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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pepper and Bean Stir-fry

How many times have I bored you with my "I-used-to-be-a-vegetarian" stories?  This recipe comes from that era.  I believe it came from a small Betty Crocker cookbook that I tore apart, saving what I thought I might go back to when I turned omnivore again.  I saw coconut milk and curry, which is a little like chocolate and peanut butter--a winner without much explanation. 

Pepper and Bean Stir-Fry

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 bag (16 oz) frozen stir-fry bell peppers and onions
1 bag (12 oz) shelled edamame
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups hot cooked jasmine or brown rice
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews
chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, if desired

1.  Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add curry powder; cook and stir 1 minute.  Stir in bell peppers and onions, edamame and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes.  Cover and cook about 3 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.

2.  Stir in coconut milk; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.  Serve over rice.  Sprinkle with cashews and cilantro.

The Verdict:  It sure was easy.  But while it tasted OK, I think it was just that--OK. 

Unfortunately, I didn't have any cashews.  I had asked my husband to pick me up a package of them in the vending machine at work, but he ended up working late.  So I used crushed almonds instead.  Not quite the right flavor, but I did like the crunch.  These nuts weren't salted and the recipe calls for a salted nut.  I think I would have to agree.  If you don't have/don't want to use nuts, you may wish to give your stir-fry a little shake of salt to taste.

I used a combination of hot madras curry and regular.  I didn't measure out an exact tablespoon, but I'm certain it was close.  I think I'd use just a tad more; even a lot more.  Just to punch up the taste a bit.

I was nervous how my son would react to a vegetable-heavy meal, but knew that there were at least edamame and rice in his bowl, both food that he enjoys.  Oddly, he's moved from "I no like green stuff" (or whatever color vegetable is in question--regardless if he's ever eaten it before) to "Mommy, wass dat red stuff?"  "It's a red pepper."  "Ohhhh, I like red peppers," while still not touching it.  But I like the change in attitude. 

My husband rated it as "just alright."  He said he prefers rice with meat.

So where no one was bowled over, I'd have to say this one goes to the bottom of the pile.  No one starved, no one gagged.  But no one left the table with a giant smile, either.  It probably is much better with fresh vegetables, though.

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