Sometimes (actually, fairly often) I find myself out of all sorts of basic foodstuffs, but deeply disinclined to make a trip to the market. In such situations, there's a certain appeal in rummaging around in the cupboards and refrigerator for things that might, if combined in a sufficiently creative way, pass for a meal: an appeal that grows stronger when it means not having to haul groceries from the car to the house and then put it all away. So it was that one damp and chilly night, some sweet potatoes, a little neglected tempeh and a few other kitchen staples became a delicious curry that I'll definitely make again, even when someone has done the shopping.
(Almost) Empty Cupboard Thai Tempeh/Sweet Potato Curry
~ 2 8 oz. pkgs. tempeh, cut into cubes
~ 1 tbsp. olive oil
~ 1 tsp. hot chili oil (if you don't have this, just sub 1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne when you add the spices)
~ 1 onion, chopped
~ 2 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 stalk celery, chopped
~ 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2" (ish) cubes
~ 1 bell pepper
~ 1 tbsp. each: curry powder, dried basil
~ 2 tbsp. tamari
~ 1 tsp. Thai red curry paste
~ 1 tbsp. Thai green curry paste
~ 2 15. oz cans lite coconut milk
~ 1/3 cup cashew butter
~ Toss the tempeh cubes with some tamari and black pepper, then bake at 400 about 20 minutes (take care not to burn them).
~ Over medium heat, saute the onions, celery and garlic in the oils for about 3 minutes.
~ Add the bell pepper, sweet potatoes and seasonings; cook another 5 minutes or so.
~ Add the coconut milk and bring juust to a boil.
~ Add the baked tempeh, stir to combine, then lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft.
~ Add the cashew butter, stir thoroughly, remove from heat and serve over the grain or starch of your choice. (We had it on quinoa, but rice, millet or noodles would be equally good.)