Welcome to another week, ladies and gentlemen. I hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend, because, surprise, surprise, I did! Can weekends be bad? You get to sleep in, hang out, and eat brunch, so I don’t really see how, unless you’re me in college who worked at least one Saturday or Sunday each weekend, which I absolutely loathed. Looking back, even though the jobs weren’t exactly a dream come true, I think that everyone needs to have some kind of painful, service-oriented job in high school and college. It builds you into a stronger person who can never be shaken because you had to help a woman pick out a pair of jeans for a screaming toddler while she changed his diaper, or make smoothies for steroid-riddled muscle men who insist that there’s not enough protein powder in their Peanut Butter Blaster McMuscle Shake. My first real job ever was a cashier a when I was in high school for a summer, which was awful. I won’t name names, but try and guess where it was that I was working. They wouldn’t let us have any drinks, including water, by the registers, I had to wear ill-fitting khakis, an ugly, oversized red polo, and my boss had the shrillest, thickest Boston accent that drove me nuts. Working at a place like that is honestly a lot like a sitcom. There were, of course, a sprinkling of regular people who just needed a job, but then you had the one person who was always trying to wrangle everyone into starting some kind of uprising against management for their favorite injustice-of-the-week, the creepy security guard who was constantly hitting on all of the teenage girls working there (there were a lot of us), and then in contrast, there was the less creepy but overeager and younger security guard who thought he was always working some kind of beat and tried to catch people shoplifting constantly, even when they weren’t. He’d seriously follow people around the store, although I guess when you’re young and bored like that, you’ve got to find something to entertain yourself. Then there were the night shift people, who were almost like magical elves that you’d only catch a glimpse of once in a while, or if you had an early shift, and of course, the manager that believed that everyone working there part-time had just a big a stake in the success of the store as the CEO did. I still remember the horrible, sterile smell of the place, the fluorescent lights, and how we were made to call all of the people in the store “guests” instead of “customers” or “shoppers” or whatever comes naturally to most of us. It was so long ago, it almost seems like some kind of mild nightmare. What was your first real job? You know, the one where you finally had to memorize your social security number?
I have been trying to make more interesting lunches to take to work, so that means cooking a bit more on Sundays so I have less to worry about during the week. This crock pot curry was one of the recent dishes that I made on a Sunday to portion out throughout the work week, and I think it was absolutely delicious. I had a few other things to take care of that day, so I decided that the slow cooker was definitely the way to go. I just threw everything in, stirred it up, and let it go for eight hours on low, then stirred in a can of chickpeas (overcooking legumes in the crock pot can lead to dry, burned beans), viola! You’re all done. This heats up really well, leaves you full and satisfied, and will certainly make your coworkers jealous as they hunch of their bagged sandwiches or soggy salads. Make some rice or bring some pita bread for a side dish, or honestly, just enjoy it on its own. Obviously this makes for an excellent dinner, too, but let’s all get a little more creative and bring some inspiration back to lunch time, shall we? You can use any vegetables you like, adjust the heat factory per your tastes, and really make it your own. Feel free to use pork, beef, or make it entirely vegetarian, too! Just promise me that you’ll start remembering to pack a lunch!
As this is a crockpot recipe, just throw everything in, set it, and forget it!
Ta-da! Dinner (or lunch…or whatever)!
- 2 chicken breasts, cubed
- 2-3 potatoes, cubed
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 24-ounce can tomatoes (whole, diced, crushed, whatever you prefer - I used whole and crushed them with the back of a wooden spoon)
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
- 4 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced (or chiffonade, for you fancy folks)
- 1 12.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Throw all of your ingredients into the crock pot, then stir to combine. Set it on high for four hours, or on low for eight hours. When it's done, add in the rinsed chickpeas, stir to combine, and let it sit for 5 minutes to heat through. Serve alone, or with rice or pita. Enjoy!