Tag Archives: thai

Raw Zucchini Noodles and a Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

Do you know what this is?

It’s zucchini noodles!

What are zucchini noodles? Well, they’re not really noodles, but rather, they are very thin strips of raw zucchini. I have a spiral slicer, and thought I’d put it to use making noodles. I wanted something grain-free to eat with a chicken curry, and this was just the thing.

The spiral slicer does make this super-easy, but if you don’t have one, you can use a vegetable peeler to make wide, flat noodles. Just peel the zucchini lengthwise into long strips, rotating as you go, until you get to the seeds. If you want, you can saute the noodles really briefly (like for a minute, tops), but I even enjoy them totally raw. They make the perfect base for any saucy dish. While I enjoy spaghetti squash as well, zucchini is a lovely change. (and since zucchini is in season, why not?)

So how about that curry?

This is definitely an easy weeknight curry. I didn’t make the curry paste from scratch. (shocker, I know) I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste. This made the whole dish come together much more quickly. While it’s not a traditional Thai curry (I haven’t seen many Thai curries with red cabbage and yellow squash…I just threw them in there because I had a ton of vegetables in the house that needed to be eaten, and it sounded tasty to me.), the flavors still worked well together. It was warm, slightly spicy, and comforting – all great attributes in a curry. (Aren’t saucy curries like, the ultimate comfort food? They are to me – and it doesn’t matter if it’s an Indian curry, a Thai curry, a Jamaican curry, or a totally-new-invention curry. They all make my belly happy.) And those zucchini noodles? They kept it from feeling heavy. In the summer, that’s a definite plus.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

2 T coconut oil, divided

1 T Thai Kitchen red curry paste

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1 c coconut milk

1 5-inch piece lemongrass, smashed with side of knife (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or omit)

3 Kaffir lime leaves (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or sub a bit of lime zest)

1 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 ½ c sliced red cabbage

1 tomato, chopped

2-3 T cilantro, chopped

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Swirl to heat, and add curry paste. Stir the paste around for a few seconds to get it sizzling. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, and add to the skillet. Stir until the paste is evenly coating the chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, and Kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened well and flavors have melded. Adjust seasoning to taste.

While the curry is simmering, heat another skillet to medium heat. Add the remaining coconut oil and swirl. Add the squash and cabbage and saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the squash is lightly browned and the cabbage is starting to wilt. Add the tomatoes and stir for a moment. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables to the curry and stir. Serve on top of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or steamed rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 3-4.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Vegetables

Stir-Fried Brown Rice with Sirloin and Broccoli

Some up-front honesty before we get started: I debated whether to post this. Not because it wasn’t delicious – it most certainly was. No doubt about that. I just felt that the photo doesn’t do the dish justice. This is a dish that is bursting with flavor, demanded that I take seconds, and was indeed greater than the sum of its parts. In my opinion, this photo just didn’t convey those attributes enough. Unfortunately, it was also so well-enjoyed that by the time I downloaded the photos from my camera and came upon this realization, the opportunity to retake the pictures was long gone. All that remained were a few stray rice grains in the pan. Has this ever happened to you?

After some serious consideration, I decided to go forward with it. After all, why should I make you wait until next time (and there will be a next time!)? You should be able to enjoy a dish like this today. I’m a firm believer in immediate gratification when it comes to food.

The inspiration for this recipe came from the latest edition of Food and Wine magazine, amid other healthy, delicious recipes. (Yes, Food and Wine published a lot of healthy recipes this month! I was pretty darned excited, if I do say so.) Su-Mei Yu was the creator of a delectable Stir-Fried Red Rice with Sliced Sirloin Steak and Peas dish. Unfortunately, I didn’t have red rice on hand, and I knew it would require a bit of searching to locate. While I fully intend on tracking down some red rice, just to try it out, I wanted to make this dish now. (You know, that while immediate gratification thing.) So I substituted short-grain brown rice, changed up the vegetables a bit, and basically took a large number of liberties to suit my needs. Not sure that in the end, I’m actually following the original recipe at all, but regardless, I was definitely inspired.

The verdict? As you saw in the first paragraph, this was a hit. Who says healthy has to be bland or boring? I loved the slight heat the chile oil gave, loved the brightness of the cilantro and lime, and practically licked my plate clean. Even the husband was pleasantly surprised. (He’s not much for Asian cuisine, especially when it comes to a bunch of vegetables stir-fried together.) This recipe will definitely appear on the Tasty Eats menu again in the future.

