how to whip up a simply green {curry} sauce that saves the day {or meal}

how to make an easy green curry sauce

it’s so hard to believe the holidays are over, and as much as i enjoy the {oh so wonderful} break from routine, it often takes quite a toll on our diets and waistlines (but oh how good it was while it lasted). it took me a few reluctant days in the new year (happyhappy new year!) to realize (or accept) it was time to make changes to the way were eating. time to get back to eating more real, unprocessed, lighter, let’s just call it “g r e e n” foods. yes, that meant back to green smoothies, other smoothies, kale in (almost) everything, lettuce wraps, quinoaquinoaquinoa, salads, salads, and more salads, hello, arugula! hard boiled eggs, and endless amounts of tuna salad! but a family has to eat a nice warm meal once in a while (especially the ones who behaved over the holidays). that’s why this light and green (seriously delicious) curry sauce/paste came about to accompany the simple chicken tenders and vegetables planned for dinner. some of us enjoyed the resulting warm, satisfying, comfort-giving curry with a side of jasmine rice while others (me) had a few spoonfuls of fluffy steamed quinoa instead (not bad at all after a day of just greens). this versatile sauce can be used with any meat, fish, or vegetables to create a “curry” that will always satisfy beyond imagination. add a few kefir lime leaves to the pot while simmering to take it to another level. the smell that surrounds you while it cooks? as delicious as every bite. noosh-e-jan!

{easy, light, delicious green curry sauce for about 4-6 servings}:

blend together until smooth:

easy green curry recipe

  • 1 large bunch (1-1.5 cups) organic cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper or other hot pepper of choice (use according to taste for spiciness)
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • a chunk of fresh ginger, peeled (about 2-3 tbs)
  • 3-4
    cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  • 3-4 stalks of lemongrass (remove the outer rough parts)
  • 1/2-1 cup coconut milk
  • 2-3 tsp raw honey or brown cane sugar
  • 2-3 tbs fish sauce or soy sauce (or a pinch of sea salt)

sauté the meat/vegetables of choice on high for about 7-10 minutes in 1 tbs virgin unfiltered coconut oil, then add the green sauce and 5-8 kefir lime leaves. bring to a soft boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes. for best results sauté (fry) the sauce separately in 1-2 tsp coconut oil for about 5 minutes on high heat while stirring before adding to meats/vegetables. sprinkle with fresh cilantro prior to serving with jasmine rice or steamed quinoa.

easy green chicken curry

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a simple chicken curry with potatoes and peas

20 minute dinners

chicken curry is one of those go-to meals i {go to} when i’ve run out of ideas for quick and easy meals involving chicken. i have no fixed recipe and make no exact measurements, so it all depends on what’s available, my mood, and how much time i’m willing to spend on preparing the meal. after taking inventory of possible ingredients, i make a quick “paste” in the blender before simmering the (sauteed) chicken and vegetables in it for about 30-45 minutes. sometimes the resulting curry comes out so spicy it is almost difficult to eat (not really), but often times it is surprisingly well balanced and delicious despite the rather casual process involved in making it happen. more often than not we are perfectly satisfied and happyhappy after polishing off the steaming bowl of curry topped with loads of chopped cilantro and a side of fluffy basmati rice (or steamed quinoa if i’m being good). i’m pretty sure if (when) you make this curry and taste the results you’ll be {going to it} as often as i do.

quick & easy curry ingredients for 4-6:

 

anti-inflammatory curry

  • 6-8 organic chicken tenders (or about six-eight pieces of chicken)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup (more or less) frozen peas (or fresh)
  • 3-4 small young potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tbs virgin unrefined coconut oil
  • 3-4 stalks lemongrass
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • fresh ginger, a good nice chunk (about 1 tbs)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbs good quality curry powder
  • 1 cup (or slightly more) coconut milk
  • 4-6 lime leaves
  • 1-2 tsp raw sugar
  • a small bunch of chopped fresh cilantro
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper (to taste)

anti-inflammatory curry

1. make your paste: add to the blender the softer parts of the lemon grass (peel, trim, cut in smaller pieces), ginger, shallot, garlic, powders (cinnamon, curry, turmeric, cumin), sugar, jalapeño pepper (adjust amount to taste for spiciness), sea salt, pepper, fresh lime juice, and 1/2 of the coconut milk. blend until you have a smooth paste.

