Asian · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Secret Recipe Club · Vegan

What it Wants

Red Curry Thai Soup

thai_green_curry

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.

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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.

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Gluten Free · Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Secret Recipe Club · Side Dish · Vegan

Shake Shake

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Hello!  Welcome to my May installment of the Secret Recipe Club!  This month I was sent over to BCmom’s kitchen which is packed with simple and delicious recipes to get you cooking!  I love that her blog focuses on standard pantry staples, don’t get me wrong I ❤ Wegmans but I can only spend so much time shopping – I want to cook!  After much debate (yummy, spinach!), and schedule checking (cuz surgeries requiring bedrest are fun), I decided to go with her Sweet Potato Fries.  I’ll be honest, the little kid in me just wanted to shake the fries up all shake n’bake style (do they still sell that???) and it was totally everything I thought it would be.   I added a few more seasonings since my herbs are starting to explode, and just added them to the bag.

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These fries were fantastic!  The clean up was a breeze and the fact that these were baked, not fried, means they are a nice healthy(ish) alternative to the standard bbq/grill side.   I also have plans to vegetarianize her zucchini hamburger pie – something involving beans I think as I love the idea of baking all that veggie goodness in a nice flaky crust.  Before I sign off just a quick Happy Birthday to my awesome SiL and my incredible BFF who both happen to be Cinco De Mayo babies!  Now, go check out the rest of the recipes from the awesome bloggers of The Secret Recipe Club 🙂

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52Weeks · Vegan

Take a Breath

Sweet Potato Lentil Burger (Aussie Style)

Sweet Potato Lentil Burger

Prior to this week’s Australian challenge on /52weeksofcooking my knowledge of Australian food was limited to that I seen on TV and that which is shown on the awesome Australian show known as Dance Academy (season 3 finally on Netflix streaming!!!!!).  So essentially this left me with The Outback (not happening) and salad (rather boring).  Luckily there is this thing called the internet, and with that Google, which allowed me to find all sorts of delicious treats.  In that search I found an unusual number of links talking about beets and burgers – which I didn’t really understand.  Granted this could be because I’m only starting to tolerate beets but still, beets on a burger???  However I was intrigued and so I set off to figure out a way to do a vegetarian burger – Australian style.

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For an even more authentic burger experience add some roasted pineapple and a fried egg – which was (and is) a bit too much for me.  However I have to say that the spicy sauce went fantastic with the sweetness of the potatoes and the tart earthiness of the beets.  Lots of contrasts in this dish but it all came together to make a fantastic meal.  I served the burger with some spicy carrots – which will eventually show up on the blog.  I had a fantastic time with this, so another success thanks to /52weeksofcooking.

52Weeks · Gluten Free · Vegan

Wanting More

Jamaican Jerk Curry

jamaican_curry

There are few things as challenging as a food blogger as having to cook a cuisine for a challenge that you have no familiarity with.  While I’m familiar with Jamaica, the bits I know are from books and movies – which is something I need to correct.  In looking for recipes I noted a fondness for peanuts and pork, two things that aren’t exactly welcome in my house.  However I kept looking and googling for common ingredients, and with that decided to take the base of a few Jerk Curry recipes I found and make them vegetarian friendly.  I also decided to make my own jerk seasoning, using this recipe I found on AllRecipes.com, which was easy to make and mostly required standard pantry spices.

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This dish was a HUGE hit – can’t begin to explain how much my husband enjoyed it!  The combination of sweet and spicy was perfection, and the rice gave just the right amount of texture to the dish.  It might have a rather long ingredient list but it was totally worth it, another great find thanks to /52weeksofcooking.

