White girl curry

I find out a lot of things via twitter. Most of it is not knowledge that I will ever need (and is maybe barely considered "knowledge"), but that's how I ended up "signing" an online dedication to not eat processed food during the month of October.

Hiabo. Why do I do these things to myself?

Actually, I know why. It's because I care so much about the food system and about making better nutrition choices. Besides, I try really hard to avoid processed foods, so I figured "why not? I do it anyway, I'll just sign up."

Let's just say, it's been a really busy week, well month actually. And it was kind of like the time when I was reading No Impact Man. I was trying to pay attention to what exactly I was throwing away and then throw away less. Suddenly, it felt like I was throwing everything. When you put a very specific part of your life under the microscope, you learn a lot of interesting things.

But things will probably never become less busy.

Now, I am may not be packing away an entire bag of Cheetos right now ( even though I really would like to), but it is a lot work to eat clean. It takes time. Getting home late from work and still trying to a semi-decent workout in often means I don't eat until 8 p.m. Chopping vegetables is not exactly how I want to spend my evenings. But I do it because eating homemade goodness is very important to me (and also delicious. Besides, if I am lucky, I might have a lot of leftovers I can use for lunches the rest of the week).

On nights like this, it is extra wonderful when the new recipe I try out turns out to be awesome. Lately, I feel like I've been striking out. But not today. After a super long day at the office, it was great to curl up on the couch with my bowl of curry and watch New Girl. Plus, it still included at least one local ingredient (just an onion) from the Farmer's market. Since most of the vendors at the Newton's Farmer's market are done for the season, so it still feels like a win. (oh and it had a few sad looking basil leaves from the garden that managed to pull through the frost)

I re-named this curry recipe "white girl curry," although this title essentially fits every curry I ever make, for many reason. For one, I have an unfortunately low spice tolerance, despite the fact that I tried really hard in South Africa to build it up. Secondly, I live in rural Kansas. It is very hard to find the appropriate spices for what I am making, and even though I know where to get some of the stuff I need it is what I call "white people curry." The curry powder I get from Meridian Grocery is so mild that I can dump it in and have no reaction to it at all. If I did that with the stuff we used in PMB then I would've died.

So this recipe for Panang Curry has been tweaked in order for it to be on more of a real-life-midweek-Kansas-white-girl level. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

"Panang Curry" (without the Panang Curry)

In a seasoned wok or large skillet, heat about 3 T oil.
Add and sauté:
1 lb. mushrooms

Remove mushrooms from skilled and add:
1 cup onion, diced
1 small head of broccoli florets, chopped
more oil if needed

When veggies are almost tender add:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 t ginger, grated
2 T red thai curry paste*

Stir under paste is well mixed in with the veggies.

2 cans coconut milk
juice from 1 lime
1 t brown sugar
1 T soy sauce

Using a fork, stir curry so that all of the ingredients are well distributed then add:
a few basil leaves

Let curry simmer for a few minutes. Serve over rice.

* I have no idea what Panang curry is. Plus the only option I had at Dillons was Thai Red Curry Paste. It worked at well though since the coconut milk and the lime added a nice Thai flavor to the dish anyway.

Adapted from recipris.com