Healthy Recipe: Thai Green Curry

Years ago, as a personal chef for a local family, I needed a recipe that would be versatile for the differing palates of the husband and wife. The wife was a fan of meats – lamb, steak, chicken. The husband was more vegetarian and preferred vegetables and tofu.

This Thai Green Curry recipe was the perfect compromise and adaptable to both tastes. The mild curry used in this recipe is from the brand “Thai Kitchen” and is easily available in local grocery stores.

You can adapt this recipe to suit your own tastes – including using plain white rice instead of Jasmine rice, or brown rice or even diced potatoes. You can also add in whatever vegetables you have on hand, changing the flavor of it as the season's progress and produce availability changes. There’s a lot of slicing and preparation involved, about a half-hour to 45 minutes. That makes it a great recipe to prep on the weekend, and to eat throughout the week. The recipe holds its flavors well over several days.

A number of restaurants in the Lompoc Valley feature curry dishes, which means food flavored with a combination of spices and herbs. Though the ingredients in curry differ depending on the place of origin and personal taste of the cook, most curry powders contain turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, chili pepper, and coriander.

The versatility of curry means it can be used in vegetarian dishes, including tofu and vegetables, but is also tasty with fish and poultry. It can be used in recipes calling for curry powder or added to with coconut milk or yogurt to make a “wet” curry.

The ingredients in curry are said to have many health benefits, including the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric.

According to the LiveStrong Foundation, green curry dishes can be high in fat, but the overall nutritional value includes increases in vitamins, minerals and protein intake. A serving of green curry chicken includes fiber for bowel health and carbohydrates for energy. Green curry with chicken provides essential proteins and high levels of the recommended daily intake of iron. Vitamin A is also in green curry, which slows the growth of many eye conditions and diseases, including Stargardt's disease and macular degeneration.


Recipe: Thai Green Curry Chicken and Vegetable

Yeild: 8 Servings

Ingredients Procedure

6 Chicken Breasts, B/s, 1” Cubes

2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, Grated

2 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, Minced

2 Lime, Juiced, Divide Into 2 Equal Parts

1/2 Tbsp Salt

1 4oz Jar Green Curry Paste

1 14oz Can Coconut Milk

1 Yellow Onion, Halved, Sliced

1 Bell Pepper, 1/2 In. Dice

2 Carrots, 1/4 In. Slice (1/2 Lengthwise/diagonal) 3 Celery, 1/4 In. Slice, Diagonal

2 Portobellas, Cut 1/2, 1/4 In Slice

2 Zucchini, 1/4 In. Slice (1/2 Lengthwise/diagonal) 1 Yellow Squash, 1/4 In. Slice

3 Cups Cooked Jasmine Rice

  1. Combine the ginger, garlic, 1/2 of lime juice and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken. Allow to marinate for at least an hour.
  2. In a large heavy bottom pot, heat canola oil over high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and lightly sear. Remove before cooking all the way through, set aside.
  3. To the same pot, add a little more oil & saute onions & peppers until soft. Add green curry paste, saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add coconut milk, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
  5. Add carrots, celery, portobellas & chicken. Allow to simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  6. Add zucchini & squash 15 - 20 minutes before serving
  7. Finish with remaining fresh lime juice.
  8. Serve over jasmine rice.

Jasmine Rice Recipe

  1. Cook 3 cups jasmine rice, pasta method.
  2. Can be done up to an hour before serving.
  3. Hold in a warming oven at 275.
  4. Cover rice with parchment paper and hotel pan lid.

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About the Author

Author: Christy Cioni, Dietary Services Director

Christy attended U.C. Santa Cruz, earning a degree in Spanish and Linguistics. After spending time working in the Silicon Valley and Boston, MA she later moved to Portland, OR. There, she followed her passion for food and cooking by attending the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, earning a degree in Culinary Arts. Christy ultimately came full circle when she returned to the Central Coast, accepting a position at a private school in Santa Barbara, developing a Culinary Arts curriculum, teaching and cooking for the students and staff. Christy was thrilled to join the team as Director of Dietary Services for the Champion Center where she finds joy combining her passion for cooking, love of feeding others and working with an incredible staff of kitchen professionals.

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