I’m a big fan of one-pot meals. If I can put a lot of veggies and some beans into a stew and serve it over a whole grain, it’s less work for me to prepare the meal and less clean-up for my husband, so we’re both happy.
Last night I fell back on one of our favorite one-pot meals. It’s an adaptation of a recipe from Robin Robertson’s Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Slow cookers are fine when you are organized enough to set them up hours before you want to eat, but I can rarely think ahead 10 minutes, much less 10 hours. So I changed this vegan curry to eliminate the need for the crock-pot. I’ve also increased the seasoning and changed the way in which the ingredients are combined. And–naturally–I’ve taken out the oil. For the sweetener, I’ve substituted a date for the brown sugar the recipe originally called for; I find it gives the sauce a better flavor, and it’s a less processed form of sugar.
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tbsp. ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 pitted date, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
- 2 small carrots, thinly sliced
- 4 cups small cauliflower florets
- 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (or one 15.5 ounce canned beans, rinsed and drained)
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 sm. green or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper (salt is optional)
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, ginger, date, coriander and other spices, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water; process until smooth and set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick pot or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and one tablespoon of water, cover, and cook until softened, stirring often and adding more water as necessary to prevent burning–about 5 minutes.
- Add the spice paste from the blender and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and kidney beans. Cover and turn heat to low.
- Put the tomato paste and 1 1/4 cup water in the blender and blend thoroughly. Add the tomato paste mixture to the vegetables, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and bell pepper, season with pepper and salt (if using), and continue cooking, covered, until the vegetables are tender, but not mushy, about 5 -10 minutes.
- Add the peas and allow to heat through for a couple of minutes. Serve alone or over basmati rice or other grain.
(I always think the veggies are so much prettier before they’re cooked so I had to include a shot of them here.)
If you’re interested in the crock-pot version, you can see my fat-free adaptation of it on the Fatfree Vegan website. Fans of this recipe from the site may note that today’s version contains extra cumin and coriander and a new ingredient–cardamom. What can I say? I’m always fiddling around with recipes, even old favorites.