We’ve all been there
No time to run to the store, not much in the way of fresh veggies on hand, and dinner approaching by the minute. That scenario is precisely why I recommend keeping a stocked pantry of versatile staples and a Pinterest account at the ready! A pantry should take you way past spices and dried herbs – think canned foods, dried foods, and yes even frozen and refrigerator foods that have a long shelf life. I used a combo of all of the above to make a delicious pumpkin chickpea curry, and served it over some leftover bulk-cooked quinoa I’d prepared on the weekend.
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When in doubt, make a curry
Or a soup, or casserole – all are fantastic with a grain, canned veggies, and long-lasting onions and garlic. I had defrosted some pumpkin I pureed and froze last fall and needed to use it up (part of it went into bread and scones), and had an open can of coconut milk from a batch of muffins I’d popped in earlier that morning…leftovers everywhere! Pumpkin and coconut are the base ingredients for a delicious Thai curry I’ve made before, so I scrounged a few other necessities up and had a full dinner with some leftover for lunch the next day in no time.
Chickpea Pumpkin Curry
- 1-2 cups pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin works great)
- 1-1.5 cups coconut milk
- 1 onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1-2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 large (28-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 large tomato, chopped or pureed (or a can of diced tomatoes; I used some cherry tomatoes I had on the counter)
- 1-2 cups broth of choice
- 2 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 Tbsp oil
- cashews and cilantro for garnish, optional
Preheat the oven to 400F; toast the chickpeas on a baking sheet with a drizzle of oil for 10-15 minutes (you could just add them in, but I wanted mine to have more texture). Heat the remaining oil to medium high in a large pot on the stove, add the onions and cook until translucent, then add garlic and spices and stir while cooking for 2-3 minutes, until spices are fragrant and toasted. Add coconut milk, pumpkin, tomato, and broth and stir to combine; reduce heat to low and put a lid on to allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. Add toasted chickpeas. Serve warm over rice or quinoa, garnish with cashews and cilantro.
How the pros do it
This month’s RecipeRedux roundup is full of meals we made with what was on hand – be sure to check out other posts for ideas and inspiration to Iron Chef it up in your kitchen tonight!