Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dishing Up Vegetarian Style with Kav Rees

I'm thrilled to once again have our favorite Irish-turn-Canadian friend in the cafe. As most of you know, Kav is a vegetarian and gets a little squeamish when I talk about things like smoking brisket and serving up steak, so I've asked her to share one of her favorite vegetarian recipes with us. Who knows, some of us carnivores might even like it.

Take it away, Kav.

Ahem…can I have a drumroll, please? At the time of writing it’s…wait for it…snowing!!!! But before it started snowing my spring finally looked like this:
Yes, rather boring to all you tree blossoming, green grass growing and petal pushing flower people south of me. Believe me – up here, brown is good. It means the snow has finally melted away and now all those little dormant plants are going to get to bask in the sunlight and pretty soon they’re going to sprout buds and leaves and flowers…just as soon as this most recent snowfall stops.

Okay, now that I have that out of my system – on to the café talk. I’m playing at being brave and sharing another vegetarian recipe. I’m always shy sharing my penchant for vegetarian food. That goes back to my college days when ‘friends’ used to tease me about it and try to sneak meat into my food so they could say they got the vegetarian to eat meat. Not fond memories so I learned to keep my wildly controversial eating habits to myself. But times they are a changing and more and more people have been exposed to some type of vegetarian food and survived to tell the tale!

In fact we have this great magazine in Canada, Chatelaine, and they have fantastic recipes in each issue and always have a few really user friendly vegetarian alternatives in the mix. That’s where I got this recipe from: Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry.

The ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (3 if they’re smallish)
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger (I usually add more)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 smallish sweet potatoes chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed

Sautee onion and garlic in oil. Add curry powder, ginger and salt. Cook 2 min.
Stir in sweet potatoes and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to med-low. Simmer about 15 min. 
Add in chickpeas and continue cooking until sweet potatoes are tender (10 min). 
Serve over basmati rice.

Or, you could probably add chicken to this recipe for a carnivorous one bowl meal. Or use it as a side dish with another type of meat. You can also play around with the seasonings if you’re an adventurous cook. I’m not, but my friend made it once and added some spices and it was fantastic only she can’t remember what she added now so I can’t tell you. I’ve also eaten leftovers cold, like a salad. Pretty versatile dish, eh?

I'd say so. Kav, this actually looks really good. Doubt my boys would go for it, but hubby and I would. 

And no need to be shy around us at the cafe. While we may not be vegetarians, we try to have open minds. Unlike those pesky college friends of yours. ;)

So what do you think, ladies? Does this sound yummy to you?


  1. Oh, this looks amazing, Kav!!! This is wonderful! I would eat this up and beg for more! I love veggie blends, and the idea of sweet potatoes and tomato? Oh mylanta, I'm doing a happy dance, thank you!

    And diversity is the name of the game here... Let the veggie eaters and the gluten-free-ers stand proud, 24/7/365!

    1. It's a pretty dish too, isn't it? I like pretty food. And it's filling -- which isn't always the case with a vegetarian dish. But this one is hearty.

      And thanks for celebrating diversity at the café, Ruthy. Much appreciated. :-)

    2. Well, you know me. (BLUSH...) I'm just that nice. (LAUGHING!!!)

    3. Only one of the reasons we love, Ruthy. :)

  2. Kav, this looks scrumptious! I may be one of those who adds some chicken to this recipe, but that's just the carnivore in me talking ;).

    I love using sweet potatoes in savory dishes, and the curry/ginger combo has my mouth watering. Thanks for sharing!

    Our spring is slowly blooming around here. After four days of rainy weather, the leaves are finally beginning to show a green mist in the tree branches, and the daffodils are blooming. Lilacs are just beginning to show their buds, and I can see flower buds on our little cherry tree. It's finally coming!

    1. I want to come up there just to sniff your lilacs!!

    2. Jan, that's about where we are, too! I have daffodils and two hyacinths, the tulips have lots of "heads" but haven't opened yet... Of course if they open too early, one little snowfall ruins them. And if they open late and we get a hot day, that ruins them! Silly tulips!

    3. I'm with Missy. I love lilacs. Our closest version is wisteria, beautiful and fragrant purple blooms, too.

  3. Funny -- even the vegetarian matched chicken with this recipe. LOL. It would turn into a great one bowl meal. And yes, love the curry/ginger flavor.

    No daffodils yet but I saw some crocuses when I toddled around the block this morning. And I met Henry. My new love. A border collie mix who just moved in down the street. He's a senior rescue -- found abandoned and starving but oh my gosh does he's such a sweetheart, I don't know how anyone could have abandoned him.

    1. Kav, when are you going to get another canine companion? Sounds like Henry is a good fix, though. I don't get how people can abandon dogs like that. :(

  4. Perfect and just right for my new quasi-vegetarian lifestyle. Thanks! And may Spring really spring soon.

    1. That's right -- this is good for a new vegetarian cook. Really easy to make and very satisfying to chow down on! It went up to 17 today....62. Woohoo!!!! Buds will be popping in to time.

    2. I saw a show that was talking about longevity in areas that eat lots of sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes almost as much as chocolate, but they push my carb count high, and then I'm off my magic merry-go-round. That doesn't stop me from eating them, but I'm careful about how many. I am VERY HUNGRY right now, by the way. Possibly starving. :)

  5. This looks so yummy, Kav!! We eat vegetarian around here probably once a week. Usually when I forget to thaw out meat. LOL

    1. Now there's a good reason to serve vegetarian! LOL

  6. That makes a very attractive dish, with or without meat. I love my meat, but I serve up lots of veggie-based meals because we all love our veggies in this family, too.

  7. Hey, this looks like the sweet potato stew I shared back in 2013!
    And your college friends were mean. I knew so many vegans in college I had three vegan gourmet cookbooks. Of course, maybe it's regional? In the Northwest, tons of people are vegetarian, especially near the larger cities.
    And I never noticed you being shy to share when our recipes made you squeamish! You've been holding back! Don't be shy, Kav, just let us know, LOL.
    You'll want to skip my next post when I debone an entire raw chicken. Lots of pics. Should have taken a video.
    Good thing it was tasty in the end because it was huge amount of work.

  8. Sorry guys, I'm late to the game today. But I got lots of writing in. :)

    Kav, thank you for giving us a glimpse into your world and for showing us that vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean rabbit food. I can't wait to try this.

  9. That looks delicious, Kav. I'll be sure to share it with my daughter.