Hello and happy Friday! I am so happy this weekend is here and have lots of fun stuff planned. My birthday was yesterday so I'll be celebrating with some friends tonight and going to my parents tomorrow for a birthday dinner. I can't wait for both events! We're also going to a super bowl party at some friends' house from John's old firm, so I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone. Trying to decide what to make for that...these Heath Bar Blondies are currently the front runner! Let me know if you have any other good ideas!
Last night John and I used a $50 Groupon we had for La Grotta, which is a fancy schmancy Italian restaurant in Buckhead that has apparently been around for ages. Neither of us had been there before so I am glad we tried it. It was good, but we both agreed we would have made different choices next go round and gone for the pasta dishes. We split the calamari (grilled, not fried), and the roasted beet salad, and then I had the sea bass and he had a chicken dish. The atmosphere was definitely a little stuffier/more formal than what we are used to and prefer, but it was fun for a change and a great way to celebrate turning 28!
Today I have a vegan chickpea curry to share with you guys. I find that curries and stir fries are so versatile when you're trying to eat healthy, and especially if you are focusing on a vegan dish, because cheese and meat are really not necessary. Throw some rice, beans, and veggies in a flavorful dish and they're going to fill you up, no matter how hungry you are. And, I always make more than 2 servings so we can have leftovers to take to work for lunch, or for John to eat for dinner if I'm out that week (I have a lot of work dinners and girls dinners during the week!).
As usual with my vegetarian/vegan recipes, I got my inspiration for this one from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan. That cookbook never disappoints! I made several changes based on what I had on hand, so I am putting my recipe below. Coincidentally, I had planned to make this on Tuesday night, which was the same night Oprah's vegan challenge aired. Did you guys watch that episode? I thought it was really interesting and she had some good feedback. I wish my office would provide professionally made vegan lunch choices!
I served this curry over coconut lime jasmine rice which was also really good. It was richer (in a good way) than regular rice cooked in water and the lime juice and zest added awesome flavor.
Chickpea and Zucchini Curry
Recipe source: adapted from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan
1 onion, diced
4 red potatoes, cut in small pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 medium zucchini, cut in small pieces
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp agave nectar
2 cups broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion, potatoes, garlic, salt, ginger, curry powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cloves. Stir to fully combine. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover, and cook for 7 - 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for 2 -3 more minutes. Add tomato sauce, chickpeas, and agave nectar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 or 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the broccoli and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve over coconut lime jasmine rice with lime wedges.
Coconut-Lime Jasmine Rice
Recipe Source: Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan
1 cup dry jasmine rice
1 can light coconut milk <-----my favorite ingredient in everything lately!
1/2 cup water
2 - 2 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp lime zest
In a saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, lime juice, and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, and cook until the rice is done (according to package directions). Turn off heat and add the lime zest, and let sit for 5 minutes.