I've been gravitating toward a vegan diet lately. I don't know if this is just a phase, if it has something to do with how the planets are aligned, or if it's because I've been discovering some really awesome vegan blogs lately, but it's happening. Might as well roll with it. Moving on...
A few months ago I was thrust out of paradise and back into suburbia with dreams of pepper jelly dancing in my head. Thankfully, the vessel that transported me provided a little something something to make the experience easier. No, not alcohol, although traveling with toddlers, I really could have used it. No. They dished out the most. amazing. airplane food I have ever had. "Well, that's not saying much." Let me rephrase- this food was 'drive an hour out of town' good. It really was. And J2 would not keep his greedy little hands out of it! If ever I have wanted my child to eat cake instead of pasta with veggies it was then. The flight attendant made her way to the aisle next to mine. "Ham sandwich or curry pasta," she asked. "Curry pasta?" chuckled a female passenger, as if this was the most hilarious and disgusting thing she'd ever been presented with. "No, I'll take the sandwich." I looked over at the teenage boy in front of her, hastily slurping his pasta up, saying, "Mmmm... Mmmm!" Wise beyond his years. Here is my vegan version of what that poor woman missed out on.
Curry Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped 1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into medium florets 1 crown of broccoli (about 1 1/2 cups) medium florets drizzle of olive oil light sprinkling of salt and pepper 1 lb pasta of choice Curry Olive Oil Bechamel (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 400F. Drizzle vegetables with just a touch of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to instructions on package. Gently toss roasted veggies and pasta with sauce.
Curry Olive Oil Bechamel 1/4 cup olive oil (coconut oil would be even better, but not as wallet friendly) 1/4 cup flour 1 can (13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk 2 cups good vegetable stock (really, it will make or break this dish- highly recommend making your own - easy and so good 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (a lemon zester works well for this) 2 1/2 tsp curry powder a dash or two of sriracha salt and pepper to taste
Add olive oil to large saucepan and bring to medium heat. Use a miniature whisk to stir in flour and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Increase heat to medium high and slowly whisk in coconut milk and vegetable stock. Keep whisking until mixture begins to bubble and add all ingredients except for salt and pepper, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, about 10-15 minutes until sauce is thick and no gritty flour taste remains. Finally, season to taste with salt and pepper.