Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

Hi there–  Do you feel like you’ve been in an eating marathon??  Me too.  With family and friends in the door and lots of reasons to celebrate this month– well, it’s been too delicious!

So if  you’re ready for a simpler meal, satisfying, but not too heavy, and full of flavor, here you go!  This curry is bright and light and just right about now…

SWEET POTATO COCONUT CURRY
1  1/2 cup brown rice
1 large sweet potato, cut into thirds
2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garam masala
6 oz. can tomato paste
14 oz. can coconut milk
14 oz. can vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
garnish: red onion & cilantro

Put the brown rice on to cook according to the directions on the package.

Set the 3 chunks of sweet potato into a shallow bowl with a 1/2″ of water and microwave for 8 to 10\\ minutes until it is tender.  Peel it and cut it into small chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Drop in the chopped onion and cook until it is tender and begins to brown.  Turn the heat to low and stir in the garlic, curry powder, ginger, turmeric, garam masala and tomato paste.  Stir to blend.

Then turn the heat to high and pour in the coconut milk, both and 2 cups of water.  When the mixture comes to a boil, stir in the lentils and simmer uncovered for 15 to 17 minutes until the lentils are tender but not yet mushy.

Stir in the chinked sweet potato and serve over the brown rice.  Garnish with red onion and cilantro and serve up with some hot naan.*

* Frozen nano at Trader Joe’s is pretty  good!

Indian Spiced Chicken Curry

Hey there– How was your weekend?? I spend most the hours quilting away on a new baby quilt– so relaxing after a couple really busy weeks.

And we had this curry for dinner.  Served it with the frozen garlic naan* from Trader Joe’s for a cozy warming supper at home.  I think you might like it too…

INDIAN SPICED CHICKEN CURRY
1 cup white (or brown) rice
2 pounds boneless chicken breast
2 tab. olive oil
14 oz. can petit cut tomatoes
14 oz. can chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. garam masala
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 carrots peeled and cut into thin disks
1/2 cup red lentils
garnish:  yogurt, cilantro

Put the rice on to cook according to the directions on the package.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot that has a lid.  Cut the chicken breasts into smallish bite size pieces and then cook the 5 or 6 minutes in the hot oil until they are browned and cooked though.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

In the same skillet, pour in the tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic, garam masala and curry powder.  Bring it to a simmer and add in the carrots and lentils.  Simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils and carrots are tender.

Add the chicken back into the skillet with the carrots & lentils.  simmer 2 minutes more to heat the chicken through.  Spoon the chicken over rice and serve it up hot!

* The frozen naan at Trader Joe’s is pretty good (not as good as sitting in an Indian restaurant, but better than the packaged naan in the bread aisle.

Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry

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Hello all–  Up in San Francisco with our kids and new little Lois (did I mention baby Lois??!!) and it’s chilly and rainy!  Love the actual weather up here.  So if you are managing to have a real fall where you live and want something warming and flavorful on your dinner table, you might try this pretty plateful.  Just a little spice (although if you are not a spice wimp like me, you can heat it up with more ginger and cayenne!) and a little sweetness from the sweet potatoes.  It’s a rainy day, cozy in the house kind of meal.  I hope you try it…

CHICKEN & SWEET POTATO CURRY
1 large sweet potato
4 chicken thighs*
3 tab. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cumin
a couple shakes of cayenne pepper
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tab. tomato paste
1 tab. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
garnish: yogurt, cilantro

 

Pierce the skin of the sweet potato a couple times with a fork (to avoid microwave explosions!).  Then pop it in the microwave for 6 or 7 minutes until it’s tender.  Cut it in half horizontally and set aside to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and then drop in the chicken thighs.  Cook about 5 minutes on each side until the chicken is nicely browned.  Take it out of the pan.

If the pan looks dry, add a bit more oil.  Then drop in the onions and cook 3 or 4 minutes until the onion begins to brown.  Add in the garlic and cook a minute longer.  Then stir in the chicken broth, ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder and tomato paste.  Blend it all up in the pan, set the chicken into the mixture and put on a lid.  Let the chicken cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes.

While that’s happening, peel the sweet potato skin off and cut it up into smallish chunks.

Raise the heat on the chicken to a rolling simmer.  In a container with a closed lit, shake together the cornstarch and water until it’s completely blended.  Stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce around the chicken until the sauce thickens– just 2 or 3 minutes.  Drop in the chunks of sweet potato and simmer on low a couple minutes more.

Serve the curry over a bed of rice and garnish with yogurt and cilantro.  Spicy good!

*I used boneless chicken thighs, because they were on sale at our market.

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Pork & Sweet Potato Thai Curry

 

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Hello all– Last weekend we got a Friday afternoon call from Micah, Jodi and the girls saying they were coming down for the weekend.  Love that.  It was a pretty tranquil visit.  No big outings or even trips to the yogurt shop.  We just stayed around the house and played and talked.

