It’s a miracle that we didn’t have finger food for dinner tonight, considering I have spent most of today editing/revising Grazing for a spring re-release. Why on a Sunday? Because I said I’d have it all done last Wednesday. I was born without time management skills; it’s one of my more significant defects. (Which is why now, at almost 10 on a Sunday night, I’m settling in for what promises to be an all-nighter in front of the computer.)
How I made the dinner decision: I tested a daal dip with lentils and curry the other day and had about a cup of leftover mooshy lentils. Also: too many peppers and tomatoes I bought while they were cheap, a bag of spinach in the fridge, and half a can of coconut milk left over from said dip. Coconut milk is shockingly high in fat, particularly the saturated kind, and so when I use it I use the light variety – otherwise you could use evaporated milk and a capful of coconut extract for the same effect.
Easy Veg Curry
The measurements here are really so loosey-goosey – I used a small Yukon gold potato, an onion, a half a pepper, some garlic, a tomato and a half, about a cup of lentils and a few handfuls of spinach. Just use common sense and start the sturdier veg (ie potatoes) earlier than the softer ones (ie zucchini and spinach).
a drizzle of canola oil
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced or chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (bottled is OK, unlike bottled garlic)
1-2 tsp. curry paste
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can diced tomatoes, drained, or a chopped fresh tomato or two
1-2 cups zucchini, green beans, potato, cauliflower or eggplant, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup canned or cooked lentils
1/2-1 14 oz. (398 mL) can coconut milk
spoonful of mango or peach chutney (optional)
1 small tart apple, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
A couple handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
Chopped peanuts, salted or unsalted, to sprinkle on top (optional)
In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in oil for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add any veg that take longer to cook (ie potatoes and cauliflower) along with the curry paste and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the pepper and any other veggies you’ve chosen. Sauté them for a few minutes, just until the vegetables start to release their juices and soften.
Add the tomatoes and cook until most of the moisture has cooked off, then add the coconut milk and chutney and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the apple and cook for about 5 minutes. You could always add some shrimp or leftover chicken or turkey) right about here too.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the spinach; cook for a minute, just until it wilts. Serve immediately over rice with chopped peanuts sprinkled on top.
Serves 4-6, depending on what you add.