Well the good news is that the summer solstice is now only 5 months away.
(Right around the corner, really).
In the meantime, anyone care to join me in my flannels for this mood boosting, winter blues busting, bowl of goodness? The combination of coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and coriander is an aromatic feast for the senses – you will love the complexity of flavor, ease of prep and beautiful warming properties as you hear the call of tropical birds singing yonder.
It’s the kind of recipe you’ll welcome at the end of a busy week day and want to come back to again and again (those addictive warming spices). The prep time is really in the chopping of the vegetables (which you can do in advance or buy pre-chopped if it’s in the budget) — the meal itself comes together in about 15 minutes in a single skillet.
I’ve used a combination of vegetable broth and coconut milk for the broth offering a nice balance of comfort and flavor without being overly rich or heavy. You can play with the ratios here and add more coconut milk as desired, but we found this combination quite satisfying.
For week night simplicity, I’ve used a quality prepared green curry paste made by Mae Ploy which I strongly recommend (unless you want to keep this recipe vegan, see notes). You may be familiar with the more commercially available Thai Kitchen curry paste brand (I use their red curry paste occasionally) but for green curry, the taste profiles are incomparable. Mae Ploy is the superior paste by a country mile. You will find this little gem in Asian markets (and online). It’s a more concentrated paste however, so if you’re accustomed to using several tablespoons of Thai Kitchen to spike flavor/heat levels, you’ll definitely want to start slow with Mae Ploy (much hotter but so good!).
You can sub your favorite veggies (or whatever happens to be lying around your fridge) — this is a versatile recipe ready for your interpretation.
I think you’ll be happy to have this one in your back pocket. Let me know if you give it a try!
- 1 yellow onion, medium dice
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed salted and minced
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp Mae Ploy Thai Green Curry Paste (see Notes)
- ½ head of cauliflower cut into small florets (about 2 cups)
- 15.5 oz (439 gr) can of chickpeas (BPA lining free)
- 1 orange bell pepper, medium dice
- 5 oz (142 gr) baby spinach
- 1 cup (7 oz) vegetable broth
- 1 cup (7 oz) full fat coconut milk
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a large skillet/wok set to low-medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in some olive oil until translucent (about 5 minutes), adding a few cracks of salt and pepper to the mixture. Remove mixture and set aside.
- In the same skillet, sauté cauliflower and bell pepper for a couple minutes (adding more oil as necessary), and then mix in the chickpeas.
- Return the onion/garlic mixture and add veg broth bringing it to a gentle simmer before reducing to lowest heat again. Add the green curry paste (using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up and integrate). Add the ginger and the coconut milk, stirring to combine.
- Taste the curry and make any flavor/heat adjustments. You can also make any liquid adjustments as desired (a little more coconut milk, broth, etc).
- While things are still warm, add the spinach - one large handful at a time - mixing to integrate until all has been added and the spinach is wilted.
- Serve right away with accompaniments of choice and top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and/or cilantro as desired.
Is Mae Ploy green curry paste vegan? It is not (it contains shrimp paste). For flavor profile, I suggest Maesri Green Curry Paste or Aroy-D Green Curry Paste in its place. If you don't have access to an Asian market, both are available on Amazon. There are also a number of homemade vegan green curry paste recipes available online if you want to go that route.
What's the deal with nutritional yeast? Typically sold in flake form (looks a bit like a shaker of parm cheese), nutritional yeast adds yummy flavor and nutrients to food. A source of B vitamins -- notably fortified with B12 important for vegans. I like its nutty (mildly hoppy) taste and many find it has a flavor reminiscent of cheese. Give it a try!