Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken

Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken | www.ericajulson.com

Thai curry is one of the most comforting, warming dishes you can make.

The spicy chile and herbs are balanced by the creamy cooling coconut milk, and when spooned over tender white rice, you’ve got one of my favorite meals in bowl.

There are actually three common “colors” of curry out there:

  1. Red Curry
  2. Green Curry
  3. Yellow Curry

Red curry paste, the variety used in this recipe, is made with dried red chiles, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, salt, galangal (a type of Thai ginger), kaffir lime, and sometimes shrimp paste.

Green curry contains basically the same ingredients, except it uses green chiles instead of red, plus a pop of coriander, cumin, and turmeric. If you’re looking for a green curry recipe, I’ve got an excellent one here

Yellow curry is the most mild and is actually vegetarian! It leads with a strong lemongrass flavor, and doesn’t use any shrimp paste.

Honestly, they are ALL delicious, but I thought the red paste would pair best with the sweet butternut squash I had sitting on my counter, so that’s where this recipe went!

Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken | www.ericajulson.com

Curries are SUPER simple to make if you’re using jarred curry paste.

Simply sauté the paste in some oil, add some veggies, coconut milk, and protein of your choice, and let it simmer.

Top it off with fresh lime juice & herbs, and you’ve got a delicious meal ready in no time.

Honestly, if you use pre-cooked chicken, chickpeas, or tofu, this meal would be ready in under 30 minutes.

If you choose to poach some chicken first, it’ll take a little bit longer, but the whole thing will still be done in about an hour.

The curry paste adds so so much flavor, that you can keep the rest of the ingredients pretty basic. in fact, I really only used butternut squash and chicken in this recipe, and it was great!

Feel free to experiment with whatever veggies you have in your fridge. Sweet potatoes, onions, or chickpeas would also be wonderful in this dish.

Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken | www.ericajulson.com

 

Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chicken

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (~3 small)
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice or other long grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons organic canola or other oil of choice
  • 2-4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (amount used depends on the spiciness of your brand)
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (3/4 inch cubes)
  • 1 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari if gluten free
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 1/3 cup julienned fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the chicken breasts, reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. [Exact time will vary, depending on the size of your chicken breasts.] When done, use tongs to remove the chicken to a plate & set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, place the rice and 4 cups of water in a rice cooker or small lidded pot. Cook in the rice cooker or according to package instructions until done. Set aside for later. 
  • Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, use your fingers to shred it into bite sized pieces and set aside. 
  • Next, start the curry. In a large enameled cast iron dutch oven, heat the two tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste and butternut squash and cook for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. I used 4 tablespoons of the Thai Kitchen curry paste because it was somewhat bland... if you use a spicier brand like Mae Ploy, you'll probably only need 2 tablespoons.
  • Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and water to the dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender. 
  • Once the squash is tender, stir in 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes, until warmed through.
  • Finally, turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice, basil, and cilantro. Add a scoop of white rice to each serving bowl, and spoon the warm curry over top. Enjoy!
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Grilled Zucchini with Mint, Lemon, and Feta

Grilled Zucchini with Mint, Lemon, and Feta | ericajulson.com

Something about the recent time change has me in a GREAT mood.

I mean, a few extra hours of sunlight each day does wonders for this woman 🙂

I’m probably jumping the gun here… it’s only mid-April… but I’m already busting out the grill pan and pretending it’s summer!

And one of my favorite parts about summer, is hot veggies fresh off the grill.

They get that delicious char on them, remain crisp tender, and are SO easy to make.

Grilled Zucchini with Mint, Lemon, and Feta | ericajulson.com

Since grilled veggies have so much flavor on their own, I like to keep it simple.

Just a simple vinaigrette, and maybe a little cheese tossed in there, and you’re good to go.

For this recipe, I’ve tossed my grilled zucchini with lots of lemon, fresh mint, and crumbed feta cheese.

It’s a perfectly balanced bite.

You’ve got the fresh pop of lemon, creamy tangy cheese, and the palate-cleansing fresh mint.

And one of the best parts?

It’s ready in just 20 minutes. Winning.

Grilled Zucchini with Mint, Lemon, and Feta | ericajulson.com

 

Grilled Zucchini with Mint, Lemon, and Feta

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchini, cut on the bias into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • olive oil, for grilling
  • sprinkle of kosher salt & ground black pepper
  • 5 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

Instructions

  • Preheat a grill or grill pan over high high heat.
  • Place the sliced zucchini in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Toss with your hands until all the zucchini are evenly coated with oil and salt and pepper (make sure you use a generous amount of oil, or else the zucchini will stick to the grill!)
  • Add half of the zucchini to the grill (you'll probably need a grill basket) or grill pan. Grill for a few minutes on each side, until the zucchini is nicely charred but just tender. Remove to a large bowl & repeat with the second half of the zucchini.
  • As the zucchini cools, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh mint. Pour over the warm zucchini. 
  • Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese over the zucchini & toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Three Bean Turkey Chili

Weeknight Turkey Chili-6

I’m a “stand up” chili kind of girl.

I like my chili thick and chunky, so that a fork or spoon stuck in the center would stand upright.

Yeah, Dennison’s was my go-to chili as a kid, so it’s no surprise that I make my homemade chili in a similar fashion.

Three Bean Turkey Chili

Chili can be made with many types of beans.

Pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, white beans, even garbanzo beans!

Why pick one, when you can have THREE??

Kidney beans are my typical chili staple. I love their large size & creamy texture.

But hey, the more the merrier, right? So for this recipe, I did 1/2 kidney beans, 1/4 black beans, and 1/4 cannellini beans.

I also really prefer my chili with turkey, instead of beef. It has a little bit of a lighter taste, and remains in larger pieces, giving the chili a meatier texture.

I present to you, the ultimate three bean turkey chili.

 Three Bean Turkey Chili

For real though, this chili takes almost no work.

It’s ready in under 45 min from start to finish.

Simply saute an onion, then brown the turkey & spices, add all the canned beans and tomato products, and simmer for just 5 minutes, and you’re done!

And you can’t forget about the toppings.

Extra sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, red or green onion, and a little hot sauce are my faves.

Add a homemade cornbread muffin on the side, and you’re good to go.

Oh, and this recipe makes a HUGE pot fun of chili, so you can freeze the leftovers for a busy weeknight later this month 🙂

Three Bean Turkey Chili

Three Bean Turkey Chili

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 15oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 15oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Topping Options:

  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • minced cilantro
  • minced green onion or red onion
  • hot sauce, like Tapatio

Instructions

  • In a large enameled dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion, and sauté for about 10 minutes, until softened and just lightly golden.
  • Next, add the garlic, turkey, cumin, coriander, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper to the dutch oven. Sauté, breaking up the turkey with a spatula, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. 
  • Add add three cans of beans, the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste to the dutch oven. Bring to a simmer, and let cook for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
  • Spoon the chili into bowls & sprinkle with your desired toppings. Serve with cornbread on the side.
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