Stir-Fried Brown Rice with Sirloin and Broccoli, adapted from Su-Mei Yu – Food and Wine magazine

1 large head broccoli, cut into florets

2 T olive oil (not extra-virgin)

8 oz sirloin steak, sliced thinly into strips

Salt and pepper

½ large sweet onion, diced

1 ½ T grated fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 carrots, peeled and julienned

1 c frozen peas, thawed

2 c short-grain brown rice, cooked (either follow your rice cooker’s instructions, or follow Nicole’s super-cool instructions for perfect brown rice) and cooled to room temperature

2 T gluten-free soy sauce (La Choy and Tan-J sell gluten-free varieties)

1 T fish sauce

1 t sesame oil

½ t chile oil (optional – can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets)

½ c chopped cilantro

1 lime, sliced into wedges

Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to cover the broccoli, and bring to a boil. Prepare a bowl with ice water and set aside. When water is boiling, add broccoli and submerge. Boil for 1 minute and drain, and quickly dunk broccoli into ice water to stop cooking. When cool, drain broccoli and set aside.

In a skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil at medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the steak strips, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and spread out into a single layer. Brown for about 1 minute. Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, and carrots and sauté for another minute or two. Add the broccoli, peas, and rice and stir. Let sit untouched for about a minute, until you hear everything sizzle. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce and stir. Add the steak, sesame oil, and chile oil and stir again. Remove from heat and serve garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Rice

Daring Cooks: Pork Satay

This month’s Daring Cooks challenge was chosen by Cuppy of Cuppylicious. As a huge fan of Thai-inspired flavors, I was excited about this challenge. I’ve made satay before (using chicken thighs), but it was years ago. When this challenge was announced, I wondered to myself why it had been so long since satay made it on the menu. After all, marinated meat on a stick? Who can say no to that? (okay, well maybe vegetarians would, but Cuppy was generous enough to suggest tofu or veggie satay as an alternative.) Needless to say, we let our carnivorous nature take over on this occasion.

I opted to use a pork tenderloin for this dish. I don’t use pork nearly often enough. It’s relatively inexpensive, and the tenderloins are, well, tender, making for a quick weeknight meal option. In fact, I did just that – prepared the pork marinade one weeknight, and we enjoyed pork satay the following weeknight for dinner. It comes together fairly quickly. I did “cheat” and use the broiler instead of the grill. My excuse? It was about 20 degrees outside that evening and quite windy. For a Texan, that’s way too cold to stand out in front of the grill! The broiler did a mighty fine job, though, and we didn’t miss the grill one bit.

The verdict? Tasty enough for a party! Again, meat on a stick always goes over well, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a flavorful marinade and delightful dipping sauces! If I were to make this again, I might put slightly less cumin in my marinade (my ground cumin is pretty potent), but otherwise, it was wonderful! A big thanks to Cuppy for sharing this recipe – it’s definitely going to become a repeat in our household!

Pork Satay with Peanut and Pepper Dipping Sauce, adapted from 1000 Recipes by Martha Day

For the pork:

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 T ginger, chopped

2 T lemon juice

1 T gluten-free soy sauce

1 t ground coriander

1 t ground cumin

1/2 t ground turmeric

2 T vegetable oil

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into strips (about 1 inch wide, 4-5 inches long)

Combine first nine ingredients in food processor, and pulse until well-chopped and combined. Place marinade and pork tenderloin pieces in a large ziploc bag, tossing pork to ensure each piece is coated. Place in refrigerator and marinate overnight.

Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes in water before using. Preheat grill or broiler. Place pork on skewers. Broil or grill until meat just begins to char, about 6-8 minutes. Flip and grill or broil other side until cooked through, another 6 minutes or so. Serve with dipping sauces.

For the peanut sauce:

3/4 c coconut milk

4 T peanut butter

1 T lemon juice

1 T gluten-free soy sauce

1/2 t fish sauce

1 t agave nectar

1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 t ground coriander

1/2 t crushed red pepper

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well. Place a small saucepan over low heat. Add coconut milk, peanut butter, and soy sauce mixture. Mix well, and warm for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Serve warm with pork.

For the pepper sauce:

4 T gluten-free soy sauce

1 T lemon juice

1 t agave nectar

1/2 t crushed red pepper

Mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature with pork.

Don’t forget! If you haven’t entered yet for a chance to win some Xagave nectar and the Where Delicious Meets Nutritious cookbook, there’s still time! Check out the giveaway here!

