Thai Green Curry Shrimp and Vegetables


I had been wanting to try out some new coconut green curry recipes and found a version of this recipe posted on the “Epicurious” FB page last week. (Click here for Epicurious Recipe)  This particular recipe had all the flavors I loved, seemed fairly quick and easy. This made it a perfect base for a “Chicken Green Curry” or a “Vegetarian Green Curry” to come up with of my own.

So over this past weekend I tried out the recipe three ways.  With chicken, with shrimp, and then, a “Super Veggie” version. I found the vegetarian version, on this particular occasion, to be my favorite of the three, and was still eating the delicious leftovers from it, 2 days later.

This is one of those recipes that you can definitely play around with all the flavors and ingredients to suit your own liking. For a healthier version, I cut down on  the “unnecessary” calories  by using light coconut milk. less oil and omitting the noodles. (However, having tried this recipe, I can vouch it would taste pretty awesome with noodles)  I really amped up the flavor and the heat by using a bit more lemon grass, cilantro, ginger, and curry paste. If you prefer a more “tame” dish, perhaps stick to the measurements from the original Epicurious recipe tagged above.

As a little side note for anyone going through chemotherapy, or if your cooking for someone who is.  One of my absolute favorite things to eat during the 2 years I was having chemo was Asian curries.  This is a really great curry base with the kind of powerful flavors that really help neutralize that yucky chemo taste in the mouth one gets.   The tasty flavor profile and the aromatics like the ginger, lemongrass and cilantro have great healing properties and health and healing properties for the oncology patient.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 medium sized shallots)
  • 2 or 3 fresh lemongrass stalks, with the outer 1 or 2 leaves discarded and the lower 6 inches of the stalks thinly sliced * note: if you don’t have access to fresh lemongrass, use a tablespoon of lemongrass paste from the fresh produce section of your grocery store (or you can bypass this ingredient all together since there is a little bit of lemongrass in the green curry paste)
  • 4 large garlic clove, chopped (you can use less if your not a fan of garlic)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
  • 3 tablespoons bottled Asian green curry paste (click here for example)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 cup of water (preferably filtered)
  • 2  to 3 tablespoons of grape-seed oil or coconut oil (or any neutral oil for high heat cooking)
  • 1 can of light coconut milk
  • 1 3/4 cups of non fat chicken broth or chicken stock (preferably low sodium)
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp ( If making chicken curry 1 lb chicken breast;  if making vegetarian curry, use 3 to 4 cups of chopped veggies (i.e.  broccoli,  onion, mushrooms, carrots, snap peas, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced Shitake mushrooms (or white mushrooms is OK)
  • 2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion chopped

Directions:

  • Puree shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and cilantro stems in a blender or a food processor with the curry paste, salt, turmeric and water until as smooth as possible.  About 1 minute
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan over moderate heat and stir fry veggies until just cooked or al dente.  Start with onions, cook for 3 minutes until soft, add carrots and, and mushrooms.  If doing the vegetarian curry, cook all the veggies until just barely cooked.  Do not over cook or they will be too mushy after going in the curry. Removed veggies and set aside.

  • Heat the remaining oil in a large pot or dutch oven over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook the curry paste mix mixture, stirring frequently, until it just begins to stick to the bottoms of the pot, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Do not let it brown – than it’s starting to burn.
  • Add coconut milk  and chicken broth to the curry past mixture stir and let simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3 1/2 cups, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Depending on which type of curry you made add in shrimp or chicken and stir until protein is cooked. 2 to 3 minutes  for shrimp and a few extra minutes for chicken.  Take a shrimp or chicken out and cut through checking to make sure its cooked all the way through.

  • Stir in veggies and stir in fish sauce, salt and pepper.

