Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Lovely Curry

Dad brought this gorgeous pan for me when he last visited.  He said it was just too big for him to use for only himself since Mom died.  He's a wonderful chef and he would tend to get carried away, filling it to the brim as I've done here.  It saddens me to see his joy of cooking dim a bit, but I see his point.

I'm grateful for the gift and am honoring it by creating piles of gorgeous, healthy food like this vegetable curry.

My daughter and I have had a fantastic long weekend here at home with our dog while the other family members were away.  It's been spent mostly in pajamas!  My daughter, who is vegetarian, really likes a little curry restaurant around the corner where she goes with her friends, and wanted me to go with her at one point, but I was loathe to change out of my pj's so, from my full larder, I created this panful.  It was a big hit!  I'm sorry I didn't write down the recipe but it was that kind of weekend.  From memory, here's what I used, and you'll want to tweak the amounts and ingredients to your liking anyway.  I hope it serves as inspiration.

a large yellow onion and several cloves of garlic, caramelized slowly over low heat in coconut oil
a head of cauliflower, trimmed, but including leaves and clean stems
a bunch of broccoli, including trimmed and peeled stems, which are SOOOO delicious
a zucchini
a can of chickpeas
a can of coconut milk
vegetable broth
2 star anise
dry ginger
garam masala
sea salt
nutritional yeast

From trial and error, I've learned to use the spices sparingly in curry.  You can always add more, but you can't take away.  When tasting, if it first seems bland, I try adding a little more sea salt first, which usually wakes the deeper flavors so I don't need so much of them.  I love a fresh curry, kissed with spicy warmth, but allowing the veggie flavors to star. After the flavors had melded, I threw some fresh raw spinach in there too, which wilted a little in the warm pan.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Experimenting With Flavors

Warm spices, such as cinnamon and ginger, are lovely with green olives, dried apricots and lemon.  This stew tasted like sunshine.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Curried Fruit Smoothie

Always striving for more fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, I thought outside of the box and came up with this gorgeous concoction.  Turmeric and cumin, both from the spice curcumin, are fantastic in combatting inflammation of all kinds, and have been purported to help with everything from head and neck cancers to major depressive disorder.  The warming ginger aids digestion and circulation and the black pepper makes the spices more bioavailable.  You can use whatever fruit you prefer.  Papaya was wonderfully tropical and mild in this.  I always aim to have more veggies than fruit, and this combo was so delicious.  Enjoy!

Curried Fruit Smoothie

1/2 cucumber
2 celery stalks
1 large carrot
1c. papaya
a small handful of raisins
1 can full fat coconut milk (I like this brand)
1tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. turmeric

Blend in a vitamix or other high powered blender.  Add a little water if you want to thin it out.  This is very nutritious and filling and provides 2-3 servings.  Sometimes I store some in a jar for later in the day, then whirl it up again with some ice when I need a pick-me-up.  Always finish fresh smoothies within 12 hours or so.