Rand's Curry
-time in the kitchen


First of all, if you are eating a mainly vegan or vegetarian diet like I am, it is important to take a B-12 supplement. I take these Nature Made 1,000mcg softgels and they seem to do a good job of keeping my B-12 level in an acceptable range.

It's also important to get the right amount of iodine. The main sources of iodine in the American food supply are in milk products (farmers feed cows iodized salt) and seafood. If you are vegan, you may not be getting any iodine. I cook all the curries with kosher salt, but when I make my rice, I use iodized salt. I try to get 1/4 teaspoon of iodized salt a day. I know a vegan that got hypothyroidism (a goiter). Don't let this happen to you. And don't get too much iodine either.

I always had a fast food rule: Don't order soft drinks, don't order french fries and don't order cheese. This has been an excellent rule and I still follow it, but...

I like eating healthy, but I don't indentify with being a "health nut." I started cooking curries in 2005 because I was craving the taste of the spices and the cooked vegetables. I made a huge mistake by starting to drink soda pop with my meals about the time I started cooking the curries. After about 5 years of that, I had gained almost 70 pounds and was diagnosed with NAFLD (Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease). I was prescribed "rapid weight loss" by my doctor, and I took his advice seriously.

It took a few years to figure out how to lose the weight. I did some juice fasting, Paleo, and then ultimately what I called "the prison diet" which was basically 5 pieces of Dave's Good Seed bread a day with mustard on them (the bread sandwich). Man, calorie reduction is tough! It worked though. I lost 50 pounds and am keeping it all off. It was the toughest thing I ever did. I'm well out of the pre-diabetic range now. Soda pop! What a bad idea.

Now that I'm in my 50's, I've noticed that I'm becoming a little sesitive to oil and salt. The recommended daily value of salt is a little less than one teaspoon a day and most of us are getting quite a lot more than that. I've toned down the salt in the curry recipes so that there is one teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of oil in each 32oz quart container (most recipes).

I typically eat about one quart of curry a day. I put one cup of white rice in the rice maker each day. I eat about 2/3 of the rice and curry at dinner. Then after dinner, I put the leftover rice in a Pyrex container and put the curry on top of it and put it in the fridge for lunch the next day. Leftover rice is pretty bad on its own, but it does well with some saucy curry on top of it. You could heat up the rice the next day with a little bit of water to steam it, but I tend to just eat the curry and rice right out of the fridge for lunch without heating it.

I tend to like the curries on the cooler side temperature wise. When I have a refrigerated curry in the fridge, I tend to make a pot of rice and then put the cold curry on top of the hot rice and that is the perfect temperature for me. I don't like the hot temperatures to take away from the taste of the curry. It's a time saver too. *update Lately I have been slightly warming the curries when I make the rice. I put a quart of curry in a saucepot and heat it up on medium for 5 minutes. It's still slightly on the cool side so that when mixed with the steaming hot rice, it turns out to be the perfect temperature. If you heat it all the way, then you'll just be waiting for it to cool down. The curries don't need to be heated for taste.

I eat meat a few times a year. The last few years, I've been cooking my lamb vindaloo curry on Christmas day. I usually make a chicken curry or two during the winter months. I like barbequeing hot Italian sausages a couple times in the summer. I find that I enjoy not having meat in my shopping bags or on my cutting board. I like not having it in the trash. Not eating meat is arguably better for my health, but it is without a doubt better for the planet.

I don't tend to eat much fruit or salads. I know people who do well with that though. As I said, I'm not a "health nut", but I am paying attention. I often continue the fast by skipping breakfast. If I do eat breakfast, I'll have one of my homemade English muffins (surprisingly similar to naan) with butter and Spun honey or I'll make a small bowl of oatmeal with pressure cooked short grain brown rice. I cook up a batch of the brown rice and keep it in the fridge (see the rice page for the recipe). I cook a half cup of old fashioned rolled oats (not the steel cut or instant kind) until it is crackling and most of the liquid is gone, then I add in a scoop of the short grain brown rice. Then I put a teaspoon of butter and a half teaspoon of brown sugar on it. I've been doing that for 25 years and my digestive system always likes that recipe.

I like grilling black bean chipotle garden burgers and putting them on my English muffins. That's a great way to enjoy grilling without the meat. Lately, I've been making rye bread in the bread machine. I love the caraway seed flavor! I do a spiced mashed potato recipe at Thanksgiving that uses caraway seed. It's a wonderful spice. I use Kurma Dasa's pumpkin pie recipe (from Cooking with Kurma). Highly recommended!

I also mix up the curries by making my own pasta. Once in a while I splurge and make a calzone. I use the bread machine to make the dough for it. It's good to a get a little change of pace from the curries. Maybe having my curries will be the change of pace for you!

I hope to turn you on to this curry way of cooking and eating. It takes a lot more time cooking a curry than it does cooking a burger, but there are benefits.