Wednesday, November 13, 2013

$25 Dollar Tree Challenge: Chana Masala Veggie Curry

I have a backlog of pics and recipes to put up here for the Dollar Tree Challenge, but wanted to share our dinner tonight.  This spicy, savory curry is a spin on Chana Masala..  I used canned marinara sauce as the base of the curry sauce, which worked out really well.  I realize that some of the spices I used, most people won't have on hand, but I will include them in the recipe.

Chana Masala Veggie Curry
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp powdered ginger (fresh would be soo much better and I'd use 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp cayenne or less if you don't like heat
  • 1/2 cup frozen peppers and onions
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower (I picked out the cauliflower from a broccoli cauliflower mix)
  • 15 oz can chickpeas 
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup marinara sauce 
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  1. Over medium heat, add the oil and spices and toast the spices for 20 seconds.
  2. Add the frozen peppers and onions, cauliflower and the can of chickpeas, including their liquid along with 1/2 cup water and marinara sauce. 
  3. Cover and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the pressed garlic and stir in vinegar. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Yum Yum Yum!

I have a bunch of thoughts about poverty, food deserts, nutrition, food policing, privilege and so much more that I will get around to writing..  I have very strong opinions and have been a little nervous to share what I really think, but if I am going to continue to blog here, I need to start being more authentic about my beliefs and my passions and stop caring if I offend people. Because I really, am sick and tired of pretending I don't hold the opinions I do.


  1. Good for you! Pretending doesn't let you be your authentic self. I look forward to reading your thoughts, and opening up the discussion.
    The masala looks great, and I have everything on hand (including the spices!).

  2. I tried my own Dollar Store challenge after reading your posts. Not perfect, but way better than I ever expected! Looking forward to reading some of your strong opinions!

  3. I'd love to hear your opinions! Privilege/classism/food policing/body shaming are humongous issues (and i see them pop up all the time in the food-blogger/fit-blogger community...). I think it'd do some good to get your voice out there.

  4. I have always appreciate your unusual gift of being able to make interesting and delicious dishes very inexpensively, so I have been following your $25 Dollar Tree Challenge very closely and gratefully. I too would like very much to hear your unfiltered opinions, not necessarily because I am certain of agreeing with them, but what are we on this planet for if not to connect with others from our truth?

  5. So you lose a few pretentious followers and you gain a lot of new followers...can't see the problem there ;). I have to say that honesty about what you believe in feeds posts. It makes reading them a whole level up from sterile posts about food that has been created merely to take photo's of. Real food for real people and most of those real people are doing it tough. I love the idea of changing blogging directions and I, for one, will be happy to join you for the ride. As a penniless student hippy living in Tasmania Australia you couldn't get more of a welfare belt. We have people who are children of children of children who all lived on welfare and it is amazing how people manage to live on a bare minimum. It can bring out the best and the worst in people. Can't wait to see your "honest" posts :)

  6. This is such a smart and creative use of your Dollar Store stash. I love chana masala and this a an amazing take on the Indian classic. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about cooking, privilege etc. I am a coal-miner's granddaughter and grew up in a poor, blue collar family. So chances are, I am going to be agreeing with you :)

  7. Another tasty meal, yum.

    Please don't hold back for fear of offending anyone. This is YOUR blog, after all. Some people might not agree with you, but that's life.

  8. I would love to hear your thoughts on these issues. Your blog is YOUR corner of the Internet and you shouldn't let anyone else limit what you want to write about! This is something I am learning myself :)