January 23, 2013

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

For the last few years we have unconsciously added more and more vegetarian meals into our rotation. In fact, when my husband is on the road, the kids and I eat almost entirely vegetarian dinners except for the occasional chicken nugget. It's not that my husband doesn't eat vegetarian dinners but more that cooking an entire meal for myself and two preschoolers who might not eat it anyway isn't that appealing. I am far more likely to make a big batch of something in the beginning of the week and eat it throughout the week.
This dish is perfect for that. Like most curries, it actually tastes better after it has sat for a while so we pretty much inhaled the leftovers. The kids didn't even turn up their noses at a bowl full of veggies...it was only the spinach that raised their eyebrows. What is it about green food that immediately makes children refuse to eat it? The spice level is perfect for kids and wimps like me, but a few drops of a hot sauce in your bowl will amp it up to your personal preference. It's filling, but not heavy, which is just what we want in January, right?
The original recipe included cauliflower and I left it out partially because I didn't have any, and partially because I wanted this to be a bit more soup like. In the end, I'm very glad I did because there wouldn't have been room in our slow cooker for this anyway! This recipe makes a lot of food-perfect for easy entertaining in the winter when you want something hearty but still somewhat healthy. Or for those busy days when you know you just won't be up for cooking a whole meal when you get home.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

Slightly adapted from The Kitchn, originally in Cooking Light

1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
2 bell peppers, diced (any color)
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/4 tsp black pepper
10 oz fresh spinach
1 c. coconut milk

Saute the onion in the olive oil and salt until translucent. Add in the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt and cook until they begin to soften. Add in the curry powder, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cayenne and stir until fragrant. Pour in about 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pan. 

Pour this whole mixture into the slow cooker and add in the rest of the broth, the peppers, tomatoes (including the juice), the garbanzo beans, the pepper and salt. 

Cook on high for 4 hours. (Not to worry if you need to leave it longer though!)

Just before serving, stir in the spinach and the coconut milk. Let sit for a minute or so until the spinach wilts and add any more salt or pepper to taste. 

Serve over rice or couscous. We tried both, and the grownups preferred the couscous while the boys liked the rice. 

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