At heart, I’m no cook, nor do I fancy myself a chef.
I don’t like it when things are complicated or time-consuming. I am, above all else, in search of what is practical and efficient, just ask my boyfriend. He’ll tell you that I like life best when things fit neatly together, whether it be planning for a meal or a vacation.
Keeping things simple
I run screaming from recipes that have so many ingredients in them you are more than likely to forget at least one. I also have a very real aversion to recipes that have expensive or exotic ingredients you are likely to use only once and then forget in the back of your pantry or fridge.
When I think of the recipes and dishes that have become my staples over the past couple of years, I can’t help but notice that they almost all have ingredient lists that are short and pack a whole lot of flavor. I feel like I owe a huge thank you to Jules Clancy over at the Stonesoup for making me feel like it was OK to like things simple and quick. In fact, sometimes it’s just the one fresh ingredient that really takes the whole dish up a notch.
The joy and simplicity of frozen veggies
While I love buying fresh produce, and am lucky enough to have a green grocer just downstairs from my apartment, buying fresh requires time and planning that you sometimes just don’t have. And indeed, for those times where my time is particularly stretched and precious, I do my best to always have a fully stocked freezer with all kinds of plain frozen veggies (thanks, Picard)…brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, spinach. Believe it or not, I sometimes even have a bag of frozen diced onion in the fridge, just in case I have an onion-emergency, aka we’re out of onions, at the time I want to throw a meal together. Actually, frozen diced onions also has the added benefit of no tears!
This recipe is perfect for when you don’t want to leave the house because you can basically plan on always having these ingredients in your house. The cauliflower can be frozen and the chickpeas and tomatoes can come from a can. And the rest of the recipe comes from the spices which are also easy to have on hand, cumin and turmeric. Turmeric — now there’s a spice I discovered through this recipe (yes, I know, it’s not a secret spice, but I warned you earlier about not being a chef). It really adds an incredible level of depth and it’s a great change from the traditional curry flavours.
Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry
Makes 2-3 servings/lunches and freezes really well in an air-tight container.
What you’ll need:
- 1 large onion, diced
- half a head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 can chickpeas, with the liquid
- 1 tbs freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, optional (these pack a bit of heat)
- few handfuls of fresh, chopped herbs (mint or coriander both work great), to serve
- few tablespoons of Greek yogurt, to serve
- Heat a good pour of olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook the onions until translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, turmeric, cumin, fresh black pepper and mustard seed, if using. Mix to combine.
- Add the chickpeas and chopped tomatoes with all the liquid. Cook covered for 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Stir and cook another 5 minutes until the florets are at desired tenderness.
- Serve with a spoonful of greek yogurt and garnish with fresh herb.
Do NOT discount the importance of the fresh herbs in curries! You’ll be sorry!
Recipe adapted from the Stonesoup.