coconut curry with tofu

Curry. I like it a lot.

It can be hot or not so hot. It can be red, green or yellow. It can be a paste or a powder. You can serve it with meat (or not), veggies, tofu, nuts, chickpeas or a mixture of any of the above – it’s truly a versatile dish – and a simple one.

This recipe (if you can call it that) is always a little different for me, I just use whatever I have on hand…mix it with coconut milk, vegetable broth, some fresh herbs (typically cilantro) and finish with freshly squeezed lime juice and a delicious dinner is served!

Most curry dishes (in my opinion) are pretty much the curry base mixed with the ingredients of choice plus coconut milk and stock. Oh, and lime juice. Must have the lime juice.

So if your wondering what to have for dinner, why not try a simple curry?

You can find pre-made curry pastes or curry powders in just about any grocery store, for this recipe I used a red curry paste – I prefer the paste for a dish like this. Think you have nothing on hand to eat? Think again. Not a lot is needed for curries, just a bit of creativity and a little time…

I didn’t have much on hand,

veggies

(I’m so excited to be in my garden again, this post was written before my garden was in full force) – so I utilized what I did have;  one red pepper, broccoli, carrots, cashews, tofu, onions, fresh parsley and limes. Basically a few staples.

Here’s a few more ideas for curried dishes – sweet potato, spinach, kale, fresh ginger, garlic…try using frozen veggies too if fresh aren’t available. No limes? Use lemons. No cilantro? Use parsley. Fish also tastes divine curried…as do a variety of meats. So, go crazy. Get out your knife, your stock, your coconut milk and whatever you have in your fridge and get currying. (:

While you are preparing the curried veggies don’t forget to start cooking your rice or rice noodles so it is  ready when your curry is ready…

First, dice

cubed tofu

sauteed tofu

and sauté your tofu (or meat of choice), until golden and crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.

sauteed veggies

In same pan sauté onions in a bit of olive oil (or butter), until golden, add carrots (or any ‘hard’ veggie), until slightly softened, then add your ‘softer’ veggies like peppers, broccoli or greens – sauté for a few more minutes.

add coconut milk

Then I push the veggies to the sides of the pan, add the curry paste (amount depends upon how spicy you want it) and coconut milk (1 can) and mix well until all is blended – all the while simmering over a low heat…then add about 1 – 1.5 cups of veggie stock and mix well. Add cashews and the sauteed tofu and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Salt to taste, add fresh herbs (parsley or cilantro) and finished with freshly squeezed lime juice.

IMG_4251_2

Portion out a bit of rice (or rice noodles), then top with the curried veggies (or whatever it was you curried) and enjoy.

top view - served

Salt and lime to taste.

Easy. Delicious. Healthy. Versatile. Inexpensive.

served 1

What’s not to love?

Enjoy.

potato leek soup

I’d never grown leeks before, but thought I’d try…and I’m so glad I did. Mass produced leeks lack, what all mass produced veggies lack, and that’s taste.

my leeks 1

Backyard leeks are incredibly powerful,

Less is more with these beauties…

my leeks 2

Not a gardener? Well then stop by your local farmers market and pick up a few…or your local health food store…or the organic produce aisle of your local supermarket.

The difference is incredible and well worth the expense…see for yourself.

Potato Leek Soup

Print this recipe

potatoes, leeks, onion

1.5 lbs. potatoes

3/4 to 1 lb. leeks – chopped

1/2 onion – chopped

4-5 cups vegetable or chicken stock…whichever you prefer…

juice from 1-2 lemons

olive oil

a couple tablespoons of butter

salt and pepper to taste

That’s it.

Here’s what to do;

First, wash and peel the potatoes, then chop.

Second, clean each leek, chop white parts only.

cleaned leeks

trimmed leeks

Peel and chop onion.

choped onion

Splash enough olive oil to coat bottom of a heavy bottomed cook pot.

Heat over medium heat.

Add chopped onion and a bit of butter…

caramelized onion

Saute until browned.

Add chopped leeks…

chopped leek

Toss in a bit more butter…don’t be afraid…

Saute for a few more minutes.

Add chopped potatoes.

potatoes and onions

Toss and coat with buttery, browned onions/leeks…

Add a bit more butter…

Mix well.

9.adding stock

Pour in stock.

Stir.

Add a good pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir.

Finish with freshly squeezed lemon juice…

Cover and simmer for about an hour.

slighly pureed in pot

From here it’s up to you;

Do you prefer a pureed version of potato leek soup? If so, then mix potato and leeks in a blender, with a bit of stock…keep blending in small batches until desired consistency is met…add more salt and pepper to taste…

Or, if that’s not your style, why not enjoy it, as is…?

