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

Walk. Eat. Live.

Walking is a big part of our lives – we’re pretty committed around our house to get around by foot as often as we can. 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. It helps you appreciate things in a different way. Funny enough, when we moved to the country, there was actually less walking (although there was plenty of physical work), because there was nothing to walk to. So now we look for opportunities to make sure we are walking with purpose, whether it’s to a class, or meeting clients, or shopping.

We also have a decided leaning toward food cooked at home, and to saving money while doing it. There are lots of pluses to a plant-based diet, so you’ll find lots of veg-friendly options, although we aren’t vegan. If you are, you might try Louise Spiteri‘s blog. At our house, we try to keep it healthy, local, and budget-friendly. We are zero-waste inclined (so is Anne Marie Bonneau), so even our downtown condo makes recycling and composting part of our routine. A lot of the time cooking around here is more method and proportion, so not everything will have a recipe here, sometimes just instructions to get you started.

When I started blogging about local food, it was kind of a novelty movement. We got into walking in a big way, as part of that idea: what does local mean? We used to start every day with a walk; many days still start that way. But as we’ve been aging, I, in particular, found I was getting weaker, and that bothered me. It’s not necessary, and it can be one of the things that puts you at risk for an early demise, or at least will stop you from doing the things you love, sooner than needed. So aquafit entered the routine. And yoga re-entered. And now, strength and balance classes. For me, I’ve also been limiting my alcohol. Mostly, I don’t drink, although I might have a celebratory beverage now and then. All of that is intended to help us live longer, and better, and to continue enjoying how we live, for as long as possible.

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