The theme for this month’s Foodbuzz 24 x 24 is cooking on a budget with kitchen staples and pantry items. We are excited to share some easy and affordable recipes to whip together when you’re in a pinch. You can create a delicious Thai inspired meal using some common ingredients found in your fridge and pantry such as potatoes, garlic, frozen peas, chicken and a little help from a jarred Thai red curry sauce. Our pantry is usually stocked with a jar or two of Trader Joe’s Thai Red Curry sauce. It’s flavorful and it’s at a fraction of going out to eat. The sauce is about 2 dollars – a steal! Derrick and I both work full time and this is a dish we often make when we’re both tired after a long day at work. We then pack the left overs for lunch the next day.
You can add any vegetables or protein that you have on hand. The ingredient list may look long, but it just some items that I found in my kitchen. Feel free to substitute the ingredients or leave out the the ones that you don’t have. I’ve packed a lot of vegetables in this dish so it’s not as saucy as a traditional Thai curry, but it’s still satisfying and great served with rice. The addition of zucchinis and toasted coconut reminds me of The Cheesecake Factory’s popular Bang Bang Chicken & Shrimp dish. YUM!
A meal isn’t complete without dessert, so we’re going to a make tropical Asian smoothie using canned lychees, vanilla ice cream and a splash of coconut milk. It’s the perfect way to end the meal.
*Tip – ginger stores well in the fridge and can even be frozen for later use. It’s great to keep on hand for a fresh pop of flavor.
Thai Red Curry
Prep: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Serves 6
2 medium russet potatoes, cubed into 1 inch pieces
½ large onion, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then slice about ¼ inch thick)
5-6 mushrooms, quartered
2 chicken breasts, cubed into 1 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp of grated ginger
1 jar of Thai red curry sauce (11 oz)
½ C of coconut milk or milk
1 C frozen green peas
1 red bell pepper, julienne
½ C of shredded coconut
Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, drain and set aside.
In a large pan, heat pan with olive oil and cook onions until translucent over medium high heat, remove onions and set aside.
In the same pan, saute the zucchinis and mushrooms until tender, add more oil if needed, remove the zucchinis and mushrooms and set aside with the onions.
Add chicken, garlic and ginger to pan and season lightly with salt and black pepper. Cook until done, add Thai red curry sauce, cooked vegetables and potatoes to pan.
Pour the coconut milk or regular milk (it can be whole, 2% or non-fat – whatever you have) in the Thai red curry jar, close the lid and shake well. Pour the milk into the pan.
Reduce heat to medium low, add red bell peppers, green peas and cover pan. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add shredded coconut to dry pan. Using a spatula stir constantly until toasted.
Serve curry over rice and top with toasted coconut.
Time: 10 minutes Serves: 4
1 20 oz can of lychee
vanilla ice cream
coconut milk (note if this isn’t something you have on hand you can just omit it completely from the recipe)
In a blender or personal blender (Magic Bullet) add 1 ½ C of vanilla ice cream (about 1 and a half scoops of ice cream), 4-5 lychees, 3 Tbs of lychee syrup from the can and 1 Tbs of coconut milk. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and repeat for the other 3 servings. Enjoy!