Sometimes I get the weirdest cravings. Like for iced coffee in the middle of a February snowstorm. Or for bubble baths (likely a result of said iced coffee). Or for cabbage, a vegetable I think of little outside of those lone, random lustings.
Generally, cabbage comes into my mind mainly in the summer, when its heads are running rampant in the garden. It comes to mind when I’m dining outside, veg. or fish tacos in hand, and a few shreds of crunch lace the top. I can get down with some cole slaw, too, but I can’t say I’m dreaming of it all year. It’s definitely not something I seek out. (This recipe excluded.)
Cabbage, however, seized my mind this past cold, wintry week. (Along with thoughts of California. And beaches. And everything else warm-related, to the extent I started writing about it in my music journalism…)
As per usual, while working at a coffee shop shifted to daydreaming of dinner at a coffee shop, as per not usual, my mind drifted to cabbage. And so was born this recipe.
Coconut curry’s something I daydream of on the regular, so no surprises here. It gives this pasta a vegan sauciness that feels creamy but not overly rich. It pairs perfectly with the crunch from the cabbage, and the peanuts thrown on top. Feel free to swirl in a little peanut butter if you do want to take it to the richer side, or if you simply don’t have any peanuts on hand. Just don’t skip out on the nutty element all together.
A little cabbage, yes cabbage, to brighten up a winter day. Who would’ve dreamed? Me.
I often say that even if I became really poor, it’s unlikely I’d ever go hungry. Through all my various foodie friends, farmer connections, side food-related jobs and food blogger perks, my fridge these days has been endlessly stocked. My splurgeful trips to Whole Foods have been minimal. And my tummy has been full.
Unlike some of my recent grad friends (cue those who moved to NYC), I’ve managed to avoid a diet of peanut butter and canned beans. (Although, don’t think those items don’t show up quite often too. I eat plenty of PB from a jar, primarily by choice, and chickpeas too. Being a vegetarian does have its naturally affordable qualities.)
When I do head to the store these days, often I walk out with nothing other than figs and Greek yogurt. As a hustling journalist in a dying field, and a freelancer of many trades, this scenario seems a bit out of place. And it would be if it weren’t for the abundance of healthy veggies that have graced my life this summer, free of charge. For this I feel fortunate.
At this point, I honestly have more vegetables sitting around than I can eat. Some of you fellow gardeners I’m sure can relate.
I often get stuck eating a lot of simple salads, which are great, but sometimes recipes like this are in need. It’s amazing how a simple coconut curry can make you appreciate a bowl of vegetables that much more.
I contemplated putting this over rice, but I honestly wanted to just spoon its brothiness as is, and call the large bowl of veggies a meal. So that’s what I did. However, I ended up pouring it over pasta the following day, which was quite nice too. I’ll leave the decision of how to serve it up to you.
If my stomach didn’t scream at me, I could easily drink down a can of coconut milk. Especially with a little fruit or honey blended in, or even just a savory scoop of curry paste. The sweet, creamy juice is a key element to success for a lot of Thai, Indian, Vietnamese and other tropical-inspired dishes.
In vegetarian recipes, I love coconut milk for the richness it can add to veggies, like the cabbage that keeps this particular dish on the light side. Make sure to use the full fat version though. The splurge is totally worth the taste, and besides, the remainder of the ingredients are as low-fat as can be.
One day, I will carry out a few of my years in the tropics. And I will measure the richness of my life by the number of fresh coconuts I’m sipping from per week. Those will be the days. Beach yoga, swimming and coconuts. Good thing I have dinners like this to hold me over until then.
Click here for recipe…