DIY Frozen Meal: Vegan Red Curry and Rice
I’ve been re-watching “How I Met Your Mother” lately, and have been impressed all over again by just how real it gets sometimes.
Remember that time you had no idea what your life was about so you moved somewhere else on a whim, thinking it would fix all your problems? But then it didn’t? Lily did that! And remember when you dated that person who you stayed with against ALL your better judgment? Ted did that – like, seven different times! Or maybe you didn’t do either of those things, but I bet you know someone who did! It’s as if they know.
But you know what I find totally unrealistic about HIMYM, though? They’re always at the bar. I get that it’s their social hub, and I guess if I lived right over a bar I’d go there a lot too. But it really just seems like they are always freakin’ there. Tell me, real world humans, who seriously has the time to sit around drinking beers and acting ridiculous on a regular basis? Not me. Well, maybe I act ridiculous, but many nights, I don’t even have time to make my own dinner. That’s when I end up calling in a favor from my friend Amy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking for myself (probably obvious given the food blog). But whether you like to cook or not, sometimes the time crunch is real and a frozen meal is the best way to go, especially if you’re trying to save money and eat what you have in the house. Yes, some frozen meals can be considered “healthy’ – Amy makes a killer vegan mac and mattar paneer! – but what if there were a way to combine the convenience of a pre-bought frozen meal with the peace of mind that comes with preparing your food from scratch? Surprise! THERE IS!
Our challenge this month at the Recipe ReDux was to create a homemade frozen meal, and I knew exactly what I wanted to make. One of my favorite go-to dishes in the cooler months is vegan red or green curry, because it’s easy, filling, satisfying, and packed with protein, veggies, and healthy fat. I frequently use tofu, peppers, onions, and on occasion, snow peas, but you can use whatever veggies float your boat. Carrots, mushrooms, peas, squash, and potato are also delicious in curry. You can also make it with meat if you feel so inclined.
For freezing these, I used two-sectioned tupperware containers (you can save them when they come with takeout, or you can order them by the pack). This keeps the rice and curry separate, so that the rice will not get soggy. Also, to save time (and dishes!) on rice preparation, I bought packets of pre-cooked jasmine rice. When you want to reheat your curry, just take it out of the freezer, pop the lid and keep it perched on top of the container, and microwave on high for about 3 minutes, stirring halfway through.
So awesome, you’d think it was Barney Stinson’s idea.
BONUS Freezer Tip: Put all your veggie scraps (herb stalks, onion and garlic skins, carrot peels, celery tops, etc) in tupperware in the freezer. Once you accumulate about 3-4 cups of scraps, you can make your own homemade veggie stock!
- 2 cups sliced red onion
- 2 cups sliced bell pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 tbs. coconut oil
- 14 oz. extra firm tofu
- 1 14-oz. can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock (leave out for thicker sauce)
- 3 tbs. red curry paste
- 2 tbs. soy sauce
- Red pepper flakes or sriracha to taste
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 packets pre-cooked jasmine rice
- Slice peppers and onions. Set aside.
- Thoroughly drain, cube, and gently pat dry the tofu.
- In a large, deep skillet, warm coconut oil and garlic over medium-high heat.
- Add tofu cubes to pan, flipping occasionally for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove tofu from pan.
- Lower heat to medium, add veggies to pan, and cook stirring occasionally until slightly tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add tofu back to pan and pour coconut milk and stock over the veggies and tofu.
- Add curry paste and soy sauce, gently stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.
- Add red pepper flakes or sriracha as desired for spiciness.
- Let simmer for about 5 minutes, and then add cilantro.
- Divide curry and rice evenly into two-compartment tupperware containers and freeze.
- To reheat, remove the lid and leave it perched on the container and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring halfway.