Cauliflower and Potato Curry

WOW!!! Two posts in one day! Well, I missed out on posting the jicama cooking episode yesterday because I had an appointment to file my U.S. taxes. YAY! Actually it was pretty painless. The only painful part was waiting in line at the post office to mail my returns.

I had this recipe picked out from the Deliciously Ella cookbook and I actually picked to have it on a perfect day! Yesterday was just ugly, as far as weather goes. The wind was howling and there was horizontal snow. It was actually very hard for me to close my car door at one point.

This recipe calls for Charlotte potatoes but I’ve never seen a Charlotte potato. I’ve seen your regular suspects like russet and yukon gold. Maybe I just haven’t paid attention to the labels? According to Love Potatoes:

Charlotte potatoes are classic salad potatoes and widely available across all major retailers. With a creamy skin and light yellow flesh, they are relatively small potatoes. Charlotte potatoes have a fresh flavoured [sic] which tastes great either hot or cold. They are ideal boiled as part of a salad as they hold their shape well and can even be roasted whole.

But, since I can’t have white potatoes and because we had half of a sweet potato leftover from our sweet potato enchilada night a few nights ago, I decided to use it instead. The recipe also calls for the curry to be served on a bed of brown rice. However, I can’t have brown rice either so I opted to use quinoa. Quinoa is just so good for you. Check out this post from Sarah Britton on My New Roots about quinoa (she’s my new obsession).

Because this curry had to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, I started way early. I chopped up the sweet potato and let it boil until it got soft. While that was going, I went to work on chopping up my cauliflower. I have a love-hate relationship with cauliflower. I don’t like the taste too much and it’s messy when you work with it. When I was chopping it into chunks, it was getting everywhere! I won’t go out of my way to cook and eat it, but I’ll do it. Having said that, it seems like whenever I look for a recipe, there’s something with cauliflower. It’s like it’s because popular to cook and eat this vegetable all of a sudden! It could be because it’s a pretty versatile vegetable and has some good nutrients like fiber, folate, and vitamin C.

I mixed my cauliflower with some other ingredients while waiting for the sweet potatoes to finish cooking.

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The recipe calls for a few spices, but one of them is mustard seed. I can’t recall cooking with this before, even though I found a bottle of them in the back of my spice pantry. But once I started cooking with them, they let out a nice aroma and tasted kind of spicy. This is from The World’s Healthiest Foods site.

If you are like most people, the word “mustard” probably conjures up images of ballparks and barbeques [sic]. Yet, once you add mustard seeds to your spice cabinet, the word [sic] will take on a whole new meaning, as you will also relish the spicy, aromatic rustic taste and fragrance that mustard can add to your meals.

When I mixed these little things with a few other spices in the recipe, the aroma just exploded. There was SUCH a nice smell coming from my pan.

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Once the mustard seeds started popping, I added it to the cauliflower mix, and then added the sweet potatoes. Then I brought my pot up to a gentle boil and let it simmer for 45 minutes.

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The last 20 minutes, I started to work on the quinoa. I didn’t cook it in vegetable broth because I didn’t want to take away from the flavor of the curry. So I just cooked it in water. One cup of uncooked quinoa yields about three cups once it’s cooked. For the cup of uncooked quinoa, you use 1 1/2 cups of water (or broth). I didn’t rinse mine, but after reading the entry from My New Roots I’m definitely going to be rinsing my quinoa from here on out. For some reason, I was under the impression you only had to rinse red quinoa. Anyways, the quinoa only takes about 20-30 minutes to cook. It’s like cooking rice. I brought it up to a boil and then turned it down to simmer.

The recipe says to add some spinach towards the end of the cooking process. I didn’t know what spinach had to do with curry, but I added it. If anything, the spinach adds more nutrition to this already nutrient-packed dish.

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I was really looking forward to having this because I was in the mood for something comforting. And comforting and delicious it was!

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The third change I did this recipe is that I didn’t use three cans of tomatoes, like the recipe said. I simply didn’t have three cans in my pantry. I only had one. So I added a small can of tomato sauce. The result is that the curry wasn’t too runny and had the right consistency for mixing with the quinoa. The little one really liked his and ate all of it. It was really nice as lunch as well.

I even had some curry left over so I ended up freezing a bag of it for when we’re in a pinch. This is one dish that I’ll be making again and again.

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