This one is all about speed and flavour. How quickly can one whip up a super healthy midweek dinner that’s packed with deliciousness? It turns out, pretty quickly actually. Normally, I’m all for making your own curry pastes but during the week it’s just not going to happen, so I found the best Thai Red curry paste I could and used it to great effect. Get it cooking, add the squash then let it blip away for a few minutes whilst you get yourself in post-work relaxation mode (Read, chase toddler around house attempting to explain the benefits of eating dinner as opposed to climbing on radiators or sticking stickers onto every visible surface).
Like so many others, I’m really keen to cut down on the amount of meat I eat, so I’m experimenting with veggie or vegan dishes that are really healthy, seasonal and still loaded with plenty of protein. You’d be amazed at how much of the stuff is contained in brassicas like purple sprouting, which incidentally is one of the best ingredients on planet Earth! Peanuts have tons too, so this curry delivers 20 grams of delicious vegan protein.
Keeping things extra seasonal, any manner of pumpkins or squashes would work in this dish. We’re currently inundated with butternut squash on our allotment in Stroud, so that’s what I used this time. Be sure to make the most of the tasty seeds inside and toast them up alongside the peanuts, for added texture and protein. A great big thank you to Nigel Slater for the inspiration for this dish, as always his recipes are beyond brilliant so make sure at least one of his books makes it into your collection.
Serves 2 on its own – 4 if accompanied by sides.
Ingredients 1.5 tbsps groundnut oil 1 medium squash (go larger if serving 4), peeled & chopped into 1cm chunks 2 tbsps red curry paste (1) 2 tsps curry powder (as hot as you prefer) 400ml coconut milk (regular or light) 60g unsalted peanuts 1tsp soy sauce 125g purple sprouting broccoli, thick stems halved. Juice of 1 lime Handful of chopped coriander
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan on high heat. Add squash and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly. Add the paste and powder and stir thoroughly, then add the coconut milk and bring to boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and partially cover.
2. In a dry frying pan, toast the peanuts (and squash seeds if using) until charred. Then roughly chop.
3. After about 20 minutes, the squash should be tender (if not, cook until it is). Add soy sauce and broccoli to pan and cover fully, cook for 3-4 minutes. Squeeze in lime juice then ladle into warm bowls. Top with nuts/seeds and coriander. Serve.
(1) Blue Dragon Thai Red Curry Paste is a really good store-cupboard go-to. It’s got tons of authentic Thai flavours in it, but skips the fish sauce or shrimp paste, meaning vegans get to enjoy it too. It’s won a Great Taste Award, which in my eyes is a surefire way of judging the quality of a product. After trying so many different award winners, I’m very happy to put my faith in the Great Taste judges, they really know their stuff.