Monday, January 18, 2010


For Monday night's vegetarian meal, we went with a simple old standby: curried stuff. This is a frequent go to meal, one of those clean-out-your-fridge-type dishes. Tonight was potatoes, onions and rice (other frequent contributors include chickpeas and cauliflower).

I boiled the cubed, unpeeled potatoes to a point just before they'd be ready to be mashed, so they were still a little firm. I drained and added them to onions I was sauteing in some local organic butter and olive oil, then stirred in about 2 tablespoons of Sangeeta's Everyday Curry, salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste, and cooked it until the potatoes were starting to brown. Mix in some cooked jasmine rice, and you're all done!

As a topping, I stirred a little bit of yellow curry powder I had left from Urban Herbs into plain yogurt and put a dollop on top of each bowl.

Easy, healthy, and bursting with flavor! The key to not wanting to kill yourself out of boredom while eating healthy is knowing how to season, and experimenting with the infinite combinations of ingredients and spices available to you. If you're an adventurous cook who's not afraid to go "off the grid" a little bit in the kitchen (meaning you are fairly comfortable making it up as you go), check out my favorite cooking book, The Flavor Bible. It contains no recipes, but is instead an index of flavors that go well together. You can look up a specific ingredient or cuisine, or even a particular season.

For example, if I go to a farmer's market and find some beautiful beets in season, and I can't resist their gorgeous purply-red color, and I think maybe I heard once you can even eat the greens, but I have no clue what to do with them... I can just look up "Beets" and find a list of ingredients that go well with beets (such as goat cheese, dill, or orange) . Or maybe I'm in a supper club, and the theme is Indian... I can look up "Indian cuisine" and find a list of common ingredients and flavors (cardamom, cauliflower, ginger... especially in the north!).

If you're fairly comfortable with basic cooking processes, try tossing the recipes and striking out on your own. It's a great creative outlet (especially if, like me, you have no other), it's a lot of fun, and you just may surprise yourself and find your inner gourmet.

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