~ Japanese-style rice, beans, and veggies for Kath – creamy lentil, potato, and spinach curry (recipe below) for the hubby ~
As I have mentioned before, the hubby and I are a little different with regard to the flavors, textures, and ingredients we like best. I am all about Japanese and Chinese flavors, while the hubby loves Middle Eastern, Indian, or Mediterranean dishes and could eat them every day. I cook my meals without oil because I cannot handle it and therefore eat mostly dry and nibbly food, whereas the hubby likes to have his things sautéed or mixed with a tomatoey or creamy sauce, and drizzled with tahini or yoghurt. Beans for me are lentils and chickpeas for the hubby. He can spend a whole day eating breakfast foods like cereal or homemade bread with jam, I on the other hand never eat typical breakfast foods (unless you consider a carrot porridge a typical breakfast food). We both like brown rice and vegetables.
So what the hubby eats might look like this:
~ homemade cereal with apple and yoghurt ~
~ bread roll with curd cheese and jam ~
~ tomatoey brown rice with cucumber mint yoghurt ~
And what Kath eats rather look like this:
~ brown rice with sprouted mung beans and zucchini ~
~ shiitake sushi rolls with steamed veggies ~
Taken together, you see that although we both eat a plant-based diet, what we eat is actually quite different. Instead of adjusting our respective meals, we rather celebrate individuality on the plate (or rather in the bowl, mostly), so when we make dinner, it regularly happens that we cook different things. Sometimes there is a common basis like a panful of vegetables and rice, sometimes there is no overlap at all. Everybody feeling well and enjoying the food is predominant.
Since I like cooking in general and do a lot of it, I enjoy making dishes in exactly the way the hubby likes it. It makes me happy when the hubby is happy, and I also get pleasure from experimenting with ingredients and flavors I would not use for myself. For instance, I have often stumbled across dishes involving a vegan cream sauce based on cashews. Now cream sauce is not for me, but the hubby is into these things, and I was curious to try it out. In accordance to what we had at hand and what the hubby likes, I made this curry for him:
~ lentil, potato, and spinach curry with cashew cream sauce ~
I used yellow lentils, potatoes, and spinach for this dish, along with Indian spices, because I thought they would go well together. As usual, I made several servings at once and froze most of it for easy future meals – happily I did, as the hubby liked it so much that he wanted to eat it again the other day.
CREAMY LENTIL, POTATO, AND SPINACH CURRY
- butter or oil
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
- 8 medium-sized potatos, peeled and cut into cubes
- 250 g (1/2 lb) dry lentils (I used yellow lentils)
- 1 l (4 cups) water
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp ground garam marsala
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch of ground turmeric
- 1 pinch of ground allspice
- 4 big handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped (I used frozen)
- 120 g (4 oz) cashews
- 250 ml (1/2 cup) water
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Soak the cashews in water. Cashews soak very quickly, so they will be ready by the time you need them while you go on making the curry.
In a large pan, heat some butter or oil and sautée onions, garlic, and ginger until lightly brown. Add the potatoes and lentils and sautée some more, then add 1 liter (4 cups) water, bay leaves, garam marsala, nutmeg, turmeric, and allspice. If you use frozen spinach, add it already, otherwise keep it aside and throw it in just before the dish is finished.
Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it cook for about half an hour. When the cooking has finished, remove the bay leaves. Rinse and drain the soaked cashews and blend them with 250 ml (1 cup) water until you receive a creamy sauce. If you use fresh spinach, add it now. Pour in the cashew sauce, bring the curry to a boil once more, then let it simmer without a cover until it has nicely thickened. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper, then serve and enjoy.