Mix and Match Thai Curry (vegan, gluten-free)

Mix & Match Thai Curry masteringrunning.com

Winter is biting down hard a tad early this year. As I write, it's currently 22 degrees in Philadelphia, with a wind chill of 8. I just returned from a long run and my hair froze. On days like these, the best impetus for my finishing kick is thinking about a steamy bowl of curry soup to refuel.

This Mix and Match Curry is a recipe I make often, especially during the colder months. I love it for four reasons:

Mix & Match Curry, thinned with broth, to make soup

Mix & Match Curry, thinned with broth, to make soup

  1. It's easy to throw together. 
  2. It's modular. You can use whatever veggies and plant protein you have on hand. Fresh is always best but you can also use frozen. 
  3. it's versatile. You can enjoy it as is, stew-like, or thin it out with a bit of water or broth to make it into a soup. I sometimes eat it over spooned over noodles, like a sauce: think brown rice noodles, cellophane noodles or even plain old spaghetti. Or I serve it over a whole grain, like brown rice, farro, barley or millet. 
  4. It's super nutritious and is, therefore, a runner-friendly food.

Enjoy! Stay warm.

Butternut squash, my weapon of choice– naturally sweet and so much personality when roasted.

Butternut squash, my weapon of choice– naturally sweet and so much personality when roasted.

Mix and Match Thai Curry (vegan, gluten-free)

  • 1 butternut, acorn or kabocha squash, roasted (You can do this the day before, if you'd like)
  • 1 T coconut or olive oil
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 5-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • Up to 1 tsp red hot pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite Thai curry paste (eg, Massaman, Penang, yellow, red, green)
  • 1 14-oz can of coconut milk (Light is fine, but full-fat tastes so much better)
  • 4 cups flavorful vegetable broth (I love Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base. I buy it in bulk.)
  • 4 cups cabbage, spinach, kale, or chard, shredded or roughly chopped
  • 2 cups mixed, chopped vegetables (eg, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, edamame, peppers)
  • Plant protein of choice: 1 pound of extra-firm tofu, cubed (Dry-frying it takes extra time but is so worth it); 1 pound of tempeh, cubes, 2 cans of your favorite beans, rinsed and drained; 2 cups of soy curls, rehydrated
  • 1/3 cup, fresh cilantro, chopped or 2T dried
  • Splash of lime juice (optional)

Serves 6

 

Roast squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, Remove seeds with an ice cream scoop. Place foil or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Place squash face down on sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until soft. Let cool then peel and cube.

Squash, ready for roasting  

Squash, ready for roasting  

Heat oil over medium low in a Dutch oven. Add ginger, garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt if it's browning too quickly to draw out some water. Add the curry paste, and stir well. Let it cook for about a minute.

Stir in the coconut milk, then add the broth. Add the veggies, including the cubed squash and the plant protein, and bring to a boil.  Cover. Lower heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until veggies are softish. Stir in cilantro.

Adjust seasonings and serve as you like: 

  • As is – as a stew
  • Thinned with more broth: as a soup
  • Over noodles
  • Over a whole grain (eg, quinoa, brown rice, farro, millet, barley)

 

Over brown rice noodles  

Over brown rice noodles  

What's your favorite way to eat curry?