Coconut Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas

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Finally....hello again.  I apologize for the lack of posting.  I have no excuses really.  I'm not sure how you are, but for me, when I have lots of things on my to-do list, I pack things in and get so much accomplished.  Even things that aren't on the list.  But when I don't have much that I "have' to do, I get very little done.  I can spend a lot of time reading on the internet, watching you tube and netflix, working the cross word puzzle, making plans.....so many things, but get nothing accomplished. Thus the lack of posting.  I am still trying to figure out work, and know that sometime I am going to be back to full time hours with little free time, so I am trying to enjoy this little gap.  I could set my alarm and churn things out but that feels like it would be wasting the time I have to enjoy a slower pace.  I have to admit I am ready to be busy again so I am dliigently still working on employment. I finished the computer part of my nurse refresher course and am now getting ready for the clinical part.  So much red tape.....get a physical, request transcripts (they really need my college transcripts from 30 years ago?), 2  TB tests, my immunization history, a flu shot, a background check, and a urine drug test.  Really?  I am dutifully getting those checked off the list, although nothing is easy or cheap.  Oh well.  I am continuing to apply for jobs on line although that seems to be a big black hole.  Never even a reply or a no thank you.  I made a connection in one of the cancer centers here and sent her my CV and cover letter that she sent on to a hiring manager for one of the positions.  I am sure something will work out, but for now it seems like I am stuck in a corn maze.....each turn is another dead end, but fortunately there is always another route to try!

In the meantime, I have a new favorite cookbook. I may have mentioned it before.  It is a whole foods, gluten free but not vegan book.  I would describe it as macrobiotic in most respects.  The food is easy to prepare, the directions are clear, there are lots of pictures, and the food is delicious. It is right inline with the curriculum at The Natural Epicurean.  It does include some meat nd fish, but I believe there is a place for them in your diet if it works for you and there are from a good source. There is a whole section on fermeneted foods that I hope to try soon.  Garlic kale sauerkraut is on my list. Last week, I made this delicious coconut vegetable curry with chickpeas.  I changed zucchini to winter squash to be more seasonal, changed the method a bit, and added mushrooms.  It calls for cumin seed and black mustard seeds, both of which are good to have in your pantry.  I ate this on brown jasmine rice and it was warm and comforting for these cold winter days. (Sorry the pictures aren't good...it was dark when I finally ate it!) I highly recommend it. On my menu for today is a brown rice-lentil-spinach casserole. If it is good, I'll be back with it later this week.  

In other news, Tom and Beau were here for a few days last week.  I loved having them here, although that cats were not as enthusiastic.  I bought Beau a nice memory foam bed from Home Goods, hoping he would lay on it instead of the sofa.  He did indeed like it, as did Red who broke it in for him before I even got the tags cut off! 

I loved getting up early in the morning and taking Beau for a walk.  It was cold (one morning 18 degrees!) but I just put on lots of layers and out we went.  A great way to start the day.  The cold doesn't bother Beau a bit.  One afternoon we walked to a nearby park that has a creek and of course in he went!  That dogs loves water, cold or not! 

I'm off to make some lunch.  Have a good day....and try this curry!  It will warm you right up! 

Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: entree gluten-free nut-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian butternut squash carrots chickpeas potatoes Indian fall winter

Ingredients (4 - 6 servings)

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3 small red potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 heaping cup chopped kabocha or butternut squash
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric, or 2 tsp minced fresh tumeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • one 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced shitake mushrooms (tops only)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cillantro
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions

In a large Dutch oven, heat coconut oil over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook 1 to 2 minutes until they pop and are fragrant.

Add the ginger, potatoes, carrots, squash , tumeric, curry, and caynenne and stir well. Cook for a minute or so stirring to get everything well coated in the oil and spices. Add the coconut milk and water, and mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Do not let this boil or you risk the coconut milk separating and the curry will be grainy.

Add the peas, mushrooms, chickpeas, and salt. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer until everything is tender and cooked nicely together, another 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the lime juice and the cilantro. Taste for seasoning and add salt, lime juice and cayenne as desired.

Serve with brown jasmine rice, or rice of your choice.

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