The most frequently asked questions I get are “What does a vegetarian eat, salad and pasta?” and “How do you get your protein?” My sister had a great suggestion for me to share a balanced vegetarian meal each month in hopes of creating new cooking ideas for those unfamiliar with a vegetarian diet. My main source of protein comes from soy, whole grains, dairy, nuts, eggs, beans and legumes.
My sister introduced me to Indian food several years ago. I fell in love with the spicy flavors, and variety of vegetarian cuisine available. Most recently during her travels she sent a jar of her favorite curry paste home for me to try. The paste has the right mix of spices and oil to create a rich curry sauce.
We harvested our first two ichiban eggplants this week. Ichiban or Japanese eggplant are a skinny smaller version of the Italian eggplant. The Italian eggplants are tougher and require a 30 min. salting process before cooking. Ichiban eggplants do not require this process and the skins are softer making them easier to eat.
Our homegrown vegetable selection is in abundance, making it the perfect time to prepare and share my garden vegetable curry. This recipe is my first featured balanced meal of the month. I hope you will sample this one!
Garden Vegetable Curry:
- *1 ichiban eggplant, chopped (or 1/2 Italian eggplant)
- *1 zucchini, chopped
- *1 yellow squash, chopped
- *1/2 red bell pepper
- *1/2 orange bell pepper
- *1/2 yellow bell pepper
- *20 green beans, cut in thirds
- *1 carrot, diced
- *2 tomatoes, diced
- *1/2 hot chile pepper (add more for extra heat)
- 1 potato, diced
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 8-10 button mushrooms, diced
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 4 oz. masala marinated baked tofu
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz. curry paste (Patak’s brand is great)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 4 TBSP plain yogurt (or soy yogurt)
- 3 c. cooked brown rice
In a bowl, mix the pre-baked chopped tofu with your favorite store bought gluten free masala simmer sauce and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate the tofu in the refrigerator over night or for at least a couple of hours. Masala flavored tofu can also be found pre-marinated in some specialty grocery stores.
Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan or skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, potato and carrot for about 5 minutes. Add the curry paste, garam masala, chile and all the veggies to the pan (excluding the tomatoes and peas). Stir well making sure all ingredients are coated well with curry paste. Strain the tofu from the liquid and add to the pan. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring often (about 30 minutes).
Add the chopped tomatoes and frozen peas to the pan. Cook for additional 5 minutes. Stir in the yogurt until heated through, do not bring to a boil. Serve over a bed of brown basmati rice and enjoy with your favorite naan (Indian bread-not gluten free).
*items from Midwest Vegetarian garden