Thai food is one of my absolute favorites and fortunately it is extremely paleo-friendly. One of the first thoughts I had when investigating the paleo diet and discovering the benefits of coconut products was, “I can eat thai food without guilt now!”
One of our family’s favorite restaurants of all time is Origin Thai. Their French-Thai menu contains amazingly delicious dishes that serve as inspiration for future culinary adventures. I would love to be able to make Origin Thai’s Royal Massaman Curry completely from scratch because it has been one of our favorites over the years. But if you are anything like me you have to be strategic about how and when to make more elaborate dishes. This recipe for Thai Curry with Squash and Avocado is inspired by the original recipe but should be placed in the “semi-homemade” category. Using prepared “red curry paste” makes this dish much faster and easier for a weeknight meal while the addition of other fresh ingredients give you very similar results without the investment of time and the cost of more exotic ingredients.
The inspiration dish includes butternut squash, avocado and peanuts. While I have kept the squash and avocado, because they are two great paleo ingredients, I swapped out the peanuts for cashews. The two prepared foods I used were Thai Kitchen’s Red Curry Paste and Premium Fish Sauce. The gluten-free ingredients of the red curry paste are:
- red chili pepper
- kaffir lime
The fish sauce ingredients are:
- anchovy extract
- pure cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons prepared red curry paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 hot chiles, minced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 can organic coconut milk (full fat)
- 1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (approximately 5 cups)
- 1 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breasts – sliced thin
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat.
- Add the red curry paste, garlic and chiles and fry for about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken stock, fish sauce and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
- Carefully drop in the chunks of butternut squash, bring back to a simmer and cook for approx. 5-10 minutes.
- Add the sliced chicken and continue cooking another 5-10 minutes.
- When the chicken is close to being done, add the sliced mushrooms, simmering until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and mushrooms are soft – about 5 more minutes.
- Combine the cashews with the curry and allow them to be heated through.
- Just before serving add the avocado and fresh cilantro.
In future posts I’ll provide a couple of recipes that go really well with this thai curry dish: Thai Coconut Cauliflower Rice and Spicy Bok Choy.