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Posts Tagged ‘curry’

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for the past month.  Lately I’m loving the following things: (1) one-pot meals with tons of veggies; (2) frozen fish fillets from Costco; (3) dinners that come together quickly.  This dinner fills all three categories.  It pulls together without a lot of work (just a little chopping, but I like a little chopping at the end of the day – it helps me wind down from work and get into the evening frame of mind), and it’s a great way to use a few fish fillets without roasting or sauteeing them – my go-tos, but it’s good to mix things up.  We’ve been eating a lot of stew lately – lentil-vegetable; chicken and herb; or fish.  It’s nice healthy comfort food that I can whip up quickly so that the adults in the house can all eat a home-cooked meal before we begin the bedtime dance with Peanut.

Ingredients

1 tbsp cocnut oil
1 onion, large dice
1 sweet potato, large dice
kosher salt
1 bunch broccoli, large dice
1 can coconut milk
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 tilapia filets, large dice

Method

  • In a Dutch oven or heavy saucepan, heat coconut oil over medium-high burner until oil has liquified.
  • Add diced onion and sweet potato to oil, season generously with kosher salt and saute until vegetables are beginning to brown, then add coconut milk and diced tomatoes.
  • Add spices and season again with another pinch of kosher salt.  Stir to combine well.  Replace lid and turn heat down to medium.  Allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until sweet potatoes are half cooked.
  • Add corn, broccoli and tilapia, replace lid and simmer for another 10 minutes until fish is cooked through and all vegetables are done.  Serve immediately or turn heat to low and simmer for another 10 minutes (not necessary, but will help the flavors to marry).

Yield: Serves 4.

Source: Covered In Flour

(Nota Baker: You don’t have to precisely follow this recipe.  Use the veggies and the protein you happen to have lying around.  If you have chicken instead of tilapia, or zucchini instead of broccoli, that’s totally cool.  This is more of a formula than a recipe that you must follow to the letter.  And if you’re not interested in the coconut-curry flavor, use olive oil and broth, and herbs instead of the curry and spices.  It’s all about what sounds good to you in the moment.  Low-maintenance cooking win!)

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This dip is a winner, pure and simple.  Rich yet light, warmly spiced, and with a gorgeous sunny yellow color… now, who wouldn’t want to sink a pita chip into a bowl of this goodness?  I threw this together for hubby’s and my “farewell condo” party and it was a huge success with our dip-loving friends.  I particularly loved the bits of caramelized onion sprinkled throughout.  They speak to my veggie loving soul.  Dipping a pita chip into this curried cauliflower goodness really is like dipping into the flavors of India!

Enjoy!

Dip Into India

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced fine
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup lowfat sour cream
dash nutmeg
dash cayenne pepper
dash freshly ground black pepper
cilantro (optional)

  • Fill a small saucepan with water, a few inches deep, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Add cauliflower, reduce heat to simmer and cook, partially covered, until tender when pierced with a fork – about 10 minutes.
  • When cauliflower is tender, drain completely and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Using a fork, mash to your desired consistency – I like it a bit chunky, but you can go smoother if you want.  Who’s to stop you?
  • In a small saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and salt, and saute until tender and translucent.  When onion is cooked, add curry powder and sugar and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Transfer onion and spice mixture to mixing bowl with mashed cauliflower.  Add yogurt, sour cream, nutmeg, cayenne and black pepper and stir to combine with a spatula.
  • If desired, mix in a tablespoon or two of chopped cilantro, and garnish with cilantro.

Source: Adapted from Delicious Dips

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Curry-Roasted Carrots

By now, you all know how much I love roasted vegetables.  Carrots are no exception – just like most of their veggie cousins, when carrots are roasted they become caramelized and deeply sweet-savory.  Now, I could eat plain roasted veggies, with just olive oil, salt and pepper, and maybe a squirt of lemon juice, every day for the rest of my life and never be bored.  But I realize that not everyone is as single-mindedly obsessed with vegetables as I am, and that some of my darling readers might appreciate me changing things up once in awhile.  So here’s a little variation on plain roasted carrots (which are good just as they are) for ya: curry-roasted carrots.

Forrest Gump said many times that he and Jenny were like “peas and carrots.”  What he really should have said was that they were like curry and carrots.  There are very few things, in my opinion, that go better together than curry and carrots.  Curry just loves carrots, and I’ve combined the flavors before in my curried carrot salad.  And not only are these flavors made for each other, but both curry and carrots are great for you.  Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is such an important nutrient that I’ve been known to dream about it and wake up craving orange vegetables.  And curry is thought to possibly prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia if you eat it in small quantities throughout your life.  If that goodness isn’t reason enough to make these curry-roasted carrots, I’ll give you another reason: they’re freaking delicious.  The carrots take on a resonant sweetness, which is perfectly complemented by the spicy crunch of curry powder and garam masala.  Healthy and delicious… yes!

