Hey all of you wonderful people, Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were full of significant connections with the people who matter most in your lives.
We are deep into cold temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest. The thermometer is dipping low. This hearty vegetable rich, whole30 Butternut Squash Thai Curry Stew has been appearing and reappearing at our table.
I’m onboard with the January whole30/2018 for my second round. My first whole30 was January 2015 and because of what I learned about how this body of mine works, it has benefited me to stay close to that protocol. A bit about my history, I came to whole30 from years of eating a plant-based diet with whole grains and beans being at the center of every meal. I even used to make my own tofu (it’s delicious btw and beats the heck out of that store-bought stuff). My husband and I were vegan for many years, then branched out to include some animal based protein but only to supplement a mostly plant-based diet. However, as we aged we sensed a need for more protein and less grain and I was beginning to feel some digestive issues occurring. Also, every year my lipid profile would spike a bit more even when recommended dietary adjustments were made. Enter whole30 2015 which revolutionized my thinking about what a healthy meal looks like. Since then my lipid profile and digestive issues have stabilized and improved. Other potentially inflammatory conditions also have improved.
Here’s the thing though…if you’re doing the Whole30 coming from a vegan background like I did, it’s so important to LISTEN to your body. I recommend gradually adding meat, as in smaller quantities at first.
I dove into the first round determined to do everything by the book but 2 weeks in, it felt like too much meat for us. We’d push away from the table feeling very heavy and looking at each other thinking how come we’re not feeling great? Well, for us and our background we were eating too much meat too soon. It took me 3 weeks to get into a rhythm that included the right ratio of protein to veggies for each meal. It is very individual, so listen to your body and find what works for you. And it changes from one season to the next too. So please people stay close to the whole30 rules by all means, but at the same time listen to your body. Everyone is different. To this day, we still need a large ratio of veggies to animal protein. Salads (with protein) are the bomb on a regular basis. Greens, greens. and more greens keep coming and try your best to mix them up. Okay. I’m off my soapbox for now. Also, make these salad dressings and have them on hand. Game changer.
Soup or stew (in this case) makes a great opportunity to get more veggies in and this is loaded. You can easily make this vegan by omitting the fish sauce and using veggie broth. Our favorite way to enjoy this stew is to top it with seared scallops or add leftover roasted chicken. But by all means, serve it without, with some protein and a salad on the side. It’s absolutely yummy and easy to make.
You can also serve the stew over cauliflower rice with scallops and a salad as a bowl meal.
Below freezing temperatures are hitting the US all over the place. This stew is wonderful for warming you right down to the bone while tasting deliciously Thai. Stay tuned for more warming and hearty recipes coming to you soon…all whole30 compliant.
Until next time,
Butternut Squash Thai Curry Stew (serves 4-6)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon each of minced fresh ginger and garlic
1 tablespoon red curry paste (Thai Kitchen has no sugar)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 1/2 cups peeled and cubed (in 1-2 inch pieces) butternut squash
1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrots
1 cup chopped crimini mushrooms
2 cups small broccoli florets
1/2 teaspoon Red Boat fish sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (read your labels if store-bought)
1 can full fat coconut milk
fresh lime juice
Directions: In a 6 quart soup pot heat coconut oil on medium heat until melted and shimmering. Add ginger, garlic, red curry paste and turmeric. Stir and saute for 1 minute. Still on medium heat, mix in the cubed butternut squash, stirring to coat with the ginger curry mixture. Cover and saute on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. The squash should begin to smell deliciously fragrant.
Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt, fish sauce (if using), carrots, mushrooms and broth. Bring to a boil, turn to low and cover. Cook until squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add broccoli florets, and coconut milk. Cook until broccoli is bright green and tender, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with the juice of 1/2 lime and coconut aminos, or more sea salt, if needed.
Option to top with seared scallops, or add leftover roasted chicken to make it a meal in a bowl.