This is a good one and fine for a nice light Summer dinner. I think I also finally licked the issue with having my coconut curries turn out too bland – I think I *finally* added enough spice!
gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan
Roasted Veggie Coconut Curry
2-3 c. pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 c. broccolini, chopped
2 green chilis, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
15 oz. can coconut milk
2 empty cans’ worth your favorite stock
4 Tbsp. curry blend
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
Protein of choice
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 scallion, sliced
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Bake the pumpkin at 400F in a little oil, seasoned with salt & pepper, 20-30 minutes or until soft.
Add the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker or Instant Pot, minus the protein, noodles, lime juice, scallion or cilantro. Set on “Soup” or “Stew” and let cook. If you are using chicken, add the protein at this step. If you’re using something like seafood or tofu, cook separately and add at the end with the noodles.
Prepare your noodles separately.
When the curry is done cooking, tase for salt & pepper and top with the lime juice, scallion and cilantro.
Miso. Butter. Is. Amazing. I don’t know why the combo never occurred to me, but when I scrolled past the mere mention somewhere out there on the Internets, I was intrigued.
I’m glad I followed that particular tangent, because I would happily slather this stuff on pretty much anything (including toast).
gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan if you swap for vegan butter
Miso Butter Bowl
3 Tbsp. your favorite butter, softened
2 Tbsp. white miso
A big hand full of minced scallion whites
Mush the above into a compound butter.
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
1/2 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Your favorite seasoning (I used Tony’s Cajun)
Roast chickpeas (to make: drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, spread out in a single layer on a prepared sheet and bake at 400F for 20-30 mins or until your desired level of crisp and brownness has been reached. Toss with a Tablespoon of oil and a liberal amount of your favorite seasoning – I used more of that Tony’s)
The greens from your scallions
This would also be great with a good cashew cheese, but I did not have any on hand
To assemble, sauté the zucchini, corn, onion and garlic in a teaspoon of oil until your desired level of brownness has been reached. Season with salt, pepper and your seasoning. Add the miso butter and let go another minute or two.
Add the veggies into a bowl, and top with your extras.
Preheat your oven to 375F/200C. Halve your zucchini and semi-scoop the middles out. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet cut side down.
Bake about 20 minutes or until browning and cooked through.
Meanwhile, make your bruschetta topping. Dice the tomato, mince the onion and garlic tear or chop the basil, chop the picked thyme. Add to a bowl with a couple good glugs of oil, a generous amount of salt & pepper, 1 tsp. your favorite vinegar, and a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Let sit while your zucchini bakes.
To assemble, fill each zucchini like a boat and serve.
To bump this out to be a more substantial meal, add some chopped leftover shrimp like I did, or add some pearl couscous cooked in stock to the bruschetta mix.
This is a great riff on a classic Middle Eastern sauce (kinda like the ME version of chimichurri) with a nice, light salad.
This sauce can also be used as a meat marinade, as a topper for crispy potatoes, as a sauce in a sandwich, mixed with zucchini, avocado & peas in pasta, and as a mix-in for rice. I’m sure there are 999999 other ways to use it, but I ran out before I could try more. Which I will. I suspect this would be bomb with a Kewpie mayo egg salad sandwich.
I think next time I make this sauce, I’ll use a mortar & pestle instead of a blender – my favorite version from a local restaurant has a thicker mince and even punchier garlic.
gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low-carb
Cucumber Salad with Zhoug Sauce
6 cloves garlic
3 jalapeños (or a mix of jalapeños and other peppers – seed if you need to)
1 cup flat leaf parsley
1 cup cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 c. olive oil
Blend to combine in your food processor or blender until your desired consistency is reached.
2-3 small cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber, sliced thinly or diced
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. fresh dill, chopped
1 small red onion, sliced wafer thin
Generous amount flake salt & black pepper
1/2 c. zhoug sauce
Combine and let sit 1/2 an hour or more to let the flavors meld.
