Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thai Red Curry Chicken

Thai Red Curry

I'm just going to not talk about my lack of frequent posting today and instead talk about yoga.  Just for a quick change of pace, and because this dinner was eaten at 10 pm so that I could go to yoga before I ate.  I'm lucky the Monkey Scientist grew up in a household where they almost always eat late dinners because this is becoming a more and more frequent occurrence for us, especially since my Tuesday and Thursday yoga classes are at 8.

Thai Red Curry

Like this blog, my yoga journey started in DC.  When I was living in DC for my "intern summer" (my DC readers know what I'm talking about), I was working in a government affairs lobbying office on F Street for a huge IT company.  My family friends have always been huge into yoga, but I'd never been to a real class of my own.  I discovered this amazing yoga studio in Dupont Circle that I would walk to once or twice a week for class.  More importantly, I discovered a yoga teacher who was patient and wise and made me leave with such a sense of calm and happiness that I had never felt in any other type of exercise.  I dragged others to her class with me and enjoyed it all summer long.

I moved back to Michigan at the end of the summer to finish school and tried a yoga class here and there.  In January, I moved back to DC to find that my yoga teacher was off on a long journey that would eventually bring her to settle in Costa Rica.  My yoga studio had been turned into a nail salon (like seemingly many storefronts in DC).  I tried a few other studios, but they were so crowded that I didn't feel the personal centering I had felt before. And then I joined Stroga.

Thai Red Curry

Stroga is meant to bring together strength and yoga.  Instead, I felt like it pulled them apart for me.  When I was going there, there was a big divide between the "strength people" who did group fitness classes and the "yoga people".  We were on different floors and there didn't seem to be a lot of overlap between people taking the different classes.  And so I got really into group fitness.  I learned to love (and hate) kettlebells, medicine balls, and TRX.  And I never ventured down to the yoga floor - in fact I kind of drew away from yoga.  By the time the infamous NY Times article came out, I was done with yoga.  Me and my kettlebells had moved on.

And then I moved to Chicago.  I was dying to join a studio with group fitness classes, like Stroga had been for me in DC.  There is actually a studio that's really similar to Stroga right across the street from my house, but I couldn't justify spending hundreds of dollars per month on a gym membership.  So I joined the regular gym across the street (for less than $40 per month) and tried to bring everything I'd learned at Stroga to my own gym routine.  I saw yoga classes on the schedule, but until I had a big push from my roommate, I had no interest.  But he pushed me, and I'm glad he did.

Thai Red Curry

I am so lucky that yoga at my gym is wonderful.  I've been to what I call "gym yoga" classes at other gyms where they push you and don't correct you, and I think these are the types of injury-laden classes the NY Times was talking about.  Even though one of our weekly classes is yoga sculpt, our wonderful instructors correct me constantly and have pushed me far beyond any limits I felt before.  In fact, my yoga sculpt class is where I am CONSTANTLY being yelled at to plug my shoulders into my back, which has improved my arms stands and head stands tremendously.

So I'm back into yoga.  I feel like I'm getting a lot stronger from it and I'm starting to find that peace of mind back that brought me to love yoga in the first place.  Still, some weeks, I have no interest in going. But others I find myself on the mat three times a week.  For someone who has never been big into working out, that's huge for me.  It makes me earn this curry dish.  With regular coconut milk.

Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry Chicken
from Eat, Live, Run

1 tbsp coconut oil
1″ knob ginger, peeled and grated
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
3 tbsp red curry paste
3 cups coconut milk, light or regular
1 1/2 cups water
2 baby bok choy, chopped
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped snow peas
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and julienned or diced into 1/4″ thick pieces
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
cooked rice or quinoa for serving

1. In a dutch oven over medium high heat, melt the coconut oil.
2. Add the grated ginger and saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Don't let it start to brown.
3. Throw in the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is seared on all sides but not cooked through.  Add the curry paste and continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes.
4. Pour in the water and coconut milk (be sure to shake or stir the coconut milk before adding) along with the bok choy, bell pepper, snow peas, and sweet potatoes.  Bring to a boil.
5.  Once boiling, add the sugar, fish sauce, lime, and salt.  Turn the heat down to medium or low and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Serve over rice or quinoa.


Garden Chef said...

Looks like I'm going to give this a try! Got you from Someday Crafts link up.

dani said...

Thanks for coming by! Definitely give it a try - it's an easy and wonderful weeknight dish!

Miz Helen said...

I am going to make this for my daughter she is a big Thai Fan, it looks awesome! Thank you very much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
Come Back Soon,
Miz Helen