Vegan Thai Coconut Curry marries the best of warm fall comfort food with the last of the summer vegetables. It’s vegan/plant-based, gluten-free, and simple enough for weeknights. The weather is cooling down, and I am all about warm, comforting one-pot meals. I’m starting the fall season off with the perfect transition dish: Vegan Thai Coconut Curry. Aromatic flavors, spice, and substance will warm you up on a cold day, but you can still use the contents of your CSA basket or farmer’s market haul. Did I mention how easy this dish is? With minimal prep, this is on the table in about 20 minutes.
As I’ve tried to incorporate more vegetarian and vegan meals into our diet, I keep falling back on Thai red curry dishes. Red curry paste, garlic, and coconut milk turn into a great base for quick curry dishes! Throw in some veggies, tofu, mushrooms, and you’ve got yourself an easy, one-pot meal. On our non-vegetarian days, chicken or shrimp get added to the mix, as well. I’ve even made Thai Pumpkin Soup using these ingredients, and the flavors are wonderful.
This recipe is a great starting point for anyone experimenting with red curry and coconut flavors. Change the vegetables, change the protein, add some hot peppers, or add some ginger (which I left out because I did not have any. Sigh). Anything goes. If you want more of a broth, add some water. Similarly, if you want to reduce the fat content, substitute some of the coconut milk with water or veggie broth. I’ve been on a “leafy greens” kick, using them in practically everything, and I was so happy with the outcome in this dish. Whatever you choose, you’re almost guaranteed to end up with a flavorful and easy dinner.
Vegan Thai Coconut Curry is bold, flavorful, plant-based/vegan, and easy. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner.
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Vegan Thai Coconut Curry
Vegan Thai Coconut Curry marries the best of warm fall comfort food with the last of the summer vegetables. It's vegan/plant-based, gluten-free, and simple enough for weeknights.
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1-2 tbsp vegan Thai red curry paste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz can coconut milk
- 1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into large bite sized pieces
- 2 large bunches roughly chopped leafy greens (I used half kale, half Swiss chard)
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
Before starting, prepare the tofu. Place a towel or 2-3 paper towels on a plate, and place the tofu on top. Put a plate on top of the tofu, and then place a heavy object on top of the plate. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes to let some of the moisture drain out. The step can be done earlier in the day, or the night before.
Once the tofu is pressed, cut it into cubes. First cut it in half through the shortest width. Keeping the two halves stacked together, slice the tofu into quarters in each direction. This will yield 32 approximately equally sized tofu cubes. Set aside.
In a large (12" or more) skillet (cast iron, nonstick, or regular), heat coconut oil over medium-high heat until melted. Add 1 tbsp curry paste and garlic, and stir to combine. If you like spicier curry, you can add an extra tbsp curry paste.
When the curry mixture becomes fragrant (after 1-2 minutes), add the coconut milk and stir well to combine. Add tomatoes and peppers to the pan, stir, and cook for about 2-3 minutes until tomatoes begin to soften.
Carefully add the leafy greens to the pan. When the greens begin to wilt, gently stir the mixture, trying to bring more of the greens in contact with the sauce. This will be easier to do once the greens have cooked down a little bit. Cook for about 7-10 minutes until the greens have fully wilted and lost their vibrant green color.
Add the tofu and gently stir to coat the tofu with some of the sauce. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 more minutes.
To serve, ladle the curried vegetable and tofu mixture on top of a bowl of white or brown rice.
Calorie count is approximate, with the recipe using 1 tbsp curry paste, and does not include rice.