Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coconut Green Curry with Pork Chops

I am pretty obsessed with coconut. How awesome can one food be in both taste and health benefits? I've found a way to get coconut into a good portion of my meals and snacks these days. I'm using more coconut oil in cooking than ever before, for one. Unsweetened shreds are now a staple in breakfasts like oatmeal and sweet potatoes, as well as my Living Fuel "puddings" (using the protein power and/or superberry powder and/or supergreens powder mixed with cocoa powder too).

One thing I've been dying to try but something that was sort of intimidating to me is a full-meal coconut curry dish. Last week I decided to just go for it, partly after being inspired by a green curry on Side note: Did I mention I'm obsessed with that website? Check it out if you haven't. They compile some amazing recipes on there - anything you can imagine, all healthy but yummy. Many are Paleo-inspired, and most just encompass smart health and nutrition very akin to how we eat.

So after looking at few green curry recipes I just went for it doing my own thing based on the ingredients I had or what looked good and fresh at the market! I used spaghetti squash as "the carb" of the meal, instead of rice or noodles, making it healthier without inflammatory/starchy carbs, plus the higher fat content you won't be left feeling hungry after eating this!

All in all this was actually a million times easier to make than expected. I did this right after a trainer session on Saturday night (after showering of course) and I was pretty hungry at that point, so I wanted to prepare the meal as fast as possible; it surprisingly was easy to do so.

Coconut Green Curry with Pork Chops

Finished curry. Chops not pictured (see below for that).

1/2 large eggplant or 1 medium eggplant chopped into ~1" cubes
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4" slices
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery root, in 1/2" to 1" cubes
1 handful Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
2 handfuls cilantro, coarsely chopped
3-4 tbsp green curry paste (I used ~1/2 jar of "Thai Kitchen" brand**)
1 can coconut milk*
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
coconut oil, for cooking
3-4 cups spaghetti squash, pre-cooked and shredded into "noodles"
2 boneless pork chops***
optional: 1 tsp curry powder, turmeric, red pepper flakes

*I didn't even realize but I bought "light" coconut milk from Trader Joe's. Still worked out really well and good for anyone watching calorie intake.

**Green curry paste looks like it's pretty easy to make, but I was tired and a little more in a rush so I settled for the jar. While this brand isn't organic, it didn't have a bunch of extra added crap or sugar like some of the others. Anyone else have a good rec for healthy store-bought curry paste?

***Really, I think any meat could work with this dish. I chose to go for "the other white meat" just randomly because the selection looked good at WF. Bought the organic, antibiotic-free boneless pork chops at $12.99/lb, doesn't seem too expensive for the quality, yea? How much are regular pork chops? I seared those bad boys up in coconut oil and served on the side. Went beautifully with the curry.

Green Curry
Rinse and chop all your veggies. Heat large pan to medium/high and add ~1 tbsp coconut oil. Let it melt. Add celery root first and let it cook for ~5min (it takes the longest and you want it soft by the time you serve).

When celery root is about half-cooked, add red bell pepper and cook ~2min. Then melt in another tbsp of coconut oil add eggplant next (eggplant cooks fast so you can hold off on it the longest; also, adding more oil will prevent it from burning). Also add some of the cilantro and parsley (save some too).

At this point pour about 3/4 can coconut milk into mixture, as well as ~3 tbsp of the green curry paste. I added the curry paste in 1/2 tbsp portions so I could disperse it evenly through the mixture. Add green onion and additional spices (salt, pepper, cumin, curry powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes). Near the end, add the rest of the fresh herbs I like to save adding some of fresh herbs later in the cooking to preserve their taste and nutritional benefits. 

After the veggies looked close to fully cooked, and milk has absorbed a good amount, add in spaghetti squash (SS), the rest of the coconut milk and more curry paste if desired (taste test thoroughly  I ended up using ~1/2 jar of what I got and it wasn't overwhelmingly strong, just right). Mix the SS thoroughly. Let this all simmer on low heat until the coconut milk is almost all absorbed and the mixture "thickens up." Turn off heat and let it cool just a bit before serving.

Pork Chops
Heat up pan to high heat and add 2 tbsp or heaping spoonful of coconut oil.
Sear chops for ~4min each side depending on thickness.
Remove from heat when they are browned.
Let them sit on a plate and fully cook through (time this so they're ready with the curry; ours were perfect by the time we ate).

The Process in Pics:
First the trainer session...

Then shower and gather ingredients (I didn't end up using olive oil).

Curry in the making.
Searing my chops!

Starting to thicken and blend into a curry.

On the plate, serving #1 of...? We ate it all ;)


  1. Can't wait to steal this recipe!

  2. Thanks Tawnee for taking the time to post recipes. This looks great. Since you are using alot of coconut oil get the big container at Costco, its a better buy in my opinion :)