CSA Week 17: Miso-Curry Delicata Squash

Miso-Curry Delicata Squash

We have been getting a lot of fall squashes from the CSA! At least two per week, usually weighing in over 1 lb. apiece.

Good thing I love fall squash!

It’s also been fun to get to know some of the different varieties. Normally, I am a butternut-acorn-pumpkin girl, but now I am learning about kabocha, buttercup, carnival, and the lovely delicata.

This is an amazing recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks: Super Natural Every Day. I love that the curry isn’t too spicy, but it perfectly complements the sweetness of the squash. Plus, this meal is so healthy! It combines fresh potatoes and kale, which are also in season right now from the CSA, with fall squash and tofu: Perfect nutritional balance of brightly colored veggies, complex carbs, and protein.

(And the best part was that Dave loved it, despite the kale and squash, which he typically hates! He hoarded all of the leftovers to himself…I’m just saying.)

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Curried Avocados with Mustard

Curried Avocados with Mustard

The first time I made this snack, it was out of slightly morbid curiosity. It was just so weird, and there was so much going on: avocados, chilis, curry, mustard, cilantro. I thought maybe this recipe couldn’t decide what direction it wanted to go in, so it just went for everything at once.

Boy was I surprised when I took my first bite. Somehow, everything just worked together in the most beautiful way. It turns out that an Indian flavor palette works well on cool, creamy avocados! The avocado cooled down the serrano; the curry powder and mustard accented each other delightfully.

This snack is so good that one bite could never be enough. After I took the photos, I decided to have a forkful before my husband got home…two minutes later, half the bowl was gone! I am powerless to stop eating this stuff.

Just try it. You’ll thank me later!

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Vegetable Khorma

This month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog Samayalarai: Cooking is Divine.

What an interesting blog—and something of a challenge for me, an Indian food rookie! Looking through the pages and pages of recipes, mostly for things I had never previously heard of, was a real education for me. I mean, my Indian food experience is fairly limited to the most common of dishes: naan, various kinds of masala, jalfrezi…

Let’s just say I spent a lot of time looking up Indian food terms on Google as I browsed the blog.

I landed on a dish called Dhingri Mutter, which means mushrooms and peas. One of the things that drew me to this dish is that it seemed like something I could easily make at home without buying too many exotic ingredients that would later go to waste. It also looked really healthy, and reminded me of a favorite Indian dish that I’ve been meaning to make for a while, Navrattan Khorma. Both are made with a fresh tomato-onion paste and yogurt sauce; the main difference is in the vegetables included. Since I’m not a huge fan of peas, I decided to expand this dish to include a few other vegetables as well, making it even more similar to the khorma I enjoy so much. I hope I didn’t compromise the integrity of the meal too much by tinkering with the ingredients! All I know is that I sure enjoyed it.

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Last Christmas, my husband’s family all gathered in California to spend a week together. It was that week of bizarre weather when it drizzled almost nonstop…and every native Californian freaked out and half the roads closed (as a Virginian, I found this reaction about as silly as how Richmonders behave if there’s a possibility of snow…but apparently there were actual mudslides, so maybe the Californians had a reason to be worried). But while we were there, we played dozens of board and card games, hiked up to the Hollywood sign in fog so thick we were literally about 20 yards away from it and couldn’t see any of the letters, and did yoga in the sitting room. And, lo and behold, I was not the only vegetarian present!

Clara, my husband’s cousin, is a great cook, and one evening she made this fantastic butternut squash soup. It’s vegan-friendly, spicy, and absolutely delicious! I have been dreaming of this soup since last year, looking forward to fall/winter squash season so I could make it and share it with you all. Now it’s perfect soup weather, and this filling bowlful will warm your stomach and your taste buds.

It takes about 3½ hours to make from start to finish, and while a lot of that time is inactive, this might be a good dish to prepare ahead if you are having guests, or to save for the weekend. Let’s dig in!

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Thai Red Curry with Tempeh

How high is your spicy tolerance?

Mine is apparently a lot lower than I thought…and more surprisingly, so is Dave’s! Despite this, I think that Thai curry is going to become one of our go-to meals. And don’t worry, I will share with you what I learned about the right proportions of curry paste to coconut milk so that you do not set your tongue and lips ablaze when making this for yourself!

The beautiful thing about stir-fry meals is that they are endlessly adaptable. Your ingredients can change with the seasons! It’s a cinch to transition from serving 4 to serving 8—all you have to do is chop some extra veggies and cook up some extra rice. And what makes this all possible? Tins of prepared curry paste, which you can buy in most supermarkets (or, at your local Lotte/GrandMart/HMart).

I know, I know, normally I do not go in for many things that come prepared. I prefer to make my food the hard way 🙂 But I promise you, the only way to make great Thai food in your own kitchen without buying at least 20 ingredients you aren’t sure how to use except in the dish you bought them for, and without spending 4 hours chopping and sautéeing to make a meal for 2, is to buy a tin of Maesri.

As a side note, this meal also works really well for non-vegetarians. Just substitute thinly sliced chicken or pork for the tempeh. But…I definitely recommend being brave and trying tempeh if you never have! Made from whole soybeans, it is high in protein and fiber, and it is much more similar to the texture of meat than tofu (which I personally hate), and it has some of the umami savory taste of meat. Try it! I bet you’ll like it.

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