Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Thai Chickpea Almond Curry
I woke up so happy this morning. Children's songs were playing in my head. There is so much promise for the day.
We've shared some children's church magazines with our neighbor down the street. She is reading them with her daughter, and loving them. I am thrilled! Oh, we've talked about Tracy before. She wants her daughter to grow up with some religious standards. So I gave her the magazines. Sharing happiness. Getting it back ten fold. Watching them enjoy the light of Christ.
I don't have to rush anywhere, I don't have to run around like I did yesterday. I may even get some exercise. I am just so excited for this beautiful day. Have you ever had a morning like that?
Taking care of Alana was a bit more of a challenge yesterday. Some of the "baby reality" settling in, I think. Dirty diapers, spit up. LOTS of feedings (her Mom pumps so I can bottle feed). You don't need to see any pictures of those things. And just the gear it takes for one little person? Sheesh!
I can see how Mommies of small babies can get burned out. Babies aren't so hard for 4-5 hours at a time, but they are exhausting if you have them 24/7!
Somehow I still found (carved out, scraped, battled for...) time to make a really good dinner. One of my new favorites.
A few exotic ingredients, but if you just take yourself to Whole Foods Market, or Amazon.com, or maybe even Sunflower Market (Sprouts)? You'll find everything there you need in the Asian food aisle.
My brain usually shuts down when I see too many foreign ingredients in a recipe.
But this one is worth it. My kids eat it. Mommy of Alana loved it. And she doesn't like chickpeas.
Yesterday I ate:
1.) A banana for breakfast (I was in a really big hurry to get out the door for my haircut)
2.) Veg soup and a Pure Bar for lunch (is Gluten Free, Raw, Vegan, and they taste like real brownies!)
3.) Strawberries and Cream for a snack, with my kids
4.) Massive plate of salad with mixed greens (over twice as much pictured below). Topped with an 8 chopped veggie mix and some really good dressing: Citrus Tahini Dressing. (from the same cookbook listed below, I highly recommend this dressing. I replace the 1 tablespoon of oil with 2-3 tablespoons of water. The dressing is very thick because of the tahini, and has no need for oil. Delicious. Even Samuel loved it with his salad.)
5.) Thai Chickpea Almond Curry over Jasmine Brown Rice
P.S. I finally got the video of Alana uploaded! Check it out.
Thai Chickpea Almond Curry
From Dreena Burton's, "Let Them Eat Vegan!"
Note from Ashlee: I highly recommend serving this with Jasmine Brown Rice. The texture is totally different from regular brown rice, and SOOO delicious.
Note from Dreena: While this bakes, you will be enchanted with the aromatic mingling of nutty coconut sauce infused with lime, ginger, and curry. It is a deeply flavorful dish that is also almost effortless in preparation. Everything comes together lickety-split and you have an exotic bean entrée to serve over rice.
Serves: 4 to 5, depending on accompaniments
1 medium to large clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt (plus another few pinches, if desired)
2½ to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 (14-ounce) can “lite” coconut milk
¼ cup almond butter
½ tablespoon tamari
1½ tablespoons peeled and roughly chopped fresh ginger
1½ to 2 teaspoons red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)(I used 2 heaping tsp.)
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
(optional; or use more if you like the heat!)
2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (3¾ to 4 cups)
2 cups zucchini that has been halved or quartered
lengthwise (depending on thickness) and sliced about
¼ inch thick (see note)
¾ cup green onion (mostly white bottom portion,
but some green as well)
2 dried or fresh kaffir lime leaves (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Thai basil, basil,
or cilantro, for garnish (optional)
A few lime wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
First prepare the sauce: In a blender, or using a deep large cup and an immersion blender, combine the garlic, ½ teaspoon of the salt, lime juice, coconut milk, almond butter, tamari, ginger, and curry paste. Puree well. Pour the sauce into a baking dish (8 by 12-inch, or similar size) and stir in the red pepper flakes. Add the chickpeas, zucchini, green onions, and lime leaves (if using), and stir well.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Then remove the foil, stir, and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes uncovered. (Note that the sauce should thicken but can become too thick, so keep an eye on it, and remove once it begins to thicken, so it is does not become pasty.)
Add a few pinches of salt to taste, if desired.
Serve, topping the portions with fresh herbs, if desired, and with a lime wedge on the side.
Variations: Almond butter is my first choice in this recipe, but consider switching it up occasionally with natural peanut or cashew butter in place of the almond.
Feel free to substitute other veggies in part or in whole for the zucchini. I love zucchini, so it is a natural choice for me. Other veggies to consider are sliced red peppers (and these add a lovely color), chopped cauliflower, steamed potatoes, or snow peas. (I have tried adding snow peas, as well as additional zucchini, and it tasted fabulous!)