July 13, 2011

Coconut Curry Tempeh with Coconut Quinoa

I love coconut.

Sprinkling little flakes on top of oatmeal makes me happy. Watching virgin coconut oil melt in a pan, allowing its lovely scent to perfume my kitchen is heavenly. Digging into the meat of a young Thai coconut makes all my raw dessert dreams come true.

And then there's coconut milk. It's creamy, luscious, and a perfect complement to curry powder and garam masala. It makes me swoon. My senses*, particularly smell, go into overdrive. I feel almost exotic, even with my Irish skin and gray blue eyes.

* Except for sight. I apologize for my recent penchant for similar color schemes in food.

This dish explodes with just enough coconut to mellow the aroma and heat of my homemade curry powder and the tinge of heat from cayenne pepper. The quinoa almost melts away, posing a perfect texture contrast to nutty chunks of tempeh and crisp green beans. Top with just a touch of roasted cashews and cilantro, and you have a trip to a far away, Exotic land in your mouth.

Coconut curry tempeh

- 1 block tempeh, cut into cubes
- 1/2lb green beans, cut into inch pieces
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1T coconut oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 2t curry powder
- 1/2t cayenne pepper
- 1/2t ground ginger
- 1t garam masala
- 1/4t sea salt

- Melt coconut oil in a large saute pan. Add curry, cayenne, ginger, and garlic and toast on medium heat, stirring constantly, until spices are a shade darker (make sure not to cook them for too long - they burn easily). Add coconut oil and stir to combine. Once heated, add the tempeh and green beans and toss until everything is thoroughly coated. Cook on medium heat for around 10 minutes. Add cooked coconut quinoa, stir until combined, and serve with a garnish of chopped cashews and cilantro.

Coconut quinoa

- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- Pinch of sea salt


- Combine all ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer (covered) for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff.

Serves 2

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