This is what I call summer cozy food.
Who says that because it’s summer we can’t have cozy food? Personally, I am all about the cozy foods. And yeah, maybe I love them just a little more come fall and winter, but summer needs a little coziness sometimes too.
And this is that meal.
And while this may feel cozy, it is actually lite and packed to the brim with summer garden veggies, so you can still have dessert or maybe even a margarita float (…or two if this Wednesday is really not being friendly to ya).
Plus, it’s Wednesday and I feel like if there is any day of the week for a little bit of cozy food it would be today. We still have two days left till Friday (sorry for the reminder), kids nagging us or bosses watching our every move and who knows what else. That just means our hump days need to curry. Ah duh.
I actually had this other recipe that I am jumping out of my skin to tell you about (SOON like Monday maybe?), but I don’t know, I just felt like today was a curry day.
On a different, and completely unrelated, note I do have to tell you guys about that tiny chipmunk from Monday.
Well, the poor little thing hid in a corner between the counter in the pantry and the wall for probably close to twenty-four hours. I put the cat in my room overnight and put a cereal box in the corner, hoping he would go in there. There are about a million different places he could go, but I figured it was worth a shot. So I got up in morning and nothing. Not a thing had been moved, so I figured he was still back there. He was, because the second the cat got out he went right to the corner and guarded it for the next three hours.
At this point I was starting to worry that the thing was never going to come out and he was going to die back there. UGH. That would smell and he was in between the tiniest of tiniest cracks between the counter and wall. So how was anyone even supposed to get back there? Eew.
At some point the cat must have given up his watch, because as I was sitting at my computer, which is right next to the kitchen, I heard what sounded like little itty bitty feet/claws in a box (we all know what that sounds like, right?).
I turned the corner, and I turned it slowly because well that’s what you do when you are slightly afraid of a tiny chipmunk, only to see the box in the same spot. But I knew I had heard something, so I went and tapped the box with my foot. Oh yeah, he was in there.
At that point I jumped back and screamed a little because again, I am girl and apparently that’s what we do.
Then I picked up the cereal box, ran to the door and put the box on the ground outside. The thing bolted like you have never seen. I’m surprised it didn’t give itself a heart attack.
And that’s my little chipmunk story. Hey, I saved a life on my Monday, what did you do?
And now I will stop my yapping about the varmints in our house and talk about this curry that I love so much.
It’s everything you love about curry and everything you love about summer and it’s ready to go in thirty minutes. Because I really would rather be outside in the nice summer sunshine than inside cooking something for hours. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I love cooking for hours, but not when the weather is nice and I am busy and I really just want some good food – fast.
I am sure you are probably figuring this out by now, but I love basil. It reminds me of being a kid and making Friday Night Pasta with my dad. Back in Ohio he would grow bush upon bushed of basil. Then, every night in the summer he would send me out in the backyard to pick some for dinner.
It’s the best smell, and in my opinion one of the best herbs.
So instead of curry with loads of cilantro, which I do love too, I added some basil to this, mostly for a nice summery kick. Pretty sure you are going to love it.
And then of course there is all the garden veggies. You might think they are a little strange to pair with curry, but veggies are amazing when coated in spicy, creamy coconut, curry sauce.
I also added some diced mango salsa and just a little goat cheese, because why the heck not?
Goat cheese is good stuff, and mangos should go in just about every dish they can in the summer.
And the rice!! Ginger-lime with coconut milk and basil.
And umm?? Fresh homemade NAAN?!?! So good. Yup, totally cozy and totally delicious.
Oh and last thing. To make this a vegetarian and vegan meal swap chickpeas for the chicken and leave the goat cheese off. Simple as that!
Simple Summertime Basil Chicken Curry with Coconut Ginger-Lime Rice.
Basil Coconut Ginger-Lime Rice
- 1 ounce can coconut milk 14
- 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 1 lime juiced + zest
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken, diced (or 2-3 cups cooked chickpeas)*
- 2 bell peppers chopped
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 2 cups ears corn kernels removed from the cob (or about 1 1/2-2 frozen corn)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic grated or minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoon thai red curry paste I used 3
- 1 tablespoon spicy curry powder
- 1 ounce can coconut milk 14
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 mango diced
- 1 jalapeño seeded + diced
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
- [fresh naan | https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/homemade-naan-step-step-photos/] for serving
Add the coconut milk to a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil and then add the rice, salt, ginger and 1 tablespoon coconut oil if desired. Stir to combine and then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook ten minutes on low and then turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit on the stove, covered for another 20 minutes (don't take any peeks inside!). After 20 minutes remove the lid and add the lime juice + zest and basil. Fluff the rice with a fork. Note that rice can cook differently for everyone, this is just what works for me.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add the diced chicken and saute the chicken until browned all over and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a plate.
Add another tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add the red peppers and corn, saute 3-4 minutes and then toss in the zucchini, ginger and garlic. Saute the veggies another 5 minutes or until they just begin to soften. Add the chicken back to the skillet and toss everything together.
To the skillet add the curry powder and curry paste and give everything another good toss. Cook 1 minute and then add the coconut milk and fish sauce. Stir to combine, bring the mixture to a boil, cook 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and cilantro.
In a small bowl toss together the mango and jalapeño.
Serve the curry over the rice. Add a spoonful of the mangos and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Eat with Naan!
And that right there is how you do hump day right. Cozy, healthy, summer comfort food.