Coconut Pumpkin Curry Soup

November 3rd, 2011

I didn’t take a picture of this one, but trust me… was yummy. If the name sounds scary, the coconut flavor really doesn’t come through in this, but it adds the creaminess I like in soup without the dairy component!

1 14 oz can Chicken Broth
1 14 oz can Coconut Milk
1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
1 Tbsp. Grated Fresh Ginger
1 Tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Tsp. Mohini Tandoori Blend
1 Tsp. Todd’s Crabby Dirt

Toss everything into a pan on medium heat, bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 45 minutes or so. As usual, feel free to vary ingredients as you desire!


Soft Pretzels

November 2nd, 2011

Lately, I’ve had a craving for those big, chewy salty soft pretzels. I halved the recipe found here: although, since it took most of the day, I really should have just made a full recipe and stuck half in the freezer. They were really yummy. The most difficult part was getting the dough thin enough by rolling it between my palms.

Crispy Tempura Tofu in Thai Red Curry Sauce

July 12th, 2011

I recently found my FryDaddy fryer and have been loving it.

½ package Firm Tofu, cut into ¾ inch (or so) chunks
2 cloves Garlic, diced
1 Tbsp grated or chopped Ginger
2 Tbsp Ponzu Vinegar
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 cup Rice Flour plus extra for coating tofu
¾ cup Club Soda
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/3 jar Thai Red Curry Sauce (I used Tiger Tiger from World Market)

1. Mix garlic, ginger, ponzu and soy sauce together. Toss tofu in the mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or so.
2. Whisk together the rice flour, club soda, baking soda and salt to make tempura batter.
3. Heat oil to 375 F.
4. Heat curry sauce in a pan on med-low
5. Drain tofu
6. Put rice flour in a tray or shallow bowl
7. Cover 6-8 pieces of tofu in rice flour, then dip in tempura batter and fry until golden brown.
8. Place fried tofu on paper towels to drain while repeating with the rest of the tofu
9. Serve tofu over a few spoonfuls of curry sauce

This amount would serve two as a side dish or appetizer. I had a few pieces of tofu left over.

Sorry, I didn’t take pics…I was hungry!

Brown Rice Bowl

July 11th, 2011

My ex-step-son and his then-girlfriend-now-wife (I know, complicated), were vegetarians, and when visiting them in Eugene one time, we took them to lunch at Yumm! Cafe. Their specialty is rice bowls using their Yumm! Sauce. I found the sauce at LifeSource, and picked up a couple more jars this last week at a Yumm! Cafe in Bend.

Trader Joe’s sells frozen brown rice that comes 3 bags in a box that you can microwave for 3 minutes.

½ bag cooked Trader Joe’s Brown Rice
1 Salted Duck Egg
½ cup canned Black Beans
¼ cup Original Yumm! Sauce
¼ cup shredded cheese of choice

I microwaved this for a couple of minutes until the cheese was melted and the beans heated through. Yummy!


Chocolate Frito Bark

July 10th, 2011

OK, so I saw Texas Frito Brittle on a cooking show and had to change it up for last week’s family vacation. I have quite a bit left, since I think people were afraid of it, so I’ll take a picture next time I get it out of the fridge. Once again….measurements are sketchy, if at all.

I used a cookie sheet with edges, lined with waxed paper for this, so measurements should be adjusted to the size of your pan.

On the waxed paper, I spread thin layers of:
Crushed Peanut Butter Pretzels
Roasted, Salted Cashews
Chopped, Dried Fruit (Trader Joe’s Mix)

I melted every plain chocolate I had in the house, from Semi-sweet to unsweetened: some Lindt, lots of Baker’s, some Hershey’s Miniatures… and poured it over everything.

I put the pan on a rack to cool to room temperature, then put it in the fridge. I broke it into pieces and put it in to gallon zipper bags, and have kept it chilled.

The Frito taste doesn’t overwhelm the chocolate, but adds a great texture, staying crunchy. The fruit adds just that bit of chewy sweetness. OK, so I love things mixed in to my dark chocolate.

Pics to come soon!

Balsamic Strawberries

June 20th, 2011

OK, so I grew up picking strawberries for spending money every summer. They were warm and fresh and irresistable to nibble on. There were also mushy, moldy and rotten ones low on the vines, or on the ground between the rows. Needless to say, they became one of my least favorite fruits.

Many, many years later, the markets are ripe with fresh, organic strawberries, and I can’t seem to keep up with all that I buy! I love them sliced thin with a splash of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of Truvia, and a bit of fresh ground black pepper. Stir well and let sit at room temperature for a half hour or so, stirring every now and then.

To serve, I cut thin slices of baguette, brush with olive oil, top with a slice of brie and bake in my toaster oven on convection until bubbly. I then top it with the balsamic strawberries, and they disappear in no time!

I finished up what was in the fridge in a two-egg omelette, filled with some softened cream cheese mixed with a bit of sour cream, topped with the balsamic strawberry slices. Yummy!

Mom loves balsamic strawberries on a spinach salad, but since I can’t digest the spinach, I’ve had to come up with other ideas. How do you serve strawberries?

