Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thai Thing-- featuring the poor man's version!

This isn't a gourmet meal, but it's quick and healthy. Its glamourous name around the house is "Thai Thing*" and I hereby bestow it onto you. Summer's vegetables seemed more authentic in this recipe, but autumn and winter aren't too far behind. Every time you make it it's a new meal because of the seasonal vegetables. You could also use frozen vegetables too if you were so inclined. We use frozen corn a lot because its sweetness is delicious. Sweet potatoes are our favourite winter vegetable to use in this dish. Slay it! This can be made start to finish in 30 minutes. Blink and it's done. BLINK. THAI FOOD ON MY PLATE! Is this authentic? Not sure, but it is good! 

This is a summer version. I liked the photo better.
Thai Thing

2 T. oil
1 lb. or less of firm tofu, cubed or chopped fried tofu**
3 c. seasonal vegetables, chopped
1 T. grated gingerroot
half can of coconut milk,  more if you like it saucy!
2 T. lime juice
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
2 scant T. soy sauce
3/4 tsp. thai curry paste
a hot pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)

Saute tofu until browned-- (4-6 min). Remove from pan and allow to rest on a plate. Saute vegetables for about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, turmeric, and ginger, hot peppers (fresh ones are sooo good in this recipe) and cook until vegetables are almost tender. Add lime juice, soy sauce, curry paste,  and tofu and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve over noodles of your choice. We usually use rice stick noodles or kamut linguine.

For an even cheaper meal, try the POOR MAN'S VERSION:

Instead of curry paste, use about a teaspoon and half of curry powder-- get a decent blend or it will taste crappy. We ran out of curry paste and are really digging this version!

I hope you enjoy Thai Thing. We make it as an emergency meal at least once a week. What's your emergency meal?

*This recipe was featured in Issue 4 of T.O.F.U. Magazine which is an awesome magazine. Check it. It's pay what you can! 

**you can get this at well-stocked Asian stores. If you buy this kind, you don't need to fry it again. Just skip this step and chuck it in.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lentil me wish you a happy 2012!

Okay, perhaps using lentil as a verb in that context was a stretch, but I'm all about experimenting today! I've been holding out on you way too long with this soup. It's a fantastic recipe full o' fibre, protein, iron and lots of other nutrients. Do yourself a favour and get some decent spices (in small amounts) and make this soup. This is a great meal to take for lunches. You can get it ready pretty easily before you hop in the shower and it's ready to put in a thermos before you're ready to leave. The garlic and ginger are anti-inflammatory, which is awesome.

Red Lentil Soup

 3 c. seasonal vegetables, chopped. 
1 c. red lentils
4-6 c. water
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 T. coconut oil 
1/2 tsp. turmeric 
1 tsp. grated ginger
3 cloves
4 peppercorns
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
a dash of red chili pepper flakes
broth cube or equivalent
sea salt and/or Bragg's

Heat oil over medium heart. Add cumin and mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Stir in lentils and stir for a minute. Add vegetables and stir to combine. Add all seasonings (except salt-- as it prevents lentils from cooking) and water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes. If it's not done, turn to low heat, ensure there's enough water and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Season with a bit of sea salt or Bragg's to taste. If you wanna be a pro, put the peppercorns and cloves into a li'l muslin bag or piece of tied-up cheesecloth so you don't get too much of a taste sensation when you find one in your soup. I like this prize, but I (not like a pro) leave them in and fish the cloves out for Bruce, as he hates them. 

HAPPY 2012! What are you gonna get up to in 2012?