Meat Free Week #2: I’d pay money for that

We are certainly off to a good start this week! Tonight’s Space Curry is a real winner! I knew we were onto something good when Possum wanted seconds, and thirds. Legoman said “I don’t even care there’s no meat!” and “I’d pay money for this!” as well as “I’d serve this to guests, especially *insert vegetarian friend’s name*!”. The way to a woman’s heart? Multiple compliments on her cooking. I sat there, my shirt covered in Possum’s snot, my hair half pulled out (thanks Possum), my teeth not brushed, I can’t remember if I showered today. But I was smiling.

Thankyou Meat Free Week!

The snot fest that is my daughter continues. And with it comes horrendous cabin fever. I had had enough today and so we ventured out to soak up the wonderful sunshine and for me to soak up some human contact (even if it is just with the lady that makes my coffee). Made the world of difference and Possum slept on my back on the way home. Added bonus was running into two mummy friends, a lovely benefit of living in a village.

I will apologise for the lack of food piccies tonight. Just as I had served dinner and was about to take the photo, my phone battery died. And I wasn’t going to wait for it to charge enough to take a piccie before eating. But picture this… A bowl of golden rice gently spiced with cardamom, coriander, cumin and turmeric. The rice cradling a rich curry with warm autumnal colours of garnet, terracotta and deep aubergine. A burst of freshness on top with a few leaves of fresh coriander. Contrasted with a tangy dollop of fresh yoghurt.

Or I could show you a picture of Possum’s dinner (whoops!).

Space Curry

Space Curry

Space Curry

Affordability : EXCELLENT. Cheap vegetables, canned chickpeas and some store bought curry paste and chutney. Made up a large batch and will absolutely be making this again and making use of the curry paste (I used Tikka Masala) and mango chutney.

Time Factor : MODERATE. Chopping and prep was pretty quick today (hurray!). I chose to cook this a bit longer than it said to in the recipe (I like curries the longer they’ve cooked for generally).

Complexity : LOW. A nice simple curry to make. I realised though that the recipe asks for spices and lemon rind but then doesn’t say what to do with them. So I googled the original recipe and found the answer. It goes in the rice! Here is the original recipe for your reference.

Deliciousness : EXCELLENT. This is a winner, a keeper, a recipe to share. Legoman was super impressed. He normally makes his views against chickpeas well known whenever I make something with them in it. Tonight, not a peep.

Mess : MINIMAL. One pot wonder and a rice pot.

Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. I guarantee you will either go back for seconds despite bursting at the seams or be sensible but happily satiated.

Possum Friendly? YES. She loved it! Especially the eggplant and the chickpeas, which surprised me. She also had a bit of yoghurt with her curry too (an essential addition I think).

Would I make it again? Yes, will have to invite some vegetarians over to show off this winner of a recipe.

***BONUS QUESTION! Did you miss the meat? Not at all.

To make up for the lack of food piccies today, here is possum attempting her escape… to get the magpie in the garden. She worked out she can slide the screen door open (not that hard really, might need to lock it soon…).

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

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Third time lucky

Tonight the capsicums went back in the oven yet again. I can’t throw out that much food. Finally, after three evenings in the oven the rice was, well, mostly cooked. They were a sideline accompaniment to tonight’s dinner of chicken tikka masala. Don’t worry, I don’t have a home tandoor oven, not did I marinate the meat for hours on end. I bought a packet from the supermarket. A surprisingly tasty one at that. I don’t want to sound like an infomercial, but “The Spice Tailor” range has yet to fail me. And they really do only take about 10 minutes. They include real spices and the ingredients list has no numbers, flavours, colours or preservatives. So once a week now we have curry night, usually on a day that has a fair bit going on. It’s quick, easy and tummy filling.

The sauce for tonight's dinner

The sauce for tonight’s dinner

And there is only one capsicum left to eat… finally. Lego Man is getting it in his lunch tomorrow.

Speaking of lunch, our meal planning plan for lunch is leftovers. With our little family of 3 it seems to work pretty well at the moment. Except when dinner is a bit crap. And no one wants the left overs. Like today. So lunch today was freezer surprise, a yummy curry of red lentils, cauliflower and green peas. I will thank my mum for this one. She had the brains and know how to swap the Indian curry paste for massaman curry paste and to also add a spoonful of curry powder (I have a Malaysian one I use). Possum and I shared a serve and the two of us finished it off happily. Possum inhaled 4 big florets of caulifower, good to see she likes strong flavours like her mum. She finished off her lunch with cucumber sticks (always) and yoghurt, quite authentic really.

This meal is super cheap to make and a great one to keep in the back of your mind when doing the grocery shopping and cauliflower is on special. Make up a big batch and freeze. Especially good with a dollop of plain yoghurt and a few springs of coriander.

Yummy lunch, with the cauliflower picked out to cool down for Possum.

Yummy lunch, with the cauliflower picked out to cool down for Possum.

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Possum loves her curry

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Yummmmmm

And here is the scale for dinner tonight.

  • Affordability  :  MODERATE. The spice pouches cost $5 and make 2-3 serves. Worth the cost in terms of time alone. You could make the meal cheaper by substituting meat for a vegetarian alternative such as mushrooms or paneer.
  • Time Factor  :  EXCELLENT. Faster than take away equivalent.
  • Complexity  :  LOW. The instructions are on the pack and are 3 short bullet points. There is also a few extra suggestions. Tonight it was “add capsicum”. Done and done.
  • Deliciousness  : EXCELLENT. Not my favourite of the sauce range so far but very tasty.
  • Mess  :  LOW. Curry pot, rice pot, bowls and cutlery.
  • Tummy Filling Factor   : EXCELLENT. On a cold night it was lovely to share a hot bowl of curry with a dear friend. A nice hot cup of tea after helped to top it all off.
  • Possum Friendly?  MODERATE. After how much she loved the curry at lunch today, I’m confident to give her a piece of chicken to munch on at lunch tomorrow and a piece of capsicum (which she has munched before with no reaction). We are heading to my work tomorrow to have lunch with the gang so I don’t want her lunch to be too messy (not like today’s effort!).

And finally a photo of dinner. Bed time for me, big day. Baby learning to move and she went under water for the first time at swim lesson today plus two lots of visitors! Good night y’all.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala