Recipe: Japanese Curry Sauce Plus

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr)

Figured it’s time I get back to posting my cooking experiments.

This sauce came about after seeing an Indian mini-cafeteria on my job.  It had some lovely thick sauces that looked like a complete meal on rice, and there was a dish that was a bed of greens, then rice, then curry.  These came together in my head to make me ask “can I make a curry sauce that is largely a meal?”

This is the result.  This sauce’s body comes from squash and garbanzo beans and tastes very much like my Japanese Curry sauces.  Each serving has a about serving of legumes and a serving of vegetables in it.  Throw it onto rice with a side dish – or rice and a bed of greens, say shredded spinach, and you have a very complete meal.

Makes 6-8 servings


  • 1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds unpeeled), peeled, seeded, cut into cubes.
  • 2 tomatoes, diced.
  • 3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (2 14.5 oz cans)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2/3 cup red wine (shiraz and zinfandel are good)
  • 4 tablespoons curry powder.
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4  tablespoons soy sauce (If you use store-bought not-quite sodium free vegetable broth, use 1 Tbsp)
  • 4T bsp garlic
  • 4 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter

To prepare:

  1. Place squash, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, vegetable stock, wine into a pot, bring to boil, simmer.
  2. While bringing to boil, add other ingredients one at a time, stirring.
  3. When the squash is soft, mash with potato masher to break it and the beans and tomatoes up.
  4. Either puree with immersion blender or let cool and puree in regular blender.

Notes:  This sauce is a bit thick, may need more vegetable broth – I’d say ½ to 1 cups.  it’s also hot so you might want to tone the curry powder down a bit depending on taste

– Steve

Recipe: Basil and White Bean Soup

My pre-move experiments in simpler, faster cooking continue.  This is a simple and fast-to-prepare soup, the only challenging ingredient being fresh basil (which many stores have anyway, but its not something you’ll likely have lying around without a garden). It has a nice, light taste, though may need a bit more salt depending on your preferences – fair warning, a little salt goes a long way with this dish.


  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic (about 1 TBSP) crushed.
  • 3 cups of Cannellini beans (2 14.5 oz cans)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (may need a bit more depending on how you make it)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil.



  1. Dice onion, and dry-sauté it with carrots and garlic until onion starts to soften.. Add 1 or 2 Tbsp of water if it gets sticky.
  2. Add all other ingredients, bring to boil, then simmer until the carrots are tender, but still a bit firm. Usually about 15 minutes.
  3. Serve.


– Steve

Recipe: Vegan Taco Filling

I’m moving apartments, so I decided to look for simpler things to cook during this time.  This fantastic vegan taco mix is one of my discoveries.

This is repurposed from a vegan Sloppy Joe mix – it makes a great taco filling. You could also use it on Burritos or similar dishes. Place it in a taco shell or a wrap, and maybe a few other ingredients and you’re good.

Makes 4 servings


  • 1Tbsp Garlic
  • 1 Small red onion
  • 1 ½ cups diced tomatoes (about 2-3, or one 14.5 oz can, drained)
  • 1 ½ cups black beans (one 14.5 oz can drained, rinsed)
  • 1 ½ cups pinto beans (one 14.5 oz can drained, rinsed)
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika



  1. Dry sauté onion and garlic in a non-stick pan, adding 1-2 Tbsp of water as needed to keep it sticky. Stop when onion is soft.
  2. Added tomatoes, beans, and other ingredients.
  3. Continue to dry-sauté, mashing the beans slightly. There should be enough liquid to do this without adding water.
  4. When enough liquid evaluates that you have more of a mass and the beans are frying slightly, remove.


  • Steve