30 Comments

Filed under Appetizers, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Pork, Quick and Easy

Thai Curry Chicken Stir-fry

Here I am again, experimenting with asian food. This is not an authentic Thai recipe, but the flavors used are common in a lot of Thai cooking. Don’t be overwhelmed by the long list of ingredients, once you get started, everything cooks fairly quickly.  Once served, Sriracha (an asian hot chili sauce) is a great condiment if you like extra heat.

2 c chicken broth

1 T coarsely chopped cilantro stems

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 T minced ginger

2-3 star anise

 

1 jasmine rice

1 ½ c water

½ t salt

 

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin slices

1 t thai red curry paste (you can find this in the asian section of many supermarkets)

1 T peanut oil

1 T minced shallots

1 T minced garlic (1-2 cloves)

1 T minced ginger

3-4 thai bird chiles or 1 serrano chile, minced

4-5 shitake mushrooms, sliced

4 heads baby bok choy, chopped

1 t cornstarch

1 t soy sauce

1 T fish sauce

½ t brown sugar

1 lime

½ c chopped cilantro

6-8 basil leaves, chopped (preferably thai basil)

 

In a small saucepan, heat broth, cilantro stems, garlic, ginger, and star anise to boil, reduce to simmer. Let simmer 15-20 minutes, and strain using a fine-meshed sieve. Keep warm.

 

Heat water and salt in a medium saucepan to boiling, add rice. Stir, reduce heat to low and cover, cook for 15 minutes.

 

Mix thai red curry paste with chicken, set aside.

 

Heat a large skillet or wok to medium high heat. Add peanut oil, heat until shimmering. Add shallot, garlic, ginger, and thai chiles to skillet, cook for 2-3 minutes or until beginning to color and soften. Add chicken, and cook until chicken is just opaque, 3-4 minutes more. Add mushrooms and bok choy, stir to ensure even cooking. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. In a small bowl, whisk 1 c chicken broth with cornstarch. Add chicken broth mixture, soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar to skillet and stir. Turn temperature to low, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding chicken broth if sauce is too thick. Squeeze lime juice into sauce.

 

Serve rice with stir-fry, and sprinkle cilantro and basil on top.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Main Dishes, Rice

Thai Rice Salad

thai rice saladThis recipe occurred semi-accidentally. I was studying various thai recipes and examining the flavors, and went home to stare at my fridge, and out came this recipe. You can use the base rice recipe here, or you can use the Mango-Ginger Coconut Rice recipe I have posted.

2 cups coconut rice, cooked (see below)

1 T peanut oil

1 1/2 c pineapple, large dice

1/2 lb shrimp

1 shallot, minced

1/4 c cilantro, chopped

1 T fresh basil, chopped

1 Thai chile, minced (if you can’t find a Thai chile, use 1-2 red jalapeno peppers)

½ sweet red pepper, sliced

1-2 T fish sauce (aka nam pla, found in the asian section of most groceries, or in a specialty market)

1 t soy

1 t ginger

1 t lemongrass, minced

2 cloves minced garlic

½ lime, juiced

Sugar to taste

 

 

Heat oil in saucepan, sauté shrimp with shallots, garlic, and basil. Add thai chile and saute another 1-2 minutes. Add red pepper and pineapple, and saute until crisp-tender, and remaining seasonings. Mix with rice, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Garnish with cilantro.

 

*note: A wonderful condiment to eat with this dish, and many other asian dishes, is Sambal Oelek, a garlic-chili paste you can find in the asian section of most groceries and asian specialty stores. It’s quite spicy, and quite tasty.

 

Coconut Rice:

 

2 c jasmine rice

1 t unsalted butter

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

1 t ginger, minced

1 c water

1/4 t salt

 

Melt butter in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium high heat. Add coconut milk, water, ginger, rice and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, then remove from heat. Fluff with fork.

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Filed under Main Dishes, Rice, Seafood

Mango-Ginger Coconut Rice

This recipe is a variation on one I found from Paula Deen. Basically, I’ve added ginger to the recipe, and adjusted measurements. At times, I’ll press a clove of garlic and add it in at the same time as the ginger. It’s easy and quite tasty as a side dish for stir-fry, or as the base of the rice for my Thai Rice Salad.

1 t olive oil

1 ½ c rice (preferably jasmine)

1 15 oz. can coconut milk (lite is ok)

2/3 c water

1 t salt

1 t ginger

1 large ripe mango, peeled and cubed

 

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice and stir to coat with oil. Add coconut milk, water, ginger and salt. Bring to boil, stir in mango. Reduce to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Fluff with fork.

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Rice, Vegetarian