When hubs and I were in Thailand, we ate… a lot.. and we loved every thing we tried. We tend to base our travels around where we are going to eat and plan our meals and restaurants before we decide what hotels we will stay in. Thailand was no different. But, the biggest difference between our eating in Thailand and eating in a new city in the US was that we actually continued to feel pretty good. We talked about that a lot during our trip- we would feel so full of curry or mango and sticky rice or soups but we rarely had the same stomach problems that we have at home after a filling meal. So, when we got home we continued to talk about the delicious food and experiences we had but quickly realized that we went back to eating as we had before we left and went back to feeling the way we did before too.
When we started preparing for the Whole 30, a lot of the information I read made it sound like we would feel the same way that we felt in Thailand. Less full, less bloated and more energy. Granted, we were on a 2 week honeymoon in Thailand so we recognize the role that played in our increased energy and good moods as well. But, I started thinking about whether or not Thai food would be compliant with the Whole 30.
In Chiang Mai, we took an incredible cooking class at Zabb E Lee Thai Cooking school and received a cook book with all of our recipes in it. Some of the recipes are quite funny as the measurements and the wording don’t quite make sense. Luckily, the green curry we absolutely loved in Thailand could absolutely be made to be Whole 30 compliant. We had made green curry for Christmas dinner this year and it turned out really well but we knew we were missing some key, authentic ingredients. We were over near Thai town on Saturday and went to Bangkok market to see what ingredients we could buy there. Everything about that market made us feel like we were back in Thailand. We found so many key ingredients that we weren’t able to find before including thai green chilis, thai eggplant, kaffir lime leaf and the most delicious young coconuts we have had outside of Thailand.
I had come across the coconut cauliflower rice in the Whole 30 book and thought it was the most genius thing I have ever heard and a perfect pairing for our green curry!
The green curry recipe takes a bit of multi tasking but the most time consuming part is making the green curry paste- this can be done using a mortar and pestle or a food processor. I have done it both
- 10 fresh green chilies, finely chopped (you could use fresh or dried and substitute cayenne or serrano if you have to)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp ginger finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemongrass, finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 1 tsp kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped (you can also find this ground)
- 1 tbsp coriander root, chopped (aka cilantro stem)
- 1 tsp tumeric powder
- 1 tsp shrimp paste (we left this out for the Whole 30 as we couldn’t find compliant paste and it tasted just fine)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp roasted coriander seed
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp green curry paste
- 2 chicken breasts cut in bite size pieces
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 2 cup coconut milk
- thai eggplant cut in quarters (or regular eggplant cut in bite size pieces)
- 5 kaffir lime leaves torn
- 2 red spur chili cut diagonally
- 2-4 tsp palm sugar (left this out for whole 30 and it was fine)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (used coconut aminos during Whole 30)
Add curry paste to a saucepan with coconut cream and cook until fragrant. Add chicken and coconut milk and cook another 2-4 minutes or until chicken is almost done. Add the thai eggplant and sugar and fish sauce and cook until eggplant is soft to your liking. Tear a few kaffir lime leaves and add them to the top and let the ingredients simmer a bit. Serve on top of cauliflower rice (recipe below)
- 1 medium cauliflower (or a bag of cauliflower rice from Trader Joe’s)
- 1/4 white or yellow onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tbs coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- coconut flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut cauliflower in to florets and pulse in the food processor. You
might have to work in batches here. Heat coconut oil on the stove and add onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add cauliflower and coconut milk. Cover and steam for 10 minutes to coconut flavor can soak in. Taste to make sure it is to your desired consistency. Add salt, pepper and coconut flakes and stir together. Serve warm.
I like to put the curry on top of the rice and tear a few kaffir lime and thai basil leaves. I also like to enjoy this with a fresh young coconut… or coconut La Croix.