Red Thai Curry and Brown Rice

By Rip Esselstyn

There is something about a good curry dish that always keeps me coming back for more. A note of caution: The first time we made this dish at the firehouse, instead of using two tablespoons of the red curry paste, our new driver, Steve Martinez, talked us into using three. Each of us reacted differently: Steve was in heaven, Scottie was miserable, Matt got the giggles, Derick was cool as a cucumber, and I started sweating profusely. This dish is spicy! If you prefer something milder, use one teaspoon of curry paste.  

Serves 2 to 3


1 pound broiled tofu cubes 

1 tablespoon red curry paste

32 ounces vegetable stock

1 onion, sliced into half rounds

3 carrots, sliced into angled rounds

2 cups snow peas

3 cups cooked brown rice

2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari

1 tablespoon molasses

1 cup milk substitute

juice of 1 lime

5 green onions, sliced into thin rounds

1 cup cilantro, rinsed and chopped


Instructions for Broiled Tofu Cubes:

1. Preheat oven to broil.

2. Drain 1 pound extra-firm tofu and cut into one-inch cubes.  

3. Spray the cubes with Bragg Liquid Aminos.

4. Broil cubes on sprayed baking sheet for 20 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides.


Instructions for Curry:

1. Preheat a large, sprayed skillet or wok until the smoke rises.  

2. Stir-fry the curry paste in 4 tablespoons of stock, stirring continuously until combined.  

3. Add sliced onion and stir to coat. 

4. Add carrots and snow peas and cook for 1 minute.  

5. Add the remaining vegetable stock and the broiled tofu.  

6. Combine the tamari and molasses in a small bowl. Stir mixture into skillet

7. Add the milk substitute and lime juice.

8. Serve curry warm over brown rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and basil.


Rip Esselstyn is a mission-driven man. As a swimmer at the University of Texas at Austin, he was a three time All-American. As a professional athlete, he was one of the premier triathletes in the world for more than a decade. As a firefighter for the Austin (TX) Fire Department, he helped people and saved lives. As a friend to other firefighters, he transformed the way Austin’s Engine 2 ate to save firefighters’ health. Now, as the author of The Engine 2 Diet, he is teaching people the irrefutable connection between what they put in their mouths and their ability to reach their ideal weight and their ideal health. Recently, he has teamed up with Whole Foods Market as a Healthy Eating Partner to raise awareness for Whole Foods Market team members, customers, and all of America about the benefits of eating a Plant Strong diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Rip comes from a family steeped in medicine. His great-grandfather, George Crile, co-founded the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, where his father, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., was chief of the breast cancer task force and completed one of the most extensive studies ever conducted on the relationship between the heart and diet–proving that a plant-based diet can stop, prevent, and even reverse heart disease.  

Rip serves on the Board of Directors for The Wellness Foundation, EarthSave’s Meals For Health Program, and the AllergyKids Foundation.

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