Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Farm Fresh Vegetable Curry with Quinoa

Every third Thursday of the month we get fresh produce from a CSA called Farm Fresh To You, which delivers all around Southern California.  The produce comes from local farms, mostly in Temecula, which is very much "local" to Orange, San Diego, and LA counties.  We get a box every month with whatever is in season and are sometimes forced to get creative with what we are given.

Last month we got rhubarb and it was quite the challenge.  I'm not a big pie maker or any kind of baker really, so I looked into savory recipes.  I didn't find even one appealing so I ended up putting it in a breakfast smoothie with frozen bananas and strawberries.  Definitely masked the flavor and I got the nutrients.. win, win.  If anyone has a good rhubarb recipe, please share!

This past Thursday we got carrots, potatoes, baby bok choy, green bell peppers, sweet peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, avocados, and some romaine lettuce.  I decided to make a Thai/Indian-inspired curry dish with most of the veggies.  Here is what I came up with:

  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • baby bok choy
  • green bell pepper
  • sweet peppers
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • coconut oil/any oil with high boiling point
  • coconut milk
  • indian spices: turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cayenne pepper, garam masala, salt, and pepper
  • fresh basil
I learned from a dear friend of mine (Usha!) that in order to bring out the flavor of spices you should put them in the pot with oil before any other ingredient and wait until they make a popping noise.  The spices infuse the oil with their flavors and it makes the dish that much more savory and delicious.  After heating the spices, I added minced garlic and coarsely chopped onions.  I cooked the onions until they were almost transparent, then added potatoes, carrots, peppers, and then bok choy.  I added about one cup of coconut milk and stirred the pot.  Then I added some salt and pepper and let it simmer.  Finally, I added chopped fresh basil from our garden for even more flavor.

As the curry simmered, I cooked some quinoa to serve with it.  I boiled 2 cups of water and added 1 cup quinoa.  Let simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy.

The freshness of the veggies combined with the incredible Indian spices made this such a flavorful dish!

You can make this type of dish with so many vegetables.  If you have cilantro, that would be a great addition as well!

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