Monday, October 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

Before we dive in , just wanted to let you guys know that this blog is now dropped the .blogspot (#legit). It will still redirect, but you may need to adjust your subscription. Good news is... it's now much easier for you guys to tell your friends the blog address :)


Turns out you guys are just as lazy as I am, because I've gotten lots of requests lately for slow cooker recipes. I'm a bit of a slow cooker novice actually, getting my first one as a wedding gift last year. I totally get why people are addicted to them, especially if you're a beginner cook. I think the results can be great, but you need to be selective about the recipe and ingredients you cook to avoid the all-too-familiar slow cooker mush.

This veggie-forward recipe avoids blahsville with a punch of curry and delivers on health and weeknight ease. No crockpot classic cream of mushroom soup to be found here.

Seriously... look at all these vegetables. These ingredients are also really adjustable based on your personal preferences or what's leftover in the fridge.

Leftovers from my Butternut Squash Pizza made their way into this recipe.

There is just a bit of prep work for this recipe, but it can easily be done a few days before. I sauteed up my onions, squash and potatoes on Sunday and assembled everything on a weekday morning.

From what I've read from slow cooker recipes and my manual, ideally you need liquid to come up about halfway to the inside rim of the slow cooker bowl. I have an inherent fear every time I use one of these that I won't use enough liquid and will create a burnt mess. Rule of thumb, you're not really going to lose any liquid, so think about what you're looking for in the final product.

Also, DO NOT open your slow cooker lid during cooking. This will really throw off the cooking time. Add a snarky note to keep your husband/friends/kids out of there. Profanity encouraged.

Just before serving, in go coconut milk and spinach. You always want to reserve any "milks" until just before finishing. Otherwise you'd have a curdled mess.

Give things a stir and you're ready to go. Also, your entire apartment will likely smell like curry. And maybe for a few days. But it will be get to eat it after all.

Serve with naan bread and relish in all the extra time you have on a weeknight evening. I painted my nails with the pup... it was adorable and much needed.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 russet potatoes, diced
1/2 butternut squash, diced
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons curry
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup beer
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 16-oz can chickpeas
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 head cauliflower, but into florets
1 28-oz can diced tomato
1 6-oz bag baby spinach
1 cup light coconut milk

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion until translucent; add potato, butternut squash and salt. Continue cooking until potato edges begin to soften; about 5-7 minutes. Add curry, garam masala, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cayenne. Stir until spices are fragrant and then add beer, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove browned bits.

On the day of serving, add potato mixture to the slow cooker bowl. Add chickpeas, red pepper, green pepper, cauliflower and tomato. Pour chicken stock over mixture until bowl is filled halfway. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. DO NOT remove lid during cooking.

When ready to serve, stir in coconut milk and spinach. Serve with warm naan bread.

This will make a LOT of food, so be prepared for leftovers. It freezes well.

*Recipe inspiration from The Kitchn

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