Nothing ever goes smoothly in Sunland-Tujunga. Kathy’s Trees has been donating a large Christmas tree for our welcome wall at the intersection of Fenwick and Sunland Boulevard for three years.
This year, everything was “not quite right.” Kurt “Curtles” Koestler went to pick up the Christmas tree and told Kathy that he didn’t want the one she offered, so she gave him a different one.
Koesler carried the tree around in his truck for a week, eventually dumping it on the ground in front of the Welcome Wall where one of our readers saw that it was stolen within 15 minutes by “someone in a pickup truck with a shell on it.” Koestler then asked Kathy for another tree which she gave him. This time he installed it with the proper tie and set this spice mixture aside.
Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add spice mixture and stir to combine. Cook spices for about 60 seconds and then add garlic, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and coconut. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add salt and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for another 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Transfer all of the cooked vegetables to blender or food processor and puree until smooth*. Return all of vegetable mixture (blended or not) to pot.
Add cauliflower, garbanzo beans, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Add additional salt to taste.
Transfer to a large bowl and garnish with chopped mint. Serve with a large bowl of steaming quinoa (made with vegetable broth instead of water.)
Tip: I also like to blend half of the vegetables leaving the other half un-blended for added texture. Your choice!