Easy Veggie Curry

Although this recipe is pretty specific here, it's wide open to winging it - use what you like better or have on hand - cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, peas - it really all ends up working!

1 can (regular, not light, which is just diluted with water) coconut milk (don’t shake the can)
½ cup water
4 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey or brown sugar
6 tablespoons thai curry paste - green (most traditional), yellow (mildest) or red (delicious too) all work well - find them in the asian section of your grocery store
½ cup diced onion
⅔ cup diced red bell pepper
⅔ cup diced zucchini or other summer squash
⅔ cup diced peeled sweet potato
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
⅔ cup diced asian (smaller type) eggplant
1 cup sliced celery, bok choy or swiss chard stems (feel free to add the torn chard leaves, too)
1 lime
8 large basil leaves, chopped

Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Spoon 6 tablespoons of the coconut cream from the top into a medium saucepan. (If it’s not thick on the top, don’t worry - just use about a quarter of the can.) In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, and sweetener.

Place the saucepan of coconut cream over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Add curry paste and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir until it’s very fragrant, about 3 minutes; adjust heat as needed to prevent burning. Then add the veggies. Stir until vegetables are hot, 2-3 minutes. Then stir in the rest of the coconut milk, bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 or 7 minutes.

To finish, add the soy sauce mixture and a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste; you may use the juice of an entire lime. Stir and mix well. Add up to another 1/4 cup water if the curry seems too thick.

To serve, spoon the curry in a bowl and garnish with the basil leaves. It’s really good over brown (or white) jasmine rice.