This post has been a long time coming but, it’s finally here!
I loooooove Thai food and specifically, Panang Curry. Unforch, many of these dishes are high in both fat (coconut milk) and carbs (rice + sugar), which is a combination that we generally want to avoid in a fat loss lifestyle (this does not mean we are pursuing fat loss 24/7 which is neither healthy nor sustainable). I don’t order this dish out often but when I do, I add chicken, skip the rice* and request extra veggies instead.
*Rice and carbs in general are not “bad”, and you can still eat them if you have fat loss goals. However, I prefer that they come from unprocessed foods and do not need the addition of what is often a multi-serving portion of jasmine rice that accompanies this meal at restaurants on top of the sugar often used in its preparation.
Since I enjoy eating it so much, I figured I should learn how to make a healthier version myself. Not surprisingly, many recipes either called for ingredients that I don’t keep on hand or were time and labor intensive #icant. This one from The Defined Dish came close and was the inspiration for my version but it lacked the subtle sweetness characteristic of this dish and used more oil than necessary. Also, Thai basil leaf is not a pantry staple of mine. And I don’t know about you but I have no interest in running around looking for an ingredient (or three!) that imma use once so, nor do I have the time for 20 steps to dinner on the table, so here we are.
High in protein, fiber and healthy fats, this dish will keep you full and satisfied for hours. If you try it, snap a pic and tag me @iamemilyminer and let me know what you think.
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 3 T. unsweetened almond butter (I’ve also made and enjoyed this dish with both sunflower seed butter and NuttZo)
- 3 T. red curry paste
- 1/2 t. ground coriander
- 1/4 t. ground cumin
- 1, 13.5 oz. can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 t. fish sauce
- 1 spaghetti squash
- Cooked protein of choice (chicken, turkey, pork)
- Any other veggies you want (I like broccoli and mushrooms but red bell pepper, carrot, zucchini, snap peas pair well)
- Black pepper, to taste
- Granulated monk fruit, to taste
- Healthy oil or non-stick spray for the pan
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and place it facedown on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until soft to the touch. Remove it from the oven and set aside.
- Add almond butter, curry paste, coriander and cumin to a small bowl. Mix well, then set aside.
- Slice onion and add to a large sauté pan with a small amount of oil or non-stick spray. Sauté on medium heat until translucent.
- Reduce heat, then add curry mixture to onions and stir until fragrant (the almond butter will stick and burn, so it’s important to reduce the heat and keep it moving).
- Add coconut milk to pan, then fish sauce and any veggies you want. Increase heat and mix periodically until veggies are tender.
- Add protein and heat through.
- Remove seeds from spaghetti squash. Then, scoop the squash into serving bowls. Spoon coconut curry mixture over top.
- Garnish with fresh ground black pepper and monk fruit to taste.
NOTES (a few shortcuts to consider if they help you)
- Spaghetti squash – Use bagged coleslaw mix (cabbage + carrots). Either sauté it slightly before adding it to the coconut curry mixture or allow it to sit in the mixture on low-med heat, stirring occasionally, to lessen the crunch.
- Veggies – Use frozen.
- Protein – Use rotisserie chicken or anything you have to use up in the fridge.