Tofu Mushroom Cabbage Stir Fry
Happy 4th of July and with that, welcome to July’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club! This month I got to visit Alaska by way of Anna’s Cheese with Noodles Blog. I loved her in her intro she was up front about blog pictures, something that I’m so bad about that I have my husband do it for me! I found so many incredible recipes on her blog including baked tofu bites and a corn pudding recipe so amazing it survived a divorce. In the end however I couldn’t move past her Pork Mushroom Cabbage Stir Fry after reading that it’s so good it should be in a restaurant. I swapped the pork for tofu and waited until the end to season the dish as tofu has a tendency to go from just right to over salted super easily. I also used baby bella mushrooms as my store was out of the full size variety – luckily Anna’s recipe included the weight so that was a super easy swap to make! She didn’t say what type of cabbage to use so I went with red over Chinese but either would work.
Another fabulous dinner thanks to the secret recipe club! I also reserved a bit of the red cabbage to steam with some apples and ginger for baby girl’s dinner and she was also a huge fan! I’m also in the process of joining some other food groups – hoping that eventually my cooking spark will come back as little one gets older. I still enjoy spending time in the kitchen but it’s no longer the sanctuary it once was.
Mee Goreng: Malaysian Stir Fried Noodles
This week’s challenge for /r/52weeksofcooking sent me back to Asia – this time to figure out a malaysian dish. I’ve always had a thing for noodles so was instantly drawn to the all the street noodle images popping up as I searched for recipes. I also wanted something with a bit of heat, as I’m still trying to figure out how spicy I can get without it upsetting the little one. I’ll admit that I’ve been avoiding spicy foods so happy this challenge came along to push me out of my comfort zone.
Even though we’re no longer around an Asian market my mom is, so I sent her on a shopping trip to get some ingredients for me. I used Lee Kum Kee sauces for this dish as they are vegetarian and husband safe – the second part being more important!
In an attempt to get my kitchen mojo back, I’ve once again joined the /52weeksofcooking group in the hopes that their weekly challenge would get me going again. They are now on week 10 while I’m just now doing my second post – needless to say I’m still a work in progress! This week the challenge was Japanese and while I debated doing a tempura I couldn’t get over the idea of trying a Japanese curry similar to one I had in Pittsburgh a few summers ago. Luckily the internet provided me with lots of ideas, so I took the common ingredients from all of them and then winged the rest of it!
I could say this was a huge hit but that doesn’t begin to cover it – this is one of the only curries where husband has wanted seconds! He couldn’t get over how savory it was – all the flavors working together. So good he didn’t believe it was vegan, BIG bonus there.
Make sure to come back Monday for February’s BONUS Secret REcipe Club post. It’s the 5th Monday of the month and this time the special theme is Spring & Bunnies.
Red Curry Thai Soup
First Secret Recipe Club post of 2015!!!! About a month ago, there was a request for someone to take over for a blogger in Group D that was no longer able to participate. While it turns out she was partnered with me for the cookie exchange, I was able to adopt her “normal” blog: Life on Food. I quickly identified three recipes that looked fantastic: Cream of Broccoli Soup, Skillet Lasagna, and Red Curry Soup. In the end, the curry won out as it was so different than anything else I had tried out and with all the winter weather we’ve been having I needed something on the spicy side. While Emily’s version features beef, I simply doubled all the other ingredients and used a thicker rice noodle.
Emily was right on in saying that this is “a hot meal that warms you from the inside out” – and I’ve already made it again! The trick with the noodles is to add them at the very last moment in order to keep them from soaking up all the broth. However the broth is one that can’t be wasted so nothing really wrong with that happening. Needless to say this was a fantastic dish and I can’t wait to pick up some more curry and make another batch. The only hard part of this recipe was finding a curry paste that was free of shrimp – but in end was able to find some at Whole Foods.
Welcome to the FINAL Secret Recipe Club for 2014! I can’t believe this year is almost over – it has flown by way faster than I thought possible. While the year hasn’t been the best at times, I’ve come out of it stronger – or at least more determined than ever to succeed. Enough about that, time to focus on the recipe! This month I was assigned the Saturday Evening Pot which is run by a husband wife duo, which is rather awesome. Their motto is “Faith, Family, Food: Flavors of a Fabulous Life” and fully covers everything they feature on their blog. There are so many amazing recipes on their blog, some created by Chef John while others are ones sent in from friends all over the globe. I was immediately drawn to their Okinawa Cooking Class recipe for Yoka Soba – minus the pork of course! Instead I greatly increased the amount of vegetables already featured in the dish, to include adding in a second type of cabbage.
I also added some sesame seeds for a crunch, but that’s just me – they can easily be left out. For those craving a meaty version, please check out the original recipe! I also have a feeling tofu would work great, but still on a low-soy diet as we get ready for next round of fertility treatments. In theory our transfer will be in a few weeks so will know if it worked sometime around the start of the year. If it doesn’t work, then we’ll be going for a session every other month for essentially the entire year. A lot to take in – but hopeful that 2015 will be our year!
In food news, there is a mini-SRC post coming up in two weeks so for those of you looking for something sweet make sure to come back on the 15th! The next “real” SRC post will be in early February, which seems so far off now but will be here in just a blink of an eye.
Plov: Vegetarian Style
Sometimes I make a dish with no idea what is going to happen at the end – to include if it will even be edible. I had heard of Plov before, thanks to Silk Road Bistro, but wanted to make it more of a main dish without the standard lamb. Lots of googling gave me a good list of vegetables to start with: carrots, onions, and garlic – along with the addition of some variety of currant. When it came to the main protein all I knew is that I didn’t want to go with tofu, I wanted something with a firm bite to it as a contrast to the soft vegetables. I decided to go with chickpeas since their origins in Turkey led me to believe they would have easily spread to the Central Asia region that I was focusing on for this dish.
Another thanks to /r/52weeksofcooking for sending me on another delicious food journey – I’ve learned so much in doing these weekly challenges and can’t wait til the next one! Though of all the dishes I’ve made for this challenge, this one is easily in the top 5 as the ingredients are all standard ones making it super easy to prepare. Ever since Wegmans added cranberries to their bulk food section I’ve had a fresh supply in my pantry – and while they aren’t burberries they are delicious.
One thing I love about blog challenges is that they push me out of my comfort zone, on the flip side one thing I hate about blog challenges is how they push me out of my comfort zone. When I saw the theme for /52weeksofcooking was Filipino I was once again thrown for a loop – but unlike other challenges were I was totally in the dark at least this time I had some friends who could help out. After crowd sourcing ideas and recipes, I decided to make a vegetarian variation of Pancit – a dish I had heard of but never experienced. Traditionally this dish features one of the white meats and while I debated adding tofu I decided to stick with the normal vegetables featured in the dish just in MUCH larger amounts.
I was blown away but how flavorful this dish was, especially considering how quickly it came together. Based on the fact he took his chopsticks directly to the pot I think it’s safe to say my other half also greatly enjoyed this dish! Next time I might leave out the teriyaki sauce since the recipes I found online were rather split on including it – but it was a nice addition to the dish! Looking forward to seeing where /52weeksofcooking sends me next!