I came up with this recipe when I was preparing for a cyclone (I'm not even kidding!). I needed to come up with something that would use up all my vegetables in case the power went out. I wanted to make something without meat in it as I figured it would last longer in the freezer in the days after the power outage and would be safe to eat cold if really necessary. So I grabbed what I had in my fridge and pantry, powered up the slow cooker and in a couple of hours I had this delicious, comforting and nourishing curry ready to go. The cyclone never actually eventuated (that's another story) but I definitely enjoyed this cheap and easy curry for my work lunch that week! For years, my go-to 'use up all the veggies' recipe has been minestrone, but this curry is so tasty and filling that I think it will be my new favourite. The whole point of this recipe is to use only what you have, so if something on the list isn't in your fridge/pantry, then substitute it for something else. If you don't have pumpkin, try sweet potato or white potatoes. No spring onions? Use brown onions instead but chop them finer. See what I mean? Just go with what you've got. Happy cooking!
3 Spring Onions
2 medium Carrots, skin on, washed
1 large stick of Celery
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp garam masala
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
½ cup red lentils
1 tomato, diced (or 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered)
2 cups of fresh spinach (remove stalks/stems) or 100g frozen spinach
2 cups of vegetable stock (1 tsp powdered stock with 2 cups water)
⅓ cup Almond Meal or LSA
1. Set up slow cooker and switch on to the high setting.
2. Chop spring onions into 1cm pieces.
3. Chop carrots and celery into a small dice, about 1-2cm.
4. Place spring onions, carrots and celery into slow cooker and replace the lid, and continue with your prep. By doing this you are effectively going to 'sweat' the vegetables which is where the vegetables cook in their own juice (steam), which will encourage a sweeter, more flavoursome curry. This method works well for soups as well.
5. Peel and de-seed pumpkin, then dice into pieces about 2cm in size
6. Cut up tomato and spinach into bite-size pieces.
7. If you need to make up your stock from powder, do this now
8. Sprinkle spices over the vegetables in the slow cooker, add the garlic and stir well. Leave this for another 2-3 minutes and then pour over the stock and add the pumpkin. Replace lid and continue to cook until pumpkin is slightly tender.
9. When the pumpkin is slightly tender, add in your lentils, replace the lid and turn the heat to the low setting. Cook until the lentils are soft and the liquid has reduced (about 30 minutes).
10. Add in the tomatoes and the spinach and stir well. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the spinach is wilted (about 5-10 minutes), then stir in the almond meal and cook for a further 10 minutes before serving.