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Currently showing posts tagged thai

  • Fresh Vegetable and Herb Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce

    Most folks who've gone out for Thai or Vietnamese food have had these delicious fresh spring rolls and loved them, and thankfully they're not at all hard to make at home. They're wonderful because they're amazingly versatile, beautiful and nutritious. You can fill them with virtually any raw or cooked vegetable, so long as they're thinly sliced. Additional fillings you can try are strips of fried tofu, sauteed/roasted mushrooms, or vermicelli noodles. The spring roll wrappers can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores, get the 8 or 9" ones. The one thing you do not want to leave out of these guys are the fresh herbs. They MAKE the flavor of these rolls. Any combination of fresh mint, cilantro, parsley, or basil will work, but I'd go with at least two, our favorites being mint and basil. The dipping sauce is easy to whip up, and can be made in larger quantities and stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.  If you make these to bring to a party, make them as close to party time as possible, and cover the plate with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to ensure the rice paper wrappers do not dry out. These will become a recipe staple for you once you give them a try, they are that good.


    Fresh Vegetable and Herb Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce

    Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free

    Makes 8 rolls

    Prep time: 15-30 minutes

    1 package of "spring roll skin wrappers"
    1 cup thinly sliced red (or green) cabbage
    1-2 cucumber or carrots, julienned
    1 sliced avocado
    1 cup fresh mint leaves
    1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    1 cup fresh basil leaves

    Almond Dipping Sauce
    1/2 cup almond butter (creamy or crunchy)
    3/4 cup warm water
    1 Tbsp rice or white vinegar
    1 Tbsp sugar or agave syrup
    1 Tbsp coconut aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp fresh shallot or onion
    1/2 tsp (or more) fresh thai chili (optional)


    1. Thinly slice all veggies into strips and place in separate clusters on large plate. Remove herbs from stems and add whole leaves to plate as well.

    2. Boil water and fill very wide bowl or pie plate about half way full, let sit for a few minutes to cool ever so slightly. Two at a time, soften spring roll sheets by dipping them into the hot water, using your fingers to move them around. Depending on hotness of water, it will take about 2-10 seconds for them to soften. They should be pliable but not mushy and falling apart, think al dente pasta, as they will continue to soften even out of the water. Layer two softened spring roll sheets on top of one another on cutting board (wood works well here) and fill bottom third with a a bit of each veggie and herbs, do not overstuff! Less is more here. Roll up like you would a mini burrito, tucking in sides and rolling up tightly. It will conveniently stick to itself, making this very easy. Cut in half and place on serving plate.

    3. In a blender combine all ingredients for almond dipping sauce and process 10-20 seconds until very creamy. Transfer to small bowl and top with chopped scallions or additional chopped chili pepper, if desired.

  • Sesame Brussels Sprout Curry

    Today I have a lovely recipe for you that could easily become a staple in your house. It has certainly been one for us for the past few years. By varying the veggies used, you can easily turn this into at least 10 different curries. Serve it over any kind of brown rice (brown jasmine and bhutanese red rice are our current favorites), or over rice noodles, soba noodles, or quinoa. Very satisfying comfort food, perfect for these fall nights. Any leftovers make excellent lunches as well. Rich in calcium, protein, and healthy fats from the sesame seeds, cancer fighting and immunity boosting compounds in the brussels sprouts, onion, and garlic, circulatory benefits from the chili pepper, and beta carotene in the carrot. To top it off, turmeric and black pepper are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse combination. Your body will thank you for the flavor and nutrition contained in this curry!


    Sesame Brussels Sprout Curry
    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 15-20 minutes

    Cook time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    1" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
    1 small chili pepper, thai, serrano, ancho, all ok (de-seeded if less heat desired, chopped finely)
    1 medium yellow  or red onion, diced
    1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
    1 medium red or yukon gold potato, diced (or 1 small sweet potato, diced)
    1/2 lb of brussels sprouts, bottoms cut off and sliced in half
    1 can of coconut milk, full fat
    2 Tbsp tahini (or nut butter of choice)
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 Tbsp rice vinegar, or other vinegar
    1 Tbsp agave, or sweetener of choice
    1 Tbsp tamari or coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
    1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted in skillet until golden (or chopped toasted peanuts)
    1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
    1 tsp sesame oil (optional)


    1. In a skillet, saute onion, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper in a tsp of sesame oil, or if omitting oil use a non-stick skillet. Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes until softening and fragrant.

    2. Add potato and brussels sprouts and toss well to coat. Add coconut milk through black pepper and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover pan, cooking 5-10 minutes over medium low heat until potato and sprouts are cooked through and tender.

    3. Toast sesame seeds or nuts over low heat until turning golden. Remove from heat and grind in mortar and pestle if you have one, or a quick whir in a coffee grinder works too. If you want to skip this step, that's fine, but grinding them lightly really enhances the flavor.

    4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, top with cilantro if using, and sesame or nuts. Serve over rice, noodles, or quinoa.

  • Coconut Bean Sprout Curry

    This was one of those dishes that came together as I scanned my fridge for ingredients just asking to be used. This is my favorite way of cooking, intuitively and resourcefully, working with what you've got. This is an easy dish to prepare, takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, and leaves your tastebuds singing with a bit of tropical flavor. Try to keep staples like coconut milk, peanut butter, and limes on hand for dishes like this. Once you have the basic ingredient structure down you can really get creative and experiment with flavors. I served this over a bed of quinoa which had a bit of coconut oil and sea salt stirred into it, though brown rice would work well, as would eating it plain. Topped with some sliced avocado, it really is a tropical treat. Plant based eating should always be this tasty and easy. Give it a try!


    Coconut Bean Sprout Curry

    1/2 onion, thinly sliced

    2 cloves garlic, chopped

    1" piece of fresh turmeric, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp powdered turmeric)

    2" piece of fresh lemongrass (optional)

    1 cup of mushrooms, sliced

    1/2 cup red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

    1" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

    1 cup mung bean sprouts

    1 1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped into florets

    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

    1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

    1/2 cup vegetable broth (or water)

    1/2 can coconut milk

    2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

    1 lime, juiced

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp sugar

    pinch of cayenne pepper

    splash of coconut aminos (or tamari-wheat-free soy sauce)


    1. In a deep skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of high heat oil (like coconut, avocado or grapeseed) and saute sliced onion, ginger, garlic, bell pepper, and turmeric on medium heat until softened and fragrant, 3-4 minutes.

    2. Add sliced mushrooms and cauliflower and stir to coat. Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, peanut butter, salt, sugar, lemongrass sprig (if using) and coconut aminos/soy sauce. Stir and cover. Let cook on medium heat until bubbling and cauliflower is tender, 5 minutes or so.

    3. Remove cover and add mung bean sprouts, chopped cilantro, parsley, cayenne, and lime juice. Stir and cover for 1 minute more. Season to taste and enjoy!