(thai) coconut curry success!

I love coconut curry, absolutely adore it. I’ve never considered myself much of a cooker or baker so it never occurred to me to try this dish at home–until a couple of weeks ago. The result was an absolute epic fail. The problem is that the recipe I used called for curry powder, which is for Indian curry meals. I am so culturally unaware that I didn’t realize that Indian curry and Thai curry are completely different!

So I set out to correct my mistake. I stumbled upon this recipe–which is completely vegan–and thought peanut butter? really? is THAT the secret ingredient? To save you all the suspense–yes, yes it is, it’s fucking peanut butter that makes this dish amazing.

So I actually gathered a bunch of vegan recipes over the past week and decided that a trip to Whole Foods was in order. The nearest Whole Foods locations are about equidistant from me–I’d say 45 minutes on a good day. I don’t work too far from a Whole Foods but it would be out of my way to stop there on my way home, so I never have. Upon finding that the organic restaurant down the street shut down for renovations and their nearest location is about 5 minutes from Whole Foods, it only seemed right that we’d kill two birds with one stone and hit both of them today.

Whole Foods was a religious experience for me. Although it would have been better if it hadn’t been so crowded and if the aisles weren’t so small. There were a million and one WF employees scrambling around and customers’ children pushing mini-carts and it was just complete chaos. One of the ingredients I set out to find, nutritional yeast, I gave up on because the aisle I suspected it was in was too full and I get very cranky in crowded places. But I did venture outside of my comfort zone and purchase 1) an acorn squash, 2) a few small beets, and 3) lentils. Yes, I have never purchased or eaten lentils before. Blasphemy, I know! It’s kind of like how I had never tried tofu during the four years of my first “stint” of vegetarianism. A complete oversight–I don’t know how these things happen.

I haven’t exactly figured out what I’m going to do with the squash or the beets yet, having never eaten nor cooked them before, but I’m leaning towards this and this. (To be fair, the beets-one is more of a “how to cook a beet” than it is a recipe, so I guess I’m not getting too fancy there.)

I now have a fridge full of healthy vegan food–mixed in with a few of the leftovers of my past self. Tons of cheese that I’ve recruited my boyfriend to eat. My freezer has Morningstar non-vegan veggie burgers. I have various snackfoods that are vegetarian but are not vegan. I did clean out a ton of stuff though to make room for the new purchases. It felt like purging an unhealthy version of me–the “junk food” vegetarian me–and it felt great.

If you want the recipe for the Thai coconut curry, check it out here. I cooked my tofu differently (I always dry-fry it, I’ve never baked it in the oven like this recipe suggested). My sauce didn’t have such an orangey look to it and it wasn’t as thick of a sauce as I would have liked, but it was worlds better than my previous coconut curry failure. Even my omnivore second half said he’d eat this meal again. That, to me, is a great success.

I added some baby spinach at the last minute because it seemed that I had way too much of a tofu-to-veggies ratio.

At Prasino this morning, I had a delicious vegan orange-almond stuffed french toast dish. To die for. Tomorrow morning’s breakfast plans involved scrambled tofu (my first attempt)–but the recipe I found required nutritional yeast, so I guess I could choose to wing it–or I could wait until I can get back to WF to pick some up. We shall see!

What is your biggest recipe success? What is your favorite breakfast meal? Can you shed any light on how the hell to (simply) prepare an acorn squash or a small bunch of beets?

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7 thoughts on “(thai) coconut curry success!

  1. Baker Bettie says:

    One of my favorite meals ever! Looks so yummy!

    • I munched on some leftovers and decided this version is too sweet–I think it calls for too much brown sugar. I am still on a mission to perfect this recipe to make it more similar to the coconut curry I’ve had at a local stir fry restaurant. I’m trying to figure out what the secret ingredient is! What do you put in yours?

      • Baker Bettie says:

        This is the recipe I use. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/green-curry-chicken-recipe/index.html Hmmmm, I’m not sure what I would consider the secret ingredient. I think definitely the kaffir lime leaves and the lemongrass in the paste are the two flavors (beside the chillis) that stand out to me. I add a few extra chilis into the paste. It just isn’t spicy enough for me. I also think that topping everything with fresh cilantro and squeezing a lime over top right before you eat it. When I order it and they don’t give me limes, it just isn’t the same.

  2. I sometimes do a beet and potato salad. Boil the beets (it’s best to peel and cut into 1/4ish size first) boil some taters, when everything cools off thinly slice the beets & taters, add some finely chopped garlic, a little finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, evoo. s/p and you’ll be hooked for eva!

  3. Izzy says:

    If you haven’t done so already, you can make the scramble without nutritional yeast. As I sit here eating mine, I realize I completely forgot it and it’s just fine without it.

  4. […] I may have written about my past go at thai curry being a success, I decided after the fact that it wasn’t so much. My first round of thai curry, which went […]

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