Cooking can be a little more of a challenge when you are cooking for people with more restrictive diets, whether it is someone with an allergy or just personal preference. I have found that during these times I do a lot more research on recipes then I normal because not only do I want to make sure I prepare a dish correctly but I also want it to be just as nice as the meals that I normally prepare. On this particular occasion I was cooking for someone who was a vegan so needed to find a dish that would be filling and enjoyable for the meat eaters as well as something that would be suitable for the vegan. The thing that I have discovered, the more I am faced with evenings like this, is that it is a lot easier of a task then it sounds. For a long time the idea of preparing a dish for a vegetarian, a vegan or anyone with a food allergy sounded like a very stressful event, but through careful research I have discovered that it really is easier then I thought. There are tons of meatless dishes that my family enjoys and often times it only takes small tweaks to recipes that you already have to make a dish appropriate for those with restrictive diets. If you have a dish that you really enjoy that contains ingredients that people either can’t eat or won’t, a quick Google search on ingredient substitutions and more often then not you will find others who have been faced with a similar situation who have wonderful ideas for you to try.
Chickpea and Potato Curry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons curry powder
4 teaspoons garam masala
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can peas, drained
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, garam masala, ginger, and salt; cook for 2 minutes more.
Pour in coconut milk and bring mixture to a simmer. This dish will be done after it has simmered for 10 minutes but allowing it to simmer for a longer period of time only helps infuse the flavors so making this ahead of time and allowing it to simmer until you are ready to have dinner makes it just that much better.