Paleo started as a healing diet for me. I was on a mission to get rid of a gut bacteria imbalance known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), and part of my healing protocol involved avoiding certain kinds of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs.
To my horror, at the top of the list of foods to avoid were onions, garlic and coconut milk – three of the most important ingredients in Thai food. For that reason, even though Thai food is one of my absolute faves, I stayed away from it for a long time.
But as I mentioned in my last post, lately I’ve been doing some experimenting and expanding my ingredient pool. My yoga retreat a few weekends ago was the first time in a long time that I’d tried foods outside my low-FODMAP/paleo template, and I was thrilled to discover that my symptoms (bloating, burping, constipation) never showed up! Even the Thai curry my friend Jess lovingly served us (which was definitely in the FODMAP danger zone) turned out to be no problem at all.
I can’t say I attribute this 100% to being SIBO-free, but it is definitely a win for me. And naturally, the first thing I wanted to make when I got home was Thai green curry. The recipe I came up with is a celebration of both my gut healing and the arrival of spring. The lime and basil make it super fresh and vibrant, even when reheated (which is how I ate it five days in a row).
Speaking of leftovers, if you’re like me and you’re making this as part of a weekly cookup, be sure to:
- keep a few lime wedges and whole basil/cilantro leaves in the fridge, and squeeze/chop/shred them just before serving.
- throw a hardboiled egg or a tin of sardines on top for some added protein! But again, do this just before serving. Weird things can happen to that egg white if you let it stew in there…
One more quick note: Thai dishes can be intimidating because of their long and obscure ingredient lists, but the pre-made curry paste makes this one totally easy — and I feel zero guilt about using a short cut. Thai Kitchen brand green curry paste is full of flavor and free of sketchy ingredients. In case you’re curious, here’s what’s in it: green chili, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, salt, shallot, spices, kaffir lime.
- 1 ½ cans coconut cream + 2 cups broth OR 2 cans coconut milk +1 cup broth
- 2 ½ Tbsp Thai green curry paste
- 1 medium leek, chopped small
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into medallions
- 1 medium head broccoli (I like to include the stem), chopped into florets
- ½ head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 3 or 4 handfuls fresh spinach or baby kale
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 lime
- ½ bunch cilantro (optional)
- 1 bunch Thai basil (optional)
- Hardboiled eggs and/or tinned sardines (optional)
- Start by hardboiling a few eggs, if desired.
- Heat coconut cream (or milk) in a large Dutch oven or large soup pot to a gentle simmer (medium heat). As you do so, stir in curry paste until it dissolves.
- Add leek, broccoli, cauliflower and broth and stir well. Keep that simmer going strong. Cook for about 5 minutes or until broccoli and cauliflower are slightly softened. (Cover the pot to speed up cook time.)
- Next, add zucchini and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in fish sauce and spinach (or kale), and once wilted, turn off the heat.
- If serving a crowd, squeeze the juice of your lime over top immediately. If cooking for leftovers, slice your lime into wedges and save them for day-of squeezing. Same goes for the basil and cilantro.
- Finish it off with a sliced hardboiled egg or tin of sardines if the mood strikes.
- Serve over caulirice or au naturel!
What’s your real food experience been like? Are there foods that used to cause problems for you but no longer do?