Showing posts with label Thai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thai. Show all posts

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week 3 Detox Update: Adding in Gluten-Free Whole Grains

Starting Tuesday night, I began introducing carbs back into my system. NOT eating carbs wasn't so bad after all! But, I definitely couldn't go on forever eating like that.

Tuesday night we made red thai curry a different way than we have in the past (see original post here) This time we added cabbage, onions, bamboo shoots, water chesnuts (ahhh my fave!), lentils, baby corn, and shrimp, served over brown rice.  I suppose the first thing I learned after eating the rice, is that I REALLY need to watch how much I put on my plate!  After going without carbs for 2 weeks, it seems that my body learned to be full after much less food, and adding rice to the mix made me full even quicker!  I feel sort of silly putting such a miniscule amount on my plate when we ate leftovers last night, but I didn't feel nearly as stuffed as the first night.

(not exactly the prettiest meal, but it was pretty tasty!  hit lots of tastebuds with sweet, savory, and spicy, and incorporated lots of texture, with the baby corn, water chesnuts, lentils, and cabbage)

I haven't tried any other gluten-free grains yet (since we made such a huge amount of curry and rice that we're still eating it), but I hope to incorporate quinoa and farro in the coming week.  We also bought tapioca flour after eating AMAZING cassava rolls in Chicago, and we want to try out hands at making something with that awesomely sticky, gummy, chewy dough.

Conclusions from the Detox:

1. My portions used to be WAY oversized (probably why I always felt so grossly full after eating dinner)

2. I don't really need caffeine, and coffee will be a treat on the weekends instead of a necessity to start my morning.  I still enjoy having a hot drink in the morning (and at night too sometimes), so I have replaced my weekly coffee with caffeine-free teas such as mint and chamomile.

3. I enjoy eating a animal-protein free (vegan) diet, though when Mr P cooks up some fresh bacon (the GOOD kind from the butcher in Ohio) in the morning for his bacon egg and cheese sammich, it really makes me lose my appetite for the cantalope and apple breakfast I have packed (yep, picture that scene, it happened this morning).

4. Eat what I need, nothing more, nothing less.  If I am going to be working out after work, I need to eat some carbs and protein or I won't make it to mile 2, but if I'm just going to be sitting in my cube at work all day and then be a couch potato all night (everyone needs those days once in a while, right?), then maybe I should cut back on them.

5. The detox is a limited time for a reason.  Living in the NYC area, it's HARD to be social with a diet that I can't eat meat, dairy, or drink alcohol.  Even most garden salads have cheese on them, and it's definitely no fun when everyone else around you is having a beer or a glass of wine and you are not.  Plus, like I told Mr P a few nights ago when I ate roasted broccoli for dinner and he ate something else, doing this whole thing takes all the FUN out of cooking together at night.

All in all though, I'm looking forward to eating normal again, but eating the "detox don'ts" in moderation. Hoepfully I will give at least some conscious consideration before stuffing the Friday work bagel into my mouth, or debating whether or not I can get through Target without picking up a sweet treat!

Wish me luck on the 2 weeks left!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thai Cooking in the Vietnamese/White Household

Sure, we believe that we can make anything in our teeny kitchen, but there are some things that are just not worth the time and effort of putting together, let alone finding the right ingredients.  Thai food and Indian foods are common evils that we buy semi-pre-made.  The curries are made with so many ingredients that are so difficult to find that we buy the pre-packaged pastes.  Lots of people think that making any kind of Asian food just sounds too difficult to make just because they have never tried, but making Thai curry is sooooo easy when you buy curry paste.

One of the great things about buying curry paste is that you can make a meal in no time with whatever "bites" you want (our in our case, whatever was in the fridge and freezer).  You can eat it with just veggies, or you can put in any kind of meat, potatoes, etc.  Just think of making almost like a vegetable soup, except you are using curry instead of chicken stock or vegetable stock.

We are really trying to "clean" out our freezer, because sometimes we get this idea in our heads that we have infinite freezer space and "oh, chicken breast on sale for under $2/lb? lets buy TEN pounds! ....flank steak for $5.99/lb? can we buy it all?"  We also only have one cupboard with no shelves inside to put our canned goods and other processed foods, so we're trying to clean that out too so we can discover hidden delicacies in the back.  So today we made red curry!  It's simple, easy, uses many things we already had, can make a lot, and doesn't take too long on the stove (since it's 90+ degrees outside and turning on the stove is basically like turning on a fireplace in our small apartment).

Thai Red Curry

6 tbsp. red curry paste
2 cans coconut milk
(if you find that you need more "sauce", add 1 can of coconut milk per 3 tbsp. curry paste)
1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar snap peas, cut in half
1 cup green peas
1 red pepper
2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces, stalks sliced so that more of the inside shows instead of the tough outer layer

1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 thai chili
salt, to taste

Heat up a 6-quart dutch oven over high heat (or other deep pan or wok).  Once hot, add curry paste and stir will wooden spoon until fragrant.  

Add coconut milk and stir until completely combined, then bring to a boil.  

Add fish sauce and vinegar (if you want).  Add beef, onion, snap peas, green peas, brocoli, and thai chili.  Stir and bring to a boil, then take down to a simmer and cover.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes (or until the beef is cooked and the veggies are to your desired texture).  Add salt to taste, and serve over rice. (I chose to eat without rice this time... saving a few calories :P  it's basically like a soup anyways)

We used beef, green peas, and onions, because we had them in the fridge and freezer already, however literally any kind of meat is good with curry, and we wanted more greens, so we went to the bodega down the street and picked up the snap peas and broccoli to be more healthy :P  

The "sauce" can be made just with curry paste and coconut milk, but we wanted to add the "optional" ingredients just because we had them and knew they would add a little depth to the dish.  You should be able to find coconut milk in most grocery stores for around $1.00-1.50.  I think the Thai food brand called "Thai Kitchen" sells both coconut milk and curry paste, though we found both for pretty cheap at the local Asian grocery store.

If you haven't tried making Thai food, I encourage you to try this recipe!  You will be surprised how fast and easy it is to just throw it all together.  Maybe you won't be tempted to spend double or triple your money on Thai take-out the net time you get that craving!


p.s.  if you dare to put in the Thai chili, make sure you KNOW where it's at the the pot!  In the midst of typing this post I accidentally bit into it!!  it was hotter than anything I've ever eaten... my face was dripping sweat, my eyes were pouring tears, and my nose was so runny!!  ahhhh!!! Mucho thanks to Mr. P for saving the day with some water and rice to sooth my burning mouth (he had to improvise since we ran out of milk).

Lesson learned, I suppose.