Savour the flavour…

Yesterday was an absolutely stunning day here in Toronto; we took a nice long walk (about 5.7km) through the city, taking in the sights and eventually making our way to St. Lawrence Market for produce. We stopped in along the way to take in the awesome Gothic Revival Cathedral Church of St. James, with memorial plaques commemorating many of Toronto’s noted citizens. We were intrigued by the very contemporary Stations of the Cross.

To the south, we swung by Berczy Park’s new dog fountain enroute to the market. Kids and pets alike were enjoying the spraying water. We had fun finding the one cat statue amongst the dogs, and to discover just what she was looking at. (We won’t tell just now – you should check out the mystery yourself!)

The sun was blazing and hot, so by the time we arrived home, we were in the mood for something quick and cool, that wouldn’t overheat the kitchen. We put some potatoes on to cook while we enjoyed a cool beverage on our balcony and took in the sights of the neighbourhood. When they were cooked, we let them cool in the fridge while we prepared the rest of this tasty curried salad. For two, as a main course:

For the dressing, whisk in a large bowl:

3 tablespoons (45ml) mayonnaise

1/4 cup (60ml) cider vinegar

2 tablespoons (30ml) curry powder – more or less, to your taste

3 boiled potatoes, cooled and peeled, and cut into chunks

1 red pepper, diced in bite-size pieces

2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one can)

1 cup frozen green beans

1/4 cup (60ml) chopped unsalted peanuts

3 leaves basil, sliced finely

Mix all the vegetables into the salad, including the chickpeas. Divide between the plates and sprinkle with peanuts and basil. You can easily scale up this recipe to serve more people, and it keeps well in the fridge, gaining flavour as it sits. Enjoy!

Using it Up, with Flavour!

  
We had some roasted tofu in the fridge (for you vega phobics it almost tastes like chicken). The roasted root vegetable and red lentil soup was in the freezer from last week. (Abridged version: cook red lentils, add leftover cooked veg and a little water or broth, purée with a hand blender and a tablespoon of curry powder).

I diced the roasted tofu leftovers, in my fridge for a couple of days, and stirred into the soup. Excellent for a partner or roomie with a cold!

BONUS: 

Here’s how to roast the tofu: Press unwrapped firm tofu on a plate by weighting another plate on top with a can for 20 minutes, drain and cut into 1″/2.5cm cubes. Drizzle w soy sauce, sesame oil and grate over some fresh ginger. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally until golden brown.

  

You Can Never Have too Much Curry

Really, you’re thinking? Didn’t we just have curry yesterday? Well yes, that’s true. But today’s curry is a far cry from yesterday’s cousin.

In this case, it’s a “use it up” curry. There were a few veg going begging in the fridge, that needed to be used up. Sometimes the amounts you can buy at the grocer do not equal what you need for your meal plan, and you just have to recalibrate.

In the beginning, we got some brown rice cooking. We like to make a big batch and then portion it out in the freezer where it can be reheated by steam or microwave, when we don’t have a lot of time on our hands.

The curry began with a pot, a little oil (olive, in our case) an onion and some garlic. Then 4 or 5 button mushrooms, quartered. They were about to go over the edge, but still edible. We broke up the stalks of asparagus that had been sitting around for a day or two longer than absolutely ideal, and pared and chunked in a carrot.

To this, a tablespoon of the same Patak’s curry paste we used for the lamb yesterday. A little bit of white wine (also something that doesn’t register as a leftover in some households) went in the pot next.

We had two cups of cooked kidney beans and a cup of cooked chickpeas (all from Better Bulk, see our blogroll) which we tossed in. You can also check our recipes page to see how to cook dried beans of all kinds. These tipped in, juice and all.

The whole thing was set to simmering until it looked stew-y or curry-ish. Served over rice, it was awesome, vegetarian, and tasty!

Leftover Lamb Curry

I know, some of you who still have teenagers (or who are young enough that you’re not weight-conscious) are thinking, “what is this leftover lamb of which you speak”?

But really, truly, I assure you, someday you two may have leftover delicious roast lamb in your futures. Sure, you can just eat it cold, in a tasty sandwich, with some Dijon and lettuce, and maybe some sliced pears and goat cheese. Another great way, is a tasty curry with whatever veg you have on hand.

In this case, I sauteed an onion, some bell pepper, and a bit of celery (the holy trinity), a couple of diced carrots, along with a clove or two of garlic and about a teaspoon of minced fresh ginger. When that was soft, I diced up the lamb and tossed it in.

Immediately I added a heaping tablespoon of curry paste (I used Patak’s but in a pinch you could use curry powder; I just don’t think it would be as flavourful). Then about a cup of vegetable broth, beef broth, lamb broth, or wine – really, any will give a great taste. Come to think of it, beer would work, too.

Chop up a couple of tomatoes and stir them in. Let the whole thing simmer til the carrots are nice and soft.

Delicious comfort food, the second time around.