Aloo Keema ~ Vegan Mince & Potato Curry Recipe

I love a good curry. Who doesn’t? I mean, you get tons of vegetables and rice steeped in delicious and vibrant flavors, sometimes spicy with your favorite vegan meat alternative and it’s just a big bowl of goodness. Unlike soup, I am never opposed to eating a curry in the heart of summer of the depths of winter.

And I recently discovered Aloo Keema, a dish that originated in Pakistan/Northern India that has the simplest of ingredients: mince, potatoes and rice with bread if you choose to double-carb it.

The flavors of the dish really appealed to me so I figured, why not?

Vegan Aloo Keema ~ Mince & Potato Curry

As far as vegan curry recipes go, this is a pretty easy one with a manageable list of vegan ingredients.

Black Beans: Vegan Two Ways

If you’re anything like me, you always have a bag or two (okay, maybe three) of dry beans in  your pantry. Dry beans are, in my opinion, a vegan staple and people of all diets should always have them on hand.

My husband on the other hand, gets a little antsy about things being the pantry for “too long” so I decided to use them since corn on the cob is everywhere this time of year and I really felt like a black bean salad. But a problem I often have is incorrectly eye measuring stuff, yet I still find myself doing it. Regularly. So…black beans two ways.

Black bean salad is pretty easy to make, even easier when you don’t have to fret about which protein to put in it and whether or not to add cheese. At least I think so.

All you need is…fresh vegetables. I grilled two ears of corn on the stove top griddle and let them cool before cutting the kernels off. Then I chopped a red bell pepper, two scallions, some Romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes, halved and quartered, then tossed them into a large mixing bowl. (Is eighth’ed a word?)

Now set aside the bowl because its time to make the lime mustard dressing!

This was pretty simple. All you need is: mustard (I used spicy and sweet), the juice and some zest of a lime, dill, salt, pepper, cumin and smoky paprika. Whisk it and pour it on top and lunch is served.

Don’t forget to add the avocado if you have an avocado lover in your house!

Make sure you toss it until everything is coated and be sure to taste it. Don’t be afraid to let it sit for about 10 minutes before adding more seasoning sometimes all a dish needs is time.

Add a Corona or Negro Modelo to the side and you’ve got a long lunch ahead of you!

 

The problem I had was that I only used 2 cups of cooked beans to make this salad and I had almost 4 cups remaining.

…then my mother in law found vegan gnocchi at the market and got it for us.

What to do with black beans and gnocchi?

Plenty, but what did I choose? Black bean curry with gnocchi.

I don’t know where it came from but that’s how we ended up here so let’s just go with it.

I’ll just get this out of the way now because some consider it controversial. I pan fried my gnocchi in olive oil and garlic. The end.

It’s crunchy and delicious and potato-y and I love it. Boil it if you want.

The curry was a simple one with onions, ginger, garlic, bell peppers and black beans with loads of spices.

I didn’t use coconut milk, instead I made a tomato, soy sauce, sriracha, ginger mix, added water and cornstarch to it and let it thicken that way, but coconut milk is also an option.

Top the gnocchi with the curry, be as generous or as stingy as you want with the liquid.

For the garnish, I thin sliced scallions and mint to cool the spice in the dish.

And that’s how you end up using a lot of beans and creating a new dish!

By the way, we ended up having one full serving of curry left over and we split it over a bed of jasmine rice so technically, vegan black beans…three ways?

Spicy Broccoli & Tofu Noodles

One of my favorite things is noodles. Asian style noodles. I love them all from the delicious buckwheat taste of soba noodles to rice noodles (thick or thin) and of course, ramen. But I also adore Udon noodles, glass noodles, wok noodles and all the undiscovered noodles out there waiting for me. I. Love. Them.

And most of all, I keep a good stock in my pantry so that when I’m at a loss for what to make for lunch or dinner, or if I don’t feel like having what’s on the menu, I hunt down veggies and pantry staples, grab a pack of noodles and I’m good to go. That’s pretty much how this dish came to be.

The best part is that, despite how complicated the dish seems, it’s really simple to make. For the ramen, all you need is boiling water but be sure to read the instructions carefully because sometimes you boil them for a few minutes and others you let them sit in the water for about five minutes. These were the simple boil for three minutes and they’re done, but I really loved that these particular noodles had only three ingredients: rice flour, turmeric and water.

Turmeric! An amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant that also provides increased brain function and helps stave off brain diseases.

I just used what i had on hand which was a half floret of broccoli, half a brick of tofu, onion, red bell pepper, garlic and ginger. I topped it with sliced scallions and these amazing purple sprouts that were beet sprouts which I found surprisingly delicious considering that beets are one of about three vegetables that my taste buds don’t like.

For this recipe I did use oil, cold pressed olive oil BUT just a half tablespoon which I heated and mixed with the ginger, garlic and two types of curry. As soon as that hearty aromatic scent hit the air, add the vegetables. You can add the tofu last but I cooked it separately in a small skillet so brown it around the edges.

TIP: Give your tofu extra flavor by cutting and marinating it. For this recipe I used soy sauce, garlic powder and curry. I did it first so it sat getting flavorful while I chopped and did everything else.

This is yet another thing I love about Asian cuisine, you can fancy it up or enjoy a quick and rustic style meal. And if you’re a picky vegetable eater you’re not beholden to anyone’s recipe, just use what you already have on hand.

I’m sure you’re wondering where the ‘spicy’ in this recipe came from and the answer is mostly the pinch of red curry and the half Thai chili pepper I used but I removed the seeds because I LOVE it spicy but the hubs…doesn’t. So in the spirit of compromise I just decorated my plate with a bit of Sriracha. Okay, more than a bit.

Sue me, I like it spicy!

Let me know your favorite noodle dish and I just might make it!