Completely devoid of cooking inspiration last night, a friend linked me to this simple curry recipe. Back in South Philly days, I would make curry dishes all the time so it was a “duh” kind of moment to be reminded that curry is easy, wonderful, and exactly what I wanted on a cold February evening. After a very cold 1 mile run with my dog (she’s getting more used to this being a thing I make her do now, but she still lags behind me a lot), I whipped up this warm wonderful meal.
The recipe is for a chicken curry dish, and so I used this more as an inspiration than a follow-the-recipe experience. I usually have all the ingredients to make curry on hand, so a quick stop at the co-op on the way home was made for a couple of veggies to add to the meal.
Adapted from Food 52 (link above) – all modifications below are by me to make this a vegan meal instead of a chicken-based meal.
- 2 tablespoons Canola or Vegetable Oil
- 2 Fresh Garlic Cloves, pressed
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, Finely Chopped
- 3 teaspoons Curry Powder
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (No Red Pepper Flakes on hand, so I added a couple of dashes of Sriracha)
- 1 teaspoon Ground Tumeric
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 block of extra firm tofu, pressed of water and cut into small cubes
- 1 medium red pepper, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 large potato, chopped and boiled (separately)
- 1 small cauliflower, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Tomato Paste
- 1 can Lite Coconut Milk
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- 1 cup Hot Water (optional)
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook for 6-8 minutes or until transparent. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- In a separate small pot, boil chopped potato until cooked, drain and set aside.
- Add tofu, cook until slightly crisped. Add red pepper and zucchini and mix to combine.
- Stir in cumin, tumeric, 1 teaspoon curry powder, red pepper flakes (or whatever heat you’re using) and salt and pepper- cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste. Mix to combine.
- Pour coconut milk into the saucepan. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, add the rest of spices and adjust if you want more heat or more flavor. Add hot water if there is not enough liquid, because it has cooked down.
- Add chopped cauliflower and drained cooked potato, mix to combine. Cover saucepan (leaving a little space for steam to be released) and let simmer for 10 minutes or so, until cauliflower is steamed thoroughly.
- Serve hot with white rice if desired.
Running/Muay Thai update – I’ve officially run 11 days in a row now, mostly 1-2 milers and a handful with my not happy about running dog. I had to take a few days off from Muay Thai cause of a shoulder muscle spasm that happened in class last Sunday, but in total trained 9 hours so far this month, not including my run and classes tonight. This is almost the halfway point. Running daily is exhausting, but I’m hoping to make it the full 29 day streak.
15 weeks away from 26.2 miles. I’m burnt. I’m burnt on summer. I’m burnt on heat. I’m burnt on having to eat constantly. I’m burnt on having to run so much. I’m burnt on wanting to sleep all the time. I’m burnt on thinking about it.
extreme tiredness, typically resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.
a group of soldiers ordered to perform menial, nonmilitary tasks, sometimes as a punishment.
When I say I have training fatigue, most assume I mean the first. I should probably mean the first, but in my heart I really mean the second. 15 weeks out, I’m wondering what the hell possessed me to decide to do this and why the hell I’m basically already mentally committed to doing this again next year on my birthday, in Anchorage. Ok well really, that one is more about going to Anchorage, but you get my point. I feel fortunate that so many of my friends and loved ones fall into 2 camps – runners who are all “hell yes” about me training for and completing a marathon and non-runners who are all “hell yes” about me training for and completing a marathon. It makes it easy to have such a supportive social network, when usually my excuses for things are “I’m too tired” or “Sorry, I have a long run tomorrow…” or I’m talking about how much I hate running in the heat or how hungry I am all-the-freakin-time. I sound like a broken record that is slowing getting deeper in this hole of mental fatigue. I need to figure out how to change my mindset, but really this is where we are right now. From internet-ing, this is all normal. For me, this is not normal and is indeed a big ole downer on my usual happy life. My weekly runs vacillate between the awesome and the sucky, and therefore my moods are also up and down in direct correlation.
I wonder what life post-marathon will be like. Will my days feel full of empty hours to gloriously do non-running things? Or will I merely find myself hitting the streets for 5+ mile runs for, horror of horrors, the fun of it? Will running have officially replaced some of my more time consuming hobbies? Will I start printing again? Will I actually finish knitting some socks and sweaters that are on my needles? Will I cook elaborate meals that have nothing to do with “fueling” again? Since I’m pretty self aware, I have a feeling I’ll be embarking on a whole new playing field of winter running this year, so in all honesty I should probably start up’ing my winter running gear wardrobe from the 2 items I currently have to maybe 3 or 4 items. I would say that I look forward to running without a mileage goal or a pace goal or a specifically orchestrated calendar balancing running and cross training, but then again I actually like competing against myself with every step of the run. Not sure I can give that up so easily.
All that being said, quiet hours spent watching the sunrise or sunset while having little else to focus on and having to be entirely in the moment, is a pretty great way to pass the time. So I guess there’s that…
A few weeks ago, I hit the wall energy wise and had to re-evaluate my food intake to incorporate more…more of everything really. I eat well, easily and as my comfort zone, but the idea of eating even more was daunting. I feel like I eat all the time as it is. Last time, I tried a batch of pumpkin-cranberry-protein muffins and those were great for grab and go kind of fuel and midday snacks, etc. This time, saddled with a summer cold that forced me to skip my Sunday long run and sleep for 8 hours during the day, I decided to make something a bit more summery to fuel my running for the coming week. While I’m fine using Gu and Clif etc, I prefer real food when possible for fuel. I had picked up 25lbs of peaches from a local farm recently, and still have many pounds to work through, as well as a handful of nectarines that were ready to be eaten. Enter, these muffins of heaven. I want to try these again with a flax egg instead of a chicken egg to see if this recipe holds up with a vegan sub. I’m also curious to see how this taste with plums instead of peaches and nectarines, and also how apples would work in this come autumn time. Chances are, if you show up at my house from now until forever with a bag of coffee beans I will brew us coffee and make you eat muffins with me on my front porch.
Yielded 18 muffins
- 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of protein powder (I used a vanilla soy one)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon (more if you like more)
- 1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil
- 2 1/4 cups of fresh peaches and nectarines (peeled and chopped)
Preheat oven to 350F
Beat eggs, oil, and sugar together. Add dry ingredients until uniformly mixed (most would probably suggest mixing dry ingredients together before adding, but let’s be real. I just added them all individually to the wet ingredients and mixed together then). Fold in fresh fruit.
Grease or line muffin tin and fill each most of the way, for a full big muffin top. For smaller muffins, fill 1/2-2/3 of the way full.
Bake for 25 minutes (or until toothpick is entered into a muffin and comes out clean). Let cool for a couple of minutes and then remove from muffin tin to cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.