I occasionally take myself out to lunch. I love to go to a local coffee shop downtown. It has exposed brick walls, the best ham and cheese croissants in town and the wifi is free. The shop is sort of small and cavernous, a tiny bit rundown and there’s just something about it I love. It helps that it’s close to Target so I can justify my solo lunch with the fact it’s in proximity to doing ‘errands.’ This lunch, which in all honesty as happened all of 3 or 4 times this fall, is usually a 45 minute window between preschool pick-up and who knows what else and I use it to write this little blog or more often just eat blissfully in silence while staring out the window. Either or.
Anyway, I almost always order the vegetable curry soup and it comes in a shallow pasta bowl with a big scoop of rice and its the perfect combination of sweet and savory; spicy but not too much. It has sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, carrots and a few other unidentifiable veggies all floating in the creamiest coconut broth. I dream of this soup. Actually that’s not true but I’ve spent all fall trying to recreate it and while I haven’t even come close, I’ve got a quick and dirty curry recipe that hits the spot and is ultra forgiving to swapping out ingredients based on what you have on hand.
Chicken and Vegetable Curry
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast (rotisserie chicken works well)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 14oz cans coconut milk
- 2-3 tbsp green curry paste (yellow or red work fine too, whatever you like)
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 in ginger, peeled and finely diced (about 1 heaping teaspoon)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced into thin strips
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauté pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and bell pepper to the pan, cook for 5-10 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Add in broccoli and cook until bright green. Stir in cooked chicken and add ginger, curry paste, lime juice and zest, brown sugar and coconut milk. Turn heat down and let simmer for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper liberally and stir in dried basil.
Serve over rice or quinoa with jalapeno and cilantro as garnishes. Red pepper flakes can be swapped for a jalapeno and fresh basil is definitely better than dried, but either works just fine.