Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crockpot Curried Vegetables & "Rice"

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again--I love crockpot recipes, and I especially like making them for Monday night dinner. This way, we usually have plenty of leftovers for lunches and even one dinner throughout the week.

This recipe for Curried Vegetables & Rice (I'll get to the rice part) jumped out at me while flipping through my Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes. I love anything with curry, and I wanted to find a vegetarian recipe.

The recipe was super easy and had lots of great, tasty stuff in it. That being said, there are a few things I would do differently next time.

Curried Vegetables

  • 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-in. chunks (3 cups)

  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-in. slices (2 cups)

  • 1 large red onion, cut into strips (1 cup)

  • 1.25 cups apple juice

  • 2 Tbs. quick-cooking tapioca

  • 2 teas. curry powder

  • 1 teas. grated fresh ginger (I used a little less than a teaspoon of ground ginger)

  • 1/2 teas. salt

  • 1/2 teas. ground cardamom

  • 1 12.3-oz. (or 14 oz., like I used) package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4-in. cubes

  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-in. slices

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

  • chutney (optional) (we used mango chutney)

  • 1 cup rice uncooked

In a crockpot, combine ingredients from potatoes to cardamom.

Cover, cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Cook rice according to package directions.

If cooking on low, turn to high heat setting. Add tofu, zucchini, peas and raisins to cooker. Cover and cook for 30 minutes more. Serve veggie mix over hot cooked rice and top with chutney.

There are two things I would do differently next time (and I would definitely make it again--it was very tasty and satisfying):

  • I'd brown the tofu a bit first to create a better texture and seal in some flavors before putting it in the crockpot.

  • The tofu wasn't as warm as we would have liked--cooking it a bit before would help this, but it would also help to cook everything on high for more like 45-60 minutes.

So, the rice ... Neither of us can make rice all that well on the stovetop, so we invested in a rice cooker a few years ago. It works really well and makes great rice. The problem is, is that Nate is usually the one who cooks it, and he was working late Monday night. So I had to make it. Long story short, the measurements didn't add up and the rice was crunchy and inedible. So instead of rice, we served the curry veggies with rice noodles I cooked. It was OK, but the rice noodle flavor was too overpowering. It would have been better with fewer noodles or just plain with no type of rice/noodle. Tonight's leftovers will be served over couscous, which I think will taste better.

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