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A healthy return back to reality

March 10, 2019
A warm coconut curry soup is a healthy, hearty meal.

This late in the season it’s almost unbelievable that I’m cooking while snow is falling. It’s even tougher to swallow that just a couple of weeks ago we were enjoying hot weather with the most beautiful hues of blue-green waters staring back at us while we sipped fancy, fruit-laden drinks in the sun. As warm and comforting as it had been, I am glad to have this equally cozy soup to offer for your dining pleasure.

If you’re like me, you need a good tonic in the way of food to make the frigid visions a little more tolerable. Right before we went on our cruise a few weeks ago, we were on a mission to eat light and drop a few pounds since we knew bathing suits would be the bulk of our attire. We were eating lean and feeling great about our efforts to make our date nights a time in which we worked out in the gym together. Needless to say, we have slightly blurred the line between healthy eating and overindulging. An all-inclusive vacation spree (since virtually anything can be ordered at any time) will have that effect on you. The only downside to that is, you tend to want to make sure your money is well spent so you eat more than usual. Then it all comes to an end, but there you are feeling as though you’re still special and deserve the “extra.”

This soup is a great transition to jump-start a return to healthy living. The flavor is all there, but it’s light and will serve us well as we muddle through our new reality of this cold weather and the fact that froufrou fruity drinks aren’t part of our everyday adventures.

I’m thankful that good food is something I crave even if I still want to be bad by eating sugary sweets. If we restrict the foods we really want, we will, one, be unhappy, and two, end up binge eating and/or developing unhealthy eating habits. I get that everyone’s different, but I think you should eat what makes you feel your best. For me, that’s lots of greens and vegetables, colorful fruits, healthy grains and, yes, cheese. Sorry, no three-day liquid diets for me.

You’d never know this creamy soup is a good start to our healthy, back-to-reality diet. I think it’s the basil pesto and the curry combination that sets this soup apart. If you’re looking for a delicious, soul-warming soup, this is it.

RED CURRY AND COCONUT SOUP

2 tablespoons oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 ounces red curry paste

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups coconut milk

3 tablespoons fish sauce

/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lime juice Cilantro Green onions, chopped

1 pound shrimp

1/2 cup basil

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

In a skillet place the oil, garlic, red curry paste, ginger and shrimp. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and coconut milk. Add the fish sauce, salt and lime juice.

In a food processor add the basil, oil and Parmesan cheese. Add the onions and cilantro to the soup. Drizzle the soup with the pesto. Serve.

Janet McCormick is the owner of Let’s Eat Cafe in downtown Huntington. More of her recipes can be found at http://www.10-minutemeals.com.