A Couple Favorite Vegetable Curry Dishes

Vegetable curry dishes are so great. Nourishing, economical, and deliciously flavorful. Here are two favorites I alternate between when I cook one of our weekly vegetarian meals. The Fresh Vegetable Curry was inspired from Nourishing Meals, the other I wanted to share is a Curried Vegetable Letil Chili from Kim’s Cravings which I have cooked often with a variety of vegetables. They are pretty forgiving and always tasty. Try them yourself!

Fresh Vegetable Curry:

3 tablespoons coconut or virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 medium sweet potato or 4 medium red potatoes, cut into cubes
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons sea salt or Herbamare
6 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
bunch of spinach or 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into pieces
3/4 pound cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (this can take a while to cook soft)
1/2 pound mushrooms, cut in half
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can
chopped cilantro for garnish

Heat a large skillet (I use an 11-inch) over medium to medium-high heat for a few minutes to let the pan heat up. Add the coconut oil, then the mustard seeds and ginger. Saute for about 30 seconds (you should hear the mustard seeds popping). Then add the potatoes and carrots. Saute for about 10 to 15 minutes, keeping the heat moderate so they don’t start browning too much or sticking. Then add the spices and Herbamare. Stir well and saute for about a minute more. Sautéing the spices in oil is key to a good curry!
Next add the diced tomatoes. Saute for 2 minutes while stirring. Mix the cup of water with the arrowroot in a small bowl. I use a fork to whisk it together. Add this mixture to the cooking veggies.
Then add the green beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, and chickpeas. Stir gently. cover and cook for about 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over rice or quinoa and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Curried Vegetable Chili:

1 cup brown or green lentil, rinsed and drained (a quicker option is using a can of garbanzo beans/ chick peas)
3 cups vegetable broth (water will work too)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ medium white onion, diced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large zucchini, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 -1.5 tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups (or handfuls) fresh spinach, chopped

Place lentils and vegetable broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 45 minutes or until tender.
I first rinse and start my rice, which we like with our curries.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion and carrot, and sauté for about 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder, salt, pepper and garlic. Add zucchini and continue to sauté for about 3-5 more minutes. Continue to sauté until veggies are tender. Finally, add the spinach and continue to stir around the skillet until spinach is slightly wilted. You can throw in the garbanzo beans now, if using.
Once both lentils and veggie mixture are cooked, add lentil to the veggie mixture and stir to combine.
Optional, but highly recommended to make lentil chili thicker: Blend half of the lentil mixture in a high speed blender and then add back to the skillet for a super thick lentil chili.
Add more seasoning and salt, as needed.
Serve as is or over rice and enjoy!


Zuppa Tuscana

This version of Olive Garden’s famous soup uses fresh and flavourful ingredients for a delicious and rich (not something I’d eat every night) meal. The cauliflower is great for a meal that’s lower on the glycemic scale. The original recipe says to use a pan for sautéing, but you can do it all in one pot too! Serves 6-8.

2 quarts chicken stock
3 pieces pastured bacon (or reserved bacon grease)
1 onion, diced fine
3-4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced (OR 3 c cauliflower for low glycemic version)
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (I use the sweet Italian sausage from Heritage meats)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard or 1 bunch kale, cut into bite size pieces
2⁄3 cup organic cream
2-4 cups water
1⁄4 teaspoon ground aniseed
1⁄2-1 teaspoon salt, depending on taste
1 dash red pepper flakes
black pepper

1. Bring chicken stock and water to a light boil and add potatoes.
2. In a skillet (preferably cast iron or enameled cast iron) cook bacon until somewhat done and remove (but do not add bacon to the soup, save for a BLT or quiche).
3. Sauté the onion in the bacon rendering until almost caramelized (golden color).
4. Remove and put in boiling stock.
5. In the same skillet add olive oil and cook Italian sausage (with casings removed).
6. Add garlic with the sausage and cook until sausage is done and the consistency of ground hamburger meat.
7. Add mixture to the stock.
8. By this time check to see if potatoes are cooked by trying to squish them on the side of the stock pot.
9. When they are done reduce heat (you can see if you want to thin with the extra water at this point) and add cream and Swiss chard/kale, salt, anise, red pepper, black pepper.
10. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, and a side of bread and salad.

Roast Leg of Lamb

My husband, my boys and I had a wonderful dinner with my parents, giving thanks this Good Friday for the Lamb that was slain, covering all our sins. He is our risen Saviour and King Jesus, worth celebrating!

Rosemary and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

Total Time: 2 hr 5 min
Cook: 1 hr 30 min – 2 hours
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 leg of lamb, bone in (about 6 pounds)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1 cup chopped fresh herbs (combination of rosemary, chives, and parsley)
2 cups diced onions
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Using your hands, rub the lamb all over with the lemon juice. Pat the garlic and rosemary evenly all over the surface of the meat. Season the meat with the salt and pepper and place the lamb in a roasting pan. Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to cook for about 1 hour longer for medium-rare, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers about 145 degrees F to 150 degrees F (be careful that the thermometer does not touch the bone.) I added an extra 30 minutes and it was just to my family’s liking. Remove lamb from pan and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

(You can also start the following step while the lamb is cooking. Saute onions in medium saucepan, add stock and wine and simmer for up to an hour before lamb is done cooking). Position the roasting pan over your stove burners. Add mixed herbs and onions to pan, and stir to combine with pan drippings. Add chicken stock and wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Reduce over high heat until sauce consistency. Strain before serving, if desired. Slice lamb and serve with sauce drizzled over the top.