Curry-Roasted Carrots

2 bunches baby garden carrots with greens attached
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry powder

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Trim carrots so that only a small tuft of green remains.  Wash them, but there’s no need to peel them (unless you bought them already-peeled in a bag from Whole Foods like I did, cheater that I am).
  • Lay carrots out on a foil-lined baking sheet and dress with olive oil; toss until carrots are lightly coated.  Add kosher salt (a generous amount), black pepper, garam masala and curry powder.  (I like lots of spice, so I go for the full teaspoon.  If you like less, start with 1/2 teaspoon and see how it looks to you.  You can always add more, but it’s rather hard to subtract.)
  • Roast carrots for 1 hour, tossing once, midway through.

Yield: Serves 4-6.

Source: Covered In Flour.

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Chick ‘n Chick Curry

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Curry is one of my favorite slap-together dinners.  It’s about the easiest thing you can think of – bang your protein or vegetables in a pot, brown them a little (if necessary – sometimes you don’t even need to do that!), then toss in some crushed tomatoes and some spices and you’re there.  On top of the health benefits of curry, it’s just so gosh darned tasty and easy – this dish is as good as it gets on a weeknight!  What I call “Chick ‘n Chick Curry” is one of my favorites – Chick #1 is chicken, and Chick #2 is chickpeas – lots of yummy protein, and when you hit it with some tamarind and a lovely mix of Indian spices, it’s heady and warm and sweet and delicious.  Enjoy!

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Chick ‘n Chick Curry

1 package skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons natural tamarind sauce
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • In a medium cast-iron pot or French oven, heat some canola or safflower oil over medium heat.  Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and drop into the oil.  Brown on two sides.
  • Add chickpeas, tamarind sauce, and spices.  Stir to combine.  Stir in crushed tomatoes and make sure everything incorporates.
  • Put lid on the French oven, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes.
  • Serve over basmati rice.  If you have some fresh cilantro, it would be wonderful to dice and add as a garnish.

Wine pairing: Indian foods go very well with Riesling wines.  I prefer a dry Riesling, such as a Kabinett from Germany or a dry Finger Lakes bottling.  If you like a sweet Riesling, which would also be nice, try a German Spatlese or Auslese.  There are also some nice off-dry Rieslings produced in the Finger Lakes.

Source: Inspired by Williams-Sonoma Tamarind Chicken Curry with Vegetables

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Carrot Salad Three Ways

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Salad: love it or hate it?  Well, it depends.  Limp lettuce + one cherry tomato + one cucumber slice + Italian dressing?  Blech.  But a really fresh salad, using seasonal ingredients and just enough of a creative, healthy dressing to make the whole dish sing?  Yes, please!  Prepared the right way, salads can be a perfect way to showcase seasonal produce and a palate for some truly imaginative “cooking.”  Every year as the weather gets warmer, I get the itch to try new and different salads.  Last year, I went crazy for carrots.  Like Rabbit in Winnie-the-Pooh (oh, how I identify with poor, put-upon, veggie-loving Rabbit), I was hoarding carrots and carrot recipes as if, at any given moment, Tigger could come along and bounce it all away.  In particular, I became enamored with the idea of an incredibly simple but beautiful salad of just carrot ribbons and dressing, and I started thinking of ways that I could vary the ingredients to make completely different styles of salad.  Following are my favorite variations on a very basic carrot ribbon salad that is delicious all on its own.

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Basic Carrot Ribbon Salad

1 bunch carrots, peeled and with stalks trimmed off
extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
coarse salt and pepper

Using a vegetable peeler, shave ribbons off of the carrots until they are too flexible to work with any longer.  Toss with just enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat, squeeze over lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Simple!

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Sesame Carrot Ribbon Salad

1 batch Basic Carrot Ribbon Salad
sesame oil (a few drops)
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

To a basic carrot ribbon salad recipe, add a few drops of sesame oil – it’s very strong stuff, so don’t overdo it.  Add black sesame seeds, varying the amount to your own personal taste.  (I like lots of them.)

This salad looks like Hallowe’en to me, which is one of the reasons I love it!  It’s wonderful all year round, and sesame is a great source of vitamins and minerals, particularly copper, manganese, iron, and vitamin B1.

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Curried Carrot Ribbon Salad

1 batch Basic Carrot Ribbon Salad
1 teaspoon curry powder (I like Sambhar or Madras)
1 teaspoon garam masala
squeeze of lime

Toss basic carrot ribbon salad with spices.  Squeeze lime over and serve – it’s that easy!  Garam masala can be a touch spicy, so if that’s not your thing, feel free to reduce or even eliminate it from this dish.  If you want to get fancy, you can garnish this with a few sprigs of cilantro.  Mmmmmm, cilantro.

Curry is another ingredient that has amazing health benefits.  In particular, it is good for memory and is thought to stave off degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s if you eat it on a regular basis throughout your life.  It’s not difficult to do at all – curry is wonderful added to scrambled eggs or egg salad, sprinkled over potatoes, stirred into bean dishes (especially chickpeas), or stewed with chicken, fish or vegetables – especially carrots.  Go nuts!  A little curry is better than no curry at all.

There you have it!  One simple but delicious carrot salad, dressed up in two very different but equally wonderful variations.  Try these, and play around with your own ideas – and if you think of something good, please let me know!  I’m always in the market for new ways to eat carrot ribbon salad.

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