The grand-girls and I made a birthday cake since it had been Jodi’s birthday that week.  And I had gotten a new little table and chairs from Ikea for our backyard and you know what that means!!–construction!  So Micah and Jodi pulled out all the pieces and put them together, while I cooked up lunch.  (thanks you two!!)  And this is what we ate, out in the sunshine on the new table. I thought it was rather delicious.

PORK & SWEET POTATO THAI CURRY
2 cups brown or white rice
2 tab. olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin chops, cut to smallish chunks
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut to small chunks
3 tablespoons curry powder
14 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup water
4 cups baby spinach, cut to shreds

to garnish:
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro chopped

Put the rice on to cook according to the package directions.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil.  Then drop in the pork and stir to brown all on all sides– about 5 or 6 minutes.  Remove it from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan cook the onion just until it starts to brown and then all in the sweet potatoes and curry powder.  Stir it up until the sweet potatoes and coated with oil and curry.  Then pour in the coconut milk and water.  Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Then return the pork to the pan, as well as the spinach.  Let it simmer a couple minutes and the sauce will thicken.

Layer the curry with white rice and sprinkle on the chopped peanuts and cilantro and serve it nice and hot.  Enjoy!

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P.S. Here’s a couple obligatory grand-girl pics.  Charlotte putting candles on the cake and Maryann creating a ball gown on her sister Jobay from from discarded Ikea packaging and scotch tape– Jobay was pretty patient while Mary colored marker hearts all over the dress!
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Peanut Sweet Potato Chicken Stew

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Hello all-  I have a new favorite soup.  Love this savory bowl of stew– right up there with steamy pozole or a spicy cup of chili.  It has some of my favorite flavors all simmered up together– sweet potato, curry powder and surprisingly peanut butter!  –with just enough red pepper to give is a little bit.

The recipe I worked from said it was a stew from west Africa.  It’s just different and so delicious.  I’m imaging a tableful of friends over to try it out on a chilly evening soon.

PEANUT SWEET POTATO CHICKEN STEW
1 medium sweet potato
4 cups chopped cooked chicken (1 roasted chicken)*
1 cup peanut butter
2 14oz. cans petit cut tomatoes with garlic
1 tab. curry powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper**
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
chopped cilantro for garnish

Cut the sweet potato into large chunks, and cook them in the microwave 8 to 10 minutes, until they are tender, but firm.

Then in a soup pot, mix the chicken, peanut butter, tomatoes, curry powder, red pepper and chicken broth.  Bring it to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

When you are ready to eat, shake the cornstarch along with 1/2 cup water in a container with a tight fitting lid until it’s thoroughly blended.  Stir it into the simmering soup and stir about 3 or4 minutes until it thickens.

Serve it up hot garnished with peanuts and cilantro.

*You can cook up your own chicken, but I am happy to pick up one all cooked for me at the market.
**I thought this was plenty of spice, you can add more to taste if you like a real kick.

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Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup

IMG_2872Hi there– Are you ready for some modest meals– knowing that you’ve eaten your way through Thanksgiving — and  Christmas eating is just around the corner?  Here’s a simple but hearty cold weather supper, just needs a crust of bread and perhaps a bright salad.  Dinner is served.

CURRIED YELLOW SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
3 tab. olive oil
1  1/2 cup sliced ham (from the deli) cut to small bits
2 cloves garlic
1 rounded tsp. of curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 pound bag of yellow split peas
1/2 red bell pepper, cut fine
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 tab. cornstarch
yogurt or sour cream– and more cilantro to top it off

IMG_2877Heat up the oil in the bottom of your soup pot.  Then throw in the chopped onion and cook until it starts to wilt.  Add in the ham and stir it til the ham starts to brown a bit.  Add the 2 cloves of garlic, curry powder and cumin and stir them in to coat all the onions and ham.

Then add in the yellow split peas, red pepper, salt and ground black pepper along with 8 cups of water.

Bring it all to a mild simmer and let it cook for 30 to 35 minutes until the peas are tender.

If you like your soup broth nice and thick (like me)– shake together the cornstarch with about a cup of water in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is well blended.  Stir it into the hot soup and stir while it continues to simmer– just a couple minutes until the soup is thick.

Garnish it with yogurt or sour cream and sprinkle on a bit of cilantro.  Enjoy!

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

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Hello there– Is it still soup weather where you live?  After  a warm winter here, it’s dipping down into the 60’s this week– and it’s suppose to rain today!!  Boy, do we need rain.
So to celebrate our chilly, soggy day ahead, here’s a nice light soup–sounds about right for a drizzly spring day.

COCONUT CURRY LENTIL SOUP
2 cups lentils
splash olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut to bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
7 cups water
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp. yellow curry powder
14 oz. can garbanzo beans
1 tab. lime juice
lime slices & cilantro for garnish

Heat the olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot.  When it’s hot, throw in the onion.  Cook it 3 to 4 minutes until the onion bits cook through.  Then add in the red pepper and garlic.  Cook 3 minutes more.

Pour in the tomato sauce, water, coconut milk, curry powder, garbanzo beans and lentils.  Bring it to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.

