After all the traditional Christmas fare, followed by some relatively unrestrained gorging of pizza, pasta, risotto and ice cream during our trip to Rome, it has been time to get back to healthy eating. I am currently craving spice and so have been serving up a variety of curries since our return. Of course, in the good old (bad old) days we would have indulged the spicy appetite by reaching for the takeaway menus. But it is no longer a viable option with a diabetic in our midst and all of us wanting to shed the odd pound or two after our festive feasting.
This is my take on a Thai curry, but is really more of a stir fry which I serve with whole wheat noodles rather than the oh so nice, but way too naughty, sticky rice. When comparing whole wheat noodles, white noodles and sticky rice, there is very little in it on the calorie and sugar fronts. However, a 50g portion of Blue Dragon whole wheat noodles contains 2.9g fibre, versus 1.3g for the white varieties and 0.4g for a typical jasmine rice, which scores a very high 99 on the GI scale.
It is another of my cheats, though a hand whizzer with a blender attachment means that making your own spice paste is not hard. I prefer to spend the time used to measure and blend a paste, to chop plenty of veggies to go in the dish. I always use a reduced fat coconut milk to keep the calories and saturated fats under control, as to get a good sauce you will need 200ml of coconut milk per person. 200ml of a full fat variety will add 320 calories to the meal and a whopping 30g of saturated fats, as compared to 160 calories and 10.6g in a reduced fat equivalent. Gulp……takeaway Thai really should really be avoided.
As with so many other family meals I usually make two versions and always add plenty of well softened onion, even though it’s not a traditional Thai curry ingredient. I like to use the Blue Dragon jars of concentrated paste. A red Thai curry is milder, and I tend to add plenty of onion and sliced red, orange and yellow peppers, whilst a green version tends to be hotter, and I usually add green peppers, sugar snap peas and green beans. That said, carrots (finely julienned) asparagus and broccoli have all been known to show up in my Thai curries if they are kicking around in the fridge and need using up.
I usually use Quorn or fish (usually a mix of something white and firm, prawns and scallops), which helps to balance the richness and naughtiness of the coconut milk, but chicken breast is fine for you committed carnivores. The following recipe is for a Thai green fish curry, which is our family favoutite.
- 250 grammes haddock or any other white fish
- 250 grammes scallops
- 250 grammes king prawns
- 240 grammes Finely chopped onions
- 1 large green pepper deseeded and cut into thin strips
- 200 grammes fine green beans topped and tailed
- 200 grammes mange tout or sugar snap peas
- 1-3 tbsp Thai curry paste according to taste
- 800 ml Reduced fat coconut milk
- Soften onions and pepper in a few squirts of fry light.
- While onions are cooking, prepare veggies and partially cook: I do the green beans for 5 minutes and the mangetout for 2, Drain and refresh in cold water before draining again.
- Once onions and pepper are soft add the curry paste and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, stir well and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and add noodles which should take about 6 minutes to cook - just long enough to cook the fish.
- Add the veggies, haddock and scallops to the sauce, cover and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the prawns and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Drain the noodles and serve.