Karen Washington has lived in New York City all her life, and has been a resident of the Bronx for over 26 years. Since 1985 Karen has been a community activist, striving to make the New York City a better place to live. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, Karen has worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens. As an advocate, she has stood up and spoken out for garden protection and preservation. As a member of the La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, she helped launched a City Farms Market, bringing garden fresh vegetables to her neighbors. Karen is a Just Food board member and Just Food Trainer, leading workshops on food growing and food justice to community gardeners all over the city. Karen is a board member and former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, a group that was founded to preserve community gardens. She also Co- Founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS) an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings.
Professionally Karen has been a Physical Therapist for over 30 years, and she continues to balance her professional life with community service.
“To grow your own food gives you power and dignity. You know exactly what you’re eating because you grew it. It’s good, it’s nourishing and you did this for yourself, your family and your community.” Karen Washington
Late Summer Curry Medley
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoon scraped, finely chopped fresh ginger root
2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 onion, chopped or sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon coriander
3 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 carrots, cut in bite size pieces
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 cups assorted peppers, cut into bite size pieces
3 Japanese eggplants, ends removed, cut length wise and then into slices
1 yellow squash, ends removed, cut length wise and then into slices
6 cups assorted tomatoes, chopped
1 can chick peas, drained
½ cup water
2 cups snow peas, sliced
In a large pot, heat the oil over high heat until a drop of water flickered into the splutters instantly. Stir in the ginger and garlic, and then add the onions, carrots, and salt. Lower the heat and stir constantly, frying the onions and carrots for 7 to 8 minutes, until they are soft and golden brown. Add the butternut squash, and the eggplant, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, peppers, yellow squash and chick peas, and let cook down for another 10 minutes.
Add the cumin, cinnamon, coriander, basil and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Mix in the water and add the snow peas. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste, by adding more salt, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, garlic or ginger, if you would like. Let cook another 10 minutes, until all of the vegetables are soft and flavors have come together. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of fresh cilantro.
Serve with Saffron Rice, Quinoa or Garlic Mashed Potatoes!