This was my dinner last night! It was a well-rounded meal with veggies, beans, and quinoa (isn’t the red quinoa pretty?). I adapted the recipe for the stew of veggies and beans from the Sweet Curry Chickpea Casserole from Dreena Burton’s Vive le Vegan! (you can probably see that I used cannellini beans instead of chickpeas). I was in the mood to make an easy dinner but I wanted something pretty hearty — so a casserole was the perfect choice, and boy, this one is easy! Just mix all of the ingredients in a casserole dish and bake for about an hour, stirring a bit in between. For the last twenty minutes, I put the quinoa on the stove and everything was all ready to go.
But, back to the main theme of this post– kitchen revamp! I am on a mission to thoroughly reorganize my kitchen, particularly my storage of spices and dried goods. During my senior year in college, I lived in a collective house, with a shared kitchen and shared food (which we bought as a house), and, despite having a fairly messy kitchen*, everything was organized well, which made it pretty easy to decide what we needed to buy, to plan a meal, and to do the grand event — cook! Our bulk dried goods were stored on shelves below the counter in plastic storage containers with lids or glass jars. All of our spices (bought in bulk) were stored in glass mason jars or reused glass jars.
My current set-up is to keep most of my dried goods (dried beans, nuts, dried fruit) in the bags that are provided at the store for bulk items in a single cabinet, and then I have another cabinet for spices (either in the tiny jars they are sold in or in little plastic bags from the bulk spice section). This can get pretty confusing and makes it difficult for me to know what I’ve got in the house, as most things are hidden in the back of the cabinet — and I also feel bad wasting all of those tiny plastic bags.
I intend to change that! Just wanted to share — maybe writing it on here makes me feel more accountable. I’ve been requesting donations of glass jars from my friends and family. I also would love to make the kitchen more functional in regards to my cookware, to hopefully acquire more cookware, and to decorate the kitchen a bit and make it more festive and inviting (I’m picturing pumpkin-themed dishtowels and oven mitts and actually hanging my first picture in the entire house — boy, do I suck at decorating). I will post a photo of my brand spankin’ new kitchen when it’s done (hopefully soon) — this will also allow me to post more recipes, as I will probably move into my kitchen permanently after the revamp.
I’m also seeking tips from you. Do you have any tips for a more functional kitchen? Any DIY (easy, as I am no master in the craft department) projects for redecorating/restructuring my kitchen? I really want to do this one.
Now that I’ve publicly committed to this project, here’s my version of the Sweet Curry Chickpea Casserole:
Sweet Curry Cannellini Bean Casserole – adapted from Vive le Vegan!
This dish tastes great leftover — I just reheat everything together (the beans, veggies and quinoa) on the stove with a tiny bit of oil for the pan. The flavors have set in a little bit more and the sweet potatoes become all creamy. Yum!
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans (I think adzuki beans would also work really well in this dish and add some nice color.)
- 1 13.5 oz. can light coconut milk
- 1 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups apple, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 1 1/2-2 tbsp. curry paste (I used 1 tbsp. of a red curry paste, and it wasn’t spicy enough for me. Adjust to your taste preference.)
- 2 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. allspice
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Combine all ingredients in a large casserole dish — stir until evenly distributed.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Stir, cover again, and bake for 30 minutes longer — stirring once in between. Serve with rice or quinoa (or your preferred cooked grain).
Yield: 4-6 servings (with the cooked grain)