Recipes This Week; Still Eating Thai

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Catching up on the new recipes I made this week. See what happens when I miss one day of blogging the progression? It turns into two missed days, then three, then an entire week goes by and I find myself needing to write a ‘super’ sized blog entry. The order of the days we had the new eats isn’t too relevant, but the grades and rating we gave the new recipes determines if we will have that one again … or not.

So here goes. And again, most of the recipes come from VegWeb.com – where I have my recipe box, and ability to plan meals and print out my grocery shopping list.

Sweet and Spicy Thai Stir Fry

2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
2 small jalepeno peppers
snow peas
Spanish red onion or shallots
1 pkg Lo-mein noodles (thin yellow spaghetti like chinese noodles)
1 jar sweet red pepper Thai ssauce
1/2 cup sweet plum sauce
soy sauce

Directions:

Slice the green peppers into 1/2 wide long strips. Dice all other peppers down to about 1/2 square. Slice ends from snow peas, otherwise leave them whole. Dice red onion or shallots smaller than the coloured peppers.

Run the lo-mein noodles under cold water in a collander for about 5 minutes to loosen.

In one stir-fry pan or wok add all peppers and snow peas (feel free to add any of your other favourite veggies to this wok as well). Add a bit of oil, about a tablespoon of soya sauce, and about 1/2 to 3/4 of the jar of Thai Sauce. Stir fry at med heat until the sauce has thickened slightly and the vegetables are well cooked.

In a second stir fry pan or wok add bean sprouts and lo-mein (can be substituted with a nice tri-color rotini pasta). Add a bit of oil, soya sauce, and just enough plum sauce to glaze the noodles and sprouts. Stir fry for about 5 – 7 minutes on med heat, until noodles are hot and sprouts have wilted.

Voila, serve veggies woks contents over the noodle contents. The veggies will spice up your mouth, the noodles will chill it out, and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it (my roommates at university did when I first created this one)!

(We Loved This One! It is just as the contributor said – veggies spice up your mouth while the noodles coated in the plum sauce chill out your mouth. I was very surprised, since I’m not a big fan of green, red, yellow and orange bell peppers – but it was delicious! I didn’t have Lo-Mein noodles, and instead used Angel Hair Spaghetti noodles. I also did not have snow peas, so did not use. We liked the results so well, that I would repeat again using the modified recipe as I made it. We will use the recipe as taste treat to ourselves and as special dish for company.)

Thai Cucumber Salad

2-3 whole cucumbers
1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3-5 cloves garlic (to taste), minced
1 large shallot, minced
salt, to taste
red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Wash cucumbers well and peel (I like to leave some of the skin on for color, but it’s of course optional). Slice in rounds as thinly as possible.

Place in bowl and cover with vinegar, sugar, and salt, stir to dissolve. Add garlic and shallot, mix well.

May be served immediately although I find the flavor improves if it’s allowed to rest in the refrigerator for up to two hours. Add pepper flakes to taste when serving, if using.

(We enjoyed the salad like cucumbers with the spicy sweet taste – gets the taste buds going. Will make this one often, good use for cukes in the summer when cucumbers are garden plentiful)
Egg Rolls – using recipe on the wrapper package. While I intended to make Spring rolls (not cooked – certainly not deep fried), I wound up having to go in a different direction. I had purchased the wrong type of wrappers which required cooking first. I will be sure to purchase the correct kind of wrappers next time as I wanted Spring Rolls, not Chinese type Egg Rolls. Anyway, I wound up following the recipe on the wrapper package, deep frying them or wok frying them – but nonetheless, this is not a ‘healthy’ kind of recipe.

Chop Suey

3 stalks celery, diced
half a small cabbage, diced
2 large onions, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
3 tablespoon oil
1 cup vegetable stock
half a teaspoon yeast extract
half a teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon corn flour
4 tablespoon water
salt & 125g bean sprouts

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pan, add all the vegetables except the bean sprouts and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the yeast extract and the soy sauce. Mix the cornflour and water, add to the vegetables, season and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and cook for a further 2 minutes. Serve with boiled rice.

(Well – the ol’ Chop Suey which is not Thai and I think more a Chinese dish hybrided for Western palletes. This was filling and that makes it a good, thrifty type recipe for using those odds and ends veggies, and rice. I don’t have corn flour, but I do have soy flour, so I used that instead. And I’m not sure what yeast extract is, but I do have nutritional yeast so I used that and perhaps it is the same thing. I think there are likely a number of Chop Suey recipes, so this one is probably not more or less outstanding than another Chop Suey recipe. It is after all Chop Suey.)
Chow Mein which is a recipe I already posted here (using chicken). I made this for us this week, using tofu instead of chicken and it was probably just as good. I would make it again because I love those crispy chow mein noodles!

