I don’t eat out a lot. I use to love to eat out, and I would frequent Asian restaurants. My favorite Asian foods include coconut curries and Vietnamese pho. Sadly however, eating out means consuming highly inflammatory fats like canola oil and soybean oil. For this reason, I prefer to cook my own foods so I can better control the ingredients I consume.
Vegetable oils such as soy, corn, canola and sunflower oils have a unhealthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are known to be inflammatory. Where as omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory. It is recommended that we ingest foods with an omega 6:omega 3 ratio close to 1:1. However due to the high amount of vegetable oils Americans consume, we are eating a ratio closer to 20:1. This skewed ratio in favor of omega-6’s puts our body in a constant state of chronic inflammation which over time causes skin issues, weight gain, digestive problems, and other diseases.
Better choices for oils include expeller pressed coconut oil and avocado oil, or animal fats like tallow, lard, and duck fat.
Instead of completely missing out on a lot of great flavors from delicious Asian cuisine, I have tried to find ways to make healthier versions of restaurant dishes. Mine are made with healthier oils and are free of sugar.
A traditional Thai red curry has a some ingredients that are not common in your typical US grocery store. My recipe is prepared using commonly found ingredients, yet still yields a flavorful dish.
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2-3 T. coconut oil divided
- 1 4” piece lemongrass
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 seeded jalapeño (adjust the amount according to heat tolerance)
- 1 1/2 red bell peppers sliced divided
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ medium onion sliced
- 2 inch piece of ginger
- 1 t. cumin powder
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 T. tamari or coconut aminos (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 t. fish sauce
- 1 1/2 t. alternative sweetener (I used granulated Monk Fruit)
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 T. Thai basil (optional)
1. Slice chicken into thin slices about 1/4 in thick (I partially freeze the chicken so it is easier to slice).
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to a heavy skillet and add sliced onion and half of the sliced bell pepper. Sauce until onion and bell pepper have softened.
3. Add chicken to skillet. Sauté until chicken is mostly cooked. Remove peppers, onion and chicken from pan and set aside.
3. Place the lemongrass, jalapeno, the rest of the bell pepper, garlic, ginger and 1 T melted coconut oil into a blender and blend until a smooth paste. Add the remaining coconut oil if needed to help blend.
4. Add paste into the skillet with cumin powder and fry for 1 -2 minutes until fragrant.
5. Add chicken back into skillet with tamari and fish sauce. Stir to combine.
6. Add coconut milk, sweetener and chicken broth and simmer until chicken is fully cooked.
7. In the last minute of cooking, add basil if desired.
Serve with cauliflower rice.
Makes 4 servings