With the shorter days and brightly-colored leaves that are now so common, it is clear the fall has arrived. I don't know about you, but this is one of my favorite times of year. It's hard not to feel happy when the grey skies are contrasted with such lovely oranges and reds and trees look like exploding fireworks and there is a chill in the air that underlies even the warmer days, a chill that makes me feel vaguely excited, as though anything could happen and anything is possible. And one of the things I love the most this time of year is coming home after a long walk or hike and eating something hearty and flavorful.
Sometimes making something hearty and flavorful starts with just seeing what you have in the fridge and taking advantage of what you find there. Yesterday I was in the mood for a nice veggie curry, and I also happened to have some veggies I needed to cook. What follows is my attempt to share with you how I made a yummy curry, but since I sort of made it up as I went along, I am afraid my ingredient proportions are estimates rather than exact measures.I encourage you to use this more as inspiration than an exact recipe, and take advantage of whatever ingredients you have that sound good to you.
My Saturday Curry
1 small red onion, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Begin by sauteing the onions and garlic in olive oil in a stockpot over low to medium heat with some salt and the red pepper until softened. I chopped and sliced my onions first, and then covered the pan with the lid and let it cook down some while I prepped the other ingredients.
5 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed into bite-sized chunks (as though for a stew)
2-3 cups chopped carrots
6 or 7 celery stalks, sliced
Add the carrots and let cook for a couple of minutes, followed by the celery and then the potatoes. Cover the pan with a lid and let cook a bit longer over low heat. Then add:
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
stir until all of the veggies are coated with the spices, and then add:
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1 small cartoon mixed variety mushrooms
1 can chopped tomatoes
If it looks like things are starting to stick to the pan a bit, go ahead and add a couple of cups of veggie broth at this point, then cover the pan again, make sure your heat is on low, and simmer until the veggies are soft, at least 30 minutes.
Once everything seems cooked, stir in:
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 bunch beet greens, chopped
1 can coconut milk
2 cups cooked basmati rice
I let this cook a bit longer over low heat so that all the flavors could marry, and then at the very end stirred in:
2 cups fresh mixed greens (spinach, baby kale, etc.)
And that's pretty much it! Again, feel free to try other veggies. Broccoli and cauliflower would also taste great, and while I really like the flavor of the beet greens, I had just made beets earlier that day and happened to have the greens to use, so really it is a matter of using what you have and figuring out the combo that works best for you!