Final option.

Utilize a hand mixer and puree only some…thus creating a smashed up soup, that’s what I did.

Whichever you choose…

Finish with ringlets of freshly chopped leeks (greenish part) and possibly even a splash of cream…

potato leek soup served

Serve with freshly baked bread.

freshly baked bread

Enjoy.

the versatile frittata…

Frittatas are a lot like quiche, without the crust. No crust, means they are that much more convenient to prepare. The built in bonus – they are versatile. I love versatile…

1.fritatta eggs

Fresh eggs and veggies. Eggs and meat. Eggs and cheese. Combine all three or more or less, and you have a frittata.

Simple. Inexpensive. Quick and Healthy.

Frittatas are perfect for house guests, a potluck or brunch. They can be served warm or cold.

Expecting company and want to serve straight out of the oven?  Prep veggies the night before and then simply heat, add herbs, mixed eggs and cover. Voila, a beautiful breakfast/brunch/meal is ready to be shared… freshness and scrumptiousness served up in minutes -and for a fraction of going out.

What’s not to love?

Artichoke heart and goat cheese frittata

Print this recipe!

*adapted from Patrie Grace, in Potlucks.

What you’ll need;

2.fritatta ingrediants

1 bunch spring onions or scallions, thinly sliced (substitution – 1 medium onion, chopped and browned)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 cup basil, finely chopped

1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted and sliced in half

3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 medium tomato, chopped)

1-2 good pinches of sea or kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 large eggs, well beaten (preferably farm fresh) (:

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (I substituted brie for the goat – I was out of goat – it was great too!)

3.brown onions

Cook onion in olive oil in a large oven proof skillet – cast iron works great – until onions are soft and brown. Add the garlic, cook briefly.

4.ingrediants added

Add the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil. Stir gently, until all vegetables are heated through.

5.top with egg

Reduce heat to low and pour the beaten eggs on top, covering all the vegetables.

6.cover with lid

Cover skillet and cook until eggs are firm on the bottom, about 5-7 minutes…give it a little shimmy to see how firm it is on the bottom. If more time is needed go on a minute to minute basis…

7.cooked

Uncover and place under the broiler, watching carefully until frittata is lightly golden. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and return for 1-3 minutes.

8.top with cheese

Slice, then garnish with ribboned basil or freshly chopped chives and serve.

9.enjoy

Enjoy with a light green salad and or pan fried potatoes.

Serve with soup and salad.

Eat warm or cold – either way, it’s delicious!

enjoy the weekend!

P.S. Fun fact –  the cute rooster plate I found at my local freebie barn – actually, I found an entire dish set for four, including, tea cups, saucers, side plates and dinner plates – plus, the lovely green bowl the eggs are photographed in … I love that place! (:

loveliness in a loaf pan

Meatloaf. I love meatloaf. Not meat meatloaf, but meat(less)loaf.

I love slicing into it, topping it with extra sauce and then serving it alongside mashed potatoes with freshly snipped chives…

I love its texture and hardiness. Its down home simplicity. Its common ingredients…

Especially on fog enshrouded evenings…comfort food in spring I say, and healthy at that!

Meatloaf without the meat.

Try it.

You’ll never know ’till you do…

Mushroom meat(less)loaf

adapted from the silver palette

Print this recipe!

2 cups white beans

1/2 cup walnuts, ground

generous pinch of coarse salt

generous pinch of ground pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup organic ketchup (no high fructose corn syrup here)

1/2 tsp. basil (dried or fresh)

1 cup old fashioned oats (not instant)

2 eggs

2 tbsp. parsley, chopped

4-6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sauteed till browned

1/2 tsp. oregano

1

Cook beans and drain. If using canned, drain and rinse. Mash beans with fork.

2

Slice and saute mushrooms until browned (saute in butter or olive oil)

3.eggsjpg

Add oatmeal, nuts, and eggs, to mashed beans, mix well.

4

5

Blend mixture with herbs, ketchup, mushrooms, onions, salt + pepper

6

Place mixture in a greased 9″ X 5″ X 2″  (or thereabouts…)loaf pan.

7

Top with red sauce. (recipe below)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

8

Red Sauce

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp.olive oil for sauteing

1 cup crushed tomatoes or diced

1 handful fresh spinach, kale or swiss chard, chopped

Saute onion in olive oil until browned.

Add chopped greens, saute until softened.

Add tomatoes.

Stir.

9

10

enjoy!

ripe red raspberry crisp

Yeah for sunshine, warmth and raspberries!

While fresh (and local) raspberries are still a few months away, I just couldn’t wait…it was warm, the sun was shining and we needed a sweet treat. What to do? Pull out some frozen raspberries and get mixing!

Simple. Delicious. Easy and versatile.

No raspberries? No problem! Just substitute fresh or frozen blueberries, peaches or apples and dessert is served in just 30 minutes!

Ripe Red Raspberry Crisp

Print this recipe!

A few cupfuls of fresh or frozen raspberries – enough to cover the bottom (and then some) of a pie plate or 9″ X 13″ baking pan.

1. frozen raspberries

1 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg, beaten

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease the bottom of whichever dish you choose to use. Pour raspberries to cover bottom…and then some…

2. raspberries + topping in bowls

Blend dry ingredients. Add egg and melted butter. Mix until dry ingredients are moistened.

3.crumble on raspberries

Pat mixture over raspberries.

4. top view raspberry crisp

Bake 35-45 minutes. Or until browned on top.

5.ready to serve

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, freshly whipped cream or simply on its’ own…

6.scoopful of crisp

7.finn with his slice

8. focused9.yum

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

lunch is served

Now I don’t need to tell you how to make egg salad, I’m sure you already know how…but just in case, here’s a friendly reminder for a lunch or brunch idea that can be as fancy (think bread, crusts removed, finger sized) or simple (rolled in a tortilla) as you like…

Add a little decadence – serve champagne with your finger sandwiches…or any sandwich for that fact!

Not only is egg salad good for just about any day, but it’s also perfect for picnics (keep chilled of course – sandwiches and champagne) and meals on the go. It’s inexpensive (even with organic eggs), requires little time and the ingredients are common to most.

Get the kids involved. Peel, smash, enjoy.

Simple Egg Salad

Print this recipe!

1.hard boiled eggs

7-8 eggs, hard boiled and peeled.

2.peeling eggs(I wasn’t too worried about the state of the eggs once peeled, they’re just going to get smashed up anyway!)

2 heaped spoonfuls mayonnaise (or however much you prefer)

1 teaspoon english mustard

course salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3.mashing eggs

Smash eggs with masher (this makes them super fluffy).

4.blended

Add mayonnaise, mustard.

Mix until blended.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

5.egg salad roll-ups

Serve on sliced bread, rolled in a tortilla or on a Portuguese roll.

Don’t forget to include fresh greens too!

Lunch is served!

Now, where is that champagne?

Enjoy!

spring rolls

My previous post was all about the delicious inspiration served up over at Frugal Feeding, (noodle broth + spring rolls) and while he offers his own recipe for spring rolls, I chose to simply use what I had on hand.

For me, the best part of spring rolls is their versatility…fresh or fried, vegetarian or meat based – the combinations abound…

While the rolling wasn’t that simple, it wasn’t that difficult either…a little more practice and time (I had two very hungry people patiently waiting for me to ‘figure it out’) and I’ll have it down! These rolls were scrumptious nonetheless…

spring rolls

You’ll need one packet of Spring Roll Wrappers and rice noodles, plus whatever filling you’d like to add – see my list below for ideas.

Print this recipe…

First here’s how to use spring roll wrappers;

1. Fill a shallow tray/dish with hot water and place a spring roll wrapper into the water until it is soft and pliable (about 15-20 seconds).

2. Remove the wrapper and gently lay onto a damp tea towel and blot until until it is slightly sticky/dry.

3. Place the filling of your choice in the middle of the wrapper and then fold in two opposing sides, not fully covering the filling, then roll the third side over and upwards to form a neat roll shape.

Here’s one filling suggestion (more below);

spring roll ingrediants

1 cup cooked rice noodles – chilled, whole (some recipes suggest chopping – I didn’t)

handful fresh spinach leaves

1-2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tbs. bean sprouts

handful fresh mint and or coriander (cilantro), chopped

red chili

1. Mix all ingredients in bowl. Use one (more/less) heaping spoon full of mixture per wrapper (or whatever portion you find suitable for the wrappers you are using).

2. Place mixture in center of wrapper, add a dash of tamari or soy sauce and roll as instructed above.

3. Serve immediately. Or deep fry for about 2 minutes and serve with dipping sauce. We used tamari, though a sweet and sour chili sauce would be lovely too!

We enjoyed them both fresh and fried. See for yourself.

Here are a few more suggestions to try, or any combination thereof, the choice is entirely up to you…

lettuce leaves

medium sized prawns (cooked)

shredded duck (cooked)

fresh basil

pak choi, finely chopped

chopped garlic

chopped ginger

any fresh green which can be eaten raw

cabbage – thinly sliced

noodle broth + rolls

This is a refreshingly light, yet extremely satisfying meal…especially when served with noodle broth.

enjoy!

How do you like your spring rolls?