Something spicy – curry in a hurry

Easy food is the best food. Yes, you can order in. And it can be delicious. Or it can be cold, overly salted, too fatty, and full of things you know you shouldn’t eat. So if you arm yourself with a few quick options, you can rustle up a meal whenever you’re hungry. Here’s one I like to make – you can make a lot, or a little, depending on what you have. The proportions are not exact…adjust to your taste!

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat some cooking oil, about a tablespoon. 1/4 cup of vegetable or other broth will also work. Dice an onion and throw it in to get started. Turn it down if it is browning, you want it to just start to become translucent. Meanwhile, what other veg do you have? For two people, plan on around 2 to 2-1/2 cups of chopped vegetables. You can use frozen if you don’t have fresh. Don’t worry! Add these to the pot and stir, as you chop them. Here’s what we used yesterday:

1 onion (as above)

1/2 zucchini

1 spicy red pepper

6 cremini mushrooms, halved

4 green beans from our garden

There isn’t a vegetable we haven’t tried in this. Once they are all in the pot, add curry powder or paste to taste. Powder is easy to keep, adds a lot of colour and flavour, and is CHEAP. I used about 2 tablespoons or 30ml.

Once you’ve stirred this in, add about a cup of cooked chickpeas (half a jar of frozen, or half a can, with liquid). Add another half cup of water, and stir in 2T/30ml of coconut milk powder, OR add half a cup of coconut milk, OR half a cup of soy or nut milk, and some shredded coconut – sweetened or not, it won’t matter.

Simmer it for about 20 minutes. This means dinner in less than 30 minutes, start to finish. I served mine on leftover brown rice. Alternately, you can start the rice about half an hour ahead, but honestly, just cook a big pot once a week and keep it in the fridge to use as needed. Another option is to add a diced large potato or six or so baby potatoes, halved, or a small sweet potato, diced, to the other veg and simmer along. Let it thicken a bit with the lid off if you prefer it thicker.

If you have some basil leaves, they are lovely stirred in. A dollop of yogurt (vegan or dairy) adds a nice touch. Or a few coconut flakes on top are also good. Enjoy! Delightful with lemonade, fizzy water, a beer, or a glass of white wine.

Manifesto for a Good Life

This meatless burger isn’t vegan, because I’m more of a flexatarian – I mostly eat plant-based foods, but I do eat some animal products and a small amount of meat and fish. By small, I mean often only a single serving of meat and one of fish in a week.

I’m not doing this for ethical reasons, although there are many good ethical reasons to adopt a plant-based diet. (You could check out Louise Spiteri‘s blog for more on that). For me it is more about health, and economics. A healthy diet can be had relatively inexpensively when we take meat out of the equation. I try to keep it healthy, local, and budget-friendly. I am zero-waste inclined (so is Anne Marie Bonneau). And I know that everyone can learn to cook, so homemade takes precedence over store-bought, for the most part.

I have also learned that taking care of our bodies in simple ways – moving, stretching, and walking, make a big difference in our whole health – physical and mental. That’s why I start most days with a walk. And getting around the village, town, or city where you live on foot, lets you slow down, get to know your community on a whole different level, appreciate your surroundings, meet your neighbours, and feed your soul.

That’s it in a nutshell. My manifesto: Walk. Eat. Live.