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MoFo Day 22: Seasonal Coconut Curry with Acorn Squash


     I’m fortunate enough to live in the Garden State.  

     Many think of New Jersey as a bunch of factories and a boardwalk here and there.  Throughout the state, however, there are so many amazing farms, vineyards and farmers markets.  There are so many farms right near my house and they have all been operating for generations.  It’s an amazing thing to see.

     I was excited to go out looking for late summer/early fall veggies today.  I had some idea in mind of what I wanted to cook, but I wasn’t sure how to tie all my ingredients together.  I knew that root vegetables would be available as well as the late harvest of nightshades like tomatoes and peppers.  I found some delights that I just had to grab.  I also got to pet a cute dog.  So, I win.

     So, my haul today: a huge red pepper, cute little grape heirloom tomatoes and a beautiful acorn squash.  I absolutely love their colors.  It says everything about September that I love: light yet filling stews with sweet, vibrant flavor.  I had to make a stew.  No, I had to make curry!

     I have made Indian style curry before, but never Thai.  I have eaten some Thai coconut curry at restaurants and absolutely loved them, but I never ventured to make them at home.  Today had to be the day.  The resulting dish had to be different, though.  Something with a local flare and a seasonal spin.  
     So, I took delicious and hearty root veggies and roasted them (including the acorn squash) to bring out their sweetness.  Then, I made a sautee of the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and spices.  Then, I drenched all the veggies with coconut milk (I’m drooling).  The result was a velvety, sweet, earthy, slightly spicy stew that was filling without being overly heavy.  I also garnished with some freshly made basil oil.  Why not?!  The flavors were so bright and balanced.  What a treat!  
     Thanks, VeganMoFo for the inspiration.  I was just gonna have leftovers for dinner. 😉

Seasonal Coconut Curry with Acorn Squash

Root Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash, seeded and cut into large chunks
  • 1 pound of carrots, sliced small
  • 1 medium beet, peeled and sliced small
  • olive oil, for roasting
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions
Oven 375 F.

  1. Preheat your oven and prep your vegetables.
  2. On two separate sheet trays, pour some olive oil to lightly coat them.
  3. Put all your acorn squash on one tray and season with salt, pepper, and more oil, if desired.  Toss to coat completely.
  4. Do the same procedure for the carrots and beets on the other tray.
  5. Bake both the trays for 20-25 minutes or until tender yet still hold their shape.  
Picture

It looks like fall in a pan!

Curry 

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large sweet bell pepper, cut into large dice
  • 1 pound of tomatoes, cut into medium dice
  • 1 Tb coconut oil, for sauteeing 
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 can of coconut milk (I used full fat)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 Tb curry powder
  • 1 Tb dried lemongrass, opt.
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tb nutritional yeast
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of chili flakes, opt.

Instructions

  1. In a large lidded sautee pan,  heat the coconut oil, garlic, onion and salt & pepper on medium heat, stirring until translucent.  
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Add the rest of the vegetables to the pan and sautee for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
  4. Tun the heat to low and add the spices: turmeric, curry, lemongrass, ginger, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, chili flakes and more salt & pepper if desired.
  5. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add the coconut milk and stir until the entire mixture is incorporated.
  7. Add your beets and carrots to the coconut milk mixture, stirring to incorporate.  
  8. Cook the curry on low heat for about 12 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  9. Season your acorn squash and heat before serving if it has cooled off a bit.  I seasoned mine with black pepper and a little cumin.
  10. To serve, plate your curry alongside a helping of acorn squash and garnish with some basil oil, if desired (recipe here).

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