Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011: Year of The Vegetable

No low fat steamed chicken breast recipe to start of the New Year I am afraid. I want to be honest and say that we are eating as usual here and I am trying to ignore my deep seated desire to diet after the holidays. I would like to be slim and trim for my 40Th, but I am pretty happy with the way I am now and a tiny waist is just not in my future. What I would like to change this year is the variety of vegetables that I serve my family. I prepare steamed broccoli for dinner pretty much every few days, because it is a dark green vegetable both my kids will eat. We are defiantly in a vegetable rut and I intend to get us out. I also need to seriously up my own intake. On crazy busy days I won't have had a vegetable or fruit before dinner time. I would never feed my kids this way so I am going to try and take better care of myself, and of course lead by example.

On that note I am posting my simple Chickpea Vegetable Curry recipe. I have been serving it for years on a regular basis. The original recipe comes from a friend of mine, Karen Chopko, whom I met at cooking school. She is now a private Vegan chef. Bizarrely my kids never seem very excited about my chickpea curry, but it's the one meal where both my veggie lover and meat lover eat everything.

Chickpea and Vegetable Curry
serves 4-6
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • sufficient quantity canola oil
  • 30 ml / 2 T curry powder
  • 5 ml / 1 t turmeric
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, peeled and diced
  • 1 large or 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 ml / 1 t fresh ginger, minced
  • 540 ml / 19 fl oz diced tomatoes
  • 398 ml / 14 fl oz coconut milk
  • 540 ml / 19 fl oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • salt to taste
In a large saute pan over medium heat cook the onions in the canola oil until caramelized (15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the carrots and celery and saute until tender (5 minutes). Add the 2 spices and stir to coat , cooking for 1 minute. Add the zucchini, garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute more. Add the diced tomato and coconut milk. Bring the curry to a gentle simmer and let cook for 45 minutes. Add the chickpeas and heat through. Season with salt and serve with rice and/or nan bread. Sprinkle generously with coriander. Serve with nan and/or basmati rice.

250 ml / 1 cup of peas or corn kernels could be added along with the chickpeas. Also left over cooked potatoes work well. Just dice them first.

On another note Barney's Version is out in theaters and I am proud to say I was the food stylist for most of the Montreal scenes (involving food of course), including: The wedding to wife #2 at the Ritz Carlton as well as 2 different occasions in the dining room. I also provided the food for scenes taking place at the Montreal institution Moishes, and at a private club, as well as in a private home where scenes revolved around brunch. I love that the food had to span several decades. It's fun to go all out and not be constrained by today's minimalist food presentation. It was also a treat to be able to watch Paul Giamatti and Dusitin Hoffman do their stuff. Scott Speedman, who I had an enormous crush on when he was on Felicity, is an underrated actor who was incredibly friendly and gracious on set. I cannot wait to go see the film!

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