Mixed Vegetable Curry… Or What To Do With Lonely Vegetables

Ever look in your pantry or refrigerator and see those random vegetables?  You know, the extra ones you bought just in case your recipe didn’t work out, or the ones you bought for the recipe you never tried but you used the other necessary ingredients so you can’t make it anyway?  Well, here’s a simple recipe to use up those lonely veggies.  You can use pretty much any vegetables for this.  Just be sure to pay attention to cook times so that some veggies don’t end up uncooked while others turn to mush.  Oh, and serve this with rice or any Indian bread.  Heck, have it with toast.  Still tastes good.

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 to 3 tsp red chilli powder, depending on how spicy you like it

2 to 4 green chillies, chopped, depending on how spicy you like it

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated

1 medium onion, chopped

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

2 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 tsp salt

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions

1.  Heat the oil in a large pan.  Add the cumin seeds and saute until just starting to brown.  Add the red chilli powder, saute for a few seconds, and then add the green chillies, garlic and ginger.  Try not to breathe the cooking fumes as the spice level will irritate your respiratory system.  Saute for a few more seconds and add the onions.  Saute until onions turn translucent.

2.  Add the carrots and potatoes and mix well.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Add the bell peppers and saute a few more minutes.

3.  Add water to the pan, until the vegetables are just covered.  Add the salt and mix well.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are just tender.  Add water if needed.  By the time the vegetables are cooked, the liquid will reduce to nice gravy thickened by the starch from the potatoes.  (If your gravy is too watery, you can mix in a thin paste made of 1 tbsp rice flour and a 1/4 cup of water and cook for a few extra minutes.)

4.  Mix in the peas and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with rice or bread.

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Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

Found a great recipe online for quinoa chili and, of course, had to recreate it with my personal tweaks.  I served it garnished with a little fresh cilantro, and with avocado veggie quesadillas on the side.  Without further ado…

 

 

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup quinoa, washed and cooked

1 tsp olive oil

2 medium onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced, seeds included

1 dried guajillo chilli pepper, crushed

2 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp chilli powder (or 2 tsp red chilli pepper flakes)

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 zucchini, diced

1 golden zucchini, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 cans peeled and diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 quart vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1.  Cook the quinoa in water or vegetable stock and set aside.

2.  While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a 5 or 6 quart pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots and saute until the vegetables are sweating.  Add the spices and peppers and continue to saute a few more minutes.  Now, add the tomato paste and mix well.  Allow to cook for a few minutes.  Now, add the zucchini, bell peppers and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Continue simmering for 7 or 8 minutes.

3.  Add the black beans, kidney beans, vegetable stock and quinoa and mix.  Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, and continue simmering for about 30 minutes.  Add more vegetable stock or water if the chili looks like it is getting dry.

4.  Remove from heat.  Serve hot with bread, tortillas or quesadillas on the side.  Optional garnishes: cilantro, scallions, jalapeno peppers, avocado, fresh tomatoes, onion slices, sour cream, Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, etc.  Can be stored, refrigerated, for up to a week.