A Heaping TBSP of Life


~ presenting a slightly currated collection of all things edible ~

Tag: Main Dishes

Doenjang Jjigae

Doenjang Jjigae

For lots of people ‘comfort food’ is meatloaf and mashed potatoes and mac ‘n’ cheese. Although I am a fan of mac ‘n’ cheese (who isn’t!?) I would politely challenge the assumption that in order to qualify as comfort food, it has to be thick, […]

Turkish Chili

Turkish Chili

First off, calling this Turkish is probably a bit of a stretch to be honest. But we’re not going to get into that! As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, one of the hardest parts for me in a vegetarian/vegan diet is getting enough protein and iron. […]

Drunken Noodles

Drunken Noodles

I first ordered drunken noodles on a whim because I liked the name.  Once I got my plate full of sauce-y savory noodles and tasted my first bite, I was hooked.  The dish is essentially what it sounds like:  a massive plate of spiraling noodles nearly drowning in a tangy sweet/savory/spicy sauce.  I’m pretty sure you can’t ACTUALLY get drunk off the sauce like the name suggests the noodles have, but I’d be down to try.

The sauce for these guys can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge.  Just give it a good shake before pouring in with the noodles.  I use rice noodles in here, and they work absolutely amazing (while keeping the dish gluten free).  The one thing to note though is that if they sit in the fridge overnight, although they’ll still TASTE amazing the next day, the will also be melded into a solid chunk of rice noodle that you may need to cut with a knife to eat!!!  If you think there’s going to be extras make sure they’re covered in plenty of sauce to keep them from all sticking together in a big noodle-y clump.

I used Bragg’s Coconut Aminos when I made this and then pulled some out before I mixed the tofu in.  This way my soy-free son could still eat with me.  If you’re not concerned about soy feel free to sub the amino’s for the much more accessible (and cheaper!) soy sauce!

 

Drunken Noodles
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 4 Servings
Ingredients
Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Shitake Mushrooms, ground fine
  • 2 tsp Dried Kombu, ground fine
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp Chili-Garlic Paste
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2" cube Ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar
Noodles
  • 1/2 lb Extra Wide Pad Thai Rice Noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, julienned
  • 3 Spring Onions, cut on a bias, white and green seperated
  • 1/4 Cup Thai Basil, minced
  • 1 Block Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1/2" squares
  • Lime Wedges
Instructions
Assemble the Sauce
  1. Put all of the sauce ingredients into a jar or container with a tight fighting lid.  Shake vigorously to combine and then refrigerate for at least two hours or up to 48 for best flavor.

Stir Fry
  1. Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large high sided skillet or wok.  Add the tofu cubes and cook, stirring occasionally until all sides are browned.

  2. Add the red peppers and white parts of the onions to the oil and cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until just softened.  Add the noodles and sauce and cook, stirring occasionally until sauce is mostly absorbed.  Cook longer if you want less sauce, and shorter if you want 'more drunken' noodles.

  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the Thai basil.  Garnish wish reserved spring onion greens and lime juice.

Carrot-Ginger Soup

Carrot-Ginger Soup

What do you do when a bushel of carrots is on sale for $5?  Well, buy all of them of course! Which is absolutely what I did.  My motto for farmer’s marketing: stock up now, worry about how in the heck you’re going to eat […]

Aloo Saag Curry

Aloo Saag Curry

The farmers market produce seems to come in waves around here.  Meaning, I like to buy metric tons of certain vegetables when they look good, and nothing of everything else.  Such was the case with the potatoes and tomatoes last week. There were 1/2 bushel […]

Coconut Turmeric Curry

Coconut Turmeric Curry

I’ve been all about simplicity lately.  The days are long and hot, which has had me dreading turning on the oven for more than a few minutes, and my work schedule has been crazy (I’m up to 30 hours already and it’s only Wednesday morning!!)  If it was the dead of winter, I’d probably be breaking down about now and pulling out the boxed mac ‘n’ cheese and frozen pizzas – but it’s not January, it’s July!  And that means this momma wants some garden fresh produce, cooked up delectably all without breaking a sweat!  Sounds like a tall order – and it is – but I’ve found some handy work-arounds. (which also happen to be vegan and soy free, because, well, yum.)

It all started with the July issue of Bon Appetit.  I always go through this magazine, page by page, drooling at all the gorgeous pictures and crying inside because most of the dishes are packed with meat, or exotic ingredients I can’t easily obtain (or afford).  But this month was different.  They had tomato toast, stone fruit salads, and rice noodles galore!  All of these are things that just about anyone, even lazy ole me, can get a hold of.  I got out my apron and got to cooking.

Not all of the recipes were actually vegan, or soy free, but with a few simple tweaks I’ve been feeding the whole family off of delicious, Bon Appetit inspired meals all week.  And the best part?  Minimal prep, and no oven time!  (Except for a brief stint to toast the coconut, but that’s only for 5 minutes!)  My pictures might not be quite as drool-inducing, but the recipes themselves absolutely are!

Our favorite so far has been this coconut turmeric curry.  It was lightening fast to prepare, tastes amazing, and the hubby easily adapted it for his taste by adding some shredded chicken.  Mr. William and I though ate it right up just like this!  If you like it spicy add a finely minced Thai chili to bring some heat.  Make sure you use full fat coconut milk for this so that you get the full flavor.  I also prefer the thin rice noodles (vermicelli) in this as I feel it makes the texture a bit better and the sauce has a better chance to fully coat everything.  However in a pinch you can easily sub in some rice sticks if that’s all you have.  Just leave them in the boiled water for a bit longer.

