easy weeknight vegetables in curry sauce

There’s no need to serve an uninspired meal after a long day at work. This dish is super fast, and the tasty sauce easily rivals one from your local ethnic family restaurant. The bonus of eating at home: You get to personalize it with your favorite veggies. We included more ingredient ideas below the recipe.

vegetables in curry sauce
Rice or udon noodles

1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, turmeric, garam masala, cumin, and paprika

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, chopped
16-oz. frozen stir-fry vegetable blend (ours included edamame, carrots, mushrooms, bamboo shoots), thawed
14-oz. can baby corn
Fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Start preparing rice or udon noodles according to package directions. While the water boils or the rice cooker heats up, prepare the veggies.

2. In a small pot, combine coconut milk and salt, turmeric, garam masala, cumin, and paprika. Heat on low while veggies cook, stirring occasionally.

3. Heat the canola oil in a large pan or wok. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add mushrooms and zucchini; cook for 3 minutes or so. Add thawed frozen vegetables and canned vegetables at the end; cook until heated through.

4. Serve veggies over cooked rice or noodles, and spoon curry sauce over the top. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped fresh cilantro leaves.

More ingredient ideas: Sliced kale ribbons, a handful of fresh spinach, tofu or tempeh cubes, canned water chestnuts or straw mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, diced chili peppers, fresh ginger, tomato

tempeh vegetable stir fry in curry peanut sauce

tempeh vegetable stir fry with peanut curry sauce
This is a really flavorful sauce that could be the foundation for a zillion variations. Try tofu or a chicken substitute instead of tempeh. Add some shitake mushrooms. Use brown or white rice instead of soba noodles. Omit the curry powder and just enjoy the peanut sauce.

sauce:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 Tbs. agave nectar
4 Tbs. white miso
2 Tbs. sesame oil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 cup water

stir fry:
2 Tbs. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 oz. tempeh, cubed
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 16-oz. bag frozen Asian-style stir-fry veggies
Salt and pepper to taste

Package soba noodles (or brown or white rice)

1. In a medium-size pot over medium heat, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, making sure all peanut butter and miso lumps are dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Fill a pot with water and bring to boil for soba noodles. Cook according to package directions.

3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a wok or heavy skillet. Add the garlic, onion, bell peppers, and tempeh. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and frozen veggies and continue to stir fry until the vegetables are just tender. Stir in the peanut sauce; heat tempeh and veggies until simmering. Remove from heat and serve over soba noodles.

great grilled veggies

Summer vegetables are wonderful on the grill. Pick your favorites, chop and skewer them, marinade them in your favorite sauce, and grill them to perfection. Served over a bed of rice, veggies are always tasty — and healthy — summer dinner fare.

Choose your favorite vegetables. Some ideas:

Zucchini
Bell peppers: red, green, yellow, orange
Yellow summer squash
Sweet yellow onions
Mushrooms
Cherry tomatoes

Brush on a marinade of oil-and-vinegar dressing, such as Newman’s Own (the original), or use a bottled spicy Thai peanut sauce. Or mix pineapple juice, agave nectar, vinegar, and a bit of vegetable oil for a sweet/sour Hawaiian-style flavor. Whatever your marinade, set aside a little extra for pouring over the grilled veggies and rice. Yum!

minestrone

There are many versions of minestrone; this is one of our favorites. Feel free to substitute in-season produce.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped,
2 zucchini, sliced
3 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 quarts vegetable broth or water
1 15-oz can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
1 16-oz can cannellini beans, drained
1 cup cut green beans
salt to taste

1. In large stewpot, heat olive oil. Sauté onion until semitransparent.

2. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, potatoes, cabbage, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Add remaining ingredients; simmer another 30 minutes.

wisconsin summer veggie salad

Sue named this salad in honor of her Wisconsin garden, which produced not only a healthy crop of mosquitoes, but also red and green peppers and yellow squash.

1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small yellow squash, sliced
2 small zucchini, sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, halved
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

dressing:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup raspberry or balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix dressing ingredients and apply to combined chopped vegetables, or use your favorite bottled dressing (Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette is a good one to try).

tortilla soup

This soup is perfect for a weeknight because it’s ready in about half an hour.

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbs. lime juice

Tortilla chips for topping

1. Heat canola oil in large saucepan. Sauté onion until translucent. Stir in zucchini slices; cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, broth, soybeans, and tomatoes. Cook until zucchini is soft.

2. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Ladle into soup bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips. Serves 4.

john’s authentic spanish gazpacho

“Of course everyone in Spain calls his or her recipe ‘authentic’ gazpacho, but they’re all different,” says John from Phoenix (part of Sue’s extended family). John’s recipe has received rave reviews from every person who’s tried it, so we’re dubbing his version authentic! This delicious raw-veggie recipe is not only healthy, but it’s also quick. Just throw everything in the blender.

If you like raw onion, feel free to add more. English cucumbers are long, skinny cucumbers with few seeds; you can substitute another type if you wish. If you like your gazpacho hot and spicy, use less tomato juice and more spicy vegetable juice or Bloody Mary mix.

1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup sweet yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. oregano, dried
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
36 ounces tomato juice or vegetable juice
12 ounces spicy hot vegetable juice or Bloody Mary mix

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup bread crumbs or crushed saltines

1. Reserve a few tablespoons of zucchini, bell pepper, and cucumber for a garnish. Combine all remaining ingredients in a blender except olive oil and bread crumbs. If your blender has a small capacity, process in batches. After everything is purèed, add olive oil and bread crumbs to blender (this adds a nice texture to the soup). Mix well.

2. Serve ice cold in chilled bowls, and top with a dollop of vegan sour cream and reserved chopped veggies.

black bean & hominy enchiladas

Look for hominy (also known as posole or pozole) in the Mexican foods section of your supermarket, or visit your local Latin American grocery. This recipe makes 24 enchiladas, enough for a party or leftovers for lunch.

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup frozen corn
1 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 4-oz. can diced green chilies
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained
1 15-oz. can hominy, drained
1 cup cooked rice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 dozen fresh corn tortillas
3 15-oz. cans green or red enchilada sauce
Salsa
Vegan sour cream for topping (optional; we used the Tofutti brand)
Vegan cheese for topping (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 9″ x 13″ baking dishes (or equivalent) and set aside. Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the next 11 ingredients (corn through freshly ground pepper) and cook until heated through.

2. Empty two cans of enchilada sauce in a large bowl. Dip each corn tortilla in the sauce. Lay on a flat surface, and place about 1/3 cup of the bean/hominy mixture down the center. Roll up and place in the baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas are used (or you run out of filling). Spoon any remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas, as well as the contents of the third can.

3. Cover pans with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and top with vegan cheese if using. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until enchiladas are browned. Top with salsa and vegan sour cream. Serve with a salad or Spanish rice.

vegetable grain soup

Before you prepare this soup, check your cupboards for tiny leftover amounts of grains, barley, lentils, etc. and feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand for the ingredients listed below.

2 quarts vegetable broth
1 quart water
1 small onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup split peas
1/2 oz. dried mushrooms
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp. basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, bring the broth, water, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the barley, lentils, split peas, and dried mushrooms. Continue to simmer for an additional 45 minutes.

2. Add the potato, zucchini, tomatoes, and spices and simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Serve hot with a rustic bread.

indonesian rice salad

Sue worked hard this week to create the Asian-inspired dressing for this salad, a perfectly blended balance of sweet, salty, spicy, and tart flavors, with none overpowering the other. Her husband loves it.

dressing:
2/3 cup orange juice
3 Tbs. peanut oil
1 Tbs. sesame oil
3 Tbs. tamari
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. dry white wine
1 tsp. sugar or agave nectar
1/4 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash of white pepper

salad:
2 cups cooked rice
Small bunch of green onions
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits
1/2 medium zucchini, julienne sliced
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup cashew halves
1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, sliced
1/3 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Place dressing ingredients into small mixing bowl and mix well with wire whisk.

2. Slice green onion bunch in half, and discard dark green half. Chop onions and place in large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and set aside.

3. Pour dressing over salad ingredients, mix well, and refrigerate.

spicy coconut soup

Fans of Thai food, rejoice! This colorful soup is quick and easy.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp. red curry paste (read labels; the Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste is vegan) or more to taste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 12-oz. bag baby spinach leaves, larger leaves torn and stems removed

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic until onion is translucent but not browned (about 5 minutes). Add red curry paste, broth, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add zucchini and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add spinach leaves and cook until leaves are wilted. Serve with a cool salad.

lemon ginger stir fry

This is not your ordinary stir fry, but don’t let the exotic flavor fool you: It’s simple enough to serve on a weeknight.

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. grated lemon rind
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbs. agave nectar
3 Tbs. tamari
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. water
3 tsp. cornstarch
2 cups zucchini, halved and sliced
1 12-oz. package of your favorite frozen stir fry veggies

Jasmine or basmati rice

1. Heat canola oil in medium saucepan. Add onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine next nine ingredients (ginger through cornstarch) in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Add zucchini and frozen stir-fry veggies to saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes. Add stir fry sauce and cook for about 4 minutes. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice.