The Most Hurried of Curry

I love love love curries and stir-frys because they are such a super easy and fast way to eat healthy and the possibilities are truly endless. I mentioned in a previous post my recent craving for tofu so I decided to make an awesome curry skillet dish with a fresh brick of firm, organic tofu. I didn’t make the sauce from scratch and I feel guilty, my last post wasn’t a scratch sauce either…though I like to add my own extra goodies to pre-made sauces. I do promise that my next recipe will have a totally, completely homemade sauce. I swear!

I started with the base veggies. It’s all about the base. Onions, GARLIC, zucchini, mushrooms and a red bell pepper I found in my fridge, on it’s last legs. I’ve been all about olive oil lately, I think there is something to that magical stuff, I mean look at how beautiful Italians are. But since the curry sauce I was using already had a coconut base, I decided to use coconut oil to stir-fry the veggies until lightly tender. I knew i’d also be simmering them in the sauce so didn’t want over cook…plus I like my cooked veggies crisp, soggy veggies are gross.

 

 

When that was all nice and browned I added my precious super firm organic tofu and gave it all another little toss before sprinkling VERY generously with lots of TURMERIC and pepper.

 

I also tossed in some of my favorite nutrient packed goodies that you barely even notice are in there but your body thanks you like, way later. Right now super into hemp seeds. I use this brand, got it on Amazon.com

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Then I added the curry sauce (I picked a yellow Thai curry, thanks again Whole Foods) and let simmer covered on LOW while I cooked the noodles. I have been super into rice noodles and pastas for the past couple of years and it’s pretty much the only ones I buy now.

 

It’s very important to not overcook the noodles, ESPECIALLY with rice noodles (I always undercook by a minute or two) and then IMMEDIATELY drain and run under cold water so they don’t stick together into one gnarly noodle blob monster. I separate them with my fingers while I run the cold water through them and then set aside for when I was ready to add them to the curry and veggie skillet, just long enough to mix it all together but not cook the noodles too much.

I topped with this funky coconut/peanut stuff my mom turned me on to used on Indonesian dishes (fusion, ok?) but you definitely don’t have to and “as is” this bomb dish is vegan and gluten-free. Woot!

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xoxoxo

D

Easy as Eggplant

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I like to mix up my veggie consumption as much as possible so sometimes i’ll buy something random and just figure out what do with it later. Last week it was an eggplant. I was thinking I might marinate it in some balsamic and throw it on the grill. But the days went by and it just sat there. Other things were grilled. The eggplant stood alone.

Then I remembered a jar of Whole Foods brand pasta sauce I bought and got the idea to make try making eggplant parmesan, which I had never attempted before. But I didn’t want to deal with breading. I had no breadcrumbs and I wanted to make a healthier, lighter for summer version.

I would have preferred to make an easy quick tomato sauce from scratch but I had the jar and went for it. Feel free to use your favorite tomato sauce recipe though. There are a ton online for similar recipes. See Pinterest. I am trying to incorporate more garlic into my diet so I topped mine with BIG chunks.

No cheese other than parmesan. No mozzarella, all parmesan baby.

This is so so so easy I swear. All you need it:

  • One large eggplant
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A jar of sauce or your favorite homemade
  • 2 cups fresh grated parmesan
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

That’s it!

I sliced the eggplant very thin and layered three times so it was almost like a veggie lasagna. I also used a round pie dish though any medium baking dish would work. I put down a layer of the eggplant, dabbed each piece with olive oil, sprinkled with parmesan, then sauce. I repeated that three times. Then I topped with a ton of garlic! It looked like this before I put it in the oven:

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Bake uncovered at 400 for 30 minutes and bam!

Filling and yum. I served it to my friend with a piece of sprouted grain toast. You can use the leftovers to make sandwiches or top rice or pasta or eggs. Seriously great reheated.

xoxoxo

D

Crack Snack: Nori Popcorn

OMG. Ok I am not a big snacker but once or twice a month I have to pick up this Nori Sesame Popcorn by POP ART from my local Whole Foods. It’s so freakin’ good. And though it is packed with sodium and not exactly a health food it is surprisingly low in calories, air-popped and gluten-free. And the serving size is 3 cups! But most importantly, it’s delicious AFFFFFF. I am looking to try the pickle popcorn from Trader Joes next.

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Easy Summer Lunch Idea 1

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I don’t know where y’all live but I am currently in the middle of the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles known for strip malls and being disgustingly hot. And it’s the middle of summer, meaning temperatures in the high 90’s, early 100’s. Gross! Can’t wait to move in 6 months. But until them I am stuck here. The last thing I want to do when it’s this hot is use the oven, stove, or eat super heavy. So I threw together a fabulous light and easy lunch that was so satisfying to all my senses, I had to post pics here. It barely even needs a recipe but i’ll share what I used.

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First I made a Caprese inspired salad. Meaning it was almost exactly like a Caprese salad except I put it on baby greens which is not exactly how it’s done. But it was close enough! I used:

  • Two Roma tomatoes
  • Fresh water mozzarella (three medium balls)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Pepper
  • Spring baby greens
  • This BOMB fig balsamic I found on ThriveMarket.com

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I adore this fig balsamic and it’s pretty much the only dressing I ever use these days.

All I did was slice the tomatoes and mozzarella, assemble in a pretty/fancy way over the lettuce, topped with black pepper, fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of the fig balsamic. Option to add a little olive oil. I didn’t. Honestly I forgot but I didn’t miss it.

To make a little bit more substantial of a feast I also cut up a cantaloupe and picked up some prosciutto at my beloved Whole Foods to wrap the melon in Italian style. It was heaven I tell you.

I fed a man with this and he approved. No drive-thru needed! Ciao!

xoxoxo

D

Veggie Forbidden Rice Ramen

Comforting, Nourishing, Filling, Easy, Vegetarian (with a Vegan option) AND Gluten-Free. Niiiiiiiiice.

This was my first attempt at making a ramen soup and though this is far from a traditional ramen recipe, I was pretty proud of how it turned out, both in taste and aesthetically. 

I’m crazy so I made this on a hot night in the middle of summer but it was worth it.

I found these Forbidden Rice ramen noodles at Whole Foods and knew I had to make something with it. Black noodles for a former goth girl, too cool. And though I am far from vegetarian, I was having a killer craving for tofu.IMG_0113IMG_0114I

I used extra firm tofu which I highly recommend. Another item I had that I was excited to use were these kelp flakes I found on Amazon.com. I was reading an article about the health benefits of kelp and immediately ordered a giant bag. I LOVE Amazon for finding food items not easily found in grocery stores. I swear they have everything. Everything. Some benefits of kelp: regulation of thyroid, promotes healthy skin and hair, packed with potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. Even said to aid in burning excess fat. Hell yeah!

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So here’s what I did:

Boil the Forbidden Rice ramen according to the package, drain in the strainer then VERY QUICKLY run cold water threw the noodles, separating with your fingers. When the noodles feel nice and cool, set them aside.

Fill a large pot with about 4 cups of water and let boil. Once it’s to a nice rolling boil add:

  • Three packets of miso soup mix
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic gloves, chopped
  • 2 bunches bok choy
  • 1 cup white mushrooms (or really any mushrooms you want)

Allow the soup to boil on low. While that is going down:

Soft boil two eggs (approx 7 minutes) drain and let sit in cold water. 

Chop into cubes:

  • Extra Firm Tofu

Peels the soft boiled eggs and set aside. Add the tofu to the soup mixture. Cook another 10 minutes.

Now my FAVORITE part. Presentation! I love this part. I love seeing a person’s face when I present them with pretty food.

I kept the noodles separate so they didn’t over cook. I use a lot of rice noodles and pasta and I can tell you, it is extremely easy to overbook them. Mushy noodles are gross.

So assemble your ramen bowls by grabbing your desired portion of noodles, I did about a handful and place it into the bowl. THEN scoop the broth and broth filling over the noodles with a large soup spoon. Slice the soft boiled eggs in two and place a half in the bowl. Lastly I sprinkled with the kelp flakes. Black on Black! Here’s how mine looked:

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PRETTY! Leave the egg out and BAM…it’s Vegan. Ramen is so pretty. I need to make a gallery post. Send me pics of your homemade ramen!

xoxoxo

D