curry

Summer Vegetable Curry

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When you’re in a hurry, cook a curry!

Despite what you may be thinking, making a curry for dinner can actually be accomplished in very little time. Curry sauces used to intimidate the heck out of me. I had thought it was required to make this elaborate, involved sauce from scratch and that the whole process would take sooo long in order for the flavors to deepen and develop. Sure, some recipes may walk you through how to create a curry from a mixture of 8 spices and have you simmer a pot for upwards of an hour, but really, who has time for that on a weekday after work?

Delicious food does not need to take so much time or be so darn complicated! By taking a few smart short cuts you can easily recreate an authentic tasting curry dish while keeping your sanity.

I have been all about cooking short cuts these days as the temperatures have been hot- like curry spice hot!- and I haven’t been wanting to slave over the stove or crank up the oven to heat up the apartment. The other night I was feeling like a veggie stir fry, but wanting to mix up the traditional Asian flavor profile, so I decided to get my QUICK curry on for dinner.

How do I speed up the process? I utilize a jarred curry paste that brings pleny of flavor! I happened to still have some red curry paste in the fridge, but you can certainly use a yellow or green paste too. If you don’t have a curry paste, a dried curry powder mix can work just as well.

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Not only is curry mighty tasty, but it has plenty of good nutrition amongst all the spices. My curry paste contains a few superstars:

  • Turmeric- contains curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight inflammation and free radical damage throughout the body

  • Lemongrass- may be helpful in preventing and fighting infection and relieving bloating

  • Galangal-also known as Thai ginger, it is rich in vitamins A and C and flavanoids that may have anti-inflammatory effects and may combat cancer

Aside from the quick curry paste, this recipe uses other time-savers as well, so keep reading to find out how this summer hurry dinner comes together!

Summer Vegetable Curry- serves 2

Prep time: 5 minutes/Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quick cooking rice (I use Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Rice)

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • 2 medium, boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

  • pinch of salt and ground black pepper

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

  • 2 cups 1 inch-chopped green beans

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste

  • basil to garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Set aside once finished.

  2. Season the chicken on both sides with the ground coriander and some salt and pepper. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add seasoned chicken. Cook chicken for about 4 minutes per side until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached. Remove and let cool before cutting into strips or cubes.

  3. Heat the same skillet again and add a touch more avocado oil. Transfer the sliced peppers and green beans to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the coconut milk, add the curry paste, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit.

  4. Prepare the curry bowls by adding 1 cup of rice to each bowl, 1 chicken breast sliced, and equal amounts of the curry vegetables and sauce. Garnish with torn fresh basil.

* *If one person prefers a vegetarian version, simply substitute the chicken for pan seared tempeh (shown below), tofu, or cooked lentils.

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Curry "Salad Soup" with Tofu

What is UP with this cold weather? Just as I was shaking out my flats and dresses the temperature drops overnight! But I guess I'm not completely upset, as it gave me the chance to try out another warming soup recipe. Well, it is actually a salad disguised as a soup, or a soup disguised as a salad...I don't quite know, but either way it's packed with nutritious veggies and is silky smooth and comforting all at the same time. If these cold temperatures don't let up soon I suggest you whip up this satisfying dish right away.

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Curry "Salad Soup" with Tofu

Serves 4- Adapated from PINCH OF YUM

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp canola oil

  • 1 shallot, chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 tbsp red curry paste

  • 2 tsp ginger power

  • 1 tbsp turmeric

  • 6-7 small red bliss or yellow Yokon gold potatoes, peeled

  • 14 oz. light coconut milk

  • 1 cup vegetable broth + 1 cup water

  • 12 oz. extra firm tofu

  • Veggie toppings: shaved carrots, diced bell peppers, shredded zucchini, red cabbage, green onions, bean sprouts, cherry tomatoes, limes wedges, herbs for garnishing (basil or cilantro work great), sriracha for spice

Directions

  1. Tofu prep: I am a tofu novice! I just started warming up to this vegetarian protein powerhouse, so for my first time prepping it at home I took a short cut. I bought pre-cut firm tofu and did a quick press by setting the cubes on a paper towel covered plate and placing another plate on top, with a weighted mason jar sitting on the top plate. After about 30-minutes the tofu looked ready to cook up!

  2. Make the soup: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and stir fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the curry paste, ginger powder, and turmeric. Stir fry for another few minutes. Add the potatoes, coconut milk, broth, and water. Simmer until the potatoes are soft. Allow soup to cool slightly then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth and silky, or blend away in the pot with an immersion blender (my favorite kitchen gadget!) The soup should be rich and thick so that it coats the back of a spoon.

  3. Fry the tofu: Add a small amount of canola oil to a hot pan. Add tofu and stir fry until golden brown.

  4. Top and serve: Pour soup into a bowl and add your choice of veggie toppings and tofu!

This recipe was kept low in calories by using lite coconut milk, but feel free to use regular, full-fat coconut milk. I always salt my recipes after tasting, so if after your first slurp you find it could use more flavor go ahead and add a dash of salt, or a splash of your favorite hot sauce.