I added the whites from my bok choy to this since I had them hanging out in the fridge anyways.  Just about any mild flavored green would work great in here though, if it’s tougher, like kale or collards, throw it in with the garlic and pepper.  If it’s a milder green like spinach or chard, toss it in towards the end so that it doesn’t wilt away to nothing!  You could also add in some cubed, baked tofu to add a bit more protein and body to the dish.

Coconut Turmeric Curry
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 oz Thin Rice Noodles (vermicelli)
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 small Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Bok Choy Ends or Green Pepper, sliced on a diagonal into 1/2" pieces
  • 1" piece Ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Turmeric
  • 1 can Whole Fat Coconut Milk
  • 2 tsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Tbsp Honey (or 2 tsp Agave)
  • 1 tsp Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp + 1 Tbsp Lime Zest
  • 1 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Shreds, Toasted
Instructions
  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.  Turn off the heat and drop in the vermicelli.  Cover and allow to sit for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 4 minutes test a noodle, if necessary let them sit another minute or two, otherwise drain and run under cool water.  Set aside.

  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large, high sides skillet over medium high heat until melted.  Add the red onion and garlic and cook until they begin to become translucent and lightly browned.  Add the ginger and bok choy or peppers, turmeric and chili flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until aromatic about 1.5 - 2 minutes.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the coconut milk, honey and coconut aminos and stir until well combined.  Allow to come to a low simmer and cook for 4 - 6 minutes or until slightly thickened.

  4. Add the lime juice and 1/2 tsp zest, pepper and salt.  Taste seasoning and adjust to taste.

  5. To serve, place a scoop of noodles into a shallow bowl, cover with a ladle-full of sauce, and sprinkle with toasted coconut and lime zest.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Okay, I’m going to start this off with a disclaimer. I am pretty sure this isn’t an authentic recreation of Pad Thai. Whew. Got that out of the way. That being said, please don’t stop reading. It might not be strictly authentic, but I can […]

Tropical Pancakes

Tropical Pancakes

I rarely wake up craving pancakes, but when I do…the cravings are real!! Of course, the one time that I woke up wanting a stack of these light fluffy pillows of buttermilk, sugar and all purpose flour also happened to be right smack dab in […]

Apricot Chili Stir Fry

Apricot Chili Stir Fry

My little garden finally produced it’s first meal-sized crop the other day, and I went straight to the kitchen with it!

There were fingerling eggplants, fresh onions, and bucket-loads of bok choy.  I added some garlic and ginger from my fridge, whipped up my favorite apricot sauce, and I had me a stir fry.

You could easily add tofu or meat to this, just make sure you cook it first before starting the veggies.  I really just loved how the garden fresh veggies tasted all wrapped in rice noodles and apricot goodness.  Honestly, nothing is better than a meal straight from the garden.

I also used coconut aminos in here, instead of soy sauce, so that the whole family could enjoy.  Either one works fine though!  If you don’t have apricot preserves on hand, you can sub them for pineapple or a tbsp of orange juice concentrate with a squirt of honey.  I’ve done it all three ways, and it’s delicious no matter what!

I like rice noodles with this because it keeps the dish light, if you prefer rice though, feel free to cook up some fluffy white rice on the side and spoon the stir fry over that when it’s done.  I read somewhere that you can add your ginger peels to the rice water while it’s cooking to give your rice just the faintest aroma of ginger.  I need to try that now because it sounds absolutely amazing!

The veggies in here are fairly flexible, as a general rule just don’t overdo it.  Keeping the dish focused on a few key veggies is typically tastier than having a whole mess of veggies in there, which makes it harder to distinguish between all the different flavors.  If you have tons of different veggies try a different combo every night!  Stir frys are awesome like that! 🙂

Apricot Chili Stir Fry
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 2 Servings
Ingredients
Apricot Chili Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce (or Coconut Aminos)
  • 2 Tbsp Apricot Preserves
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2" cube Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Chili Flakes
Stir Fry
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 4 small Fingerling Eggplant, or other small eggplant
  • 4 leaves Bok Choy, green and white parts seperated
  • 2 Spring Onions, white and green parts seperated
  • 1 small Head Broccoli
  • 4 oz Rice Noodles
Instructions
  1. In a container that has a tight sealing lid, combine the sauce ingredients.  Put on the lid, shake well to combine and set aside.

  2. Cut the white parts of the bok choy into 1/2" pieces, on a bias.  Cut the Fingerling eggplants into 1/2" pieces on the bias.  Cut the white parts of the onions into 1/4" pieces, on a bias.  Cut the broccoli into bite size florets.

  3. Chiffonade (thinly slice) the green part of the bok choy and onions.  Set aside one Tbsp of the green onion for garnish.

  4. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Turn off the heat and drop in the rice noodles, making sure they are fully submerged.  Cover the pot and let the noodles soften while you make the stir fry.

  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium high flame.  Add eggplant and cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until first side has started to brown.  Shake the pan, or use a spoon to stir up the eggplant, and then add the white parts of the bok choy and onions.

  6. Cook another two - three minutes, or until onions and bok choy have started to soften, and pick up some color.  Add the broccoli and stir to combine.

  7. Stir in the green parts from the bok choy and spring onions (except for the reserved Tbsp), cook just until beginning to wilt.

  8. As soon as the bok choy begins to look wilted pour the sauce over the veggies, stirring frequently, when the liquid is almost completely evaporated (1 - 2 minutes) turn off the heat.

  9. Strain the noodles and stir into the hot veggies, serve, garnishing with reserved spring onions.

Zesty Cuke and Tofu Bowl

Zesty Cuke and Tofu Bowl

Do you ever just see an ingredient in the grocery store or at the farmers’ market, and buy it?  Not because it’s on your list, or you had a sudden inspiration of what to do with it, but because, – well-, because it just looks like […]


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