My son Harrison came home from Humboldt State University for Christmas break this year impersonating a vegan. He hadn’t actually completely committed to the vegan lifestyle – he gets the 80% concept naturally – but since his school has more vegans per capita than any other college in the United States, it’s easy for him to enjoy vegan food. Of course he could not deny the treat of sushi one night when he was home.
Harrison made a version of this dish one night. I was a proud father to taste and really enjoy something my son cooked. I am proud of all of our kids’ kitchen prowess. All of them can cook. They don’t just spread peanut butter on bread or heat frozen food in the microwave, although they are masters of these techniques. What is truly great, and what I am proudest of, is that they make food from their imaginations. Once they learn a recipe, they aren’t afraid to play with it and make it their own. I think this is the real joy of cooking. The secret to cooking is getting off of your butt, but the real pleasure is in improvising. Who cares if it goes wrong, it’s just a meal.
- 1/2 Cup Coriander (aka Cilantro), chopped
- 1 Head Cauliflower, cut into chunks
- 1 Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
- 3 Carrots, sliced
- 3 Celery Stalks, sliced
- 5 Medium White or Golden Potatoes, chopped into chunks
- 2 14oz Cans Coconut Milk
- 1 Pound Mushrooms, sliced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger, minced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Chili Paste (to taste)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cardamom
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Chef’s Knife
- Food Processor or Blender
- Large Sauté Pan with Cover
- Pulse onion, garlic and ginger with a little olive oil in the food processor, until it is the consistency of paste. This should take about 10-15 seconds.
- Spoon mixture into the bottom of a large pan and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and stir in all seasonings.
- Sauté all of the vegetables for a few minutes (Starting with the hardest) and add half of the coriander. Note that coriander is sometimes referred to as the seed and cilantro is the leaves. This varies in different parts of the world. In India and England, coriander refers to both the seeds and the leaves.
- Cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely cooked through.
- Adjust for seasoning and add the remaining coriander.
Serve over white or whole grain rice.