Thursday, August 25, 2011

Green Curry & Quinoa

I have been eating a lot of quinoa lately.  It's a powerful grain, high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals.   Quinoa is nutty with a delicate fluffy grain texture that cooks quickly.   And due to its wild popularity in the last 18 months, there are a zillion recipes out there for it.  But I decided on a whim to replace my usual brown rice with quinoa in my green curry and it turned out to be an ahhhhhmazing combination.

I never used to like things like green curry.  I always thought it was strictly for Indian cuisine, and that it would be crazy spicy.  In actuality it is a term used in many different cuisines, with my favorite being Thai, who's curry is based with creamy coconut milk.

When I lived in Philadelphia, there was a local Thai restaurant in Manayunk that my roommates almost exclusively ate at.  Chabaa is a beautiful and tasty little spot (and byob!).   My go to dish was one of the pad thai's, usually with jumbo lump crab, which was wonderful, but I had no idea what I was missing until three years ago when I had my first green curry! (Chabba pictures courtesy of

My husband and I were lucky enough to spend the summer traveling in Thailand and Cambodia 3 years ago.  I surprisingly became obsessed with the green curry!  In fact, my love of green curry was so strong that while honeymooning in Bali last summer, we made a quick trip up to Koh Lanta, Thailand solely partially because of my green curry obsession. 

Since then Chris and I have been experimenting with our own light and healthy version.  This recipe is pretty basic*, and changes due to what fresh ingredients you have in your fridge, freezer or pantry.   For vegetables, you can use almost anything of your liking- broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, bamboo shoots, asparagus, etc.  This recipe is also extra healthy because I used low-fat coconut milk, brown sugar splenda and quinoa instead of white or brown rice.


1 cup of quinoa
14 oz (1 can) low fat coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons of green curry paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/3 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons brown sugar splenda
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Thai basil, thinly chopped plus extra for garnish


It is a really good idea to rinse your quinoa before you cook it.  Quinoa seeds have a unique coating called saponin that will taste bitter if not removed. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa grain well under cold running water.

In a sauce pan, bring to a boil 2 cups of water and the rinsed quinoa.  Cover and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.

In a large sauce pan, simmer coconut milk and stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of green curry over medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Add fish sauce, brown sugar, thai basil, mushrooms, red peppers and peas.  Let simmer for 10 minutes uncovered and serve in a bowl over quinoa.  Garnish with extra Thai basil.

*This recipe is actually vegetarian because I was too hungry to wait for chicken to defrost and didn't have any frozen shrimp in the freezer.  But you can add chicken, tofu, pork or shrimp if you like!

Enjoy!  Follow me on Twitter @CheesePlease531


  1. I am a sucker for curry too!!! (Being that I am one of those roommates that ate exclusively at Chabaa for years ;-) ) I love the idea of quinoa instead of rice!! Will def have to try.

  2. Natie and I made this last night - we LOVED it!!

  3. Nice!! So glad you guys liked it! :)

  4. im not a familiar of that kind of dish but it makes me interesting..

    thank you for this post ;)..

  5. I made this the other day and i don't usually like green curry but this was great.

  6. Alee, so glad you gave this a shot! It's one of my favorite dishes!

  7. I'm about to make a Green Curry for dinner. I found a bag of Quinoa in my pantry and wanted to see if I could mesh it into my dish somehow. Then I came across this article! This dish sounds great. Thanks for posting! I'll definitely be making this tonight! :)