Cauliflower Curry

Wanting a dinner with some Indian-inspired flavors, I searched online and through several cookbooks for a recipe. I came across a Weight Watchers recipe for Chickpea and Cauliflower Stew, but I didn’t think the recipe was quite right. I made a couple of modifications and came up with this simple, flavorful adaptation.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 small organic Russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh spinach
  • Oat bran pita bread
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Greek yogurt

Cauliflower is really the main ingredient in this dish. It absorbs the flavors of the spices well and softens just enough to be enjoyable without becoming mushy.

Cauliflower
Cauliflower

The potatoes add some texture to the dish, but become much softer than the cauliflower. I’ve mentioned it before on this blog, but I think organic potatoes taste much better than conventionally grown potatoes. I cannot always tell a difference in the taste between organic foods and non-organic foods, but I can tell a difference with potatoes. My mom has a plausible hypothesis that organic growers use more compost and naturally have more nutrient-rich soils, leading to better tasting potatoes.

Organic potato
Organic potatoes

After cutting the cauliflower into florets and cubing the potatoes, boil both in lightly salted water for 5 minutes. While the cauliflower and potatoes boil, pour the canola oil into a dutch over and heat over medium. Add the curry powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and red pepper. Cook the spices until fragrant, up to a minute. Cumin, with its warm and earthy flavor, is one of my favorite spices. I also love the bright citrus flavor that the coriander seeds give to this dish.

Curry spices
Fragrant curry spices

Toss in the chickpeas and stir until they are well coated in the spices. Stir in the crushed tomatoes. To help balance out the acidity of the tomatoes, add up to a teaspoon of sugar. When the cauliflower and potatoes are ready, drain and add them to the curry mixture. Continue cooking until the curry thickens and the vegetables reach the desired tenderness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the curry over chopped fresh spinach and pita bread slices. Top the curry with cilantro and greek yogurt, if desired.

Cauliflower Curry
Cauliflower Curry

Chickpea Curry with Arugula

I’m always on the lookout for healthy, affordable, vegetarian recipes. This is a great vegetarian meal that goes together quickly, uses White house pantry staples, and tastes even better for lunch the next day.

I modified this recipe slightly from one I saw in Everyday Food: Quick Chickpea Curry. Since we don’t typically keep cinnamon sticks on hand, I substituted a few shakes of ground cinnamon. Instead of curry powder, I used Balti seasoning from Penzys Spices (so good and flavorful). I may have doubled (or tripled) the amount of garlic (that’s how I roll).

I served the chickpeas over a bed of cilantro rice and arugula. To cut the spiciness of the seasoning, I topped the whole dish off with a dollop of plain yogurt. Flavorful, fast, and delicious – my kind of weeknight dinner.

Rainbow Farfalle

A few months ago, Kaitlin and I were wandering around World Market (love that store!) and I was captivated by a box of rainbow farfalle. Farfalle, also know as bow-tie pasta, is one of my favorite shapes and, even better, the unique colors of the pasta came not from food coloring or dye but natural sources like beets, carrots, and spinach. I drooled over the box but ended up not purchasing it, only to be surprised when I received it as a gift for my birthday! Thanks, Kaitlin! Here is Artie’s recap of the delicious dinner he made the next night:

These fun bow-tie pastas had such unique multicolored striping, we didn’t feel that covering them in a jar of pasta sauce would do them justice. Instead, I opted to serve the pasta with an assortment of vegetables that mimicked the colors of the pasta.

Rainbow Farfalle
Rainbow Farfalle

To mimic the red, green, and beige stripes on the pasta, I decided to serve the pasta with tomatoes, zucchini, and chickpeas.

Vegetables that mimic the colors of the pasta
Vegetables that mimic the colors of the pasta

While the pasta boiled in salted water, I sautéed a couple cloves of garlic in olive oil over medium heat. I added diced pre-cooked chicken sausage and  sautéed until the edges started to turn light brown and crispy. I added diced zucchini and a can of peeled plum tomatoes. I seasoned the mixture with salt, pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil.

Chunky Homemade Pasta Sauce
Homemade Pasta Sauce

When the mixture cooked long enough to soften the zucchini (about as long as it took the pasta to finish cooking), I drained off the excess liquid from the sauce (the canned tomatoes can be a little big juicy) and gently folded in the pasta. The dish was topped with freshly grated parmesan.

Rainbow Farfalle with Zucchini, Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Sausage
Rainbow Farfalle with Zucchini, Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Chicken Sausage

With the rustic taste of the hearty vegetable sauce and the playful colors of the pasta, this rainbow farfalle dish affirmed the quote by Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”