Thursday, February 2, 2012

Butternut Squash Curry with Coconut Milk

Last time we spoke, I said I was feeling better. My cold only lasted one day. 

Well, I was wrong. The Mack Truck hit a few days later when I lost my voice and was left cowering before my bed dreading sleep because it hurt so much to breath let alone try to sleep while breathing. 

During my 'no voice' phase I had an appointment with my Midwife. I asked her, "I've never been this sick with a cold before in my life (croak)? Is my immune system compromised due to my pregnancy?" 

She responded all nonchalant, "Yeah, that can happen."

Yet, another pregnancy side effect. This information forced me back to the drawing board to find another recipe that would sooth, heal, and provide a spicy delicious flavor for my stuffy, yet disturbingly quiet face.

That's how I came up with this Butternut Squash Curry with Coconut Milk. I added tofu and edamame for some great soy protein and some curry and red pepper flakes for some heat. 

The results were a heavenly mixture of creamy texture teasing my tongue and finishing with a sharp smack to the behind from the heat! Just what the doctor ordered. Me being the 'doctor' in this case. 
My honey even really enjoyed it. And I really enjoyed watching him eat tofu without complaining or making comments.
And served with brown rice this was a complete meal stuffed full of flavor and nutrients. Check the Mental Health Benefits below for more information about all the nutrition we are getting from this easy and healthy meal!

Of course if you are avoiding carbohydrates for the sake of blood sugar or diet, this is equally delicious enjoyed as a soup sans the brown rice!

Now on with the recipe and a healed body! Wishing you the best of health!

Butternut Squash Curry with Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
8 Cloves Garlic; Minced
1 Large White Onion; Minced
3 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger; Peeled and minced
4 Cups Low Sodium Fat Free Chicken Broth
1 tsp. Sesame Oil
5 Cups Butternut Squash; Peeled and cubed
19 Ounces Medium Firm Tofu
1 tsp. Roasted Red Chili Paste
2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp. Cayanne Pepper
2 tsp. Green Curry Paste
I (13.6 Oz) Can Lite Coconut Milk 

1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (if desired)
10 Ounces Frozen Edamame (shelled)

Chopped Peanuts (for garnish if desired)
Cut Fresh Chive (for garnish if desired)
1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Then add the garlic, white onion, and ginger. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until onion begins to soften.
2. Transfer to a 10 quart crock pot and add the chicken broth, sesame oil, cubed butternut squash, tofu, red chili paste, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, green curry paste, lite coconut milk, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Set crock pot to high and cook for 3-4 hours.
3. After 3-4 hours have passed, test the squash with a fork, it should be easily pierced and tender. Place half of the mixture in the blender (about 4-5 cups or as much as your blender will hold) and blend until smooth. Return to the crock pot and add the frozen edamame. Stir to combine and allow to cook for one more hour.

4. Meanwhile, cook the brown rice according to package directions. 

5. To serve; ladle a large serving of the curry into a bowl and top with a scoop of brown rice. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and fresh chives if desired. A delicious, soothing, spicy bowl of yummy Thai flavors awaits!

Servings: 8

Nutritional Skinny (curry only - no rice):

180.2 calories / 9.3 g fat / 18.2 g carbohydrates / 3.2 g fiber / 11.1 g protein

If served with a serving of rice add:

150 calories / 1 g fat / 32 g carbohydrates / 1 g fiber / 3 g protein

Mental Health Benefit: Tofu is a great source of lean protein and takes on any flavor that you marinade it in or cook it with making it a sponge for virtually any recipe. It has also been shown to lower bad cholesterol, alleviate the symptoms of menopause (for women), and even reduce the risk of cancer. This is due to the lean protein and rich Vitamin C and calcium that is contained within it's creamy texture. Paired with the edamame, yet another great source of lean soy protein, and butternut squash in this recipe; you can't beat the health benefits of this meal. The protein from the soy products meets the anti-oxidant dense and fiber and protein packed butternut squash to pack a powerful punch here. Don't miss the opportunity to dive in head first and never look back. Even if you've never cooked with tofu, this is a great first recipe!

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