I am adding eggplant vindaloo curry full of healthy fats, carbs, protein and potassium to my meatless dinners rotation. I am always on a lookout for simple and affordable plant based dinners and quick curry dishes like green lentil curry and Thai mango curry are great candidates. I grew up in a family where a meal without meat is considered not a meal. Until this day when my mom visits, I can see she is kind of uncomfortable with my fridge. On one occasion, she asked me to pick up a steak because she was about to faint.
Current situation – I didn’t cook meat for a week knowing mom is coming over. I personally am going on a week long vacation (pinch me!). Kids are staying home and will have to deal with lots of bacon. I am sure they will survive, with a little detox due afterwards.
Yesterday grandma showed up loaded with garlic kielbasa, cheese buns and cheese. 10 year old had a slice of kielbasa and said he is good and doesn’t want to eat more processed meat. Ha! So kids will figure it out plus Kyle can cook quite many meals.
I often get asked this question: is Ukrainian cuisine healthy? I immediately start analyzing what we ate, what Eastern European immigrants eat in the US and what my mom eats. Um…Hm…I would say so-so. Ukrainian food is made with A LOT of meat, dairy products, white flour and white sugar which do not define health to me. Is Ukrainian food cooked from scratch? Yes but so is Chinese food. To me, eating real food is a step above eating processed food. No doubt. But even real food diet can be so unbalanced IMHO.
As a grown up, I had to come up with staple recipes for my family. Dinners that are made with plant-based and affordable ingredients like lentils, beans, squash, eggplant, tofu, mushrooms etc. Food that you can buy a lot of, make a filling dinner with and that everyone will like. I barely cook Ukrainian dishes for health and time reasons, exception being Ukrainian borscht.
So, when I saw Jenn’s Pork Vindaloo Curry I immediately clicked on it. Being quite an experienced home cook myself (I think I am?!) a recipe has to really catch my interest. I am not Indian so I know one or two curries to make. Anything different than a curry recipe with coconut milk, tomato paste and curry powder gets my attention.
I immediately fell in love with the spices combo: yellow mustard, white vinegar, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt. Yep, I can do that. Pork?! Not a big deal. I imagine how wonderful this vindaloo curry tastes with pork because pork is a sweet tender meat which I so-so miss. I love pork! We do not buy pork now because I can’t find it organic or naturally raised anywhere. But it’s OK. I was really on a lookout for a vegan curry recipe.
So, I chose to make eggplant vindaloo because it is in season now. I think tofu and mushrooms would work just as great. Eggplant has soft spongy texture that absorbs liquids well. So tangy sweet coconut milk sauce is a perfect candidate to give the eggplant a delicious bubble bath.
When it came to garnish, I chose toasted pine nuts and a lot of fresh cilantro which elevate this vindaloo vegetable curry recipe to another level. I understand that pine nuts are very expensive, I get it. I buy a giant bag at Costco for $20 – the only time I can afford pine nuts. For a more affordable version you can use roasted peanuts.
In case you are wondering how did my family react to an eggplant vindaloo since I know an eggplant is not a common North American vegetable to eat (it is huge in Europe!). My 10 year old LOVED it. A 5 year old – we couldn’t even force feed him more than 8 spoonfuls. And my husband…Look what he sent me the day after…I think this text says it all. I told him the recipe will be up next week and cook away, Alex.:)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts or peanuts
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 lbs eggplant, cut into large cubes
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 15 oz can coconut milk, full fat
- 2 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
- 1 1/2 tsp turmeric, ground
- 2 tsp himalayan pink salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Preheat dutch oven on low-medium heat and add pine nuts or peanuts. Cook until roasted for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl.
- Return dutch skillet to the stove and melt coconut oil. Add onions, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once.
- Add garlic and eggplant, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add vegetable stock, stir, cover and cook for 10 more minutes.
- In the meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk coconut milk, vinegar, mustard, honey, cumin, turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper. Pour over eggplant, mix to combine, cover and cook on low for 40 minutes.
- Serve hot over brown rice or quinoa, garnished with toasted pine nuts or peanuts and cilantro.
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving = 1.5 cups:
Total Fat: 24.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 871.3 mg
Total Carbs: 36.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 12.6 g
Protein: 7.1 g
WW Points+: 10