I am thrilled to share with you my very first guest blogger Rachel Rothe of Porridge. Please read along as Rachel explains the benefits and pleasures of getting food from the farm down the road.
Farm-Share Fresh Vegetable Curry
By Rachel Rothe
I’ll start off by saying we are not a gluten-free family; however I do enjoy cooking a hodge podge variety of meals and the more veggies a meal consists of, the healthier it feels. The recipe I’m about to share happens to be gluten-free, tasty, and easy breezy for a casual summer meal. Part of this curry’s charm is in using a colorful palette of locally picked in-season farm fresh vegetables.
We count ourselves lucky to be a part of the CSA (Community Share Agriculture) at Appleton Farm, one of the country’s oldest continuously operating farms. As far as farm shares go in the state of Massachusetts, it’s the cream of the crop and about as hard to get into as Harvard. To give you an idea, it took my name being on the list for four and a half years before they called me last spring to tell me a spot was available. What makes it so unique is not only its extra long season – weekly pick-ups from early June through November—, but also the variety and sheer amount of gorgeous produce the farm yields.
I highly recommend the experience of a farm share not only for what it brings to your table, but for general agro-appreciation and supporting local farmers. My little girl and I also enjoy the experience of picking our own veggies when we have the chance, like beans and those sunburst yellow cherry tomatoes like pops of sunshine –also flowers –all without having to sustain our own backyard garden (though that’s pretty great too).
Through the farm share, which I split with a friend and her mom, it’s satisfying to know that not only are we getting organic locally grown produce every week picked right from soil of the farm down the road, we also are investing in our local farm during its growing season. And that is a priceless way to give back to your local land, farmers, and community. You give, you get: it’s a win-win.
Usually from our weekly share, I’ll make big colorful salads with greens the color of dark emeralds. I’ll steam the beets, bake slices of Sicilian eggplant, boil the corn, dice up the watermelon, and we nibble circles of cucumbers throughout the day. My preference and my daughter’s as well is to eat our veggies raw – we like the crunch of the crispy carrots and peppers. However, my husband likes to cook the veggies and make big meals with the bounty we bring home.
Because I tend to be lazy in the kitchen, especially in summer, I welcome an opportunity to let the slow cooker do all the heavy lifting for me. This spur of the moment curry is relaxed and hassle-free. I thought it would be the perfect recipe to share on the Blissful Bean since it also happens to be gluten-free and uber-yummy.
Steam up lots of long-grain basmati rice, because you’ll need it to absorb all this delectable curry sauce. And feel free to substitute or add any veggies of your choosing. The following are simply what I brought home in my farm share bag that week.
1 pound firm tofu, cubed
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup small red potatoes cut in halves
1 small yellow summer squash, sliced down middle and cut in half circles
1 handful of green beans with ends cut off
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, minced
2 cups sweet corn
1 Tbsp garam masala
¼ cup yellow curry paste
1 tsp kosher salt
1 15-oz can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock
1 16-oz can tomato paste
Basmati rice, for serving
Cilantro to garnish
Cube tofu into ½-inch cubes and add to slow cooker pot.
Chop onion and peppers and prepare other ingredients.
Mince the garlic and ginger.
Add it all to slow cooker along with coconut milk, spices, vegetable stock and tomato paste. Stir together.
Cook curry on low heat for approximately 5 hours, or on high heat for close to 3 hours. About a half hour before time is up, you may add a handful of chopped green beans (if you put them in early they might get overcooked).
Taste the curry and adjust spices if needed. Serve over basmati rice garnished with fresh cilantro.
Rachel Rothe is a writer and creator of Porridge at www.justwritemommy.com. A few of her favorite things include children’s vintage books, mint water, T25, yoga, collecting sea glass and finding the rare lavender sea glass piece, Wes Anderson films, and just about anything reminiscent ofProvence, France. Rachel lives with her husband and daughter in a seaside town north of Boston. You can follow Porridge on Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook.