Cheater’s Curry

Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, and Cauliflower [or Green Bean] Curry
I had assumed that the notion of “nesting” had gone out the window once we carried our second child into the house. However, when I found myself with a day surgery scheduled for mid-week, and with a few days of recovery planned at home, I suddenly felt the impulse to stock up the freezer once again! Towards the end of my two pregnancies, I went for “fancy” meals like boeuf bourguignon and cognac-laced chicken pot-pie, and I took my sweet time preparing them from scratch for the deep freeze. After all, I had a doctoral thesis to finish…I needed to procrastinate! This time, I had little time or energy to do anything but get some family friendly basics into the fridge. The kids helped get their favourites ready to go, helping me prepare several bags of pre-marinated proteins for the freezer. Then, while they joined their father in very generously cleaning the house from top to bottom, I made a huge batch of mild chicken soup for before and after the (necessary) procedure. I also wanted to have a more sophisticated veggie curry for when the sun shines brighter and I start to feel tip-top. So, with little time to spare, I transformed an old favourite recipe I had come up with a few years ago into a faster, easier savoury treat: Cheater’s Curry.

Everything here is canned, pre-packaged or pre-chopped. I’m not usually a fan of convenience cooking, especially when this includes pre-cut and wastefully packaged vegetables. However, my hands blow up when I touch the outside of a butternut squash, no matter how organic, so I find the pre-packaged and pre-cut squash a real salvation. And, I’m having the kids work on repurposing the plastic packages we used. Of course, you can “upscale” this recipe by buying fresh veggies and doing your own chopping, as I do most of the time.

Cheater's Curry

Makes a large dutch oven full...
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup pre-diced onions or 1 medium sized sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tbs ras el hanout, red curry powder, or garam masala
  • 1 tbs red curry paste
  • 1 tbs chopped garlic
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 2 tbs brown sugar or honey optional
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 4 cups 1 pound peeled and pre-diced butternut squash
  • 4 cups [1 pound] peeled and pre-diced sweet potatoes
  • 4 cups cauliflower, fresh or frozen OR 1 bag ready to cook green beans
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro or thai basil, torn optional
  • 1 handful of peanuts optional
  • Sriracha or other Chili Sauce optional
  • Serve alone or with quinoa, rice, or flat bread.


  • In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and sweat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add spice blend, garlic, and curry paste, and stir for 2 minutes more.
  • Add tomato paste and coconut milk and stir to combine.
  • Add sugar (optional) and fish sauce.
  • Add diced sweet potatoes and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer on MEDIUM heat for 3-5 minutes
  • Add butternut squash and bring back to a boil.
  • Simmer on LOW heat for 15 more minutes.
  • Add cauliflower or beans.
  • Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the potatoes and squash are heated through.
  • Ladle into bowls or cool and place into containers for freezing.
  • Garnish hot bowls of curry with a generous amount of torn cilantro or thai basil.
  • Throw a few peanuts on the top.
  • Let each family member or guest add Sriracha or another Chili Sauce to their dishes to taste.
  • Serve alone or with quinoa, rice, or flat bread.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.