When I get home late from work and have to cook dinner, I try to pick recipes that require zero food prep. It’s not that I don’t want to cook. Quite the opposite, in fact—I actually crave the meditative practice of cooking after a long day of teaching. It’s just that I don’t like to eat a big dinner right before I go to bed. The more time I spend in the kitchen, the later I eat. If Billy’s home, he’ll get a head start on the food prep so that we can hit the ground running as soon as I walk in the door, but when he travels, I have to fend for myself.
Luckily, dining alone means I get to eat whatever I want! Woohoo! Billy’s “allergy” to greens be damned! Bring on the spice! Bring on the vegetables! Wow, every sentence in this paragraph is followed by an exclamation point!
The key to quick cooking is food prep. I keep a big container of quinoa in the fridge so that all I have to do is add some vegetables and call it a night. Recently, I’ve been making this Thai Red Curry Quinoa bowl. I’m calling it a bowl, but if I’m heavy handed on the sauce, it’s really more of a stew. I’ll leave the sauce/quinoa ratio up to you.
I love heat, so this recipe has a little kick to it; the cayenne pepper balances the sweetness of the coconut milk beautifully. The best part of this recipe is that it only takes ten minutes to make! No, I’m serious! All you need to do is stock your pantry and fridge with the right ingredients and you’re good to go! Now that’s what I call healthy fast food.
Thai Red Curry Quinoa Bowl
-heaping handful of kale and spiraled carrots (I love the spiraled carrots in this because it feels like I’m eating noodles! WholeFoods now carries pre-spiralized veggies, or you can invest in a spiralizer—they’re amazing!)
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/2 of a 13.5 oz can of coconut milk
-1 heaping teaspoon of Thai Kitchen red curry paste
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
-1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
-1 teaspoon olive oil
Sauté the carrots and kale in olive oil over medium-high heat for five minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the minced garlic. Cook for thirty seconds, just to bring out the flavor. Add the coconut milk, which will stop the cooking of the garlic and ensure that it doesn’t burn! Finally, add the red curry paste, salt, and spices and stir together.
You can either pre-heat your desired quantity of quinoa and pour any amount of the sauce overtop, or you can dump your quinoa into the sauce and let it warm up in all of that spicy goodness. Sometimes I only use half of the sauce so that I can save the rest for the next night’s dinner, and other times I just want to eat the whole thing! Can you blame me?
You can add slices of avocado on top to add a rich, creamy component. The avocado will also cool down the heat from the cayenne.
As much as I love Billy, I really (really) love this spicy thai dinner. I eat it on the couch while I watch taped episodes of my other boyfriend, Stephen Colbert. This quick meal has given me more time in the evenings to unwind and just be. I hope you enjoy it!