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 recipe 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.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 35 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Makes about 6 servings. Nutrition (per serving): 159 calories, 9 calories from fat, 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 464.2mg sodium, 1070.9mg potassium, 32.6g carbohydrates, 10.1g fiber, 12.4g sugar, 9g protein.
(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.