 

Serve and enjoy



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Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Chicken with Fresh Crunchy Veggies

The first time I made this, when checking out the finished product in the slow cooker towards the end, I noticed it definitely needed more color and “crunch”.  I added in some veggies that I cooked really quickly over the stove. I use organic chicken breasts, but chicken thighs work really well, and some people actually prefer them. I cut down the calories in this dish by using lower fat coconut milk. I used a slow cooker for this but you  can cook it for a long time  over gentle heat as well. But, keep in mind, the intense Thai flavors really infuse into the Shiitakes and the chicken when cooked in the slow cooker!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons grape-seed oil
  • 1 to  1 1/2 lbs of chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • 1 small jar of Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 cup of homemade chicken stock or store bought non fat chicken broth/stock
  • 8 ounces fresh Shiitake mushrooms (less expensive mushrooms are OK as well), stems trimmed and halved
  • 1 can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh cut up veggies (i.e. broccoli, snap peas, red and yellow peppers, red onion, etc.)
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves
  • optional steamed brown to serve it over, but I just eat it on its own

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken into thirds
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Brown chicken in batches, for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden.  Transfer to slow cooker.
  4. Reduce heat in frying pan to low.  Add 1 more Tablespoon oil to pan, add curry paste and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic.
  5. Add stock and stir until curry paste has dissolved.
  6. Add mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
  7. Pour mixture over chicken and stir to combine.
  8. Cover and cook on medium in slow cooker for 3 1/2 hours.
  9. At 3 1/2 hours: Combine fish sauce, brown sugar and coconut milk in a bowl and then stir into curry.  Reduce heat in slow cooker to low and set timer for 30 minutes.
  10. Heat remaining oil in large frying pan over medium high heat and add chopped fresh veggies and stir fry for a couple of minutes, to just cook through, yet still “al dente” and set aside
  11. At 4 hours: Add the fresh veggies to the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.
  12. Stir in the basil, and serve over rice or alone.  Enjoy!

    * Source:  Adapted from Super Food Ideas – August 2006, page 67



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    Spicy Thai Butternut Squash/Coconut Soup with Shrimp


    This is a variation of a soup recipe I found on the Whole Foods recipe site, yet wanted to make it a little different.  This soup came out really nice and velvety, and although I really added extra heat, I will, add even more next time I make it.  I used already cubed butternut squash that is sold at Whole foods and then “light” coconut milk and nonfat organic chicken broth with some red Thai curry paste as the base.  I cooked the prawn separately and added them in at the end, but next time I make this I think I will add cubed chicken breast cooked ahead as well.  This dish can definitely tolerate more protein than the original recipe I was working with.  Also depending on your own personal tastes, play around with the garlic, red chili paste, and chili flakes to your specific likes.

    I love Thai food in general, but it tasted especially good during chemo.  The heat and the spices kind of cover up that chemical flavor in your mouth, and soups were, for whatever reason, much easier to eat than whole foods.

    Ingredients:

    • aprox 3 to 4 cups of cubed butternut squash
    • 1 small yellow onion
    • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped and used generously for soup base and shrimp stir fry
    • 3 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
    • 3 teaspoons red curry paste (more to taste if you like… I like super spicy myself)
    • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 3 cups non fat chicken broth
    • 1 (14 ounce) can of light coconut milk
    • Red chili flakes (as desired…. I like lots because I love spicy food)
    • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • optional: 1 chicken breast pre cooked 1 inch cubed
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • Lime wedges

    Directions:

    1.  Take the butternut squash cubes and mix with a bit of olive oil and salt/pepper, and roast in oven @ 425 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.  You want it cooked enough to bring out the flavor, but not browned.  Pull from oven set aside.


    2.  Heat oil in a large soup pot, oer medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Cook, stirring frequently, until “fragrant”, and the onion is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in curry past (more if you want it spicier), sugar, and salt, stir and cook about a minute or two longer.

    3.  Stir in the roasted squash, broth and coconut milk and bring to a low boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

    4.  Take the soup, and pureed in batches in high speed blender and return to soup pot.

    5.  In stir fry pan, heat oil with garlic and some chili flakes to stir fry shrimp in batches until done.

    6.  Take shrimp and if using optional cubed chicken, add to the soup base

    7.  Ladle into soup bowls, and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and lime wedges

    Nutrition per 17 oz serving:  250 calories, 60 from fat, 23 grams of protein, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 175 of cholesterol, 480 of sodium


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