Vegetarian Vietnamese Curry

So the boyfriend and I decided to get back in shape, so we’re battling each other out with the Whole Life Challenge.  We adjusted the rules a little, but here is what we have to do: stick to a certain diet, exercise for at least 15 minutes a day, and stretch for at least 15 minutes a day.  Doing each of these things earns us points and whoever has the most points by Thanksgiving will be the champion.  I already let him know that I’m going to win.

I haven’t made Vietnamese food in a while, so I decided to make vegetarian curry with brown rice for the week.  I usually make Vietnamese curry with chicken, but I’ve been trying to cut out meat so I made it with tofu this time.  Tofu is actually not allowed in the diet level that I chose, but the boyfriend was so gracious and said it was okay.  I also usually make it with potatoes, but those delicious tubers aren’t allowed either so I went with sweet potatoes.  I also added a TON of kale because I thought something green would add some extra nutrients to the dish.

Warning: prepare yourselves for more healthy recipes from me for the next couple months.  It’s going to be tough coming up with new recipes that fit the diet restrictions, but I shall do it!  I’ll keep you all updated on how I’m doing on the challenge 🙂

Vegetarian Vietnamese Curry
(serves 4)

1 package firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
3 tbsp oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic
2 sweet potatoes, cubed into bite-sized pieces
4 carrots, chopped into bite-sized chunks
1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into bite-sized pieces
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised with the back of a knife and cut into 2-inch pieces
6 tbsp yellow curry powder
2 cups water
1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
4 tbsp vegetarian fish sauce
1 bay leaf
1 14-oz can of coconut milk
5 cups kale, chopped
cilantro leaves, to garnish

  1. Preheat oven at 425 degrees.  Toss tofu with 2 tbsp oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 15 minutes, flip them over, and bake for another 15 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp of oil on medium heat and saute onions and garlic for about a minute.
  3. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower.  Cook for a 3-5 minutes then add lemongrass and curry powder.  Cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add water, vegetable broth, fish sauce, and bay leaf.  When it comes to a boil, let it simmer on low for an hour.
  5. Add coconut milk and bring back to a boil.  Simmer on low for 30-45 minutes.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice noodles, steamed rice, or French bread.

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