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October 17, 2018

Vegetable Curry with Mike’s Organic Curry Love®

by Anne Paddock

This is the good stuff.

My husband loves curry especially if a selection of toppings (peanuts, diced bananas, mango chutney, toasted coconut, seasoned slivered almonds, cashews, raisins, dried apricots, and green scallions) are placed in small bowls in the center of the table so he can choose what to put on top. Sometimes it’s a few items and other times, he piles  on a little bit of everything to ensure every bite is a mix of sweet and salty flavors along with chewy and crunchy textures. The real beauty of serving curry with toppings is that everyone can customize their own dish to suit their tastes. But, in order to have a really good curry dish, the sauce has to be the star of the show.

There are two aspects to a great curry sauce:  the coconut milk and the spices. Most curry sauces call for regular coconut milk that has nearly 30 grams of fat (most of which is saturated) in a 1/2 cup serving. Light coconut milk – a better choice – has about 7 grams of fat in a 1/2 cup serving, again most of which is saturated but significantly less than the full fat version.

Getting the spices right in a curry sauce is the bigger challenge. A truly fantastic curry sauce has turmeric, lemongrass, ginger, onion, a hint of citrus – usually lime, coriander, chili peppers, coriander, black pepper, and maybe some cumin, garlic and cilantro. Then, the quantities have to be adjusted to get the desired spiciness, which is where my limitations are. So, I use Mike’s Organic Curry Love® Curry Paste – a fully prepared 2.8 ounce packet of curry paste that serves as the base to make the sauce so all you have to do is add the coconut milk and the pre-cooked vegetables.

Mike’s Organic Curry Love® Curry Paste is made in four flavors with all organic ingredients:

  • Yellow Thai Curry Paste:  For those who prefer a mildly spicy curry sauce. Made with water, galangal (a spice with a sharp citrusy, almost piney flavor), lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, dried coconut, onion, virgin coconut oil, salt, rice flour, kaffir lime leaf, chili peppers, cane sugar, coriander, black pepper, garlic, and cilantro.
  • Green Thai Curry Paste:  For those who prefer a medium spicy curry sauce.  Made with water, lemongrass, virgin coconut oil, galangal, ginger, chili peppers, dried coconut, cilantro, rice flour, kaffir lime leaf, cumin, coriander, garlic, onion, salt, turmeric, black pepper, cane sugar, and Thai basil.
  • Massaman Curry Paste:  For those who prefer a medium spicy curry sauce. Made with water, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, onion, kaffir lime leaf, chili peppers, virgin coconut oil, Thai basil, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, rice flour, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cloves, black pepper, cane sugar, tamarind, and cumin seed.
  • Red Thani Curry Paste:  For those who prefer a spicy hot curry sauce.  Made with water, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, chili peppers, virgin coconut oil, garlic, onion, Thai basil, rice flour, salt, cane sugar, black pepper, coriander, and cumin.

Created by Mike Beuchi, a chef trained in Switzerland, the US, and Thailand, and his wife, Laurie, Mike’s Organic Curry Love® pastes are the real deal: authentic, organic, and delicious.

The quality of the ingredients is what makes Mike’s Organic Curry Love® pastes so delicious and so different from the other products on the market. The company (based in Boise, Idaho) sources their ingredients from Sri Lanka, where the pastes are made. They don’t use a lot of salt or sugar (the sodium is about 120 mg per serving and the sugar content is less than 1 gram), no citric acid, or thickening gums, and no unappetizing or unrecognizable additives.

The curry pastes are free of gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, and palm oil.  There are no preservative, no MSG, and no trans fats. And, finally the curry pastes are certified organic and Halal certified.

Mike’s Organic Curry Love® curry pastes can be purchased at Whole Foods Markets for $4.49 per packet (or 2 for $6 on sale right now) or directly from the company (www.currylove.com) where 6 packets sell for $24. Vitacost (www.vitacost.com) also sells the pastes for $4.19 per packet but with a 10-20% off coupon (available by e-mail if you’re on the mailing list), then the packet cost is $3.35-$3.77.

So, with the above in mind, here is a super easy and nutritious vegetable curry dish designed to please almost everyone. Note the recipe is heavy on the vegetables and light on the sauce which is my preference for a curry dish.  Curry sauce has so many spices that the aroma and flavor goes a long way.

Vegetable Curry (makes 6 large or 8 medium-sized servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet (2.8 ounces) of Mike’s Organic Curry Love® Curry Paste*
  • 1 13.5-ounce can light coconut milk*
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 cup green beans, cut in half
  • 2 cups of cauliflower, cut into small bite sized florets
  • 2 orange carrots, peeled and sliced horizontally into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into small cubes
  • 2 russet potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup brown rice (or your favorite rice)

*If using Mike’s Organic Mildly Spicy Yellow Thai Curry Paste and the Whole Foods 365 brand of Light Coconut Milk that comes in a 13.5 ounce pan, the whole vegetable curry mixture has 31 grams of fat, 24 of which are saturated. The above recipe easily serves 6 (large portions) which means that there are approximately 5 grams of fat in each serving, 4 grams of which are saturated.

Toppings:

  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of peanuts
  • 1/2 cup of chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup os sliced almonds (toasted or seasoned)
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup of mango chutney
  • 1/2 cup of toasted coconut
  • 2 green scallions, chopped (green part only)

Rinse the rice and place into a pot on the stove. Add the water (or low sodium vegetable broth for a bit more flavor) according to the directions on the rice package and bring to a simmer. Stir, cover, and reduce the heat. Cook according to the directions (note: most rice cooks in 30-40 minutes so make the rice first so the curry sauce and vegetables will be ready when the rice is done)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the sweet potato and potato cubes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Give a quick spray of grapeseed oil over the potatoes. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, under tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large soup pot, place 1/4 cup of water. Add the chopped onion, red pepper, cauliflower, carrots, and green beans. Saute for 7-8 minutes over medium heat until the onion is translucent and the carrots, green beans and cauliflower florets are cooked but still firm.  If all the water evaporates during the cooking process, add a few tablespoons of additional water.

Add the roasted sweet potato and potato cubes. Gently stir to blend.

Add the curry paste and the can of light coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Gently stir.  Cook 3-4 minutes.

Prepare the toppings by putting each topping into a small separate serving bowl in the center of the table.

Scoop the rice into large serving bowls or plates. Place the vegetable curry over the rice. Serve.

Top the curry with desired toppings.

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