Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving! A Vegetarian Alternative

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. What are you thankful for today?

We're heading over to my mother in law's later today - a short 7 mile drive. I'm thankful that she's doing most of the cooking. ;-) And that she is a big local food shopper.

I'm responsible for bringing the pumpkin pie (local pumpkin puree, local raw milk, local eggs), Candy Roaster soup (local candy roaster squash, local vegetable broth made from veggie scraps before they hit the compost bin, local milk) and a vegetarian entree. I am a lifelong vegetarian so I always offer to bring a veggie alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My absolute favorite entree to bring, and one that is always very well received, is Peanut Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook . It is perfect for the fall and winter holidays as it is hearty, filling and seasonal. The recipe is below. This Thanksgiving, I'm using all local produce for this.


2 teaspoons oil (I use olive oil as it's local)

1 large onion, chopped

1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated (I usually substitute a dash of dried ginger)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup loosely packed minced cilantro

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped

1 Tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds

2 teaspoons coriander

1 teaspoon ground tumeric

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 pound Yukon Gold or similar potatoes, peeled and chopped (I substitute 1 lb sweet potatoes)

1/4 cup coconut milk (I used 1/2 cup low fat coconut milk)

2 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter (I use 4 Tablespoons)

1 pound collard greens, steemed and coarsely chopped (I never pre-steam)

2 cups beans (I will sometimes substitute fried tofu)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the onion, ginger, garlic, and cilantro. Reduce heat to medium and saute, stirring often until onion is soft and translucent - about 7 minutes. Add the bell pepper and spices. Stir to blend. Stir in tomatoes, sweet potato and potatoes. Cover and let simmer over medium-low until the potatoes have cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Combine coconut milk and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Add them to the skillet along with the collards and beans/tofu. Cook until the collards turn bright green, about 4 minutes. Cover and let the curry sit for 20 minutes before serving. Serve over rice or with bread.

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