Yes, we do have a pretty decent range of vegan options when eating out in Atlanta, and you’ll be seeing many of them this month. But if you like to cook, Atlanta is also well-stocked with almost any international ingredient you might want. And we have most of the major chains that carry the foods vegans want and need, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

This post starts at Trader Joe’s. I go there every six weeks or so. They’ve got great prices on frozen fruit for smoothies, tempeh, tofu, chorizo and non-dairy milks. And lazy food. The lazy food isn’t necessarily that cheap, but it’s cheaper than going out.

So I got my staples and I’m in the canned food aisle looking for lazy food that’s vegan. An employee asks if I need help because I might have been at that hangry stage and unable to make any decisions. So I said I was looking for lazy food. That’s vegan. One of the things he showed me was this vegan Curry Simmer Sauce.

trader joe's vegan curry simmer sauce

I did a quick mental inventory of what kinds of  vegetables were in the fridge. Yes, this will work. When it came time to make it for dinner, I started a pot of rice. And then heated a little bit of olive oil in a pot. To that, I added half a chopped onion. Once softened, I poured in the jar of sauce plus the one cup of water it says to add, then a sliced carrot, a diced russet potato, a can of chickpeas and about a cup of frozen green beans. If this doesn’t sound lazy enough for you, you can always just use a bag of frozen peas and carrots and a can of chickpeas. The onion isn’t necessary at all.

vegan curry

All this simmered covered until the potatoes were tender.

Remember earlier when I was talking about international ingredients? If you’ve ever been frustrated because your curries don’t taste like the ones you get in Indian restaurants, one thing you are probably missing is asofoetida or hing. This is the one I have. I added about a half a teaspoon to the curry, but it would be fine without it.

asofoetida or hing

I got this jar at the now closed Taj Mahal market, but Patel Brothers is sure to have it. Another place to try is Buford Highway Farmer’s Market.

The curry came out nice. Much better than those vacuum sealed meal packets you can get. And five minutes of chopping made a much fresher tasting meal than that. This is a great option if you don’t have the space or patience to keep a bunch of spices around.  Oh, and this jar was less than $3 and with the vegetables I added made 4-6 servings.