Vegan Red Coconut Curry with Chicken and Vegetables and Hominy (for the Slow Cooker)

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It was Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend this weekend here in the US and look at the glorious weather we got in Los Angeles.  Of course, today – back to work day – looked like this:

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But that is OK.  I had my crockpot chugging away and the house smells of yummy & comforting curry.  This is about as easy to make as is possible and, though the potential ingredient list is long, there are no exotic ingredients.  The most exotic thing would be curry paste.  You could use green curry paste (if you can find green but not red) with very little difference in the result.  Look HERE for some online resources but most major supermarkets carry it in their Asian food aisle.   My mother has had a hard time finding hominy.  In Los Angeles, it is everywhere.  In Boston, it appears, not so much.  If you can’t find hominy – use chick peas.  Hominy is actually less flavorful than chick peas are but I like their crunch & their cost effectiveness.  I once bought a 6 pound can of hominy for about $2.  Hominy might be found in the aisle with canned beans or canned vegetables or in the Latin food aisle and it can be yellow or white.

None of the individual ingredients below are critical beyond the coconut milk & the curry paste.  If you want to lose a few items, go ahead!  Want to add other veggies like cauliflower or broccoli or potatoes – awesome.  You kinda can’t fuck this up.

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Vegan Red Coconut Curry with Chicken and Vegetables and Hominy (for the Slow Cooker)

This fills a 6 quart slow cooker & feeds a lotta folks!  If you don’t want a boatload of curry – cut this recipe in half.  I like to make a lot & freeze it in small containers for work lunches.

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken ( I used the awesome Beyond Meat brand) – or use real cooked chicken – both are VERY optional

1 large onion – diced

1 – 2 cups peas

5 carrots – sliced

20-30 grape or cherry tomatoes – halved (or 4 tomatoes – diced)

1 red (or green) bell pepper – seeded & sliced or diced

1 – 3 jalapenos – seeded & diced (optional)

1/2 lb green beans – trimmed & cut in half

2 (15 oz) cans of hominy (or chick peas)

4 oz red (or green) curry paste (use less if you are intolerant of spicy food)

1 (10 oz) can Rotel (or other diced tomato, preferably with chiles)

2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk (I used lite)

1 (8 oz) can bamboo shoots – drained (optional)

1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts – drained (optional)

1 TBS fresh ginger – minced

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1 tsp sugar

1 TBS salt

1 cup vegetable stock

3 TBS peanut butter (this adds a nice richness but I skipped it in my version here because I wanted to keep this as fat-free as possible)

1 TBS lime zest plus the juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 cup Thai (or other) basil – chopped

Potentially required – a few TBS cornstarch or potato flour or other stew thickening agent.

Garnish: cooked rice, additional basil, lime wedges, hot sauce, cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything into your slow cooker & heat it on high for about 5 hours.  Five hours should be sufficient to get the vegetables tender.  Not all slow cookers are created equal & I think that times & settings might vary substantially based on how expensive or old or whatever your model is.  I have cheap ones but I find that “warm” and “low” seem to heat things to very different degrees from one machine to the next.  If you want to leave your curry for 8-10 hours – like, while you are at work – add at least another cup of water & leave the setting on low.

If the curry is too thin, you can whisk a TBS or two of cornstarch or flour of some sort into  1/2 cup water & add this to the hot curry.  You can do this in increments to get the desired thickness.  If it is too thick – just add water.

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This curry can be made stove-top just by bringing it to a boil & then letting it simmer on med-low until the vegetables are cooked through.

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