When you’re ready to serve it up hot, add in the lime juice and top each bowl with some sprigs of cilantro.

Curried Pork Burgers

IMG_4581Hey there–  Do you like these little “flattie” buns?  I’m trying to decide, myself.  On one hand, they are less calories and don’t overpower the burger wrapped inside them.  On the other hand, they can get squsihy if you put as much sauce on your burger as I do (now who’s counting calories?)  and it seems a little like I’m missing out on the toasty big bun.

OK, but on to the burgers.  These things were surprisingly delicious.  We liked them even more than I anticipated.  Just a savory departure from the standard mustard and catsup on beef.  And, of course, who doesn’t like all those grilled onions tucked inside that bun?  If you like curry, you should give them a try…

CURRIED PORK BURGERS

sauce:
1/4 cup lite mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. curry powder
tiny pinch of salt

burgers:
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Red onion slices, about 1/2 inch think
Buns, lettuce, tomato…

Thoroughly mix up all the burger ingredients.  Shape it into 4 patties and grill them on a bar-b-que or skilllet lightly sprayed with cooking spray– about 12 minutes or until an internal thermometer reads 160 degrees.   Grill the red onion slices as well, just until they start to brown around the edges.

Toast up the buns and put them together, layering the burger, lettuce, tomato, curry mayo and grilled onions.  Eat them while they’re hot!  oh yummm.

Chicken and Peanut Curry

IMG_8825Hey there-  I found a new favorite quick-cook dinner!  It’s fast, pretty and who* doesn’t love any dish with peanut butter as an ingredient?!  I think you’d really like it.

CHICKEN AND PEANUT CURRY
2 tab. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large boneless chicken breast, cut in polite chunks
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 shake red pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1  14oz. can petit cut tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup green onion, the green part chopped
1 cup rice (cooked according to directions on package)

IMG_8821Start the rice cooking.  Heat the oil in a large pan.  Throw in the onion and garlic into the pan and cook until the onions get soft.  Then add in the chicken chunks and cook about 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and brown around the edges.  Stir in the peanut butter.  Then add the curry powder, salt, red pepper, black pepper and tomatoes.  Stir to meld the flavors and let it simmer 3 or 4 minutes.

Spread the cooked rice on a platter and top with the chicken curry.  Garnish with the chopped peanuts and green onion.  Pretty, hot and spicy– yummm.

*Sorry Brian.

Sweet Potato Soup

IMG_8798Hello friends– Another day, another soup!  It seems like there’s nothing better for dinner in January.  And there’s lots to love about this one– starting with the luscious orange color, the sweetness of the potatoes, heat of the curry and the tang of the citrus.

SWEET POTATO SOUP
2 sweet potatoes
2 tab. olive oil
2 carrots, cut to small bits
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp. curry powder*
2  14 oz. cans chicken broth
1 cup orange juice
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
red pepper
granishes–take your choice– sour cream or yogurt, pumpkin seeds, green onions, croutons, almonds, bits of chopped red pepper…

Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave– about 8 minutes each– until they are soft and the skin pulls right off.  While those are baking, Pour the olive oil into a hot soup pot.    Then toss in the onion and carrots.  Saute them for about 5 minutes until they are soft and beginning to brown.  Add the curry powder and cook 1 minutes more. Peel and cut the cooked sweet potatoes into 2″ chunks and add them to the pot.  Next pour in the chicken broth and orange juice.  Puree everything in the pot with a stick blender (or by batches in the food processor) to the consistency you like–I prefer to leave some lovely lumps.  Then season to taste with a little salt and pepper and a couple shakes of ground red pepper.  Simmer on low for a few minutes to heat it through.  And serve it up hot with a tasty garnish.  It doesn’t take long to make this pretty soup.

*You may want to add a little more curry if you like spice.  I think I’ll through in another teaspoon next time.

Butternut Coconut Curry Soup

IMG_8197Hi friends–  Did you have a fine full Christmas?  I’m hoping so.  After all that eating (and eating) here’s a simple soup that is just right for a winter day.  Savory and steaming hot it warms you all the way down.  I had a version of this at a downtown lunch place in San Francisco called D.G.F. (darn good food) at Thanksgiving time and have been hungry for it every since.  It’s a new favorite.

BUTTERNUT COCONUT CURRY SOUP
1 butternut squash, 2-2 1/2 pounds
2 14 oz. can coconut milk
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
3 green onions, white & green parts chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger, minced
2 tsp. honey
3 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. orange vinegar*
salt to taste
more green onions for garnish

Peel the squash and take out the seeds.  Cut it up into 2″ chunks.  Toss the squash, coconut milk, chicken broth, green onion, garlic and ginger into a soup pot and simmer it for 25-30 minutes until the squash is tender.  Add the honey, curry, vinegar and salt if you think you need it (I didn’t) and cook for 5 more minutes.  Use a stick blender or food processor to puree the soup til it’s rich and creamy.  Serve hot, hot with a sprinkle of green onion bits on top.  So good!

*Trader Joe’s has a mouth watering Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar that works well in this recipe and is killer for dressings on fruity salads.