Casserole · Home Cooking · Simple and In Season

Over Unannounced

Potato & Beet Casserole

Potato Beet Casserole

One of the best parts of traveling, in my opinion, if is trying new and exciting and (hopefully) delicious dishes!  One of the best parts of getting home (outside of seeing hubby and puppies) is getting in to the kitchen and attempting to recreate some of those dishes.  After my UK and Ireland adventures I knew that I had to recreate the incredible dish I had in Ireland at Cornucopia – even though I had no idea how on earth to do that.  I knew the ingredients (beets, potatoes, spinach, cheese, and phyllo) but outside of that I had no idea what needed to be done.  Since beets and I are just getting used to each other I decided to grate them, figuring the smaller amounts might blend better with the other vegetables as well as reasoning that round discs might tempt me to just remove them.  The other thing to figure out was the phyllo dough on top but some quick Googling proved that it could be done.   Once I had finished with the research and planning it was time to head to the kitchen, with some pasta and pesto on hand just in case it didn’t work out.

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There is something to be said about a pink dish – it just goes well with everything!  While I served this as a simple vegetarian main it would also be a great side dish for company as it comes together quickly and looks rather impressive coming out of the oven.  Still not sure about other versions of beets but after the success of this dish I’m willing to give them a try again, we’ll see how that goes!

Potato Beet Casserole

I’m also sending this treat over to Ren‘s fabulous Simple and in Season since it highlights two vegetables that are popping up in local gardens: spinach and beets! I didn’t grow either of this year due to my trip but my summer veggies are starting to take off so I see lots of peppers, eggplants, carrots, and tomatoes in my near future!

52Weeks · Asian · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Vegan

Just Bent

Vegan Sushi

Vegan Sushi | Two Ways

When one is a vegetarian blogger seafood challenges require thinking a little outside the box.  After all what most people picture when they hear seafood is NOT vegetarian and while at one point I did include those recipes I don’t really make that anymore.   So with /r/52weeksofcooking’s seafood challenge I really had two options: fake seafood or using a sea-based vegetable.  I debated recreating Richard Blais’s banana scallops but while those are really outside the box they aren’t exactly challenging so I decided to keep looking.   Then while reading a Washington Post article I saw a recipe for vegan sushi and instantly latched on to giving sushi a try.   I liked the idea of using mushrooms for one of the fillings, which is what WP had listed, but switching the suggested citrus soy sauce for a sesame ginger sauce.  For the other filling I decided to use sweet potatoes, which are right there with eggplant on my must have in kitchen at all times list.  I decided to make a garlic ginger soy sauce for the sweet potatoes which resulted in a very crowded stove top.

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I did cheat a little in using Alton Brown’s sushi rice recipe, figuring I had enough work figuring out the right sauce to vegetable ratio.  For rolling the sushi I watched a few videos to get the idea and used plastic wrap to make up for my lack of a mat. I served the sushi with some siracha sauce since fresh wasabi is not an easy to locate ingredient at my local market, and also skipped the soy sauce.  I was surprised in how easy these were to roll, even without a bamboo mat!

52Weeks · Home Cooking

Time To Celebrate

Sweet Potato Latkes

 Hanukkah is fast approaching, which means it’s time to bring out all of my favorite fried foods!  The one time of the year where it’s encouraged to indulge in all things fried and dairy, and with that it’s probably a good thing that it only happens once a year.

 This year I plan to share my four favorite Hanukkah recipes, all of which are vegetarian friendly and two of which are vegan friendly.  First up on the list are Sweet Potatoes latkes, which are based on a recipe I got from a friend’s mom for traditional Potato latkes.   This recipe falls in to the category of vegetarian friendly, though I’m sure a product such as Vegg could be used in place of the eggs to bind the ingredients.

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I love all the symbolism that is found in traditional Hanukkah foods, it just adds another dimension to a holiday that is already packed full with remembrance and celebration.  I also love any excuse to eat fried foods, and have a feeling I’ll be spending more than 8 days in the gym working all of this indulgence off!

I’m also sending this recipe over to r/52weeks as part of the Middle East theme.  While latkes originated in Europe, they are closely associated with Hanukkah and with that Israel.  For a truly Middle Eastern dish please check out my post for Shakshuka.