Thai Coconut Curry Soup Recipe - And How I Feel About Recipes

When it comes to recipes or even cooking for that matter, I don't like it. It's a tedious process that I absolutely have no interest in. I put myself into the kitchen because I have to feed myself and other people that I love. Otherwise, everyone starves. Over my dead body. My people are going to be happy and healthy. 

I would go so far as to say that when I walk into the kitchen to cook something, I am overwhelmed with a complex web of feelings akin to weariness, anger, jealousy, boredom, sadness, guilt, shame, and just an overall sense of negativity. But I have to do it. Because I believe in health, and even though I would rather be doing anything (playing with my child, taking a bubble bath, reading a book, yoga, planning a trip to Japan, talking to y'all to name a few), I know that it is not in alignment with healthy living to take out, eat out or eat prepared, processed food all the time.

Don't even get me started on recipes. 30 minutes with a 10 minute prep time? I don't think so. That translates to 2 hours with 45 minute prep time for me. And all the stuff you have to do, the machinery you need, the weird stuff you have to find. I"m like, listen lady, I don't want to be in here all day, I've got other things to do. And the washing and cleaning up afterward? I want to pull my eyebrow hairs out when I see the mess created from my misery. 

Gratefully, I know a lot about nutrition, and therefore I know what I'm cooking and why. And this helps to make this process okay. Because I know the importance of this. To help the people I love (including myself) to feel good and be nourished. This brings intention to my cooking. 

And you know what? It turns out I'm really not a bad cook sometimes. Sometimes, it turns out well. And these times, these meals (maybe because of my overall sense of accomplishment and self-congratulations, but mostly because I know there are other frustrated, busy but obsessed-with-wellness folks out there who want to get in and get out of the kitchen unscathed and no older than they were when they walked in) I'm going to share with you. 

These recipes will be done my way. No more looking back and forth between the ingredients and instructions. No more crazy equipment, I say! No more deceitful cooking and prep times! Feel the freedom here! These recipes are intentional (benefits of the nutrients included right there so you can think about that while you slave instead of what you would rather be doing, think about the qualities of the food instead, how you're intentionally loving and nourishing the people you cook for even if it's just yourself). Let's be present with the task at hand, but really, let's get in and get the hell out! We don't have all night. Or day. 

For people like me who see cooking as a means of optimal living instead of as a pleasurable hobby, let's be quick, let's be healthy and let's just do it. Use you intuition about serving sizes and ingredients. Tweak it. All the ingredients will be in bold. I will never include sea salt or pepper because I expect you to handle that yourself according to how you like it. 

So here's my first, focused on uplifting your immune system:

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Prep time: I have no idea. But not that long.

Serves: I made this so I could pass it out to friends, have it for a couple of nights to prevent any further cooking this past week. So this is a big pot batch. Adjust according to whether or not you're having a one-night stand with the soup for your family (sounds weird) or you have long-term goals with this soup. You've got to be the judge depending on how much you want to accomplish. 

Preheat oven to 350, and drain a can of chickpeas.  Place them on parchment paper to sprinkle grapeseed oil and sprinkle sea salt and pepper on top of them, mix 'em all up on top of that parchment paper. Chickpeas are a high-fiber food so they lower blood sugar and maintain heart health, also increases satiation; vitamin K (helps absorption of calcium and reduces calcium excretion), iron and zinc (both help production of collagen), magnesium and calcium together help bone structure and strength; 

Start your stupid chopping: 6 cloves of garlic, a piece of ginger the size of a small thumb (sorry that's not appetizing, and a little weird), a few handfuls of crimini mushrooms, 3 or 4 carrots (depending on how much you like them), 3 or 4 zucchinis, about 5 or 6 leaves of kale. Think these happy thoughts while you chop: Garlic contains substance allicin, which is a free radical scavenger; it also stimulates production of immune cells and is cleansing for the blood. Ginger helps with the digestion and reduces bloating; its main benefit is that it is anti-inflammatory (down-regulates cytokines - messengers responsible for inflammatory response). Crimini mushrooms have beta-glucans and other proteins which stimulate your first-line immunity. Zucchini is just a smorgasboard of happy nutrients like vitamin C, zinc, manganese and B-6. Carrots' star ingredient is vitamin A which again, stimulates the production of T and B cells (immunity cells) and also gives the skin clarity and a nice healthy glow while it's at it. 

Maybe the oven is preheated, and it's time to roast the chickpeas? I say give them about 30-40 minutes. Maybe even 45. Just check on them sometimes. 

Melt 3 tbsp. of coconut oil at the bottom of a big ole spaghetti pot. Maybe more, you be the judge. First put in the garlic for a minute, then add the ginger, then the mushrooms. Let all that cook for a little bit. Then it's on to the zucchini and carrots. The liquid will ease on out of the abundance of vegetables in your pot..you'll have a little stew going. Now add that kale. Let all of these veggies go on and cook for about 10 minutes or so. Just look at them. Let the zucchini show whether they've gotten enough cooking. Coconuts are so freaking wonderful. They have something called monolactin which is anti-microbial (fights viruses, bacteria and even fungi). Also they contain medium-chain fatty acids which cannot be stored so they are turned to energy so they're energizing too. 

Now you've got to add your spices to make this thing ethnic. Mix in 1 + 1/2  tbsp. of yellow curry (I bought it at the store, sorry I'm not getting into all that), 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. of coriander, 1/2 tsp. turmeric. Add these babies to the pot and mix it all up. I'm being conservative here so you might want to add more spice in, depending on how Indian you want to make this stuff. Might be a good time to refer to the people you're cooking for? Even if that's you. You can always add but you can't subtract. Turmeric acts like ginger, is even more anti-inflammatory in my opinion because of a substance called curcumin. 

Check on the chickpeas maybe.

Now add a whole carton of vegetable broth. And have an extra one on hand in case it all evaporates and your prefer brothy soups over creamy.  Stir it up (only thing I like about cooking really). Rinse a few handfuls of green lentils and drop them in there. Lentils have a bunch of folate (DNA synthesis and repair), and are great for some good dietary fiber too. They have protein and iron for those of us who don't eat a whole lot of meat. 

Chickpeas?

Now you have to let it cook for 15 minutes. Then you add a whole carton of coconut milk. Have another one on hand in case you like creamy type soups over the brothy. I let that all cook together, and here's where I added my sea salt and fresh pepper. I let some liquid evaporate, and then put more coconut milk in because I'm a creamy person.

Voila! Let it cool a little bit, and put it in your jars or bowls or whatever. If enjoying now, sprinkle some of your tasty chickpeas in there. Or store them if you have those long-term plans. 

Here's what the evil mess it looks like:

No I did not apply a filter to this picture. It really does look this bad. But be brave because as you know, it's really good for you and tastes really good! I promise. Just try it. Things aren't always what they seem. I know you're impressed with my savvy photography too.