Rob and I were stuck on what to prepare for dinner. It was around 6:30 pm, the weekend had been busy and we hadn’t been able to shop for groceries for the week. There wasn’t much left in the freezer, fridge or cupboard. Just a few odd ingredients such as tomatoes, carrots, pre-cooked rice and a few pieces of fruit. With that and spices at our disposal, I was inspired to revamp a dish that I cooked when I was on the Mini Mary Diet.

When on the Mini Mary Diet, the original recipe was named Spicy Carrot Top. It was spicy and I used the recipe to top my base starch of rice with nutrition and flavor. The original recipe simply called for carrot, onion, black pepper, paprika water and white wine vinegar.

While Spicy Carrot Top was tasty by itself, I knew I could improve it with the few ingredients that I had on hand. Instead of water as the base for the sauce, I elected tomatoes as I am aware that carrots and tomatoes work well together (see my Carato Sauce in Single Serve Nutrition). Tomatoes would bring greater flavor diversity to the dish, too. I added garlic; nearly every cooked main meal we eat nowadays includes garlic and onion for their quintessential flavors. Rob suggested a curry so I selected the appropriate seasonings (garam masala, chili flakes, turmeric, etc.) along with the paprika the original recipe had. With the ingredients sorted out, all we did was pressure cook the recipe and savor our creation.

Meals that appear out of thin air like this one oftentimes turn out more delicious than expected. One reason experimenting in the kitchen can be so entertaining is because you can’t be sure how the final product will taste. Part of you hopes the recipe turns out tasty while another part of you fears the flavors won’t combine quite right. If you have a natural intuition in the kitchen along with knowledge of what flavors combine together, the majority of the time experiments in the kitchen will come out splendid.

For those that are not born with the ability to magically combine a bunch of seemingly random ingredients together to prepare a meal, experimentation in the kitchen can yield inedible results. It is possible to learn how to combine ingredients and flavors together to form a cohesive dish, but it seems special people are simply born with a natural intuition for cooking, baking and general experimentation in the kitchen.

I believe creating original recipes in the kitchen is an art form, which is another reason I hold the belief that select individuals are born with the knack to assemble ingredients into delicious food. Things other than eating food created excite individuals who enjoy cooking and baking. I become excited pondering unexpected flavors that I can combine in unusual ways. I enjoy remaking others’ recipes to suit my taste preferences and lifestyle. I like transforming unhealthy recipes into healthy ones. I find pleasure in making the recipes, altering them when inspiration interrupts and when others enjoy my art.

There are multiple outlets to express ourselves through art. Some choose music, others storytelling and another can create sculptures. While I enjoy art forms such as singing, dancing and theatre, oftentimes the most available art form is cooking.

What do you think— are cooking and other art forms things that can be taught, we are born with or a combination? I believe being born with a spark for art is significant however I also realize teaching is necessary to advance art. Therefore, I conclude individuals can be taught to an extent. Nonetheless share your thoughts on the subject below in the comments.


Kickin’ Carato Curry is a simple, spicy recipe to add to your busy weeknight meal repertoire. Even if you don’t own a pressure cooker you can finish this recipe in under 30 minutes provided you have precooked rice and a pot to boil the rest of the ingredients. Be aware: this recipe is SPICY. Kickin’ Carato Curry looks how it tastes— fiery. If you don’t enjoy a lot of spice, decrease the amount of chili flakes and black pepper in the recipe to create a milder dish.

Vegan and free of added salt, sugar, oil, gluten, soy, nuts and seeds.

Reasons to love this recipe: ready in 30 minutes or less, spicy, uses lots of herbs and spices, simple preparation

Serves 2


  • 3 carrots, thinly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Brown rice to serve


Prepare all ingredients according to their descriptions and add everything (except rice) into a pressure cooker. Mix the contents of the pressure cooker then lock the lid. Allow the container to reach full pressure and pressure cook for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes have passed use the quick release method to depressurize the cooker. Allow to cool for a few minutes then enjoy over cooked brown rice.

  • Updated 3 years ago
Sara Binde

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.