Cooking with JoJo: Going meatless doesn’t have to be tasteless

Joey Morasse • Sep 25, 2018 at 3:56 PM

A reader recently asked me for recipes that focus on vegetables as she was going meatless for a while. In past columns, I’ve talked about my love for curry and have done a vegetable curry dish. 

But as it feels more like fall in the air, I love the smell of a variety of roasted root veggies in the kitchen while a rich coconut curry sauce slowly cooks on the stovetop. 

My past dish had the recipe for curry from scratch, but for the sake of ease, a store-bought red-and-green curry powder will do. So for this recipe and for my soon-to-be meatless reader, this one’s for you.

What you’ll need:

• 3 large carrots.

• 1 large onion.

• 1 large rutabaga.

• 2 medium turnips.

• 2 medium parsnips.

• 2 medium sweet potatoes.

• 3 garlic cloves, minced.

• ¼ cup coconut oil.

• 1 red bell pepper.

• 1 orange bell pepper.

• 1 tsp. each salt and pepper.

• 3 cans cocoa.

For the sauce

• 3 cans coconut milk, unsweetened.

• 1 tsp. green curry powder.

• 1 1/2 tsp. red curry powder.

• 1 clove garlic, minced.

• pinch of salt and pepper.

• squeeze of lime, at the end.

To a pot on low heat, add two cans coconut milk, garlic and spices, and let it cook for 20 minutes covered. Remove the lid and taste. If the sauce is too bitter as curry powders can be, add more coconut milk for balance. More salt may need to be added to enhance the sweetness of curry. Once done, leave on warm and add lime while getting your veggies ready. The longer a curry cooks, the better.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees while prepping your veggies. Peel and cut root veggies into bite-sized cubes. Cut bell peppers into long thin strips. On a sheet tray or a large roasting bowl, layer in ingredients to meld the flavors so that the onions, garlic and peppers are mixed well. Sprinkle in salt and pepper and drizzle in coconut oil and give it a toss to coat well. Depending on your oven, at 45 minutes to an hour, check for tenderness with a fork. When done, serve in a plate to bowl and spoon over curry sauce. Finish with a squeeze of lime and, depending on your tolerance, some red pepper flakes. Enjoy.

Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.

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