2. in a dutch oven or skillet sautee chicken and onions in 1 tbs coconut oil. remove from pot, then heat the remaining coconut oil and add the paste to the hot oil. allow the sauce  to cook and start to thicken slightly (bubbles a bit) while stirring. add the chicken and onions back to the pot with the heated paste, along with the potatoes, lime leaves, and about 1-2 cups water. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken and potatoes are fully cooked. make sure to adjust water if necessary.

3. about 15-20 minutes before serving add remaining coconut milk and peas, stir carefully. serve with fresh chopped cilantro on top (or drizzled with this green sauce) and steamed rice on the side. s-p-i-c-y, right?

cooking minette's curry

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thai inspired yellow curry with chicken and vegetables (how to make a yellow curry paste)

whenever i think about thai curries, my mouth inevitably waters and i can’t wait to have some as soon as possible (yet another {food} weakness of mine)-by now you’ve probably concluded that i really do enjoy my food! i like curries because they combine several different herbs & spices to deliver a perfectly balanced and well harmonized dish that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. thai curries in particular have a special place in my heart (or stomach). when you look at recipes for thai curry pastes they are often loaded with ingredients that are good for you like ginger, turmeric, coriander, coconut milk, and chili peppers. this is the first time i’ve made a yellow curry paste, so i looked at several recipes and tasted a few of my favorite restaurant curries (had to do research) before coming up with this (incredibly yummy) version. once you make the paste, you can add chicken, fish, tofu or vegetables (or any combination of) and simmer them in the sauce. easy as that! this is an unbelievably fragrant and delicious curry-and yes, it is quite spicy (adjust the chili peppers to your taste). we brought our curry to our friends house for dinner a few nights ago and enjoyed it along with their delicious grilled salmon and herbed rice.
according to wikipedia what “curries” from all regions of the world have in common is [the incorporation of more or less complex combinations of spices and/or herbs, usually (but not invariably) including fresh or dried hot chillies.In the original traditional cuisines, the precise selection of spices for each dish is a matter of national or regional cultural tradition, religious practice, and, to some extent, family preference]. 
ingredients for yellow curry paste:
  • 1-2 stalks of lemon grass (minced)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 small shallots
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lime (2 tbs)
  • 2-3 tbs raw cane sugar
  • 3 tsp ground (or fresh) turmeric
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 yellow jalapeno pepper (de-seeded for less spicy)
  • 1-2 thai chili peppers (or 2 tsp dry red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp coriander (ground is better)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbs fish sauce (more or less)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 tbs tomato puree (or 1 tbs tomato paste)
blend all of the ingredients above in a food processor with a steel blade until smooth and creamy-add more coconut milk as needed. this paste can be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

1. add 1 tbs organic unrefined coconut oil to a wok (or heavy pot) with the yellow curry paste and allow it to cook (and become fragrant) on high while stirring for 1-2 minutes.

2. here i added cubed organic chicken breasts (4 breasts) and about 8-10 peeled, cubed yellow baby potatoes.

3. if adding vegetables as i did here, cut them and sautee quickly on high in the wok for 3-4 minutes  (ahead of time) and set aside until the chicken and potatoes are cooked. add the vegetables for the last 15-20 minutes and allow them to simmer with the rest of the curry.
*if you are making a vegetarian curry, add the quickly sauteed vegetables (and cubed tofu is a good option) to the paste and simmer until they are cooked to your preference (i prefer my vegetables less cooked).

4. add more coconut milk if necessary (if it’s too dry) and taste for sweet/salty/spicy/sourness and adjust as necessary (if too sweet or salty, add lime juice and/or coconut milk, and for more salt add fish sauce). top with fresh cilantro when serving. yum.

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