En-CURR-A

Posted on February 22, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Again, I’m hilarious. Get on the pun wagon.

I’ve learned a decent amount in the past few days that I’ve been eating vegan. 1: When I give up cheese and the like, I accidentally give up crabs. 2: I can still control myself at work around cheesy garlic bread (my most favorite thing there) I did slip up today because Kati wanted to get Pho and I had some beef egg rolls with her. I had veggie Pho, however. (I actually like that better)

The past 4 days have been extra warm in Chicago. Like, around 40-50 degrees over the norm. Because of that, I’ve been able to pick up extra shifts serving on the patio at work. Yes, we’ve had people eating outside. Last night I got home and was STARVING. I had eaten my salad during work, but you run around for 9 hours, you’re going to be hungry. I had a half of a can of coconut milk left from the satay, and thought I’d do a quick curry. While it was simmering, I realized I needed some sort of carb, so I added rice.

This curry is super easy, full of fiber and protein. When you’re not eating meat, you need to make sure you have enough protein, and what better way than black beans and tofu? The longest part of this recipe will be making the rice, so don’t worry if you’re in a rush.

Quick Veggie Curry

Here’s what to get from the store:

Coconut Milk
Tofu
Black Beans
Brussels Sprouts
Broccoli
Jasmine Rice
Red Chili Paste

 

Quick Veggie Curry

1/2 cup cubed tofu
1/4 cup black beans
4 cloves garlic, diced
4 Brussels sprouts, chopped
1/4 cup diced broccoli
1/2 can coconut milk
1/4 tsp red chili paste
Salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika
Cooked Jaime Rice

  1. Sauté your garlic until mostly cooked, add the broccoli and sprouts, cook until bright green. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Add the black beans and tofu with some turmeric and sauté until the tofu is browned.
  3. Add the coconut milk and chili paste and bring to a simmer. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve over cooked rice.

I’m really glad to have started working more again. I am partially grateful to mother nature for this, but this does make me more concerned for climate change. Even if you don’t believe climate change exists, please be more careful with the environment, it’s the only one we have.

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Shame on me!

Posted on November 7, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Guys, I’ve been a bad blogger. I made a dish probably about two weeks ago and haven’t posted about it yet. Shame on me.

As I’m sure you can tell, I’ve been on a vegan kick. While my diet is omnivore, I don’t generally buy meat and most of the time end up eating vegetarian and vegan foods. I know I’ve talked about this before and you’re probably getting a little tired of it.

It’s officially November and that means Thanksgiving, cold weather, and comfort food. Well… scratch the cold weather part. It’s 71 and sunny today. And I have to work. Of course. (I’d rather be reading by the lake). But, a few weeks ago we did have our normal dip and it did get down to the mid 40s/low 50s. I had been racking my brain on what to make for the week, and kept coming up empty. But then I remembered I had some rice noodles and a large box of coconut milk, and thought of a curry soup. (Yes, I know my last few posts were about curry, it’s good). I also had some asparagus and other veggies, and a soup was born.

I love soups, most of the time I prefer really creamy soups, but the right broth can make any soup delicious. On top of that, soups are actually very easy because making them involves flavor development, down time, and you can throw anything you have into the pot. They can be as healthy or unhealthy as you like, as carnivorous or vegan as you like.

This soup is very easy. Since there’s no meat, cooking time is cut down, but not too much because flavor development is important.

Cumin Spiced Coconut Curry Soup

Most of the things I had laying around, but if you don’t, here’s what to get from the store:

Boxed coconut milk (32 oz)
Asparagus
Baby bella mushrooms
Mini sweet peppers
Carrots
Fresh Basil
Rice Noodles
Seasame seeds
Garlic
Miso paste

Cumin Spiced Coconut Curry Soup

5 cloves garlic, diced
5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Handful of asparagus diced
3 mini peppers, diced and deseeded
2 carrots, diced
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
32 oz coconut milk
1 serving rice noodles, soaked in hot water
2 tbsp. miso paste
Salt, pepper, turmeric , cumin, sriracha, lemon juice, fresh basil

  1. Sauté the garlic until fragrant. Add asparagus, carrots,  mushrooms and peppers, cooking until asparagus is bright green Make sure to season with salt, pepper, turmeric and cumin at each addition.
  2. Add the sesame seeds to toast.
  3. Add the miso paste to coat, then the coconut milk.
  4. Bring to a simmer, add sriracha and lemon juice; taste to adjust seasoning.
  5. Lower the tempter and let cook for about 10-15 minutes. Taste one more time.
  6. In a large bowl, place the soaked rice noodles and top with the broth and fresh diced basil

The closer real winter gets the more I’m fearing it; this has been very mild fall and that means January and February are not going to be fun. Being a Midwestern girl I’m completely used to the cold weather, but my recent weight loss over the past 4-5 years has made me extra susceptible to cold. Even though my metabolism is higher, there is not as much padding as there used to be. Expect me to be making a lot more warming things over the next few months.

