Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Spicy Hot Pot


Today I felt as if we needed some serious veggies for our midday meal! I had been looking at a recipe in Barnard & Kramer's The Garaden of Vegan a while back, and thought that might be a good idea. Unfortunataely, as luck would have it, I didn't have any home made veg stock in the freezer, I had no green beans, no chickpeas, no cashews, and precious little cilantro, etc. etc. What I did have was an appetite. This is my adaptation of their Spicy Vegetable Hot Pot, simplified in method (don't need to fuss around much if you're not sauteeing in oil, after all). The mushrooms were added for nutrition and for added flavour, considering the kind of stock I was reduced to using.

2 cups vegetable stock (I used a low-sodium cube *sigh*)
5 or 6 ounces onion (half a large one), chopped
2 carrots (about 7 or 8 ounces), chopped
2 potatoes (around the same as the carrots in weight), chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp curry powder (I actually still have some left over from summer!)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1 small red thai chili, minced (seeds and all for me - you might want to remove them)
1 Tbsp grated ginger (I used the kind from a jar)
1 cup cauliflower, chopped (from my freezer)
2 cups cooked soybeans (from my freezer)
2-1/2 cups mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 apple, chopped
1 cup frozen green peas
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped

I scrubbed but didn't peel the potatoes, carrots or apple.

Pan went on a medium-high heat with the vegetable stock. Onions went in next, quickly followed by the carrots, potatoes and garlic. Then the spices, chili and ginger and the heat was lowered to a simmer. After around 10 minutes the root vegetables were no longer hard. I added the cauliflower and soybeans (still feeling the chill) and the mushrooms and raised the heat. Another 5 to 8 minutes and they all seemed ready to have the apple, peas and cilantro join them. These took only a couple of minutes or so, because they really only needed to be heated through.

I served a salad to start, as usual (I'll spare you the photo this time!), and accompanied the hot pot with some wholewheat couscous. There's enough left for one enormous meal for two persons (and probably even three meals for two, depending on how much grain is consumed with it).

NOTE: It was very good. I'll do it again, probably tweaking the spices to make it a little 'hotter' and adding a little more of this and that. But bland it was not; it lives up to its name. Also I liked it with the peas - probably better than I would have liked the green beans, and the mushrooms must stay in, for me, regardless of what kind of stock I use. I love soybeans, but I also like chickpeas. I'm not sure what I'd use next time :)


VeggieGirl said...

mmm, the spicy-hot-pot looks fabulous!! I like your idea of serving it with couscous and a salad - sounds like a perfect meal!

River said...

Hi Veggiegirl,
Sorry to be late in reacting :) but I've been outta town for three days and I figured leave the internet behind for once! (Toronto - had a lovely time!!!).

Yes that hotpot works just fine, truly, and can be used well as leftovers, with added veggies or even a little rice/quinos whatever to make it into a nice thick soup. It also tastes good, adjusting the liquid amount, with a little cornbead or dumplings or whatever on top ;)

Huge hugs and love, Rover ;)