I decided we needed a change this week in our menu. Sometimes we get in a rut of eating our same favorite dishes or going to our favorite restaurants that have plant-based dishes. So yesterday, I sat down with my favorite cookbooks and planned some easy meals that would give us some variety. Tonight I made a dish we have made once before, but I made some small variations that made it even better than the first time we had it. I made Thai Green Curry Rice from “The Starch Solution” by John McDougall MD and his wife Mary McDougall. Even though Dr. McDougall promotes a starch based diet, the dishes we have made from his book have been loaded with wonderful veggies and have been very colorful. The recipe is free online as are many of their recipes, and can be found in his December 2006 newsletter. I will post the full recipe at the end of this post, too.
I started with Jasmine brown rice. It has become one of my favorites as it only takes 20 min to cook, doesn’t clump, and is a whole grain but is fluffy and light.
I prepped all of the veggies and herbs and had them ready to toss into the wok. A lot of the fresh veggies looked kind of sickly in the grocery store yesterday, so I picked up frozen cauliflower and sugar snap peas which also saved time. I added fresh carrots for color, frozen peas, and fresh ginger. You can make this dish with any veggies, fresh or frozen that you have on hand. I think bok choy would be great in this dish, too.
We have an old hand hammered wok that my husband bought from a TV ad over 20 years ago that works great for dishes like this with mounds of veggies and heats up so quickly and easily over the gas flame.
The first set of veggies only had to cook about 5 min, and then the next group cooks again just for a few minutes with the curry paste. I didn’t have green curry paste, so I used tikki paste which is a red/orange paste with ginger. Lastly, the tomatoes, cilantro and Thai basil went in with nondairy milk (I used oat milk) and coconut extract. I was lucky enough to have some Thai basil in the freezer from my garden last summer. When you freeze it, the leaves fall off of the stems and they freeze well and retain their color, flavor, and wonderful aroma. The pictures don’t really do this dish justice, plus you can’t smell the wonderful scents that wafted through the kitchen!
The coconut extract really makes the dish scream of curry and without the fat in coconut milk. Here is a comparison of the oat milk nutrition facts and the coconut milk, which I bought and never used. I keep it for teaching purposes. Note that the serving size of the coconut milk is only 2 oz, so if I had used a full cup I would have been adding 36 gm of added fat and all 36 gm are from saturated fat. Of the 93 calories per serving in the coconut milk, 93 of those calories or 100% of the calories are from fat. By comparison, 8 oz of oat milk has only 130 calories, 2.5 gm of fat and no saturated fat. No contest as far as I’m concerned! I recently read a very commonsense article by Dr. McDougall called, “Nuts come in hard shells- for reasons.”
This dish was very filling due to all of the veggies, satisfying, and delicious! We like spicy, so in my bowl I added chili garlic sauce and my husband added sriracha sauce. The best part is that we also have leftovers for another meal!
Have fun with your food and enjoy!
Thai Green Curry Rice
from The Starch Solution by John A. McDougall MD and Mary McDougall
This rice dish is made with a Thai green curry paste that is sold in Asian markets, natural food stores and some supermarkets. To vary this recipe, try making it with red curry paste instead of the green curry paste.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes (cooked rice needed)
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons green curry paste
2 cups chopped Napa cabbage
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup snap peas
½ cup soy sauce
4 cups cooked long grain brown rice
1 tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Thai basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Place the broth in a large pot along with the onion, bell peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste. Add the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas and soy sauce. Mix well, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and cook until heated through, about 2-3 minutes.
Hint: Curry pastes are quite spicy so you may want to start out with the smaller amount and add more to taste. If you can’t find fresh Thai basil, just use the fresh basil found in the produce department of your supermarket.