We’re big curry fans in our house. While there are lots of different kinds of curry and different ways to make it, I keep curry as one of my, “I only have 15 minutes to get dinner on the table!!!” meals. To keep it simple and recipe free, I stick with a big tub of Red Thai Curry Paste that I got for a sweet deal at Cash and Carry. If you want to dress up your curry, give edible flowers a try, they make it look elegant and add some fun to what might otherwise be an everyday meal.
My kale I planted last year sprouted flowers, and although this means I won’t get good leaves from it much longer, I’m enjoying the edible kale flowers in a variety of dishes. If you don’t have any edible flowers, or don’t have some of the ingredients listed in the recipe, don’t worry! You can’t really mess this up. Almost any vegetable can go well in curry. Just remember that some vegetables like carrots or potatoes will need to cook longer than others.
We usually make our curry vegetarian because of the high fat content of the coconut milk. It’s good fat, but not something you want to have every day. There is low fat coconut milk, but I just don’t like the taste as much. While we don’t mind having meatless dinners, in fact in the summer we’ll just have meat 1-3 times a week, we sometimes miss the texture. That’s where mushrooms come in.
You can use any mushroom to get a meaty texture, I always pick whatever is on sale. One very flavorful mushroom is the shiitake mushroom. Normally I buy these dry and rehydrate them. But the other day I was at our local Korean market and saw fresh shiitake mushrooms for just $3. Great deal! We loved them in our curry but regular button mushrooms or cremini work great too.
The kale flowers were a big hit when Eric and I ran a food sample booth at the Tukwila Backyard Wildlife Festival. The City of Tukwila places a lot of value on a healthy community. Their Parks and Recreation department puts on this festival each year and hired me to demonstrate a healthy recipe people can grow ingredients for.
I made my famous bruschetta which can be made with homegrown tomatoes and basil.
The booth was a lot fun. I loved how many people would take a piece of bruschetta and pass on signing up to have me email them the recipe. Less than a minute later, they’d run back with a full mouth, scribbling their name and email address down, raving about how good it was. That’s how I roll!
I had several different herbs and edible flowers in vases and pots. The kale flowers were the biggest surprise to most people. They couldn’t believe that these abundant yellow beauties were edible.
We talked a lot about gardening, cooking and foraging. Eric and I took turns getting breaks. I spent mine photographing kids going crazy for the Bubble Man. The little girl below was SO excited the whole time she just couldn’t stop screaming!
There were a lot of different speakers, performers and characters, including the woman below who wanted to make sure I let you know that butterflies love bruschetta too.
For me, the highlight of the day was getting to meet Ciscoe. He’s a famous gardener in the Pacific Northwest with TV shows and radio shows. Ciscoe is a funny man whose energy seems to know no bounds. His knowledge of plants is incredible and his passion for growing them is infectious.
My brother Jason (who’s autistic) is a huge Ciscoe fan but hasn’t had a chance to meet him yet. Ciscoe kindly agreed to do a little video shout out to Jason, and oh boy was it a big hit with my brother!
I’ve been going to a lot of different gardening talks by various well known gardeners who specialize in our rainy climate. I’m learning lots and will have to post some of my notes for you another time.
Have you ever eaten flowers before? What did you think?
Vegetarian Curry RecipePrep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 7 minutes Total time: 12 minutes Yield: 4-6 servings
- 1 tsp – 1 TBS
red curry paste
- 1 19 oz can
red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
mushrooms, washed and sliced
small zucchini, sliced (stem removed)
kale leaves, torn into bite sized pieces
- kale flowers to garnish
- Heat curry paste in a pot on high until fragrant. Add coconut milk and stir to mix the paste in well.
- Add pepper, mushrooms, zucchini and kale, then stir.
- Let simmer 5-8 minutes until vegetables are just softened.
- Serve over rice and sprinkle with flowers.
Approximate cost/serving: You can really substitute any vegetable in this curry, if you grow something yourself, get it in your CSA or buy it on sale, that will save you money. I save money by buying a large tub of curry paste, it’s lasted me 3 years so far and is still good! The coconut milk is the most expensive ingredient at around $2. This cost me $4.89 to make four servings so just $1.22 a serving.
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: This is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free with no substitutions necessary.