Thai Green Curry: Fall Edition

Last Monday felt like Christmas morning…for more reasons than one. I was absolutely exhausted after staying up until 3:30 am finishing up a draft of my first dissertation chapter. I also received a present in the form of a box of “rescued” organic produce from Hungry Harvest, a produce delivery service based in Maryland that has expanded to serve the Triangle area. My box included a variety of goodies from apples and oranges to kale and summer squash. This company’s mission to reduce food waste is admirable, and it is cost-effective, as the price of these boxes save customers money they would spend on “prettier” fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. I honestly do not understand how  stores throw away produce like this, as my box full of less-desirable items was a sight for sore eyes. I admire Hungry Harvest’s efforts to save these delicious treats, and I was so excited to brainstorm recipes involving the contents of my box.

While cooking provides a sense of relaxation and a means through which I can release stress (any other fans of chopping veggies after a long day?), I often feel overwhelmed when I buy produce during a week when I have plans to eat dinner out with friends or at a media event. Thus, I hesitate to buy large bundles of fruits and veggies because I do not want these gems to go to waste. However, I occasionally buy too few items and am left consuming canned soup or frozen food, both of which are fine, though not particularly exciting. Finding and inventing recipes that I can customize depending on what’s in season have helped me solve my dilemma of selecting that perfect Goldilocks level of produce. This curry recipe incorporated a significant amount of the box I received, and it yielded enough servings to last me into the fall. I am a compulsive freezer (another way I try to avoid wasting food), so I loved that I could freeze this curry as well. I hope y’all try this recipe and include whatever fall fruits and vegetables you love. Use the code “GRADSCHOOLFOODIE” for 30% your first order at Hungry Harvest.

Fall Thai Green Curry

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Yields

10-12 servings

Ingredients

Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 small Gala apples
2 summer squash
3 green bell peppers
2 habaneros
1 lb. new potatoes
2 red chili peppers
1 serrano pepper
3 13.5 oz cans full-fat coconut milk
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
~8 tablespoons green curry paste (adjust to your spice preference)
2 packages of extra firm tofu
Cilantro, for serving
Limes, for serving
Naan and rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Drain the tofu, and place paper towels around each block. Sandwich the tofu between plates, and place a heavy pot or book over the plates to release the excess water out of the tofu.
  2. Prepare your favorite type of rice according to package directions.
  3. Chop apples, squash, bell peppers, and potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Finely mince the habaneros, chili peppers, and serrano pepper.
  5. Place the peppers and produce in a large soup pot along with the coconut milk, broth, and curry paste.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
  7. After the apples and potatoes are fork-tender, reduce the heat to simmer.
  8. Heat a large skillet to medium.
  9. Spray the skillet, then swirl the two tablespoons of oil around until you’ve coated the pan.
  10. Place the tofu in the skillet, and don’t worry if it doesn’t all fit. You can cook this in stages.
  11. Cook the tofu until crispy. Feel free to play around with the temperature. I heated the tofu on high heat for a few minutes to sear it, but make sure to monitor the stove if you decide to follow my lead.
  12. Once the tofu is crispy, add it to the soup pot, and heat the curry on medium again for about 5 minutes.
  13. Heat the optional naan in the oven while you finish cooking the curry.
  14. Spoon the curry over rice, and serve with naan, a sprig of cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

 

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