Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Coconut Green Curry

I really love Thai food and all the fabulous flavors they use. Coconut, chilis, fresh vegetables, lemongrass, lime....oh man! Flavor bursting all over the place.

One of my favorite dishes is Coconut Green Curry. While it’s nice to eat out, it’s really not difficult to make at home. It’s just a few ingredients and can be whipped up in no time, even on a busy week night. 

Plus, you can customize it a little by changing up the protein, sometimes using chicken, sometimes pork, sometimes tofu or a ton more vegetables, but 2 things remain unchanged: the coconut milk and the green curry paste.

There are a lot of brands of green curry paste out there and I haven’t really tried many of them. The Thai Kitchen brand is the one I usually reach for. But if you shop at an Asian market, I’m sure the selection is much larger and you can experiment with how different ones taste.

When it comes to the coconut milk, though, be forewarned. If you’re at all concerned about the quality of ingredients you use, you’ll want to read the labels. I am often fairly surprised at what all gets put into a can of coconut milk. You’d think it would be as innocuous as just coconut milk (what a concept!) but alas, it is not always so.

I prefer no-nonsense brands without artificial ingredients or thickeners that can upset my stomach, and the best for the price that I’ve found is at Trader Joe’s. Even my health food store coconut milk has stuff in it I like to avoid.

Go for the full-fat version if they have it. They also offer a reduced fat version but I tell you it’s not the same. Go for the real deal. There is no need to fear the fat in coconut milk. It’s one of those “good fats” we are supposed to be eating. The creaminess, by the way, also takes food to another level of wonderfulness.

So grab a can of TJ’s organic coconut milk and make this.

Coconut Green Curry
Snap Peas

1 head of broccoli, divided into florets
1 small handful of snap peas
Coconut oil
1 small onion, or 2 green onions (green parts only if following a low-FODMAP diet)
1 lb. protein of your choice, cut into cubes (the equivalent to 2-3 small chicken breasts)
3 baby bok choy
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 Tbsp. green curry paste

Let’s start with the broccoli. I need to eat this veg pretty well-cooked, so I steam this separately and then add it to my dish later.  Steam the snap peas along with it. 

While this is steaming, chop the onion fine and add to a sauté pan of heated coconut oil. Cook until translucent (if using green onion, add after the protein has been added). Add your protein (I like to use cubed chicken breast) and brown on all sides. When almost cooked through, add chopped bok choy and finely minced garlic and sauté another 3-4 minutes.  Now add the whole can of coconut milk along with the curry paste (whisking to dissolve). Bring to a boil, then simmer a few minutes. Turn off heat, add the broccoli and peas, and stir everything together well.

You could serve this over a bed of steaming rice, or if you’re on a grain-free plan like me, over a bed of “cauliflower rice”.

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