Monday, April 29, 2013

lemon coconut "curry" sauce

This is my new favorite sauce.
It can go on anything.
As a sauce for grilled chicken, over pasta, in scrambled eggs, as a base for soup, or, as my favorite, simmered with chunks of chicken and fingerling potatoes over rice as a "curry", of sorts.

It's not a real curry, per say, but it reminds me of a good, coconut, green curry so that's what we've been calling it.
When we have it for dinner.
About once a week.

And in this house, once a week, once a month, repeating a recipe is a big, big deal.

Lemon Coconut Curry Sauce
Makes about 2 cups.
From 101 Cookbooks!
1 bunch of scallions (about 8-10)
1/2 a bunch of cilantro (about 1 cup of leaves, packed)
1-2 garlic cloves
1-2 fresh jalapenos, depending on how spicy you like it
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 can of coconut milk (full fat is best, of course, but low fat is okay too)
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more/less to taste

Blend all ingredients, except lemon juice, really well in a food processor.  Store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to two days.
Right when you are ready to use, add lemon juice and heat through.  
For example, for our "curry" dish, I brown the chicken and potato chunks and add the sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes, until everything is cooked through and tender, then add the lemon juice and serve over rice or quinoa.  
So so good.

Friday, April 26, 2013

flashback friday - chili garlic noodles

This is one of my all time favs.
Definitely deserves a flashback.

Man, oh man. These are fantastic. Just writing this makes me want to make these for dinner! Why order takeout and spend all that money when you can put a little effort in and make something so delicious? The chili garlic sauce is a little spicy, a little sweet and oh so yummy! I made this one night when Mike was out in the field and I made it the night he got home. He freaked a little about the tofu (he is a meat eater) but he loved it.So creamy and spicy - we love spicy foods so this just hits the spot. It seems like a pile of ingredients but once you have them all, you only use ¼ cup here and there so they last forever. Keep the spoilable items in your fridge and I promise you’ll have enough of these ingredients on hand to make a hundred Asian recipes!

Chili Garlic Noodles with Grilled Tofu
Serves 4.
Don’t like tofu? Never fear! Use pork loin or chicken breasts instead.
Grilled Tofu:
16 ounces extra firm tofu
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup red or white wine
½ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup Asian sesame oil
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons hot chili sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Chili Garlic Noodles:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced shallots
1 cup sliced garlic
2 roasted yellow bell peppers, diced
1 roasted red jalapeno pepper, diced
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup honey
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 pound angel hair pasta
¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves (I totally forgot to use the herbs but you must!)
¼ cup chopped fresh Thai basil leaves
¼ cup chopped scallions

Drain the tofu, slice each block in half, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray lined with several thicknesses of paper toweling. Cover with more paper toweling and a second baking sheet or cutting board, top with a heavy weight (such as aluminum foil-wrapped bricks or canned foods), and let stand for 1 to 2 hours to remove excess moisture.

To make the marinade, combine the soy sauce, wine, vinegar, oils, chili sauce and garlic and mix well. Set aside.

Cut each slab of drained tofu into 2 squares and arrange them in a shallow nonreactive container. Pour the marinade over the tofu, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 24 hours or up to 6 days; return to room temperature before grilling.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture bubbles, thencontinue to cook until the shallots are very soft, about 20 minutes. Drain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the bell peppers and the jalapeno pepper. Stir well; taste and adjust the seasoning.

Combine the soy sauce, honey, and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and cool.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes, then drain.
Put the noodles and soy-honey mixture in a large mixing bowl and toss until the noodles are well coated.

Preheat a grill pan to medium high heat. Remove the tofu from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Place tofu in pan, turning frequently and brushing with the marinade, until lightly browned on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and slice thinly.

To serve, put a bundle of noodles at the bottom of each serving plate. Spoon on the chili-garlic sauce, garnish with mint, basil, and scallions. Arrange sliced tofu on top of the noodles and serve!

Monday, April 22, 2013

energy bites

Have you seen these floating around the internet?
After seeing them ev.ery.where., I decided to try them.
And I was not disappointed.

I make them at least once a week and we munch them all the time.
Takes less than 10 minutes to whip up and you are good to go.

And the variations are endless!
Peanut butter with chocolate chips.
Almond butter with flax seeds.
Sunflower seed butter with white chocolate chunks.
Hazelnut butter with dried fruit.
Add almond extract!
Add cinnamon or nutmeg!
Add candied ginger!
Add cashews!
Below is my favorite version.

Energy Bites
Adapted from several sources online.
Makes about 16 little balls.
1/2 cup reduced fat, chunky, peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup UNsweetened coconut (you can use sweetened but we are going for healthy here...)
2-4 tablespoons whole flax seeds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2-2 teaspoons vanilla

In a medium, microwave proof bowl, combine peanut butter and honey and zap for 15 seconds, until melty and stirrable.  Stir until smooth.  Add the rest of ingredients and mix mix mix!
Now, you can eat straight from the bowl with a spoon (I do) or refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes, and then roll into balls.
These are freezable but I recommend keeping in the fridge and eating one (or two...) at a time when you need a pick-me-up!  Enjoy!

Friday, April 19, 2013

gd likes

justin's almond new favorite snack, hands down.

okay, now that we've covered that.
keep growing it out?  or cut it off again...
i love these short(er) styles but i want one last go at long(ish) hair before i'm 30...

ahhh, what to do?!

soooo, what do you like this week????

Friday, April 12, 2013

flashback friday - red potato tomato salad

....and what to do with all that lovely fresh produce from the farmer's market??
This, of course!
One of my all time favorite salads!

I have Giada to thank for this one....can't take credit for it :)

Red Potato Tomato Salad
Serves 4.
I have to say that I've made this several times and every time it still comes out a little grainy....I keep thinking I'm overcooking the potatoes so I cook them less and less each time.  Still grainy.  You know, that potato-starch-grainy texture.  Regardless, it's still that good.
*Revision!  I've tried microwaving!  It works!  Just toss with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and zap in the microwave, covered, for 5 or so minutes.  Voila!  No grainy texture and cooked through!*

1 pound baby red potatoes, halved, or bigger ones, quartered
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pitted black olives, halved
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3-4 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large lemons, zested
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the potatoes to a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Set the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to dry for 5 minutes.
In a serving bowl, add the potatoes, tomatoes, scallions, olives, parsley, capers, thyme, olive oil, and lemon zest. Toss gently until all the ingredients are coated and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour and gently toss again before serving.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

farmer's market!

happy Spring, everyone!
i'm so thrilled it's Spring.
my local farmer's market is back in full swing.
they had a winter's market but now, all the vendors are back and i can't wait to check out new offerings!
and what's more, all the produce is guaranteed to be local, within 100 miles, and freshly picked, weekly!
enjoy these snapshots from the past seasons :)

beautiful Autumn apples

beets, carrots, and bok choy

eggplant of all shapes and sizes

gorgeous rainbow chard

yellow cauliflower and bell peppers

brussels sprouts!!

green beans, bells, and broccoli

turnips and radishes

gourds and squash

heirloom tomatoes and sunflowers for your table

and even mini, apple cider doughnuts for me and my men!

such a wonderful place.  always looking forward to what we'll find in our leisurely strolls before church.

Friday, April 5, 2013

gd likes

super cool sunnies

clean kitchens

love white kitchens

kitchen diy...making this soon!

Cake stand for your sink soaps and scrubs!  So much cuter than just putting this stuff behind the faucet.

super cute sandals

Sooooo....what do you like this week????
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