lil vegan kitchen

creamy coconut curry with tofu and veggies

Before the recipe – gluten/body update!

About a month and a half ago I decided that it would be good to get an official diagnosis – if I was a Celiac, that would be it and I would know. If not, I needed to figure out what was going on with my body.

Getting an appointment with a specialist is Hong Kong is a painful experience. It is great because it is cheap/free if you go to the government and public hospitals, but it can take FOREVER to get an appointment.  I hurt my wrist in December 2012, made an appointment in January 2013, and my appointment (which I no longer need) is NEXT MONTH.

57 week wait!

57 week wait!

Anyway, to get an appointment with any specialist, you first need to get a general doctor to give you a referral. Then you have to go in person to one or more hospitals to make the appointment for some date in the far off future.

At the end of November/early December, I had just about had it with my stomach. I was eating GF and preparing pretty much everything I ate, but was still experiencing pain and bloating on a weekly basis. So, I went to a doctor, got a referral, and went to make an appointment with a surgical doctor, who I have to see before seeing a gastroenterologist. That appointment is in May. I know that sounds far away, but I cannot tell you how lucky I was to get it. I went to one hospital where the earliest appointment was December 2015!!

In the meantime, Matt found a blood test that I could take at home. Sadly, this meant that I would I have to eat gluten for 6+ weeks, which I had decided I would start at the end of our Japan trip (Ramen! BEER!).

However, this past weekend I had some gluten Saturday afternoon (corn tortillas that were not GF) and I was out for the count for all of Saturday night.

I have come to realize that there is never a six-week block where it is convenient for me to be uncomfortable all of the time.  So, as of now, the home test is off. Still planning on keeping the May appointment and going in, but who knows what can be done before I leave 2 months later.

Update over.

This last Christmas, I met Matt’s family for the first time (apart from his dad and his fiancé who I had met before I moved over here). Grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, mom, brother. The works.

One of his grandmas was very thoughtful and bought me “The 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes for Your Vegan Kitchen” by Kelly E. Keough. I ended up making the lentil loaf as my Christmas dinner dish, and I really enjoyed it!

This past weekend, I decided I wanted a creamy curry, so settled on the book’s “Cool Chic Coconut Curry”.

Curry veggies

I fleshed it out by doubling the tofu and adding in a bunch of veggies (it only called for onion). I also substituted full fat coconut milk for lite (because it is just so much better), added chili powder, and upped the amounts of the other spices and oil.

My first reaction to this dish was that it was fine. I was eating it for lunch at school when it dawned on me what was missing – CHUTNEY.

Chutney

After school, I went to the store and picked up chutney and chilli pickle, and now I am very pleased with the dish. If you don’t want the pickle, that is fine (it is really good though), but I strongly recommend you buy chutney you like. Or make one! I have not done so yet, but I have a few recipes in my arsenal that I have been meaning to try.

Weighing out my saffron purchase

This dish calls for saffron. Last winter when we were in India, I picked up a bunch because it is so pricy at the markets here and it was so cheap there. If you don’t want to spend the money, the dish it still good. There is already a lot going on flavor wise, it is not absolutely necessary.

Curry spices

Creamy Coconut Curry with Tofu and Veggies

Serves 5

  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cardamom pods or ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 large onion, chopped and then puréed
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 packages of tofu, pressed and cubed (have done before starting to cook)
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin coins
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1 large yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 medium stalk broccoli, chopped
  • 400 ml full fat coconut milk
  • 6 strands of saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp water
  • ¾ cup uncooked rice (I used brown jasmine)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used quite a lot – did not measure, so not included in nutrition info)
  • cilantro (for garnish)
  • chutney

Directions:

  1. Cook your rice according to the instructions.
  2. Chop and purée your onion.
  3. Cut up your peppers, broccoli and carrots. Put them and the cubed tofu to the side.
  4. Heat up the oil in a large pot using medium heat. Put in the bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and clove. Sauté for a couple minutes, stirring often.
  5. Add the puréed onion. Stir in the spice-oil mix and let cook for a minute or two.
  6. Stir in the agave, fennel seeds, cumin, garam masala and chili powder. Cook for two or three minutes.
    Onion and spices
  7. Add in the tofu, broccoli, peppers and carrots. Mixed thoroughly and let cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add in the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then let it simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tofu has broken down, the sauce has thickened and the veggies are cooked to your liking.
  9. Season with salt, pepper and saffron.
  10. Take out the bay leaf and cardamom pods (if you used them and not powder). If you cannot find the pods, just keep an eye out while you are eating.
  11. Serve with cilantro, chutney and rice.

Curry and rice

Nutrition Info: (does not include cilantro, chutney, salt, pepper)

  • Calories: 473
  • Fat: 27.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.1 g
  • Sodium: 78 mg
  • Carbs: 44.9 g
  • Sugar: 12.6 g
  • Protein: 12.3 g

The Breakdown: 

  • Curry: 1½ cups
  • Rice: 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp

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