let it be known that these boxes are highly appreciated!

My original idea for meal number three out of the CSA box would be a stir fry, but because of the rain, I opted for a Thai Curry instead. I love the warmth of soups with vegetables and that just seemed more appropriate on this foggy dreary day. It was also little humid today and I didn’t want to run the oven, so I decided to fry the tofu rather than bake it. The veggy curry and fried tofu made an amazingly delicious meal and there is just enough left over for a little reminder lunch tomorrow!

Spicy Tofu

Ingredients:

Extra Firm Tofu cubed- I used Wild Wood Organic Super Firm

Canola oil – enough for about 1/16 inch in pan

2 cloves garlic

1 inch fresh ginger

1 tsp. garlic chile paste

1 tsp. soy sauce

Directions:

Chop garlic and ginger in the food processor. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Toss in garlic and ginger for just enough time to turn fragrant, but not begin to crisp. You need to watch it carefully and stir carefully. I try to keep the garlic and ginger in a tidy pile, so when it is fragrant I can easily scoop it out. Scoop it out and set it aside in a bowl. It will later be mixed with the tofu. Keep your oil at a medium heat and toss in the cubed tofu. Let it brown up for a few minutes then turn to brown the other sides. The frying takes a few minutes and you do need to keep an eye on it. Continue to turn the tofu every few minutes so that each cube is lightly browned. When it is finished scoop the tofu out and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss in the lightly sauteed garlic and ginger as well as the chile paste and soy sauce. Mix carefully to evenly coat the tofu.

Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:

1 Tbs canola oil

1 small head broccoli

10 stalks swiss chard

4 baby bok choi diagonal cut

2 cloves garlic minced

1 inch fresh ginger minced

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup soy milk

2 Tbs. Thai green curry paste

soy sauce to taste

Directions: You should have all the ingredients for this dish ready to go as timing is very important. You don’t want to overcook the vegetables. In a large skillet or wok, heat oil and add garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant then add chopped swiss chard. Mix and let cook a few minutes until the leaves are wilted and bright green. Add the bok Choi and broccoli and stir in. Add white wine and let simmer briefly. Stir in coconut milk, soy milk and soy sauce. Finally, put in the green curry paste making sure it gets incorporated into the liquid. Serve immediately over rice. Enjoy!