Red Thai Curry Quinoa Bowls
An easy dinner bowl flavoured with all your favourite Thai flavours.
Makes: 25 • Prep Time: N/A • Cook Time: N/A
Red Thai Curry Quinoa Bowls
When you get home from a long day at work, you have a decision to make.
- You can order a take away, which will take an hour to arrive, inevitably be a bit cold by the time it finally appears, and will likely make you feel tired and sluggish for the rest of the night.
- You can go out for dinner, which will probably be nice enough, but often costs an arm and a leg, and involves wearing something that’s at least somewhat presentable.
- Or, you can whip up these Red Thai Curry Quinoa bowls! These bowls are full of flavour, they’re packed with fresh vegetables, and best of all, they can be prepared, and enjoyed, in your PJs.
I think it’s pretty obvious which is the best option here. Cooking a healthy meal always makes me feel good about myself, as well as helping my clothes fit a little better. It’s cheaper, it helps develop your cooking skills, it helps keep you organised, it saves money… there are countless benefits to putting in the effort in the kitchen.
There are misconceptions to cooking healthy food from scratch, namely that it takes a meaningful amount of time, and that it’s difficult for those who don’t have much skill in the kitchen. But don’t be misled; cooking a healthy meal doesn’t need to take forever, as these Red Thai Curry Quinoa Bowls demonstrate. They’re easy peasy, and they only take about twenty minutes to make. Show me a take away that will arrive that quickly, and I’ll eat my hat.
Preparation is easy: simply cook your quinoa, mix it into some stir-fried vegetables, and add a simple shop-bought Thai curry sauce. If you can chop vegetables and stir anything in a pan, you can make these quinoa bowls (and don’t go pretending you don’t know how to use a wooden spoon!).
Don’t be misled; cooking a healthy meal doesn’t need to take forever, as these Red Thai Curry Quinoa Bowls demonstrate.
To keep with the Asian-style theme, I used some of my favourite stir-fry vegetables: baby corn, mange tout (I know, they don’t sound very Asian, but they’re often used in this style of cooking!), and red pepper. Super colourful and super tasty!
If you don’t have these veg, not to worry. The point of this recipe is that it’s a quick and easy way to get some healthy food into you – so feel free to use whatever vegetables you have lingering in the back of the fridge that should have been eaten days ago. Mushrooms, broccoli, aubergine (eggplant), tomatoes: they’re all welcome here. Try to use as many different coloured vegetables as you can as each colour tends to represent a different set of vitamins. For example, orange and red vegetables tend to be high in vitamin C and beta-carotene (think tomatoes and carrots), and green vegetables are often packed with iron (think spinach and asparagus).
As long as you get a great variety of vegetables into your Red Thai Curry Quinoa Bowls, it really doesn’t matter which specific vegetables the vitamins come from.
Other than the vegetables, there aren’t many ingredients in these quinoa bowls (apart from the quinoa itself, that is, which I could go on and on about). Just Thai curry paste, some vegetable stock, and a few additional aromatics. I also added a few chickpeas for some additional protein.
It’s common to use coconut milk with Thai curry paste, and that’s what I usually use to make a rich and creamy curry. This time, though, I used vegetable stock instead – I wanted to keep these quinoa bowls feeling light and fresh, and since coconut milk is fairly high in fat, I decided to avoid it for this recipe. If you’d prefer a creamier dish though, use coconut milk instead of the stock – it will be even more irresistible. After a long day at work, indulge when you need to!
I also added some chilli, garlic, and ginger for additional flavour, but if you’re using a really good quality Thai curry paste, you could skip these ingredients if you’re in a rush. Shop-bought Thai curry pastes are fantastic and are a really great way to add an enormous amount of flavour to a dish with very little effort; someone else has already done the hard work balancing flavours so you don’t have to. Just use a couple of spoonfuls, and keep the rest of the jar for the next time you want a quick and easy dinner. It’s something I always have in the fridge, waiting for its time to shine!
One quick note: if you’re a vegetarian, make sure you give the curry paste ingredient list a quick glance before you buy as some curry pastes contain fish sauce. I find that it’s usually the shop’s own brand curry paste which is vegetarian (likely because they’re trying to cut corners to keep costs down), and the more expensive name brands which aren’t – but it’s always worth checking. If you make sure you buy a veggie curry paste, these Thai curry quinoa bowls are entirely vegan.
What are your go-to healthy dinners? I’m looking for new inspiration for healthy dinners that can be created from whatever I have in the fridge; share some of your favourites with me over on the Forq app!
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Here’s how to make this delicious recipe
Add the quinoa to a large pan of water, and boil until the quinoa is soft and the spiral-shaped germ has detached, then drain.
Meanwhile, cut the baby corn, mange tout and red pepper into bite-size pieces. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, and add the vegetables, along with the chilli, ginger and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring regularly.
Then, add the curry paste and vegetable stock. Mix thoroughly until well combined. Add the chickpeas and drained quinoa, and heat through for a few more minutes, until everything is piping hot. Season to taste, and serve warm.
Quick, easy & delicious!
- 100g (~1/2 cup) quinoa
- 1 tbsp oil
- 85g (~1 cup) baby corn
- 85g (~1 cup) mange tout
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 mild red chilli, finely diced
- Thumbnail-sized piece of ginger, grated
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp red Thai curry paste
- 150ml (~1/2 cup) vegetable stock
- 130g (~2/3 cup) cooked chickpeas
- Black pepper
- To serve: fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped; squeeze of fresh lime
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Who’s Cooking Today
Becca Pusey is a freelance recipe developer and food writer based in Hertfordshire, UK. She blogs over at Amuse Your Bouche, where she shares her favourite simple vegetarian recipes using everyday ingredients. She aims to show that vegetarian food can be just as easy to make, just as satisfying, and just as tasty as any meat dish. Oh, and she likes cheese, a lot.
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