Quick Squash and Beef Curry

Sometimes, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

Such as squash.

With that in mind, I present the final installment in my extensive two-post series on how to creatively use Thanksgiving leftovers that have over stayed their welcome in your fridge.

This recipe is quick and delicious if you have leftover, cooked squash.  (If you have to cook the squash, it is less quick – but just as delicious.)

As you will notice, this dish is made with Thai curry paste, instead of blending spices. to create a curry.  A few years back, I used to hesitate to use curry paste from a jar. I can’t give a reason for this that doesn’t make me sound like the food snob that I don’t want to be.  So, I won’t delve into that statement any further.

Let me just say that I’ve changed my mind thanks to my friend Aney. Aney cooks Indian food regularly and has some serious cooking skills – which she learned from her mom who has some serious cooking skills. 

If you were to ask Matt about the trip he and I took with Aney to her family’s house in India a few years ago, he would start by talking about the food that Aney’s mom cooked for us.  We also saw the Taj Mahal on that trip, but it was secondary in Matt’s mind to the meals that Aney’s mom cooked.  Every meal consisted of multiple dishes, each more delicious than the next.

Anyhow, Aney uses an Indian curry paste sometimes in her cooking — which makes all curry pastes totally legit in my eyes. She may spice it up a bit with extra cumin, coriander or ginger, but she said the paste is her go-to starting point when she wants to keep it simple.  And I generally like to keep it simple.

The recipe makes enough for 4 servings or so.  You can double it to make sure you have enough for lunch the next day.

Quick Squash and Beef Curry

Onion, ½

Coconut oil, 1 teaspoon

Garlic, 2 cloves, diced

Red curry paste*, 2 heaping tablespoons

Ground  beef, 1/2 pound

Cauliflower, 1 cup chopped

Butternut squash (or pumpkin), 1 cup, cooked and mashed

Beef broth, 1 cup

Coconut milk, ½ cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional for garnish:  Chopped almonds, shredded coconut and/or fresh cilantro

  1. Add coconut oil and onion to soup pot.  Saute over medium heat until onion is soft, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and curry paste.  Saute for another minute.
  3. Add ground beef.  Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add cauliflower, squash, beef broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low , cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Garnish with your favorite topping, like chopped almonds, shredded coconut, yogurt and/or Thai basil.

*Just like any time you purchase prepared food, be sure to check the label to make sure there are no ingredients you don’t recognize or don’t want.  I used a red curry paste from Thai Kitchen, which I bought at Whole Foods. The list of ingredients includes only red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, Thai ginger, salt, shallot, spices and kaffir lime.