Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cauliflower-Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry

Last January, we went full force into the vegetarian lifestyle. Around October, we started to eat a bit of meat. Aaron eats meat more than I do, but I eat some meat. I'd classify myself at 95% vegetarian. I really craved bacon when we weren't eating any meat. So on occasion, I've eaten bacon, fish, or turkey on Thanksgiving. But our family meals at home are still vegetarian.

I changed the way that I cook and stock the pantry. I buy whole grains and dried beans from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. Ava loves to help out with shopping at the bulk bins! I've learned to cook dried beans easily in the slow cooker. I typically cook a big batch of beans every week in the slow cooker for many different meals. We often cook pinto beans which are great whole or refried for burritos. I also like to make chickpeas for curry, felafel, and hummus.

This curry recipe is something that I threw together one night and it ended up in our regular rotation. I like this dish because it's hearty with all the veggies, beans, and rice, and I take a short cut with store bought curry sauce. I add milk to the sauce to stretch the sauce since there are so many vegetables and it boosts the protein factor. It's relatively easy to make because you just have to chop the veggies and let the curry simmer on the stove top. As a busy working mother, I really like the meals that I make in stages so that I can walk away from the kitchen. I tend to cook in "bursts" now.

If you don't live near a Trader Joe's to buy this curry sauce, substitute your favorite curry sauce. The sauce has a spicy punch, but adding the milk cools it down enough for children. You'll need about 2 cups of liquid to simmer the vegetables. The sauce has quite a bit of sodium, so be careful not to add to much salt. I cook the chickpeas myself so I add a bit of salt to season since the beans don't have any salt.

Serving suggestion: The curry is great served with warm naan bread and fresh seasonal fruit.

Cauliflower-Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry
Serves 4 (main dish, 6 side dish)

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 jar Trader Joe's Yellow Curry sauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt *if using unsalted home-cooked chickpeas.
  • 1 cup jasmine rice

  • Chop vegetables. Preheat a large dutch oven or pot to medium heat. Drizzle olive oil. Add diced onion, sweet potato and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. 
  • Add cauliflower florets and sauce. Pour milk in the empty jar and put the cap back on. Shake the jar so that the milk loosen the thick curry sauce and pour the contents into the pot with the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add cooked chickpeas.
  •  Cook jasmine rice according to the package directions.
  • Simmer for 30-45 minutes for the flavors to combine. Add frozen peas in the last 10 minutes of the simmering process. Vegetables should be tender.
  • Serve curry over hot cooked rice.

I made this curry for my in-laws and my mother-in-law really liked it. She suggested that I post it onto the blog. Enjoy!

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