My father always loved curry. I'm not sure if it's an Irish take out thing, but he always asked for curried chips (AKA french fries) whenever we ordered out. My mom would often make a curry with whatever vegetables were around and I fell in love with Trader Joe's curry sauces once I was out living on my own and responsible to feed myself. It's one of the things I stock up on whenever I have the opportunity to get to a Trader Joe's.
I have absolutely no Indian cooking instruction or cookbooks and I may even be using the word "curry" loosely, but I love this recipe. I don't know that apples are traditionally put in a curry but I love the warm sweetness that they add to the dish and you'll learn quickly that I love apples in savory dishes. This meal is so simple and can be put together with items in the pantry. The fanciest ingredient I use here is some fresh cilantro for a garnish, which adds a nice cool flavor but it totally optional. I find this dish to be a warming, nutritious, tasty and a budget friendly meal that is a great fit for a cold, winter night. Annnd...you throw it in the crock pot and the crock pot takes care of the rest. Hooray!
So here's what you'll need to get going:
-1/2 onion- chopped
-1 apple - peeled and chopped
-2 TBS olive oil
-2 medium sweet potatoes- peeled and chopped into chunks
-1 can of coconut milk
1 TBS curry powder
-1 tsp tumeric
-1/2 tsp ground coriander
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the 2 TBS olive oil. Add the chopped onion and stir fry for approximately 2 minutes when it begins to soften. Add the apple and continue to cook with the onion for 3-5 minutes. Put the onion, apples and sweet potatoes in the crock pot. Pour in the entire can of coconut milk. Add the curry powder, tumeric, coriander, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir loosely to combine. This kind of looks like a hot mess at this point but trust the process. Cook in the crock pot on high for 3 1/2 hours and give it an occasional stir once in a while. Serve warm over rice, cauliflower rice or with a piece of warm naan bread.
I get this dish cooked up and use for lunch for a few days in a row. Easy peasy!
We had a good amount of butternut squash left over after Thanksgiving and I didn't want it to go to waste. I'm a big fan of things like butternut squash "fries" but the kids don't buy them so this little dish was dreamed up and it's here to stay. You can see the fancy name I gave it in the title of this post but I'm also referring to it as Grown Up Mac n'Cheese. The flavors in this are so cozy that they make this pregnant lady dream of curling up by a fire with a big bowl of this and a glass of Chardonnay. I've had the big bowl of this...the Chardonnay will have to wait a year or so.
I was actually surprised how much the kids loved this dish. When I started to make it, I thought I might get it to pass for them. They devoured the entire casserole between one lunch and dinner...and didn't even realize there was 3 cups of squash in the recipe. #momwin There was nothing left when my husband got home.
Here we go with the recipe:
-3 cups butternut squash, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
-2 cloves of garlic (you don't have to worry about chopping as it's all going into a food processor or blender once cooked)
-3-4 TBS olive oil
-1-2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp-1 tsp pepper
-1 TBS chopped fresh sage + more for garnishing
-1-2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup will go into the dish and then 1/2-1 cup for garnishing, depending on how much cheesy flavor you would like)
-1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 x 1lb box of pasta
Prepare a baking tray with non-stick cooking spray. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the squash, onion and garlic on the tray. Drizzle the olive oil over the veggies and toss together. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Begin the process of preparing the box of pasta in a large pot according to the directions. Add the roasted veggies to a food processor or high powered blender. Add the 1 TBS chopped fresh sage. Pulse until the veggies begin to come together. Run the food processor on low. Once the veggies are smoothing out, slowly drizzle in the heavy cream and continue to process until the veggie/cream mixture is the consistency of a sauce.
Finish preparing the box of pasta, drain and return to the large pot. Pour the veggie/cream sauce into the pasta and stir together. Add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese to the pasta and stir. Pour all of the pasta and sauce into a large casserole dish and sprinkle approximately 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese on top. Bake the casserole dish covered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, remove the cover and then bake for 5-10 minutes uncovered. Make sure to watch the top as it finishes baking uncovered.
Remove from the oven and serve with additional chopped fresh sage and grated Parmesan cheese as a garnish.
I hope you enjoy this cozy dinner on a cold winter evening!
New England wife and mom. Faith, fitness, yoga, baking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.