A bold and spicy Vegetable Curry gets the energy flowing the same way that stepping out in faith can be thrilling and wonderful for one's spirit and one's life.
It's hard to fathom that it's officially been four years since my husband and I decided to embark on the unique journey of starting this blog together.
So much has happened since The Cozy Apron was born, namely that we've gotten older (and hopefully!) wiser, and that we've raised our son who was only fourteen at the beginning of all of this into an amazing and intelligent young man with hopes and dreams of his own, and with a good head on his shoulders.
We've had our health, we've been given strength to put one foot in front of the other each and every day, even when things weren't easy.
Our “inner life”—our spirituality—has become stronger than it's ever been, as we gain more and more fervor each day to understand who we are as individuals, what we have been created to be and to do, and to truly know to Whom we belong.
What more could we honestly ask for?
When I think about the platform that The Cozy Apron has afforded both myself and my husband to express what is inside of us—for me, my thoughts/questions/observations on life as well as the recipes that swim around in my head; and for him, his love of imagery and capturing the very essence of a subject (food, in the case of the blog)—I feel utterly overwhelmed, but in a good way, and beyond grateful.
There's gravity to the fact that we find ourselves here, in this place, in this time, doing what we get to do each and every week.
Our original thoughts when it came to starting the blog didn't go much beyond the notion of putting up a little site where I could share my recipes and creations with any and all who had an interest in them; and that Michael would photograph and run the more technical aspects of the site, and we'd post whenever we could—maybe just every now and then—in order to simply share something tasty that could potentially benefit someone else.
I guess you could call our original desire a “mustard seed”.
We never imagined it would turn into the endeavor that it has, with the readership and the followers that it has, and that there could be such opportunity to touch so many people with not only food, but with food for thought, in addition, whenever possible.
When I scan my memories of that early time with the blog, I can see that we had stepped out in faith because we felt a “calling” to just share whatever was put into our hearts and souls each week, and it was as simple as that.
But over time, we found that our desire for our endeavor grew larger and larger, and that we felt compelled to put more of ourselves into each post we put up, even if in only some small way.
There's something to be said about boldly stepping out in faith; boldly stepping out not knowing just exactly what one is stepping out into—thin air…? Terra incognita…? Someone's arms…?—yet, understanding that all of the experiences of life have been a layer of seasoning, of spice, of maturity, of understanding, of preparation in order to be ready for this exact moment in time that one now finds him or herself in, that requires some kind of movement to occur.
It is stepping out into what is yet unseen by the naked eye, and it can be quite thrilling the things that can be discovered in the process.
I guess I share all of this because there's a prompting in me to say simply, “Don't be afraid”.
And I'm speaking to myself and my hubs at this very moment, too.
There's still so much more that he and I look forward to doing together as an offshoot of The Cozy Apron that is still in “mustard seed” stages at the moment, and we'll have to continue to step out in faith over and over again, no doubt in my mind.
We've all been created to be bold, amazing, full of flavor, full of purpose, full of a desire to experience this life to the fullest, and who knows what may come out of taking a step out in faith?
The desire may be small in the beginning; but over time, it may grow beyond your wildest imagination, and possibly, just possibly, yield some delicious and bold results you never could've imagined.
Taste what's good and pass it on.
Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4-6
• 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter); or 2 tablespoon unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• ½ teaspoon turmeric
• ½ teaspoon paprika
• ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
• Pinch or two red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
• Black pepper
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
• 1 russet potato, peeled and diced small
• 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
• 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 2 ¾ cup vegetable stock, warm (or chicken stock, for a little extra flavor)
• 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
• Basmati rice, to serve alongside (optional)
(*Helpful hint: combine all of the your spices in one small dish for ease—the curry powder, the garam masala, the turmeric, the paprika, the fennel seeds and the red pepper flakes.)
-Place a large, deeper pan or skillet (I used a deeper braising pan) over medium-high heat, and add in the ghee (or the butter/oil combination, if using that); once melted and hot, add in the sliced onions plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute those for about 4-5 minutes.
-Slightly reduce the heat to medium, and add in the pressed garlic and the ginger, along with all of the spices (curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes), plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir for about 30 seconds until everything becomes very aromatic; add in the tomato paste and stir together for about 30 seconds or so.
-Add in the sweet potatoes, the carrots, the russet potatoes, the Roma tomatoes and the chickpeas, and stir those into the mixture to coat them in the spices and tomato paste; add in the chicken stock and gently stir to incorporate.
-Simmer the mixture over medium to medium-high heat, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the curry thickened, stirring occasionally.
-Finish with the chopped cilantro leaves, and serve over rice, if desired.