When we first decided to move from my hometown in California to our current small rural town in the Hudson River Valley (NY), we got all kinds of funny reactions from our California friends. I heard things like, “Doesn’t it SNOW there?” and “You’ll be back in five years” and “You’re going to hate the winters.” But we’ve been here twelve years now and I can’t imagine calling anyplace else home. I hope to travel widely once the kids are gone, but this will always be home base.
And surprisingly, everyone was wrong; I don’t mind the winters. In fact, I love them as much as I love all the seasons. Seasons are good for a change junkie like me. Just when I’m bored with one set of clothes, one type of food, it’s time to switch gears, and I always look forward to the switch from light summer fare to hearty soups and stews.
But there is one thing I really had trouble with when we moved here; lack of diversity, in people, schools of thought, and yes, food. After living in a place where we could get any kind of food at any time of the day or night, I now live in a town with a diner, three pizzerias, a McDonalds, and (thankfully) one vegetarian restaurant (which serves only asian dishes like lo mein and stir-fried setan). A craving for anything more exotic sends us to New Paltz, a neighboring hippie town a half hour away with tons of amazing little ethnic restaurants.
My favorite is Lemongrass, a Thai place with the BEST pad thai and red curry. I’ve tried lots of curry recipes over the years, but they were either too complicated or they fell short of the flavor mark. This one is different. Fast and easy, it’s a healthy vegan meal packed with nutrition and fiber. It is a little spicy, but if you’re not into spicy all you have to do is decrease the amount of curry paste. We serve it over brown rice. I love it so much, I want to make a batch every week.
Hope you guys enjoy it, too!
Vegetable Red Curry
3 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil
About four cups of assorted chopped vegetables (I used 1 cup green beans, one each red and green pepper, and two carrots, but you can use whatever you have/like). Don’t chop everything too small or it will get soggy!
One medium onion, halved and sliced (rings cut in half)
One small can bamboo shoots (optional)
1 large can chickpeas, drained
1/3 cup red curry paste (found in the asian section of most grocery stores)
1 can coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup packed cilantro
Heat oil over medium high heat. Add vegetables and onion. Saute until softened but not browning.
Add bamboo shoots and chickpeas. Saute for two more minutes.
Add curry paste and stir to combine. Heat for another minute or so.
Add coconut milk and water. Stir and let simmer about fifteen minutes until flavors combine and vegetables are desired consistency (I like ours a little firm).
Turn off heat. Add cilantro and combine.
Serve over rice and voila! Bon Apetite!