I have to admit I do not have an ethnic cooking bone in my body. My mother, a Scottish immigrant and my father, whose family landed in New England shortly after the Mayflower, cooked wholesome food but with not much flair or flavor. We had your typical Chinese food and that was the extent of our ethnic diversity. When I left home for college, I didn’t even know that other international food existed. I was not even exposed to these until years later when my culinary journey continued as did our travels and meeting people from different countries. I still struggle with cooking international food, but decided that I would give it a try every once in a while. The recipes that I come up with might make any purist or those who grew up on that specific international cuisine cringe, but for me I try to introduce at least some of the flavors to my family and develop recipes so they taste good to me.
I have been wanting to experiment with red and green curry for a while. I have used yellow curry and I like it. My husband is not a huge fan of Indian food so I do not cook it very often. I picked up a bottle, of Thai Kitchen, red curry paste, did a little research on the ingredients, and came up with what I thought were complementary flavors and ingredients. To me tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash would be lovely with it. I also decided to make this dish with ground bison as well as additional chickpeas. It could easily be made vegetarian by omitting the bison and adding at least double the chickpeas. If you are paleo, then omit the chickpeas and double the ground bison.
We had a lucky guest on this experimental cooking night, something I try not to do, test new recipes on un expecting dinner visitors. Luckily it was a nice surprise, and we both loved it. My husband, still was not a huge fan, but had two bowls, and but two of the three kids loved it as well. My husband complained it didn’t have any green, he detests cilantro, and I feel like the cilantro and plain yogurt just made the dish. I am sure I could have used thai basil and that would have been nice substitute for the cilantro.
So my chef and health coach tip for the day, push your flavor palette, and make something different at home. This dish is a great example of a wonderful international flavors, loaded with seasonal vegetables, and a nice change to the food I cook at home everyday. Remember this meal is easily adapted to be vegetarian, vegan, paleo, and gluten free. Send me a message if you have any questions!
- 1.5 pounds ground bison
- 1 onion, very small dice
- 4 carrots, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- 1 butternut squash, diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 - 32 ounce container vegetable or beef broth
- 5 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- plain yogurt
- cilantro, chopped
- pinch cayenne pepper, (optional)
- In a large sauté pan, over medium-low heat, sweat onions and carrots for 5-7 minutes until they start to soften. Add ground bison and brown until cooked. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the squash, sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, curry paste, broth, tomato paste, salt and pepper and chickpeas, simmer on low for 30 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Stirring occasionally About 5-10 minutes before the end of the cooking time add coconut milk. If your chick peas are fully cooked (canned) then add them now as well. If you like more spice you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Serve alone or over your choice or rice or grain, with cilantro and plain yogurt.