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Green with Envy

Posted on October 19, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

You know what’s great about cooking? You don’t really need a recipe, as long as you know the basic flavor you want, you don’t need much else. You know what’s great about vegan cooking? It’s super easy. Why? It’s mostly vegetables, grains, nuts and beans. You don’t have to worry about cooking a meat, and if things aren’t 100% cooked, they may not kill you.

I hadn’t been sure about what to cook next for a while, and I asked the Facebook world. One of my good friends suggested curry. I’ve made curry many times, but I hadn’t made green curry yet. The last time I had curry I had a Thai Green curry with zucchini and tofu and thought it would be easy to replicate. I was right, while it wasn’t as spicy as the one I had at the restaurant, it was still favorable.

The nice thing about curries is that they can be vegan, full of vegetables and overly delicious. While they can take some time, they are very easy. This green curry is very easy, full of protein and will make you wonder why you ever ordered delivery from that Thai place again.

Green Curry with Tofu and Vegetables

Here’s what to get from the store:

Thai Green Chili Paste
Coconut Milk
Bamboo Shoots
Zucchini
Corn
Red Chili Paste
Jasmine Rice
Onion
Tofu
Button Mushrooms

Green Curry with Tofu and Vegetables

2 small zucchini, diced
1 cob of corn, corn removed
1/2 onion, diced
5 button mushrooms, diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 can coconut milk
3 tbsp green chili paste
1/2 block tofu, cubed
1 can bamboo shoots
1 tsp red chili paste
Salt, pepper, tumeric
1 cup cooked Jasmine rice

  1. In a saute pan, saute the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the mushroom, zucchini and corn. Saute until almost cooked through, adding salt, pepper and turmeric.
  2. Add the tofu and saute until the tofu is slightly browned.
  3. Pour the coconut milk in along with the green and red pastes and stir. Add the bamboo shoots and taste to adjust seasonings.
  4. Serve over cooked Jasmine rice.

I’ve been doing some cardio before my yoga, and today I discovered that I’ve been doing burpees wrong. I did them right today, and man, not only do my legs hurt, so do my arms! I’m really happy with how much more in shape I’m in. The problem is that I had a cold and the end of last week, nothing huge, just a little congestion and lack of appetite. The congestion is starting to go away but my appetite isn’t really coming back. I’m a little confused, I know my metabolism hasn’t slowed down, and I don’t have any other symptoms. I’m not worried, I know my appetite will come back, I just don’t want to go back to just eating once a day like I used to. It’s not good for you, humans need to eat more than that to keep their bodies going. The important part about that is that the right foods need to be eaten, not just bad stuff. But, eat the bad stuff to, just eat your salad first.

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Fushiony

Posted on September 26, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

At the beginning of the week I was thinking about what to cook…and I had NO IDEA what to make at all. After looking at my super sad grocery list of 2 items, I shot Serina a text to see if I could jump start my inspiration, and she did. She suggested enchiladas. I didn’t want to do any Mexican flavors though, so I decided I was going to do a fusion of Mexican and Indian with a tempeh filled enchilada that had a coconut curry sauce on top.

I wasn’t sure what else to put into the enchiladas besides tempeh until I got to the store. For some reason I was drawn to the rhubarb and decided that was  a great idea. My parents gave me some fresh green beans from their garden, and I decided to add that. The result was a perfectly spicy, somewhat messy, delicious dinner.

Up until today, I’d never actually had tempeh before. Uncooked, it has very little flavor and that gave me the opportunity  to infuse a bunch of different flavors right into the protein.

This recipe won’t take you too long, and if I do it again I would warm up the tortillas before I rolled them; I didn’t to that this time and they cracked because I got corn instead of flour. No biggie, still tasty.

Fusion Enchiladas

Here’s what to get from the store:

Tempeh
Black Beans
Tomatoes
Rhubarb
Corn Tortillas
Coconut Milk
Goat Cheese
Sharp Cheddar
Jalepeno
Canned Chiplotes

Mexican and Indian Fusion Enchiladas

2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 jalepeno, de seeded and diced
1 tbsp red onion, chopped
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Corriander, cummin, curry powder, tumeric
Pine Nuts
1 stick of rhubarb, diced
1 block tempeh, diced
Black Beans
1 small slice fresh ginger
Goat Cheese
Tomato, sliced
Spinach
1 can coconut milk
2 chiplote peppers
1 heaping tsp red curry paste
Corn Tortillas

  1. Dry toast the pine nuts, cloves, cinnamon and corriander. Once the pine nuts start browning, add the ginger and stir.
  2. Add some coconut milk, then saute the onions until fragrant. Add the jalapenos and rhubarb and saute. Add the garlic.
  3. Once the garlic is cooked, add the tempeh and rest of the spices. Once the tempeh is cooked, add the tomato and let cook down.
  4. Prep your tortillas, warm them slightly. Put the black beans down the middle, add some of the tempeh mixture, some spinach if you like and a little goat cheese. Roll the tortillas up in a baking dish. Continue on with this until the mixture is gone.
  5. If you have some extra mixture, take it out of the pan. In the same pan, add the coconut milk, chiplote pepper and curry paste to the milk. Bring to a boil and let the flavors marry. Pour over the enchiladas and top with cheddar cheese.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Add more cheese to serve.

