quick {vegan} cashew curry with chickpeas & fingerling potatoes


It’s a weeknight and you want to make a unique meal with a flavorful punch, but refuse to spend forever in the kitchen. Fast food may be fast, but it lacks health benefits and leaves you feeling lousy about your decision. So, if you like it spicy, hearty and healthy, this is the meal you need to tuck away for a busy weeknight!

Not only is it vegan, but it is chock full with fresh vegetables. Store bought red curry paste and curry powder foster the intense Indian flavor profile. The carrots and potatoes are cooked until aldente, giving them a hearty bite.  Cashews and coconut milk add a creamy and buttery decadence. Served with quinoa and a squeeze of lime, this meal is healthy, filling and quick.

I served dinner with Creamy Coconut Limeade Chillers that were so indulgent, they needed their own post. Stay tuned for the drink recipe!

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The first day of school was today and I didn’t go.

For 6 years I was an Autism Teacher, working with kids who have autism from grades K-5. But ONE MONTH ago, I started a new career as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst for children and adults with autism. As their therapist, I get to focus on one child at a time, working on social, behavioral and communication skills. One on One. A luxury that I do not take for granted.

Although my job is very technical, utilizing the science of Applied Behavior Analysis to foster socially acceptable behaviors,  it is so much FUN! Not a day goes by where the kids and therapists do not burst out in laughter at something silly someone wrote in the game Loaded Questions. We play mafia with the kids on the regular and sword fight with pool noodles. I get to teach babies how to sign in order to communicate their wants and lose my voice from celebrating when they produce a sign independently {without a prompt}. We  work on looking both ways to cross the street when we visit the park . Then we watch the turtles and baby alligators swim in the stream, labeling all the animals we see.  The staff get to wear jeans every single Friday and someone is always bringing in amazing food to share. The biggest problem we had yesterday was that our coffee machine was not working haha. Having the opportunity to teach kids 1:1 in the natural environment is something that a school just can not provide. Something that I realize I never want to be without again.

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Photo is featured on foodgawker.com

So today was the first day of school and I was ELATED that I did not have to go. I did not have to set up a classroom, decorating until midnight for a week. I did not have to go to pre-planning and listen to a principal tell the staff about all the tests we will have to administer. I did not have to make a schedule for several grade levels at once, attempting to include them all in their regular education classes while having enough learning support time with me. I didn’t have to meet new paraprofessionals who had their minds set on not liking me and planned on not following through with my lesson plans. I didn’t have to write lesson plans or make copious amounts of copies of activities to fill an 8-hour school day. I didn’t have to interact with staff members that are consistently dismissive and unprofessional. I didn’t have to stress out about the lack of resources and materials that I had to start the year. I didn’t have to spend all my hard earned cash on those materials. I didn’t have to run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, chasing 10 kids around the classroom, down the hallways and in the parking lot. I didn’t have to deal with the cafeteria lady arguing with me about having each kid serve themselves, when they could not even stand in line or hold a tray without my help. I didn’t feel spread thin, over worked, under appreciated, anxious, tearful, overwhelmed and unsupported.

Because I didn’t have to go.

Thank you Jesus. This was an answer to prayer. For one full year I prayed that I would have a job that gave me fulfillment, joy and excitement. That I could enter a place where I felt welcomed and appreciated. A place where people cared about their job and wanted to work hard to help the kids. A place where the leader was respected and respectful. I found this place and could not be happier.

It is so unfortunate that schools are sucking the life out of many hardworking fun-loving teachers like me. If you know me, I am super optimistic. I see the bright side of everything. So for me to have felt like it was time to leave the classroom, you must know, it was that bad. Just know, it’s not about the money and the kids were wonderful.

I say all this to give praise to God for answering my prayer. I now have a job that I could say with truth, “I love my job”.

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Even though my days at work are peaceful and rewarding, I still don’t want to come home and be in the kitchen for several hours. I made this one night for the hubs and we both were instantly obsessed. If anything, I am writing this post to save the recipe for myself! Hope you enjoy it too.

ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (cook according to package directions)
  • 2 cloves garlic (smashed)
  • 3-5 carrots  (peeled and sliced thick)
  • 7-10 fingerling potatoes (sliced thick)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (in a can)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cashews for garnish
  • lime (squeezed for garnish)

directions

  1. Boil a medium pot of water, add salt. Once boiling, add carrot and potato slices for 7-9 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil {or olive oil} in a large frying pan on medium heat. Saute the onions until soft {3-4 minutes}. Then saute the garlic for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add cooked potatoes and carrots to the onion/garlic mixture. Saute until potatoes are golden brown and crispy {3 minutes}.
  4. Mix in curry powder and red curry paste, stir to incorporate.
  5. Add coconut milk and broth. Then stir in peas and chickpeas.
  6. Let simmer for 7-10 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve over warm quinoa. Top with cashews and a squeeze of lime.
  8. ENJOY!

 

 

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Author: A Common Connoisseur

My name is Maria! I'm a vibrant Italian American with a zest for life. I am also a major glutton. Join me on my journey to diverse restaurants and in my kitchen, as I eat and cook my way through flavory fare. I am no expert, which is why I am merely a Common Connoisseur.

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