Last Thursday was Valentine’s Day. Yes, I know, I am late, but I noticed that most date night dinners consisted of pasta, which personally to me is overrated. I’m sure you already hate me for articulating this, but honestly, I could not be any more indifferent to the words “fettuccine alfredo”, “spaghetti bolognese”, “pesto primavera”, “spinach tortellini”, “vegetable lasagna”, or “penne with vodka”. Even the words “ramen” and “pho” (GASP I know I’m Vietnamese–I can’t help the honesty) don’t entice me. I will say, the main exceptions are japchae, chow mein, and Pad Thai. But overall, give me a platter of rice and bread any day over noodles.
Speaking of Thai food, let’s talk curry! It is by far one of my favorite dishes in the Thai cuisine aside from their vegetable stir-fries (arguably not entirely Thai given that other Southeast Asian and East Asian cuisines share the same love for these meals). Nothing beats the glorious aroma of spices and medley of vegetables over a somewhat sweet or bitter base (rice, Roti, mixed greens). There are so many ingredients you can integrate, but there’s no reason to not stick to simplicity, either. From experience, I have never been more seduced by any other dish than this curry.
One ingredient I decided to experiment with is coconut cream. Personally, I rarely ever use coconut cream because I always thought of the product as a dessert element. However, when we made this curry, I was suggested to use coconut cream and dilute the thickness with a 1:1 ratio of unsweetened almond milk. The result was phenomenal!
Coconut cream has not become my new obsession. In fact, I actually added them to my Lakanto green waffles instead of using water or almond milk–not only did the waffles crisp up more than the original formula, but the preservation of fluffiness and richness was improved! People tend to give coconut a bad rap because of the saturated fat content, but it can easily be integrated into a healthy recipe such as this curry. I genuinely plan on using it way more often–vegan carrot cake, perhaps? There’s currently a container of Miyoko’s Kitchen plainly classic cream cheese sitting in my fridge and I can’t think of anything more appealing to use than that!
Whether you are single, taken, in a complicated situation, seeing different people, or are saving yourself for Michael B. Jordan, then this curry is for you. Feel free to add in any type of vegetable and protein of your desire! After all, there is no one-size-fits-all for curry. If I had them on hand, sweet potatoes, eggplant, onions, garlic, and kabocha squash would have gone into this recipe. EASILY.
RECIPE (serves 4)
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped (not used, but highly recommended)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (not used, but highly recommended)
- 3 ounces of broccoli, loosely chopped
- 1 ounce of sugar snap peas
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 cup coconut cream (or full fat coconut milk)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or more full fat coconut milk)
- 2 TBSP low sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 TBSP curry powder
- 1 tsp chili powder, more or less (depends on personal preference)
- 1 tsp avocado oil (I used about a second of a spritz of the Chosen Foods avocado oil spray)
- Brown rice or cauliflower rice to serve
- Cilantro to garnish
- In a medium mixing bowl, pair the coconut cream and almond milk uniformly. Store in the fridge to preserve freshness.
- Set a pot on medium heat. Once the pot is warm, integrate the avocado oil.
- Mix in one tablespoon of the curry powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder, garlic and onions until aromatic and the garlic is slightly crispy.
- Integrate the vegetables and tofu. Cook until the vegetables are relatively soft and the tofu is somewhat pan-fried on each side.
- Bringing the heat to a low simmer, slowly add in the mixture of almond milk and coconut milk. Incorporate the remainder of the spices and the soy sauce, stirring until the curry sauce is a faint yellow color.
- Cover the pot and let the curry simmer.
- Serve the curry warm with brown rice, cauliflower rice, or a mixture of both and top with cilantro.
What are your favorite date night dishes?