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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Curried Cabbage and Carrots



I am still working through a pretty large stash of cabbage from the St Patrick's Day specials (17 cents a pound!) a few weeks ago. Cabbage is one of those wonderful vegetables that can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks--not to mention my "root cellar" garage where I felt like a pioneer when cabbages bought at the end of last year's season were still solid and tasty at the beginning of March.

Now, what to do with all of those bright green heads? I pulled off the thick outer leaves and put them back in the crisper for some stuffed cabbage leaves next week. A big batch of overnight cole slaw has also been shared with friends and is continuing to serve as a side with lots of other meals. There will be vegetable soups soon, along with stir fries, but today I was hungry for something curried.

A web search turned up lots of curried cabbage recipes, so I started with some of these and added my own touches. Since I almost always have carrots--also able to be stored for weeks in the fridge--they could be added, for their color and all the Vitamin A and antioxidants that yellow and orange vegetables bring. While this dish is fine with just green cabbage, I had a bit of red cabbage on hand. Along with half a green bell pepper, this would make this a really colorful side dish.

With all the great vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, don't forget that this does not contribute much protein or B vitamins, so it should be paired with some other healthy options to make a "complete" meal. Not hard to do, as brown rice is a great side dish, and a dollop of yogurt is a great topping. Stirring a can of your favorite beans (black beans are especially attractive) into the vegetables before serving is another good way to supplement the dish--both in terms of nutrition and good taste.

Though I didn't have any marinated tofu on hand, that would also be a good add-in...maybe I can add some to the leftovers. Since this mixture reheats well in the microwave, I can easily try one or more of these variations later.


 Curried Cabbage and Carrots

1 to 2 T olive oil
1 large carrot, sliced--about 1 to 1 1/2 c total
1 medium onion, chopped--about 1 c
 2 to 3 t curry powder, to taste
water
3 to 4 c shredded cabbage (about 1/2 medium head)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 c)
2 to 3 minced garlic cloves, to taste (may use bottled minced garlic if fresh not available)
1/2 t ground ginger, to taste
1/2 t salt
1/2 c chopped cilantro, stems and leaves (optional)

1.  Put enough oil in a large heavy skillet to just cover the bottom. Heat over medium high heat until the oil is just shimmering.

2.  Add the carrots and onions and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onions are just beginning to turn golden.

3.  Stir the curry powder in and allow to simmer 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is very fragrant. Add the garlic, ginger, salt, and 1/4 cup of water and stir to make a kind of curry paste with the vegetables.

4.  Bring the mixture back to a gentle boil and stir in the cabbage, green peppers, and about 1/3 cup more water. Stir to mix, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes, until the cabbage is just tender, stirring occasionally. For best flavor and results, don't overcook!

5.  About 5 minutes before serving, add the cilantro if used and taste for seasoning, adding salt and more curry powder as needed.


Serves 6 as a side dish.




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