Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry

Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry

Chicken and eggplant is a classic Thai combination. When stir-fried with a curry paste, it makes for an easy meal. This recipe took me less than 20 minutes from start to finish. I served it with some Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice (Brown Basmati). So easy.

I used Maesri brand Prik Khing curry paste, which I bought at an Asian market, when I made this. I’m a huge fan of Maesri curry pastes.

Prik Khing Curry Paste

You can use your favorite Thai curry paste. Thai Kitchen makes red and green curry pastes and they are easily found in the ethnic section of some grocery stores. If using Thai Kitchen curry paste, you probably want to reduce the amount of curry paste. I would suggest with starting with 2 teaspoons and going from there if you want it spicier.

IMG_5199 (378x640)

I don’t always have access to fresh Thai basil. When I do get Thai basil, I chop what I don’t use immediately in a food processor and freeze it. I just break off a piece of the frozen Thai basil and add it to my dish while I’m cooking it.

Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry 3

Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry

2 tablespoons oil (I used canola, but coconut would be good too)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons Thai curry paste (I used Prik Khing curry paste)
1 large unpeeled Japanese eggplant (or 2 small), sliced (about 1/4-inch) diagonally
1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
fresh Thai basil, torn (about a handful)

Heat the oil in a wok (or skillet) over high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it is just starting to lose it’s pink color. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until the chicken is coated. Add the eggplant and bell pepper. Season with fish sauce and sugar. Stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, and the eggplant is cooked to your preference. I like mine tender, but not mushy. Add the Thai basil and take off the heat. Serve with hot rice.

Thai Chicken and Eggplant Curry 2

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Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup with Vegetables

Vegetarian Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup 2

Earlier this year, I revamped one of my favorite Thai soups to make it vegetarian, as well as acceptable for the low iodine diet I was on at the time. I was super happy with the way the soup turned out. It was delicious! So flavorful.

I replaced the traditional fish sauce with a Umami Sauce I made. I typically use my favorite Madras curry powder in this recipe, but I included a recipe for a Madras-style curry powder at the bottom of the recipe anyway. I have a big collection of spices, but I realize not everyone does, so feel free to replace the Madras curry powder with any store-bought Indian curry powder. For the noodles you can use linguine (or spaghetti) or rice noodles.

Vegetarian Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup

I contacted Thai Kitchen via their Facebook page and asked about the type of salt they use in their products. Turns out they do not use iodized salt. This opens a world of possibilities for those on a low iodine diet. The Thai Kitchen red curry paste should not be hard to find. Look in the ethnic section of your grocery store. I actually bought a jar at Target.

TK Red Curry Paste

Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup with Vegetables

1/2 lb. linguine, cooked
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 – 3 tsp. Thai Kitchen red curry paste (to taste)
1 T. Madras curry powder (recipe follows)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can (13.5 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
4 cups  vegetable or chicken stock (unsalted or homemade for LID)
3 tablespoons Umami Sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 head green cabbage, cored and shredded
4 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed and halved (you can use snow peas instead)
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (or use the mushrooms left over from making the Umami Sauce)
1/2 to 1 12 ounce (approximately) can baby corn, drained
1 cup fresh spinach, torn
Kosher salt, to taste
fresh cilantro leaves
unsalted peanuts, crushed
limes, cut into wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add shredded cabbage and cook until just tender. Add the red curry paste, curry powder, and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant (about 40 seconds).  Whisk in coconut milk and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, add Umami Sauce and sugar, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Stir in sugar snap peas, mushrooms, and baby corn and simmer until all the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt. Stir in torn spinach and take off the heat.

Divide noodles in soup bowls, ladle soup into bowls, and top with fresh cilantro leaves and crushed unsalted peanuts.  Serve with a wedge of lime.

Curry Powder

Quick and Easy Salt-Free Madras Curry Powder

3 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all of the spices and store in a glass Mason jar.


Roasted Ratatouille

Roasted Ratatouille

Onions, squash, and Japanese eggplant were just a few of the vegetables I got in my CSA box this week. They were delicious when combined with bell pepper and tomato, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then roasted. There is no denying that this combination of veggies is a winner.

This recipe can easily be doubled. Use a second baking sheet to avoid overcrowding the veggies.

When dicing the vegetables, try to keep all the pieces about the same size so they will cook evenly.

This recipe makes about 2 side dish-sized servings.

Roasted Ratatouille

1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 bell pepper (your choice of color), cored and diced
1 Japanese eggplant, diced (no need to peel)
1 tomato, diced (or a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Toss the diced veggies with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet.

Roasted Ratatouille 2

Roast in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until well-browned, turning half way through cooking.

Roasted Ratatouille 3

Serve warm, with crumbled goat cheese on top, if you prefer.

Roasted Ratatouille with Goat Cheese


Oven-Fried Squash

Oven Fried Squash

I don’t fry things often (mostly because frying makes such a mess and I don’t want to clean it up). If I’m in the mood for that type of food, I’m more likely to use the oven-fry method. Summer squash and eggplant turn out especially well “fried” in the oven.

I usually eat oven-fried squash with ketchup (I LOVE ketchup), but marinara sauce and Ranch dressing are really good too. Oven-fried zucchini is also wonderful layered in a casserole dish with marinara and mozzarella (Zucchini Parmesan) and baked in the oven at 350° F. until warmed through and the cheese is melted.

Fried Yellow Squash

Oven-Fried Squash

3 medium yellow squash and/or zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (or panko) (you may end up needing more)
salt and pepper
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Using a fork, beat the eggs in a shallow dish or bowl. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.

Pour the bread crumbs (or panko) into another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.

Set up a little assembly line in this order:  beaten eggs, bread crumbs, and then sheet pan.

Dip the squash circles into the beaten eggs, letting the excess drip back into the dish. Now dredge in the bread crumbs, turning to coat both sides evenly. You can use a fork or tongs to do this to keep your hands from getting messy. Place the breaded squash on the baking sheet. Repeat for all the squash slices. You may need another baking sheet. You may also need to replenish the bread crumbs if you run out.

Spray the breaded squash lightly with cooking spray (or drizzle with olive oil). Bake until golden brown on both sides, about 30 to 40 minutes. Turn the squash once halfway through baking.


Rutabaga Purée

Rutabaga Puree

This is a super easy side dish that is a nice change from mashed potatoes. Rutabagas might not be the prettiest root veggies, but they taste good and are low in calories (about 51 calories per cup). They are also rich in potassium and vitamin c.

Rutabaga Puree 2

Rutabaga Purée

2 pounds rutabagas, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil the diced rutabagas in in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain in a colander and return the rutabagas to the pan. Add the butter. Using an immersion blender, purée the rutabagas until completely smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper.