Mango Coconut Curry

 

TKB - Curry brightened

I have that mid-January thing that always seems to sneak up on me…runny nose, sinus pressure, sneezy coughing fits. I’m not complaining, really, as winter is generally a season of slowing down for me anyways. I’ve really embraced these cold, white months in recent years. I’m grateful for all they offer – skiing, sledding, indoor soccer followed by brunch, leisurely girls’ nights with the best conversation, Hope and MSU basketball games and even a Griffins hockey game this past weekend. I also spend more time in the winter curling up with a good book, even more so when I’m sniffly. It likely won’t surprise you that, during my leisure reading time, you would often find me thumbing through cookbooks. Most recently I’ve been reading, learning and taking notes as I look through Zahav, What Katie Ate on the Weekend, Near and Far, The Kripalu Cookbook and the My New Roots Cookbook. I recently picked up Shauna Niequist’s Bread and Wine again, and I’m so glad I did. Her voice is like a hug from an old friend  – we’ve never met, but I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels that way. This lovely book alternates between essay and recipe; her true love for food shines in a way that lets me know she is my kind of person.

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Roasted Cauliflower + Butternut Squash Wild Rice Gratin

The Kitchen Beet - Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Wild Rice Gratin

Today after work I picked up both kids, made a library trip, took Aidan for a hair cut and cruised on home with one goal: quickly take pictures of the gratin I made last night before the sun sets. The sunset was at 5:34 pm this evening. I find that a little offensive. On a positive note, it was gorgeous and warm (70!) today, I got a picture and now I can give you this recipe. While I think we can all agree casserole isn’t the most photogenic dish there ever was, this one is DELICIOUS. It’s my favorite combination of a meal that feels both healthy and decadent, roasted cauliflower never fails and it’s plenty to feed a large family or keep a smaller family hooked up with lunches during the week. I strongly urge you to add this to your Thanksgiving menu. Not only will you feel like a total superstar in the kitchen, your family members will be begging for this to be on repeat for years to come.

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Southwest Quinoa Chili

The Kitchen Beet - Southwest Quinoa Chili

I’m holding consistent with my last post – it’s soup season! This makes a large batch, so it’s perfect for dinner now and freezing half for later. Or, if you’re cooking Thirty-Two Project style, ideal for feeding your family, and another family! Sometimes, I wish the current pace of my life lent to more leisurely cooking, instead of bordering on my near frenetic speed in the kitchen. I know this is a season. Audrey already plays more independently than she did a year ago, and soccer practice for Aidan means a wave good-bye, not parking myself in a lawn chair for an hour and a half to watch. But there’s not as much margin in my schedule as I’d personally like, and moving slowly throughout the kitchen is a luxury I’m not often afforded. This Quinoa Chili is not only a hearty, healthy meal, but ideal for those times when concentrated focus at the stove is minimal.

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Weeknight Vegetable Red Curry with Brown Rice

The Kitchen Beet - Weekday Vegetable Red Curry

You know those evenings where you’re flying around, because one kid has soccer practice and you’re trying to get a run in while pushing your other little person in the jogger. You manage to get the kids fed well, but your husband is coaching, and you’re going to work out anyways, so you don’t really eat a proper meal yourself until…ah. He’s home. Showers/baths are done. Stories have been read. Snuggles have been given. Kiddos are in bed. You’re tempted to order take-out, because you’re pretty darn tired at this point, and definitely hungry. But you don’t! You make this curry. It’s flexible, really easy to pull together and feeds you and your partner (or whoever you might be sharing with!) heartily. Unless you’re having multiple servings, one of you even gets lunch for the next day. Bonus!

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Sweet and Spicy Poblano-Corn Chowder

The Kitchen Beet - Poblano Corn Chowder

I mentioned in the last post that I have lots of recipes in the queue, and one of my frequent issues is not having the photos to go with. I would be so much more productive if someone could just follow me around and take pictures (and, um, clean up after me) while I rip through the kitchen like a tornado on a mission. Soup is cooking! Start chopping kale and shredding carrots! Put the pistachio-honey crumble on the bars and get them in the oven! Let’s go! In fairness, my husband is remarkably loving and generous when it comes to cleaning up my kitchen messes. I apparently just need a photographer to really be productive with getting recipes out to you, ha! Since I don’t have that, I’m thankful I had the time and light to take pictures while preparing a meal for The Thirty-Two Project yesterday. This sweet and spicy poblano-corn chowder is one of my all-time favorite summer soups.

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