Friday, September 23, 2011

Spicy Green Seafood Curry Soup

I'm not a big coconut fan and I think I'll blame it on Jamba Juice.  I worked at Jamba Juice for 2 years in high school and I used to have to reach into big bins for shredded coconut to make the Pina Colada smoothie.  The smell of coconut seems so overwhelming to me.  

But, I tried a variety of different curries in Thailand a couple years back and my palate has grown to love curry despite the main ingredient:  Coconut Milk.  Thai food in general is so amazing and the country is gorgeous.  It's definitely one of my favorite vacations spots and let's not even get into the scuba diving in Koh Tao!

Thankfully Thai curries are less coconuty and thinner in consistency than American versions; they probably use less coconut cream.  

The upper left of the picture below is a yellow potato chicken curry that our tour guide made us during a trek outside of Chiang Mai.

The upper right of the picture below is a green chicken curry that we tried at a restaurant in Chiang Mai.

More recently I had a green chicken curry that I enjoyed and it sparked my interest to try my own version.  So I sat down and perused Epicurious until I found this recipe for Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potato.  Then I altered the heck out of it to make my own own healthier version, which you can find after the break below.  

Now just a forewarning.  This recipe takes a lot of ingredients and is not quick and easy like most of my recipes.  But, it lasted all week: lunch, dinner, lunch, dinner, lunch, dinner.  It was too much curry for one person, but what the heck. 

I paired it with rice noodles, rice, by itself, and quinoa.  All variations were delicious!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tofu Fries

 I made tofu fries this weekend for a snack since the recipe is so quick and easy.  A little bit of protein and salt is a perfect mid-day pick me up snack.

Tofu Fries

Cut a block of firm tofu into fry size pieces.  Sprinkle with salt and add to a non-stick saute pan with a little bit of vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Using tongs rotate tofu pieces until brown on all sides.  Serve immediately with ketchup or sweet chili sauce. 

I had a great weekend celebrating one of my friends birthdays!  Happy Birthday Erin!

Did I mention that I made a Simply Scrumptious Facebook Page?  You can find the link on the sidebar if you want to check out the page!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend too :) 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baked Kale Chips

Baked Kale Chips are kind of a hit right now on the internet if you haven't noticed.  

Niky made a batch of baked kale chips that looked delicious and Ashley was surprised when I had told her I had never made them before.  So when I saw a good looking bunch of kale at the Fort Mason Farmers' Market, I knew I needed to give kale chips a shot.

I poked around on the internet a bit and learned that everyone had a different way of making kale chips.  Some recipes called to bake the chips at a low temperature (250˚F) for a long time (40 - 45 minutes) and other recipes called to bake the chips at a high temperature (375˚F) for a short time (10 - 15 minutes).  Some recipes called for spices, other just salt, sometimes olive oil, sometimes not.

So I just decided to make it my own way and see how they turned out.

I cut out the stem from each stalk and tore the kale into chip size pieces.  I tossed the kale in about 1 tsp or so of Kosher salt and about 1 Tbsp of olive oil.  Then I spread the chips out as evenly as possible on a baking sheet and baked them at 325˚F for 17 minutes or until they were crunchy and browning at the edges.  

What I discovered:
  • Next time I am going to use 2 baking sheets to make sure there is not much overlap between the kale chips.  Overlap causes undercooking in some spots, but overcooking in others.  Basically, a mixture of crunchy and chewy spots.
  • I think I might use some spice next time like cumin or curry powder.  Or perhaps I will use sesame oil instead of olive oil.  Maybe I will even make salt and vinegar chips next time.  I'm definitely going to play around with this base recipe since kale chips are so easy to make.
  • I probably should have cooked the kale just a tad longer at 325˚F.  I was very worried they would burn, however they probably could have held their own.  Be careful though because they will go from browning to burnt in a jiffy.
  • These are best right out of the oven when they are warm and crunchy.  
I think this is a perfect healthy snack for football season.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

A couple of weekends ago I went to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and tried a handful of food vendors.  Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke lox sandwich was first on the list, which is made with Acme bread, smoked salmon, homemade cream cheese, red onion, tomato slices, lemon slices, lavender sea salt, and capers.  It's definitely my favorite dish at the farmers market and a must have every time I go.

Next up was Namu's chicken and beef korean tacos, which is a creative alternative to the taco using seaweed instead of corn tortillas.  

I also tried Alive!'s carrot ginger orange juice.  Super refreshing and such a gorgeous color.  

To counter act the healthy juice and finish up the trip to the market: Roli Roti's porchetta sandwich with arugula and an onion compote.

I hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mona Lisa's Art


One of Allison's and Ashley's (best friends from college) childhood friends, Lisa, is a graphic illustrator and made this illustration for my blog.  Isn't she amazing?!  I think she was able to capture the essence of my blog in one illustration!  

If your are interested in a similar illustration for your blog / website more of her work and contact information can be found on her website, Mona Lisa's Art.  She also made an illustration for Stefanie's Stye Website, which can be found here.

I hope you are having a wonderful week.  It's Friday!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Southwestern Vegetarian Quinoa

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend.  It was so nice to have a day off from work and enjoy the nice weather in the city.  It's also nice to only have a four day work week:)  

  Last week for dinner I made this Southwestern Style quinoa.  It's vegetarian and gluten free and you wont even miss meat or gluten from this dish.  Plus, I think I might like red quinoa better than the normal ivory quinoa that I used in my Chicken Curry Quinoa Salad.  It's a little more firm to the bite and the color is quite fun.  

Next on my list is black quinoa.  I'm thinking something orange to pair with it for a Halloween style salad.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Running Shoe Etiquette

How long do you keep your pair of running shoes?  When I am running consistently I am always on my way out or on my way into some sort of injury.  You see, running injuries don't go away overnight with a little ice and Advil.  That's why running is mind over matter;  because if your a runner, your most likely in some sort of pain.  

There are many ways to prevent injuries such as stretching (before/during/after runs) and weight lifting.  But, keeping your shoes in good condition can also prevent injuries.  I personally have had issues with shin splints, knee/back/hip pain, loss of toe nails (probably could have kept this one out but what the heck, we're all friends here), blisters, and more.  So here are my running shoe etiquette pointers.
  • Replace your shoes every 300 - 500 miles.  This means if you run 30 miles/week than you should replace your shoes every 3 - 4 months or so.   Now keep in mind that everyone runs differently.  Some people strike the ground harder and other people are light on their feet.   Listen to your body.  I can feel a knee injury coming on and can prevent it with additional stretching, new shoes, or just decreased mileage.   
  • Go to your local shoe store (preferably a running store like Fleet Feet) to try on new running shoes if you don't already know what to buy.  They will fit you to a running shoe that best fits your foot/running style.  Also, depending on your foot shape they may suggest inserts.  I have used the same brand/variety (Asics Gel) for over a decade.  I tried switching once and ended up with a knee injury.  So if you find a shoe that works for your body, don't switch!
  • Don't buy a new pair of shoes before a race.  Break them in for at least 2 weeks/preferably 1 month depending on mileage.  This one I have definatley learned the hard way with some half dollar size blisters to boot.
  • Keep your toe-nails short.  Not really sure if this is a running shoe pointer, however long toe-nails will cut into your surrounding toes causing bleeding.  Yup, could have kept this one out too but what the heck.
Happy injury free running during the long weekend!