I posted recently about my outing to the meat-heavy Brazilian restaurant, Midwest Grill. What I neglected to mention is that I actually had the nerve to return there four days after my dinner. I went alone for lunch. What was I thinking? I knew that it was a bad idea to eat yet another heavy meal so soon after the first one. But I chose not to restrain myself.
I felt gross, truth be told. My stomach felt like lead. While I still had to eat, I decided to cut meat out and focus on vegetables. Salads are easy, crunchy, full of texture and adaptable. But I found myself wanting more out of my vegetables, especially since they were going to be the main course!
Inspiration comes from the strangest places. I live in a very diverse neighborhood in Boston with a strong spirit of entrepreneurship. What that means is that you can drive down the street and pass large trucks with people selling fruits and vegetables out of the back for insanely low prices.
No, I don't ask the origins of the produce, and maybe I should.
When I saw the truck as I made my turn, I immediately pulled over. Who could pass up a sign that said, "$2 bags of fresh fruits and vegetables"? An idea formed in my head for a vegetarian meal. It solidified as the guy told me that the large bag included potatoes, green beans, and zucchini. With the carrots that I already had in the crisper, I decided that a curried vegetable dish served over rice, would be a nice change of pace.
I whipped up something from my head. I heated about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and added 1 tablespoon of curry powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin seeds. I left them heat until they became fragrant. Then I added a combination of green beans, cut potatoes, 1 zucchini, chopped, two cubed carrots and 1 cup of diced tomatoes. I added enough chicken stock (you could use vegetable stock, of course) to cover and brought the mixture to a boil. Then I turned the heat down and let it simmer for about 40 minutes or so. I added salt and pepper to taste.
I served the vegetables over steamed rice. It was flavorful, spicy and delicious -- a very, very welcome change after all the meat I'd been eating. The dish was so good that I'm certain I'll make it again.