Simple Thai Pizza

pizza crust (I use the easy, yummy, and Quick Pizza Crust recipe from this site or Rustic
Crust)
2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated (or 1/2 teaspoon powdered)
2 tablespoons peanut or sesame oil
3 tablespoons peanut butter, unsalted & all-natural
1/4 cup tamari
1 lime, juice only
1/2-1 teaspoon Thai green curry paste (make sure to check label for fish sauce or shrimp
paste)
8 oz. of your choice of protein – Morningstar Farms Chicken Meal Starters, or Thai-Style
marinated baked tofu
1 bunch scallions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
1/2 cup carrot, shredded or julienned
1/2 cup pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450*F.

Mix the ginger in with the oil. Brush mixture (I use a silicone basting brush) across the pizza crust.

Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven.

Mix together the peanut butter, tamari, lime juice and curry paste. Spread this on the crust and top with remaining ingredients. (TIP: If you are using MSF Meal Starters, put them on the pizza BEFORE the sauce and they will absorb lots of extra flavor.)

Bake for 10 additional minutes.

Makes a great appetizer for parties. Serves: 6-10 slices

Preparation time: 15 minutes prep + 10 minutes baking

(We appreciated this recipe as a replacement for our ‘Friday Night’ treat meal. We usually will have a store-bought DiGiorno’s Pizza or I will make us Hoagies or Sweetie will bring home subway sandwhiches from Subways. Sometimes we would have a take out Chinese meal, but that was rare. So I made this Thai Pizza and it was Great! I used a refridgerator packaged prepared pizza crust. Followed the directions and ingredients list, using tofu (that I baked first) and it was a most interesting tasting pizza. I will make it again, but the sauce was a bit runny, not sure how to avoid that in future. Fun pizza for guests.)

Deersong

Converting back to Vegetarian Lifestyle – can we do it?

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We have done the Ornish diet a few years back, which is primarily vegetarian. Not vegan, though – there is a dramatic difference as I learned from my daughter – see her blog Veganville. When we did the conversion to Ornish, I had to completely rework my kitchen pantry, learn to cook in a completely different way, and I came to have an appreciation for the amount of time it can take to prepare food the vegetarian way.

I’m still enamoured with the 1970’s ‘Earth Mother’ imagery; growing a garden, putting up food, drying herbs and produce, cooking vegetarian, long dresses, getting back and closer to nature. Times have changed since the 70’s, and now it is more about sustainable living; organic produce; vegan; intentional living; home-schooling; family values – but it still much resembles much of those efforts of the 1960’s into 1970’s. No, I never was into the drug culture at any decade of my 55 years, and no I am not a left over hippie by any means. I was a young military wife to a young husband, drafted and sent to Vietnam – I wasn’t sure then what to think of the 60’s hippies protests and lifestyles. I just knew drugs wasn’t part of what I wanted, so I was one who observed from the sidelines, rather then one who lived the lifestyle.

Somehow, I think I wanted to participate in the sanitized version – drug free and in possession of my mental faculties. I look back now at some of those 1970s era cookbooks with the few vegetarian recipes which seem pretty boring now. I’m not new to lifestyle changes. Not sure I can do what my daughter did and go completely vegan = no animal products at all; no dairy, (no eggs, no butter, no milk) and no meats whatsoever. But I took the self-test at RealAge.com (it has since become part of Sharecare) and had my husband take the self test too. It measures chronological age against life habits to come up with your ‘healthy’ age. My husband and I lost years and while our heads knew some of our unhealthy lifestyle habits, a wake up call is helpful. We are over the hill now and losing years is not a welcome concept.

Not without hope though, along with the test results, RealAge also provides a fairly comprehensive personalized regimen of lifestyle changes we can make now to influence having more, not less years. And interestingly, for both of us, our regimen indicated a reduction of red meat to 4 oz. a week. As we convert to that standard, it makes sense to begin overall reduction of meat in our diets(carnivore eating).

Hat’s off to my daughter then, for her dedicated effort to completely convert her family to vegan – not easily done when she has a husband who is a serious meat eater.
She took it steps further than I was able to take it and has taught me much about today’s standards for animal farming. I tend to think of that image of a farm with a couple of cows for milk, cutter, roasts, and steaks; some chickens for eggs; a pig to butcher for family’s winter supply of meat; a farm dog; a produce garden; kids running around; a keeping room; canning preserves and such like images. Nice safe images of yesteryear. My daughter’s wake up call is unsettling in that yesteryear is no more with animal farming and husbandry. Steroids, animal cruelty beyond inhumane, killer chickens, exhausted cows dying from producing milk 24/7, slaughterhouses which are far from humane, animal testing…. yes, it’s enough to make us flinch from contributing to the misuse of our animal friends.

Deersong