Brown Rice, Pork and Eggs

June 14th, 2011

Serving of Brown Rice, Pork and Eggs

As usual, I bought an item, then looked into how to use it. I found cooked, salted duck eggs at Wing Wa Market. I love the egg yolks in Moon Cakes, and found recipes for the duck eggs mixed in with steamed pork with a chicken egg on top, and salted duck eggs in congee….so I combined the two.

4 servings cooked Brown Rice
1 cooked Salted Duck Egg
1/8 lb diced Pork
1 chicken egg
Fresh Ground Pepper
Fresh Grated Ginger
Soy Sauce

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions, substituting soy sauce for salt.
2. Place cooked rice in a mixing bowl.
3. Dice or shred Duck Egg, depending on the texture you get – I shredded by hand
4. Add diced pork to bowl
5. Grind in pepper and ginger to taste
6. Splash some soy sauce over all
7. Mix well, making sure the pork is incorporated throughout
8. Place in a heat-proof dish and make dents around the top
9. Open chicken egg and spread it over the dents in the mixture
10. Steam for 20 minutes
11. Serve

Serves 4 as side dish, 2 as main. If used as a main dish, you could double the amount of pork. I froze the rest of the pork for later use

Steamed Brown Rice, Pork and Eggs

Wooo Hooo! New Discovery!!!

May 4th, 2011

OK, for those tired about me whining about not being able to eat desserts when dining out, I discovered something this last weekend.

I’m taking a digestive enzyme recommended by my acupuncturist, which my gastroenterologist kinda poo-poo’d and recommended a different OTC med. As usual, based on her (the GE) bedside attitude of a rock, I went with what my acupuncturist suggested, but was not able to eat anything with sugars.

Yes, finding Truvia allows me to cook sweets at home, but I was at a conference where meals came with dessert of cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and one breakfast was French toast! So…..I took both the enzymes and the OTC med before the meal, and had absolutely no problem with any of the above!!!!!

Things like lettuce and nuts are still mechanical issues, which won’t change, but those pesky reactions to sugars are getting better! Yay!

Chicken and Paneer Curry with Spicy Socca (Italian Chickpea Crepes)

April 19th, 2011

The Curry Meal

I boned and skinned 4 chicken thighs and cut paneer (Indian cheese) both into bite-sized pieces. I tossed them in a bowl with salt, pepper, a couple of scoops of Happy Curry Yellow Curry Paste and a little coconut milk. I covered it and set it in the fridge for an hour or so.

Earlier this afternoon, I quickly whisked together the batter for Socca, a chickpea flour crepe. I added some freshly ground pepper and ¼ tsp Garam Masala, to give it a bit more Indian flavor.

While making the crepes in my shallow oval cast-iron skillet, I heated my large round cast-iron skillet and tossed in the marinated chicken and paneer. When the chicken was done, I added a couple more scoops of curry powder paste and coconut milk, and cooked it until it thickened. I kept the crepes warm in the toaster oven.

Norm mixed his share of the curry with sauteed veggies and rice, and I ate it as it was, spooned on to crepes.

We now officially have enough leftovers in the fridge to feed the entire neighborhood, or feed Norm for a day!

Stocked with leftovers

Edit 4/22/11: The Socca makes a great stand-in for corn tortillas in enchiladas. I already had my enchilada sauce made and cheese grated before I discovered that my tortillas were stale. I made a new batch of socca yesterday and still had a few on the counter next to me, so I used two of them. Great!

A Couple of Dark Chocolate Recipes

April 18th, 2011

First I tried this recipe for White Cocoa Oatmeal Lava Cake from the Truvia website. I used Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Chocolate, and Bakers White. I also halved the amount of Truvia, since I find it to be really sweet if used in full amounts. Oh, and I don’t have a hand mixer, and didn’t want to haul out the KA stand mixer for just 3 egg whites. The whisk attachment on the immersion blender works much better than the blender attachment!

A couple of faults with the recipe. The size of ramekins was not specified, so I used my Emile Henry soup ramekins, knowing the shape wouldn’t allow me to turn them out. Oh well, I wasn’t making it for company or presentation anyway. The recipe only filled 3 of them less than halfway. I should have used my smaller straight sided ones. The other thing, is that it appears that the oatmeal should be cooked ahead of time. I tried a bit while it was still warm and was confused at how chewy it was. I then realized that the rolled oats were still completely uncooked.

Other than being super-chewy, these tasted really good.

Update 4/24/11: These were far easier to eat after reheating in the microwave. However, the sugar content in the white chocolate was far too high for my body. Next time, aside from cooking the oatmeal, I’ll use all really dark or unsweetened chocolate with a touch of Truvial.

While they were cooling, I decided to try this recipe for Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate using Bakers Unsweetened Chcolate and a few pinches of Truvia. It turned out incredibly thick, rich and filling. I couldn’t taste any of the spices over the dark chocolate, but there was a slight heat from the cayenne. I had about half a cup and refrigerated the rest.

Update 4/22/11: To reheat this, I thinned it down half and half with soymilk and nuked it. The cayenne has definitely strengthened with time! It makes my ears tingle the way a bloody mary used to!

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