Left-Behind Vegetable Curry

One of the unintended consequences of following a menu plan laid out by someone else for two weeks, is a motley collection of ingredients that were already in your fridge and pantry before you started the menu plan. Ideally, I suppose one would use up what they had before beginning the menu plan. But this plan started on a specific calendar day, and I decided to follow it on a whim, so I was left with bits and bobs of this and that, and I do not like throwing food away.

Normally, in a situation like this, my mind turns immediately to soup. Soup can be made with almost any vegetables, with or without meat, grains, or beans. Soup is a fantastic way to use up most leftovers.

This time, though, I saw a new possibility, courtesy of the Cleanse menu. This time, I went for a curry.

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This is a pot full of vegetables. More specifically, this pot contains a large leek, half a yellow onion, half a red onion, half a cauliflower, half a big rutabaga, a couple of sweet potatoes, garlic, ginger, and two cans of chickpeas. I sautéed them in coconut oil, along with mustard seeds and cumin seeds, then added a leftover 1/2 can of coconut milk, a can-full of water, turmeric, and garam masala. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a riff on the Curried Brussels Sprouts, Chickpeas, and Sweet Potatoes from the Cleanse.

My general go-to curry in the past has been pretty basic-coconut milk and curry powder. I love the deeper, layered flavor this curry has, with the cumin and mustard seeds, the garam masala instead of my generic curry powder blend, and the turmeric. The turmeric adds such amazing color and fragrance, as well as a light floral note, to this curry. I’ve had a small jar of it in my pantry for a while, and I’m now so thrilled to be a person who has run out of turmeric, and has to put it on the grocery list. I know not everyone would be thrilled by this, and I’m okay with that.

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The only thing wrong with this dish on the Cleanse menu is it is not served with naan. How in the name of all that’s sacred can you eat a curry without something to sop up all the sauce in the bottom of the bowl, I ask you, how? Mine is served with warmed naan, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and cilantro leaves.

I have permanently added curries to my list of leftover vegetable comfort food dishes, and I encourage you to give them a try. Curries vary in flavor and spice level, but this curry is mild, and family-friendly, as is Jamie Olivers’s Very Simple Curry Sauce that I shared a few years ago here. Start there, and see where it takes you. Maybe you will join me, and put turmeric on your grocery list, too.

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