Life threw a wrench in the works this week – our microwave went on the blink. Now we don’t use the micro for much, mostly for starting baked potatoes for the grill, melting and thawing. Therein lies the problem. In our quest to avoid sodium, we like to make big batches of beans and keep them in the freezer. Same goes for brown rice. But we’re not always good about getting stuff out of the freezer early on. So we’ll start with directions:
If you didn’t get the beans out in time, and you don’t have a microwave: About 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour before you need them in a recipe, sit the container you froze them in, in a larger container of lukewarm water. This will help them thaw faster. Check from time to time. When they can be broken apart, they can be added to the recipe. This method also works for the rice; to reheat the rest of the way, add a tablespoon or so of water, and heat over low heat on the stovetop, in a non-stick pan. Or use a little oil and some diced celery, onion and mushrooms, and make it fried rice.
To make today’s veggie curry we started by baking a butternut squash. You cut the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Turn cut-side-down on a piece of parchment, on a cookie sheet. Bake half an hour (depending on the size, you may need ten more minutes) in a 400F oven. When you can pierce with a fork, it’s ready. Let it cool a bit so you can handle it.
Meanwhile, cook an onion, a stalk of celery, a chopped bell pepper, a couple of sliced carrots, and some mushrooms in a medium-sized pan. Add a couple of cups of cooked kidney beans (check out our bean recipe in the recipe pages). De-glaze with a splash of wine. Pour in a bit of broth (not too much, maybe half a cup). Scoop in half of the squash and save the rest for a delicious soup…within a couple of days, or freeze for later.
Two tablespoons of curry paste are great for our hardy lot…but do it to taste. Use curry powder if you prefer. Or some garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder. Throw in a few green beans or asparagus – whatever’s handy and in season.
Let it simmer until it thickens. Serve with the rice. Your tummy will thank you.