If you haven't been to the grocery store lately, the produce at this time of year is depressing -- even in so-called sunny California. The selection is sparse: apples that have been on the shelf since September, limp grapes, that kind of thing. The bright, fresh flavors of summer and autumn are just not to be found on the vegetable aisle in February.
Instead, you'll find the perky tastes you crave in cans and the on freezer shelf. At this time of year, canned and frozen goods are a better value than fresh. Because they're processed at their peak ripeness, canned and frozen veggies are almost as good for you as the real thing. This week, I tried Chickpea Curry in a Hurry from Lorna Sass' recently re-released book, Short-Cut Vegan. It's made using spicy Ro*tel canned tomatoes with green chiles, frozen spinach, and a can of chickpeas. For dinner, I added a pound of cubed tofu to keep my tummy full until breakfast the next morning.Chickpea Curry in a Hurryreprinted from Short-Cut Vegan
by Lorna Sass
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles (I used 2 10-oz cans of Ro*tel original)
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach (I thawed it)
1 15-oz can chickpeas
1 T minced garlic
2 tsp curry powder
1/3 c unsweetened, dried, grated coconut
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1 lb firm tofu, cubed (my addition)
In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Break up the block of spinach with a fork, cover, and continue cooking until the spinach is cooked, about 5 more minutes. Stir well before serving.
Serves 2 or 3.