Last night I made Thai Green Curry Chicken and Sweet Potatoes for our Sunday night dinner. There’s nothing spectacular about this recipe, it’s simple and easy and great for either a weeknight or weekend dinner. But, what’s spectacular about this recipe for me is that I used to HATE curry. I hated it. It wasn’t just a tiny dislike or a mild aversion. No, if you had asked me 15 years ago what my least favorite food was, without hesitation I would have said “curry–any kind of curry”
There was no real basis for this dislike. You can call it a prejudice or maybe fear of the unknown; growing up in rural Maryland Thai food wasn’t even on our radar and the closest we got to “exotic” cuisine was the Chinese Delivery restaurant at the local strip mall, Wok-n-Roll. (I am not making that part up.) But regardless of its origins, I really didn’t like curry. Which was all fine and dandy until I met Jeff.
Because 15 years ago, if you had asked Jeff what his most favoritest food in the whole world was, without hesitation he would have said: curry. Green curry to be exact. Early in his career, Jeff was lucky enough to travel the globe, often spending weeks in foreign countries while he audited their books and did accounting stuff (clearly we are occupational opposites). Besides being wildly exciting, these trips also allowed him to expand his palate way beyond its humble Texan origins. And that’s where I met him, as someone who had experienced a lot more life, and consequentially, a lot more food than I had. And he was someone who loved his Thai food.
So what’s a young girl to do? Well, I began to open up my mind and try things that he liked. Because when you’re in love with someone, you crave what they crave, you want to learn what they know, you ache to understand where they are coming from. And I began to change. I’m not going to lie, the first time I tried his green curry chicken (still the only meal he’s ever made for me) it burned all the way down and I was crying real tears with every bite. But I powered through. He adjusted the spice level and worked in more vegetables to suit my taste, while I learned to love the subtle spice of the curry balanced with the sweetness of the coconut milk.
And today, it’s a staple in our house.
And I look back at that girl 15 years ago and am so grateful that she made the choice to try the “new” and to change for love. Because life wouldn’t be quite as tasty if she hadn’t. If she had chosen SAFE.
And in the same way I look back at my walk with Christ, very specifically this past year, and I’m so grateful that I made the choice to change. For love, love of God and love of my family. And I can say that the change that I’ve gone through this past year hasn’t been a change from me. No, all of the work and change that has taken place in my heart and my mind has come by grace and grace alone. Change is absolutely never without some pain, some breaking, some tears and burning. All of that has happened, but all of that has produced a life sweeter and more fulfilled than I could have imagined.
Because when you allow grace to change you, when you allow it into your life, amazing things can happen. Whole appetites and mindsets can change. Peace can be found even in turmoil. And fear can fade away to fearlessness. Because through Jesus Christ we have been declared FREE.
Let that sink in. FREE.
Free from the pain and burden of ourselves, the havoc we wreak. Because when left to our own devices, even the best of us wreak some mighty havoc on our lives. But when we surrender ourselves to Him, we are not left to our own devices. It’s not magic. It’s not some mystical happening, but when you surrender to Him things start to change. You start to change from the inside out. And it’s beautiful. For years I resisted that change. I thought I knew better, and to be honest I was too afraid of letting go of the reigns. Probably due to past hurts, past failures and my stubborn Irish nature, I was more resistant than most. But once I did let go, I felt that fear melt away and faith take over and I learned that there is beauty in the surrender.
Because in the surrender you learn that you matter, you are valued and that you were put on this earth for a purpose. The God of love loves you at your very worst and at your very best. This is Amazing Grace. This is Amazing Love.
And for that love and that grace, change is unavoidable. Don’t resist the change. Surrender to it. Change for love and change for grace. It’s never a mistake. God is making you new, making you whole. And there is nothing more beautiful and wildly alive than a life changed to love by the Lord.
And tonight as I make this curry, I look at where my life has come in the 15 years that I’ve known Jeff and I’m so grateful. Grateful that that sheltered girl from a small town on the East Coast took a chance on a guy and decided to try something that he loved, because she loved him. So I share this recipe with you, and I urge you to try it. Even if you hate curry. Even if Thai food has never been on your radar. Give it a try. If you’re new to curry you may have to grow into it, but change is good. Don’t resist it. You never know the beauty of what you’ll find on the other side.
Thai Green Curry Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 shallot, minched
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2-3 tablespoons green curry paste
- 1 16 oz can of coconut milk (FULL-FAT!)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 zuchinni, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (sub brown sugar)
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- Step 1 Melt coconut oil over medium-high heat
- Step 2 Add shallot and ginger and cook, 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
- Step 3 Add Curry Paste and stir in well (should coat the shallots and ginger)
- Step 4 Add in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Step 5 Add in the coconut sugar, fish sauce and chicken broth and stir to combine
- Step 6 Add in chicken and vegetables, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender.
- Step 7 Serve over Steamed Rice and limes and chopped cilantro.
- Step 8 **feel free to substitute veggies based on what you have on hand.**