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.