red lentil coconut + ginger curry

vegan curry Indian lentil split pea lime chili cilantro

This one pot curry is one of my staple winter and fall meals- it’s not my recipe, it’s Yotam Ottolenghi’s (and may I say he’s hands down in my top 3 favorite chefs of all time- the things he does with flavors are UNREAL).  You can find the recipe HERE on Bon Appetit’s website.  It’s fast and packed with flavor.  Since there’s so few ingredients, I really make sure the curry powder is fresh and strong and tasty.  Our bulk curry powder here is really good, but for years I’ve loved using the Sun Brand Madras style curry powder, too.

If you’re into making your own blend, this recipe by Heidi Swanson has never steered me wrong (scroll to the bottom of the linked page).

DON’T skip the lime, cilantro, and sprinkle of salt garnish.  It’s essential.

This is part of the #yayforearthchallenge II, read more about it + the meal plan HERE.

Curry spices

Here’s some options + variations to make it your own:

take it to the next level:  I like to toss in a handful of golden raisins sometimes if I have them, or wilt in some spinach.  Sometimes I use broth instead of the water.

make it heartier: sometimes I also start a pot of basmati rice while it cooks: 2c rice to 3c water + a pinch of salt.  Should be done in 15-20 (for white), exactly when your curry is done.

make it faster:  this is already really fast, but you could make the night before or on the weekend if you know you’ll have a long day.  Then, simply reheat.  Bonus is that the flavors only get deeper.

less waste:  I always use the cilantro stems, too.  Minced finely, they add just as great of a flavor as the leaves.

curried bean + brussels stew with roasted squash

Vegan butternut Brussels curry

Hello helloo!  We had a few days of colder snaps at night and a weird day of hail (?!) here so lately I’ve been craving a really warming and comforting one pot dish.  I’ve been meaning to make this recipe for weeks and today was the perfect day.  This stew seriously hits the spot.  It’s creamy, savory, loaded with all kinds of textures, and is a complete meal!  Plus it uses in season veggies: brussels, squash, and kale.  My kids really enjoyed it too!

Curry stew winter Simply Vibrant

The recipe comes from a new cookbook I’ve been absolutely loving lately called Simply Vibrant: All-Day Vegetarian Recipes for Colorful Plant-Based Cooking, by Anya Kassoff (find her on Instagram @golubkakitchen and her blog golubkakitchen.com).  The cookbook is just gorgeous, with lots of beautiful photos, seasonal, plant based recipes, many gluten free recipes, and decadent healthy treats.  I especially love that there’s an emphasis on using up every part of something- in this recipe you use the herb stems and bean cooking liquid- for an extremely sustainable and delicious dish.  She honors vegetables in the way there were meant to be experienced- as the star.  There’s something for everyone in this book, and it’s already become a treasured and referenced cookbook on my shelf.  I don’t say this lightly- I hardly own any cookbooks, but this is definitely a gem.

simply vibrant cookbook

photo c/o @golubkakitchen

This recipe has many steps, don’t be put off- they’re very easy, but it does take a bit of time.  A perfect Sunday meal.  If you, like me, are busy during the week, try cooking your beans and roasting the squash on the weekend (what I did) and the whole recipe comes together rather seamlessly.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and many thanks to Anya for letting me publish it!

Simply vibrant cookbook vegan

curried bean and brussels stew with roasted kabocha squash

ingredients

1 cup dried beans: adzuki, kidney, or cannellini beans (I used giant beans), soaked in purified water overnight

3 to 4 bay leaves

2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 to 3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves separated, stalks reserved for cooking the beans

sea salt

1 medium kabocha, kuri, or butternut squash, seeded, cut into bite size pieces (skin removed only if using butternut)

freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, divided

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, freshly ground

seeds from 5 to 7 cardamom pods, freshly ground

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3/4 cup bhutanese or red rice, rinsed (i had to use arborio and it was fine)

handful kaffir lime leaves (optional)

1 pound halved brussels, hard ends cut away

1 can coconut milk

zest and juice of 2 limes

4 cups baby spinach or 2 cups chopped kale

method

  1. Drain and rinse the beans, then place them in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and cover with at least 14 cups of water.  Add the bay leaved, garlic, thyme stalks, and cilantro stems, and bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat.  Skim off any foam with a slotted spoon and reduce the heat to a strong simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, add a pinch or two of salt, then cook for another 10 minutes or until the beans are tender and butter inside.  Check periodically to make sure the water is simmering.  If the beans are not fully cooked after 30 minutes, continue cooking them until they reach the right consistency-it can take up to an hour or even longer for some beans.  Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid in a large heatproof bowl for the base of the stew.  Discard the bay leaves and the stems.  Set the beans aside, and do not wash the pot.

giant beans2.  While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3.  Place the squash on the prepared sheet, add the thyme leave, salt, and pepper to taste, and 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil.  Mix to coat using your hands.  Spread in a single layer, transfer to oven, and roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring at halftime, until the squash is tender when pricked with a knife.

4.  In the same pot you used for cooking the beans, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the ginger and spices and stir everything around for 2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add the onion and saute for 7 minutes, until it is soft and translucent.

Curry spices

5.  Add the rice, a large pinch of salt, and the kaffir lime leaves, if using; and stir to coat.  Add 7 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid and bring the liquid to a boil.  Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is almost cooked.

6.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the brussels sprouts, cooked beans, and a large pinch of salt.  If using kale, add it at this time as well.  Bring the broth back to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes until the brussels sprouts and the rice are tender.

Brussels sprouts winter

7.  Add the coconut milk, roasted squash, lime zest and juice, and more salt to taste.  Bring the broth back to a gentle boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 2 minutes.

8.  Remove the pot from the heat, taste the broth, and add more salt if needed.  Stir in the spinach, if using.  Serve hot with fresh cilantro leaves and more freshly squeezed lime juice, if desired.  (I added coconut yogurt, mango chutney, and chile flakes too with excellent results.  Yum!)