I’ve been having car issues for a while, everyone knows that. Well, I’m about ready to give up, bite the bullet, and buy a new car. I’ve been stubborn and cheap, but it’s time to stop that and start looking at newer cars. My wallet is already sad.

But, besides all the bad things, I’ve been feeling physically amazing AND tomorrow is brew fest; the only day of the year where I ask off purposely to drink. I can’t wait.

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En-CURR-agable

Posted on September 17, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Does that work? No, I don’t think it is…I don’t know where the dad jokes came from, but, here they are.

I have to say, I have been very impressed with the younger crowd I’ve been serving and very dissapointed in the older crowed I’ve been serving. I don’t know what happened, but instead of the older crowd being polite and tipping well, they’re being rude and yelling at me while I’m at other table and the kids are tipping like they’re made of money. So, in other words, today was kind of stupid at work.

After the success of my pho, I wanted to make a curry. I searched online for a few recipes but I really didn’t like any of them. I decided to wing it instead, and that was the best decision I’ve ever made. My curry is probably the best thing I’ve ever made, and I made it using techniques I’d seen on Chopped a few times and mixed it with a technique I used for the Pho. The only recipe I actually used was for the roti I had on the side, and I honestly didn’t even need it.

This curry is perfectly spiced so you don’t burn yourself, but still burns enough. The flavor is some of the best I’ve ever created.(And, I think, it’s vegan) Yes, that’s overly cocky, but I have never been so proud of something I’ve made before.

This is actually a pretty easy thing to create, but it does take some time. I tried to only make one serving, and I still got 2 somehow. (Not complaining).

Coconut curry with Tofu, Chickpeas, and Veggies

Here’s what to get from the store:

Firm Tofu
Red Curry Paste
Coconut Milk
Celery
Carrots
Fresh Ginger
Chickpeas
Mushrooms
Jasmine Rice
Fresh Cilantro
Coconut Oil
Wheat Flour

Coconut Curry with Tofu and Chickpeas

1 cinnamon stick
2 full cloves
1 tsp diced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
1/4 red onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 piece of celery, diced
Mushrooms
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 jar of red curry paste
1 Can of Chickpeas
1 cup jasmine rice
Fresh Cilantro
Red Pepper flakes, tumeric, cummin, salt and pepper
Firm tofu, cubed
Siracha
Coconut oil
Olive Oil

  1. Toast the cloves and cinnamon until slightly charred. Add the fresh ginger, toast for another half minute.
  2. Add a spoon full of coconut oil to the pan. As it melts, add the onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until the onions are fragrant. Add the garlic and saute a little more.
  3. Add the coconut milk, curry paste, mushrooms and seasonings. Bring to a boil, keep stiring and let reduce. Taste to adjust seasonings.
  4. While the curry is reducing, cook the rice like you normally would, in boiling water until it soaks up the water. Add cilantro, salt and pepper.
  5. Coat the tofu in siracha, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pan fry until crispy. Add the tofu and chickpeas to the curry and mix well.
  6. To serve, put the rice on the bottom and spoon the curry on top. Serve with roti (recipe below)

Roti
(From, All Recipes)

2 cups durum wheat flour (Or regular wheat flour)
1/2 Tsp Salt
3/4 cup water

1 tbsp Water

 

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, water and oil, until the mixture pulls away from the sides. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Knead until smooth and pliable, about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat an unoiled skillet or tava to medium high heat. Divide dough into 12 equal parts, form into rounds and cover with a damp cloth. Flatten the balls with the palm of your hand, then use a rolling pin to roll out each piece into a 6 to 8 inch diameter round.
  3. Cook the roti for 1 minute before turning over, then turn again after another minute. The roti should have some darker brown spots when finished. Best served warm.
At the beginning of the week I thought about picking up a shift for tomorrow night, my only night this week. But, I ended up working a full 16 hours last night and decided to not press the matter. That, and all my bills for next month are paid, so it’s not like I HAVE to work. I SHOULD buy myself something fun. Problem is, I’m super picky. I’m probably going to spend some time online shopping and maybe buy some things….we’ll see.

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