Thai green curry

August 22, 2015

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the beauty of imperfection. I’ve written about this before – specifically about the Japanese practice of wabi-sabi – that is, of finding and embracing beauty in flaws and imperfection. And then recently, a friend told me that Mennonite women deliberately stitch errors into their quilting because they say, only God is perfect.

That perfection is neither possible nor even desirable, is such a beautiful and consoling concept. It’s worth repeating and embracing. I have a note on my bulletin board that reminds me to be grateful, to think about deliberate happiness, to consider the concept of consistent, principled altruism, to remember that EVERYONE needs love, and now, there’s a new note….”embrace imperfection.” And I don’t mean just embrace imperfection in things – but in people – in nature – in art – and in myself.

I haven’t been blogging as much lately and not because I haven’t been cooking. I have. In fact, I’ve been cooking a lot. For one thing, my eldest daughter and I catered a party last week – a dinner party of finger food – lamb sliders with onion mint chutney, Vietnamese tofu spring rolls with spicy dipping sauce, vegetables with a spinach pesto dip, a charcuterie platter, and homemade baby sausage rolls served with chipotle mustard. For dessert – individual tiramisus and mini chocolate truffle cakes. We didn’t manage to take a single photograph! Somehow we were just too busy.

But the fact is, I’m in my kitchen all the time. Sometimes, like last week, I simply forget to take photographs. Sometimes I take really lousy photographs or the food is just not photogenic. Iced pink cupcakes are a lot prettier than vegan curries. And too, sometimes I wonder what is truly worth blogging about.

My daughter introduced me to this fragrant, coconut milk infused, velvety smooth yet hot, Thai green curry. And I’ve made it myself since. It’s a perfect vegan dinner. If you’re not vegan or you don’t like tofu – you can substitute chicken or just leave the tofu out and add more vegetables. I just can’t seem to get a photograph that does this dish justice. I’m not skilled enough with a camera or props. And while I respect the art of photography and staging food shots – I do sometimes wonder if staging food and adulterating images isn’t a bit like the staging and photoshopping women (or men, for that matter) – creating a form of non-existent perfection. This is not a slight to my fellow bloggers more talented than me at photography – I admire those photographs so much. But I sometimes try things from magazines and sites like Pinterest that look absolutely divine and are so incredibly ordinary in real life. Possibly I’m just making excuses for my own lack of skill in the photography arena.

Time to embrace imperfection. The kitchen is a very imperfect place. Sometimes it’s a large mess. Sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes the very best things really look quite ordinary but you know the moment that first taste hits your tongue that the combination of flavours is sublime. Make the curry. Embrace the imperfection…

Thai Green Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print
  • 1 pkg (425 g) firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  •  2 -3 tbsp Green Curry Paste – make your own or buy a commercial brand like Thai Kitchen
  • 3 small to medium zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 14 oz can (398 mL can) coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable stock
  • 1 cup green beans, halved
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice

Preparation

Cut the tofu into small cubes – really whatever size you like. Slice the zucchini into rounds. Wash and trim the green beans.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the curry paste and salt, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and vegetable stock; bring to boil.

Add cubed tofu, sliced zucchini, and green beans. Reduce heat and simmer until the zucchini and green beans are tender – about 10-12 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. It may require a little extra green curry paste depending on what brand you’re using and how hot you like things.

Add lime juice and cilantro and serve with steamed rice.

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply Elly August 24, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Cute post 🙂 Liked the shout-out about Laura’s party – all the food there was fantastic! You should post the sausage role recipe sometime!

  • Reply Hilda August 25, 2015 at 12:47 am

    I love green curries and this is such a good and straightforward recipe. Thanks for posting.

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske August 25, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Thanks Hilda – I planted zucchini and cilantro in my garden this year. As you know my garden is small but it’s amazing how productive such a small space can be and I love being able to make meals from it. Nice to see you here! 😉

  • Reply Suzan August 25, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Lindy,
    It was a pleasure to meet you in person at the party last Saturday! Love this thoughtful post about embracing imperfections — it’s such a difficult thing to do. This Thai green curry looks like a must-make (as do all the recipes on your lovely blog). I have your sweet potato lasagna bookmarked too.
    Cheers,
    Suzan

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske August 26, 2015 at 10:05 am

      Suzan – I’m so glad you wrote. What a huge pleasure to meet you and what a fantastic conversation that was. I’m still thinking about it. I was trying to figure out how to get in touch with you and am thrilled you wrote. Thank you!
      I can tell you have the same taste in food as I do – because the sweet potato lasagna is my favourite.
      I hope we cross paths again, and soon. Lindy

  • Reply Amanda | What's Cooking August 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Lindy, this recipe seems so tasty. And I do agree that it’s much easier to photograph pink cupcakes than meat, but it’s an art like any other. I have learned that good cooking is better than good blogging. I cannot stop thinking about you lately. We are on vacation in Maine and I keep bumping into great cooks and gardeners who wouldn’t dream of blogging as if it were a skill. The cabin we are staying in is owned by a woman who is deep into pickling season and keeps bringing me veggies. They better I seem to get at something the further from perfect I become. It’s like an inverse law. I think I’m thinking of you because we are up north again. I also an about to order your book. I’m so glad to hear you’re cooking and catering with your daughter and so on the moment that there are no photos to show it. I hope you’re having a great summer. Xoxo

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske August 26, 2015 at 10:03 am

      I hope you’re loving every moment of your precious time off Amanda. Maine is gorgeous. Love the coast and the woods and all the history and of course, Baxter State Park. And Moby Dick too!
      So appreciate your thoughtful, intelligent comment – and yes – the old inverse law that the more we know – the more we know that we don’t know. Or as you say – the further from perfect. I think that’s exactly where I am – feeling like I haven’t kept up with the necessity of improving my own skills. Particularly when it comes to photography. Time to do something about that.
      Savour the last moments of summer Amanda. xox

  • Reply Anita Kushwaha August 27, 2015 at 10:18 am

    This looks amazing! I haven’t tackled a Thai curry yet but this gives me confidence. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske August 27, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Anita – it’s so easy and surprisingly delicious given the simplicity of the ingredients. It’s LOVELY to see you here and thank you again. I can’t wait til we meet in person sometime when book tours allow! 😉

      • Reply Anita Kushwaha August 27, 2015 at 10:29 am

        It’s always a treat to visit your site. I’m looking forward to meeting too and best of luck with your book launch! Exciting times! 🙂

  • Reply Lynz Real Cooking September 15, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Very nice recipe and easy to follow! I have never seen this type of curry before! Lovely post!

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