I’m making a real effort to eat healthier in 2017: more salads, more veggies, more fruit, and less sugar and overly-processed foods. Stir-fry, lightened up curries, and roasted just-about-anything have made their way into my kitchen in a big way. Anything I can do to get more vegetables and lean proteins on the table is pretty alright with me.
This Thai-inspired curry is a huge family favorite and it is packed with both flavor and plenty of good stuff. In fact, it’s one of my 5-year-old daughter’s most-requested meals. It’s honestly not hard to make, and I’ve kept it low on the spice-o-meter so that she can better enjoy it (although she does like a bit of spice if I don’t mention it before serving it). If you want to amp it up, just throw a few Thai chilies or a jalapeño into the blender with everything else.
I usually make this with red bell pepper and green beans, but sugar snap peas, fresh peas, broccoli florets, and julienned zucchini would all work well. Just adjust the cooking time until they are tender. You can also easily swap out chicken breast for the thighs, just use skinless bone-in breasts, and simmer them gently and only until they are cooked through to avoid dry chicken meat. For a veggie version, just leave out the chicken and swap 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce for the fish sauce; add cubes of tofu with the veggies and you won’t need to simmer it nearly as long.
There are numerous Thai curry pastes out there. You can make your own, but as a working parent I honestly just don’t have time to do that. My two favorite brands are Mae Ploy and Maesri, so if you can seek those out, by all means do. Serve this over steamed brown rice (or white rice if you want to keep it a bit more classic) or just on its own.
Recipe: Green Chicken and Veggie Curry
Makes 6 servings
- 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnishing
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 2 limes
- Kosher salt
- 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 6 or 7 thighs)
- 1 (13 1/2-ounce) can light or regular coconut milk, well shaken
- 1/2 pound green beans or sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin 1-inch strips
- 4 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- Steamed rice, for serving
- In a blender or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the yellow onion, garlic, chicken broth, fish sauce, ¼ cup of the cilantro, brown sugar, curry paste, lime zest and juice. Process until smooth.
- Salt the chicken, then add to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Pour the curry sauce over the top, submerging the chicken pieces. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board. Add the coconut milk, green beans, bell pepper, and green onions to the saucepan. Simmer until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken, discarding any gristle or fat. When the vegetables are tender, return the chicken to the pot, simmering gently until it is warmed through.
- Serve over steamed rice, garnished with the remaining cilantro.