Rice and Peanut Sauce

I’ll often make a Nasi Goreng type dish and top it with this tasty peanut sauce and a little cilantro to garnish, making a simple and flavorful Indonesian dish that is quite economical (and makes my rice-loving hubby happy). The rice dish can be make with or without the sauce, and to save time I will usually omit the ginger, garlic and extra seasonings to the vegetable rice dish if using the peanut sauce.

Rice Dish:
1-2 c uncooked rice
1/2 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 small onion
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 medium green cabbage, chopped
1/2 c green peas, defrosted
squirt of lime juice (about 1/2 tsp)
dash of Tamari (or soy sauce)
1-3 tsp sambal oelek (optional, adds some heat)
Peanut Sauce:
1 c coconut milk
3/4 c natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp soy sauce (we use Tamari)
1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp lime juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
a dash to 1/2 tsp chili flakes (depending on heat preference)
water to thin

Cook rice as directed (I like to use brown rice, soaking it the day before). Cook beef and set aside. Heat large pot and add coconut oil. Saute onions until clear and add other veggies (the cabbage, peas and peppers take the least amount of time), covering until softened, stirring often. Add in seasonings. Fold in rice and beef into the vegetables just enough to combine.
For Sauce:
Heat coconut milk and peanut butter on medium temperature until well combined and heated through. Add other seasonings, stirring at med-low heat. If it’s quite thick, add a couple Tbsp of water to make it a consistency to pour sauce off of a spoon. Turn down heat and serve over rice.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Also yummy with some chopped chicken breast added, but even just vegetarian this salad is full of protien and makes a tasty lunch dish.

Greek Quinoa Salad

1 c uncooked quinoa
1/2 package grape tomatoes, sliced into halves
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 long English cucumber, sliced and quartered
1/4 cup black olives, halved if desired
2 Tbsp red onion, diced
approx 1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
1 green onion, green part only diced
juice from 1 large freshly squeezed lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 tsp honey
1 cushed garlic clove
Salt & cracked pepper to taste

Cook Quinoa as directed with water or chicken broth. Allow to cool.

In large bowl, fold in diced veggies into quinoa. Combine ingredients for dressing (blend with immersion blender to thoroughly combine). Drizzle dressing all over salad and gently mix throughout. Keep in fridge tightly covered for up to 3 days.

Pepper-Mint Dressing & Marinade

This is amazing chicken, fish or lamb marinade, as well as salad dressing. We had it on shish-kabobs with zucchini, onion and cherry tomatoes  – whatever I had on hand, paired with green salad and rice, making a simple and delicious Summer dinner.

Pepper-Mint Marinade:

1/2 cup packed fresh spearmint leaves

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled

1 small shallot (optional)

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients except for olive oil to a blender. Blend on high until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the olive oil, blend on low speed until just incorporated. Pour into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring to room temp before serving.

 Source: http://www.NourishingMeals.com

Scotch Broth

I love this comforting, hearty and flavorful soup. Seasonal root veggies make it the perfect winter dish. Barley has amazing health benefits with high levels of manganese, selenium and fiber, proven to balance blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. I like to double the recipe and add up to one cup of hulled barley for a nice thick stew. Last time I made it (doubling it) used about a pound of lamb marrow bones as well as one shank bone – delicious! The bones are economical, flavorful and full of nutrients, drawn out by the long simmering. I like to make a thick lamb bone broth, simmered for up 24 hours, and then cooking hulled barley (that I have sprouted) in it for a couple of hours, creating a thick soft texture.

Scotch Broth Recipe

1 lb/ 700 g lamb (ground, dinner sausage, a neck, or I have also just used some shank marrow bones)
6 3/4 cups water
1/3 cup barley, rinsed (pearl or pot barley do not require soaking; hulled barley does require soaking overnight)
2 onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 small turnips, finely diced
1 parsnip, diced
3 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery stocks, diced
2 leeks, sliced (whites only)
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1) (If using hulled barley, don’t forget to soak overnight, or longer to sprout) If using lamb bones, place into a pot (I like to brown the meat on the bones before adding the water) and just barely cover with the water, bringing it to a boil. Pour out that first bit of scummy water and now add the 6 3/4 c water. Bring to boil again and quickly turn the heat down to low. If using bones, simmer for at least 1 hour before adding the barley (you can make a thick broth by simmering the bones for a day). If you are not making bone broth, but just using meat, place in pot with barley and the measure of water and bring to boil, turning down to low heat.
2) Rinse barley well. Add barley to pot and cover, reducing heat and simmering gently for another hour.
3) Remove bones, allow to cool and remove meat bits for adding to soup. Add in the meat bits removed from the bones.
4) Add veggies. Season well with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for an additional hour.
5) Remove from heat, taste and add additional salt and pepper, and parsley before serving.