Vegetarian Massaman Quinoa Curry.

I’ve been feeling really conflicted with cooking lately.  On one hand, I feel really inspired by this dreary, rainy season to make hearty stews, warm soups, and other seasonal favorites.  I’m on a serious health and fitness kick (must sense the New Year coming!) and I feel inspired to pack as many veggies and nutrients into our family meals as possible. 

On the flip side, I also feel painfully lazy when it comes to actually COOKING meals.  Naps are a rare treat these days, and the ages of the kids don’t make it easy to do anything beyond reheating or throwing something onto a roasting pan. 

I was with a friend the other day at a fun paint place for the kids, when we decided to pop into the vegan café next door for lunch before heading home.  They had a massaman curry bowl on the menu as the seasonal item, and the minute I read the description I had to have it.  With eat bite, I asked myself – why don’t I cook more like this?  It was hearty and filling, but packed with veggies and protein, and I pretty much licked the bowl at the end.  I vowed to go home and figure out how to make something similar myself. 

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And so I did just that.  Traditional massaman curry is usually a chicken dish, but this recipe incorporates a lot of the same spices and flavors, so it’s my vegetarian take on this classic recipe. 

Vegetarian Massaman Quinoa Curry

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 1 large sweet potato (or 2 medium), diced small
  • 3 small heads broccoli, cut into small stalks
  • 2 boxes (10oz) shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans lite coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • handful of cashews (optional)
  • fresh cilantro, minced (optional)

Instructions

In a large heavy bottomed pot, or sauté pan with taller sides, start by heating olive oil on medium high heat. Add sweet potato, broccoli, and mushrooms, and cook until softening and slightly browning. After about 10 minutes of sautéing, add the chickpeas, the coconut milk, and all of the spices. Throw in a heavy pinch of salt.

Bring heat to a low simmer, and partially cover. Allow mixture to cook for at least 30 minutes. The longer it cooks, the more flavor that will develop. Stir occasionally.

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While the curry simmers, cook the quinoa in a rice cooker or sauce pot – combining 1 cup dry quinoa with 1.75 cups water, and cooking until all water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.

Once the quinoa is ready, and all veggies have softened in the curry, it’s time to serve! Spoon curry over cooked quinoa in bowls, and top with minced fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of chopped cashews.  Enjoy!

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This is one of my favorite things I’ve made in a long time.  I’m honestly not a huge quinoa fan myself, but I try to incorporate it into things because I know it’s such a healthy grain alternative and protein source.  This was the perfect way to eat it – buried beneath lots of delicious flavor, so it went almost unnoticed. 

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I’m sitting at the coffee shop this morning, looking out on another very rainy day, and wishing I had a big bowl of this waiting in the fridge for me back home!

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I’ll be back with one more quick post tomorrow – and then it’s time to unplug and enjoy the holidays.  Happy Monday!

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