Serves a few as a simple side with a protein. Would also make a fantastic bbq side in place of a Southern-style cucumber salad.
I know, *another* hash. Can you get any more basic?
Nope. Nope you can’t. This girl loves breakfast, and hates eating dinner off of a plate at home. I also had an inexplicably strong desire for shredded zucchini, so hash it was.
I’m glad I listened to my weirdo craving – this was dang good. I’ll be making it again because this base is super versatile.
Some topping options:
Like I served it with leftover crumbled sausage, cherry tomatoes & Choula
Taco meat, guacamole and salsa
Chorizo or breakfast sausage & a fried egg
Turkey bacon & a fried egg (had this for breakfast the next day and it was 💯
Marinara & shredded protein of your choice with red pepper flakes
Salmon burger or crab cake with lemon aioli and capers
Let me know if you make any of these other options, tag me on Instagram @gastography – I’d love to see how they turned out!
On to the actual recipe.
gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan
Veg-Forward Hash Bowl Base
4 small waxy potatoes (about 2 cups shredded)
1 small red onion, shredded
1 large zucchini, shredded
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup sautéed minced red pepper & onion
Salt & pepper
Shred the veggies and add in a pile to a clean tea towel. When all the veggies are in, twist as hard as you can to release as much water as possible. You want your mixture pretty dry so it picks up a bit of color rather than just steaming – if you’re me. You do you, though.
Heat a Tablespoon or so of your favorite fat over medium high heat. Add the squeezed veggies and stir to break up.
Hit with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Stir again.
Let sauté until browned to your liking. Add the pepper & onion mix. Stir to combine.
This process took me about 12 minutes to hit my desired level of brownness (stirring pretty frequently to avoid all-out burning) and for my potatoes to be cooked through.
You could also use frozen hashed browns here and that may take a different cooking time.
Taste for seasoning and hit with more salt, pepper or garlic powder if needed. Smoked paprika would also be nice here – cumin would be good, too. I made mine plain so I had maximum topping options.
This is a great grab-n-go to have in your back pocket any time you’ve got too many bananas and need a quick breakfast.
gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan
Chai Spiced Baked Oatmeal
2 cups rolled oats
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 over ripe bananas
1.5 cups your favorite milk (I’ve used both hazelnut and oat milk and they were both great)
1/4 cup tahini
2 Tbsp. date molasses or maple syrup
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
3 Tbsp. pepitas
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Optional topper: a drizzle of nut butter, fresh or frozen berries, more banana
Preheat your oven to 200c/375F.
In a small baking dish, combine the dry ingredients. Mix to incorporate.
In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and add the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix to combine fully. If you still have little chunks of banana, mash them with the back of a spoon while combining. You want to make sure all the oats are wet.
Bake about 25 – 35 minutes, or until the bake is set and nicely browned.
Slice into 6 big squares and serve with your optional toppers.
Orzo is an ingredient I under-utilize and I’m always surprised how much I like it each time I remember to make it. I’m imagining it’s because I spent years exclusively eating paleo, and have been into low carb for years upon that – but this is really good.
This recipe tastes fresh and makes a great accompaniment to next weeks recipe – a baked Mediterranean chicken. It’s also great as a standalone dish.
1/2 cup orzo
1.5 cups liquid – I used 1/2 a cup of good stock & 1 cup of water; you do you, though I’d suggest using some good flavorful broth as well
6 sundried tomatoes
500g baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. your favorite oil
Optional add-ins: pine nuts, a good salty cheese (this one from Violife was what I used for the dish I made to go with and it was fantastic – they also make a “Parmesan” that would probably be great here), a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of Zaatar
Sauté the garlic in the little bit of oil until just beginning to turn tender.
Add the stock & water and bring up to a boil.
Add the orzo and cook, stirring quite frequently to prevent sticking, until just al dente, a minute or so before the cook time is up.
