This meal was the result of a total “there’s nothing to eat in the house, what can we eat for dinner?” but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise (which let’s be honest, could have been a disaster). It was filling and satisfying without being too heavy and the ginger & turmeric broth was great for a chilly night. I was running pretty low on veggies (rare in this house), had a plantain that was going to be too ripe if I didn’t hurry up and use it and had some cod in the freezer. I had coconut milk but no curry paste, no scallions, no cilantro etc. I was half ready to pick up the phone to ask John to grab some takeout on his way home but I tasted it and it was actually pretty good. I am not a fan of fish in soups . . .so this would not be my first choice of ingredients together. . . but I’m very grateful that random pantry & refrigerator cooking didn’t turn out disgusting!
The plantain does a great job of thickening the broth and adds a little sweetness that rounds out the flavors (especially since I didn’t have some of my usual curry staples on hand). And it blends in pretty well – if someone didn’t tell you there was plantain in it, you’d probably have no idea. If you don’t have access to plantains, you can try adding a grated potato or sweet potato instead.
And I hope it goes without saying, use the full fat coconut milk (not the lite stuff). There is not much other fat in this meal (cod, veggies, spices) and the saturated fat in coconut milk and coconut oil are good ones to have in your diet. Remember, keeping your blood sugar stable and cravings under control is really about having a balance of fat, protein and fiber in every meal and if you try to go very low fat you throw that balance off and you may find yourself digging in the cabinet for sweet treats not too long after dinner. Fat = satisfaction.
Makes 4 servings
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, diced
5 medium carrots, peeled, sliced
1 large shallot, diced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 can coconut milk (Look for BPA free brands like Arroy-D and Native Forest)
2 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken broth
1 inch chunk ginger, peeled, finely diced
1 inch chunk fresh turmeric root, peeled, finely diced
3 medium zucchini thickly, sliced
1 to 1 1/4 lbs wild cod fillets (or other white fish)
1 yellow plantain, peeled and grated or diced
big handful of fresh parsley or cilantro
sea salt and black pepper to taste
optional: a big squeeze of fresh lime juice
optional: cayenne or red curry paste for heat
Heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When hot, saute the onion, shallots and carrots for 3 – 4 minutes, then add the curry powder, cardamom and smoked paprika and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, broth, ginger, turmeric and plantain to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the cod and zucchini, submerge, cover and bring back to a boil and reduce to a low simmer.
Cook for another 7-9 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Stir in the parsley or cilantro, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and serve.