Easy Thai Green Curry {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” ---Frederick Keonig

Past few days have been blissfully relaxing with plenty of time to reflect on my year of 2014.  For the most part, I parked myself on the couch, binge watched the office, and worked on finishing the last of chocolate peppermint bark. It's crazy and exciting how it's almost 2015 and this Easy Thai Green Curry will be my last post for this year. 2014 was a year of few triumphs, some challenges, and many unfinished businesses which I hope will be conquered in the year 2015. Thai Green Curry may sound a little exotic but you will be surprised how easily it comes together (hint - less than 30 minutes) with no fancy shmancy ingredients. This past month I ate this curry more times than I'd like to admit and finally last week I got around to taking pictures and jotting down the recipe so I could share this simple bowl of comfortness with everyone. Hope you enjoy!easythaigreencurry2I don't think Thai Green Curry needs any introduction - it's a type of curry based in Thailand and the name 'green' comes from it's color which is mainly due to Thai green chilies along with other ingredients. For the sake of convenience and practicality, I used store-bought Green Curry paste but if you'd like, you should look into homemade easy green curry paste. I am not the biggest fan of store bought sauces/paste due to the presence of artificial ingredients/sodium/chemicals etc but sometimes it's a much needed therapy of simply dicing veggies, stirring in ready-made sauce, and letting everything simmer to make one grandeur curry on the fly!easy green thai curryGreen curry paste is widely available in most grocery stores in the International or Asian section along with canned coconut milk, soy sauce, and noodles. Most store bought curry paste have a long ingredient list with a bucket load of sodium and I haven't found a healthier version yet (I'd love to know if you are familiar with any) but according to this Thai test kitchen, Mae Anong, Mae Ploy, and Maesr was voted the top three. Personally, I have only used Mae Ploy which, in my opinion, is pretty spicy with a deep green curry flavor. If you are unfamiliar with green curry paste, I suggest you go easy at first because I have gone a little overboard while using the paste and have made mean, mouth-burning hot curry that ultimately ended up in the trash. greencurrypasteThe only 'difficult' step is chopping/mincing/dicing veggies of your choice - there is really no hard and fast rule about veggies - I have found the combinations of mushroom and bell peppers to be my favorite but if you are not a big fan, you can skip that and add some boiled, diced potatoes, spinach, butternut squash etc. While the sauce simmers in coconut milk (I used the canned variety), get your protein of choice ready, which in this case is tofu but I am sure chicken will work too as long as you adjust the cooking time.easygreenthaicurry1If you are looking to introduce more plant-based protein aka tofu into your diet- you should certainly give this Thai Green Curry a try or perhaps something more Indian..Your pick, they both have been enjoyed by non-tofu loving people! I suggest you enjoy it with some fresh white rice or fluffy quinoa on the side.It also makes for a good leftover the next day, however  if the sauce looks little watery, gently heat and stir everything together.easythaigreencurry3

Easy Thai Green Curry {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
Serves: 5-7
Ingredients
  • 2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Thai green curry paste (use more or less depending upon the spiciness of the paste)
  • 8 oz mushroom, sliced
  • 1-14 oz packet firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • splash of soy sauce (tamari for GF)
  • salt, pepper, to taste
  • handful of green onions, cilantro, Thai basil, chopped (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a heavy sauce pan.Add the minced garlic and onions and fry till it turns light golden. Then add the curry paste and fry it in low heat for 2 minutes or so.
  2. Add the mushroom and bell pepper and let it fry for 4-6 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and let the mushrooms cook a little. Now reduce the flame add the coconut milk. Season the curry with salt, pepper, and a splash of soy sauce.
  3. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the tofu and tomatoes for 5-7 minutes in low heat.
  4. Turn off the heat and throw in chopped green onions, cilantro/ basil leaves right before serving.
  5. Serve over hot rice or quinoa.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year 2015 - may this year be healthier and happier!!