While the orzo is working, chop the sundried tomatoes.
When the orzo is al dente, remove from the heat.
Chuck the sundried tomatoes in, stir, and add the spinach on top.
Let steam a couple minutes, and stir the wilted spinach in.
Finally. A curry with taste! I have been crap at making truly flavorful curries in general – I find recipes either too light in the spice for my taste, or just generally falling flat of the kind of deeply layered taste thing I love when enjoying my favorite delivery curries.
This is a step in that direction. It’s complex, flavorful, and wholly satisfying.
A word of caution for this recipe: I served mine with just a side of basmati rice, and I was still hungry. Either the carb ratio was off, or the meal needed some protein or fat to be truly filling.
Note: This recipe uses some of the Good Standard Curry I posted last week. That curry is a fantastic base for all number of other curries – I’m hoping I’ll get one more shot at transforming it into something else before I run out. Luckily, it freezes beautifully in batches.
gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 green chili of your choice
400-500g can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1.5 c. chopped okra
1 bell pepper
1 c. of the Good Standard Curry I posted a recipe for last week
Your favorite cooking oil
Salt & pepper
Chop your onion and garlic. Mince the chili. Fry in a little oil until just beginning to brown.
Add about a quarter cup of water, let simmer about 5 minutes while you are prepping the next step.
While the aromatics are softening, in another pan, fry the coriander, cumin, smoked paprika and tomato paste in a little oil about a minute, or until fragrant.
Add the canned tomatoes, stir well, and simmer 10 minutes.
While the tomatoes are simmering, Whiz the onion mixture to form a paste. Chop the okra and bell pepper.
Add the onion mix, okra, bell pepper and curry base. Simmer 20 minutes, season well with salt and pepper and serve.
I served mine with basmati rice cooked with a little butter – you do you.
This curry makes a great jumping off point for a whole world of sauces. It’s based on this British-style sauce from Great Curry Recipes, but with amped-up spices, since I just can’t help myself. I also turned it into a full vegetarian meal, and it was delicious
A Good Standard Curry
2 yellow onions
4 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
2 bell peppers
1.5 cups crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. + ghee
1 Tbsp. curry powder (your favorite style)
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. coriander
1 Tbsp. asofetida (fenugreek was called for in the original; I used what I had)
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. turmeric
To turn this into a meal:
1 can chickpeas
1 c. water
Thinly slice your onions. Add to a medium- large pan over medium heat where you’ve heated enough oil to cover the bottom till slightly bubbly.
Fry about 20 minutes until really soft and clear with a little color.
While the onions are working, chop the peppers & carrot. Mince the ginger and garlic and make a paste out of them by crushing with the back of a knife or grinding in a mortar & pestle.
When the onions are ready, add the peppers and carrot. Fry 5 minutes to get working.
Add the ginger, garlic and all spices but the turmeric.
Add to tomatoes and enough water just to cover.
Simmer :30, and remove from the heat. Cool until safe to whiz.
Whiz to make a mostly smooth mixture.
Add the ghee to the pan over medium heat and fry the turmeric :30 – 1 minute to bloom. Add the sauce back into the pan and simmer over low for 20 – 30 minutes.
Now to turn this sauce into a meal.
Set the sauce aside, and add a Tablespoon of oil back into the pan. Chop and add the potatoes, second carrot, and can of chickpeas (drained). Let sauté a couple minutes to warm up a bit. I had intended on putting a little color on the chickpeas but I lost patience with life.
Add a cup or two of the sauce and 1 cup of water. Simmer :30, covered.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a liberal sprinkle of finishing salt over basmati rice.
The dinner portion serves 4 easily, with enough sauce leftover to make at least 1 more big meal
Note: This curry is unsalted on purpose. The original recipe was unsalted as well, and I think that’s a good idea since it’s supposed to be used as a base for additions. I’ll be taking this curry and adding some fire next meal – along with more peppers and a deeper taste with tomato paste.