Friday, December 25, 2009

Green Curry Vegan or Not

Ok, it's titled our new favorite meal, but I must be honest and say that at this point, I'm pretty much sick of it! Reason: Honey has requested it for the last two weeks basically every night. Christmas Eve was the kicker. Too much of a good thing. Now it's off for Honey's lunch, packed up and ready to go :)

The meal, you ask? It's Green Curry... ooh so delicious! And as Honey puts it: 'This is way better than my green curry!!' Yeah, that's because it's homemade, goose!

1 Tablespoon grated lime zest
1 Tablespoon thai fish sauce (not vegan... honestly I'd say you could skip it if you're not a fishy eater)
1 Tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon ground coriander
4 garlic cloves
2 stalks lemongrass, coarsely chopped
1 oz shallots
1-2 thai bird chiles, coarsely chopped
1 oz cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons canola oil ( I also use truffle oil...)
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (not vegan, obviously. You could sub tofu VERY easily and it would still be delicious!)
6 oz shitake mushrooms, sliced
9 oz snap peas
9 oz baby bok choy, coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
5 green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
fresh basil leaves, julienned
lime wedges

- combine first 11 ingredients in the foood processor. Pulse into a paste
- heat some oil in a sautee pan or wok, add shrimp and stir fry for 2 min
- When they're pink, take them out and put them in a bowl
- add more oil and sautee mushrooms. Stir fry for 2 or 3 min then add snap peas. Stir fry for a few more minutes. Make sure the snap peas are still crunchy.
- Put mushrooms and peas in the bowl with the shrimp
- Add some more oil and sautee the baby bok choy and red pepper for a few minutes
- Add the paste you made and stir to combine
- Add green onions and bowl of shrimp, mushrooms and peas
- Mix all of it together so paste is well distributed
- add coconut milk and mix
To serve:
- You can serve this over rice (I love brown but it is nutty) or thai noodles or by itself.
- Garnish with julienned basil leaves (as much as you want) and a lime wedge
- We're fans of the spice in our family so we add a nice dose of rooster sauce (sriracha)

It's definitely a family favorite :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Things I have learned from weeds

Today was a beautiful day and what do us Northwest Washington folk do in good weather such as this?We get in the garden or play outside! So with Noodle Nose off on his every other week obligation, I have a moment to get outside to mow the lawn and (ugh...) weed the garden.

So here I am in the garden; the side that I mostly neglect since the beginning of my forced single parent days and continuing on in to my no longer single and incredibly happy days. Anyway... I'm in the neglected garden and I am (ever so vigorously) yanking these weeds out of the dirt to make room for more interesting things like flowers and corn and beans.

As I am ever so vigorously tearing these weeds out, I notice some things: First of all the weeds that I am vigorously yanking are nightshade. If anyone has or have had to deal with nightshade you understand what an INCREDIBLY PERSISTENT bugger of a mess it can be! I have dealt with it in my backyard veggie garden for the duration of my residence at my sweet Maryland house and still haven't maintained it completely; although that is courtesy of my 'behind' neighbor house which is a rental and therefore not on the landlord's radar.
Second thing I notice: It is so very persistent that you pull one bit and it breaks, leaving the "main root" in the ground. This is no good because it will just grow back. The cool thing about this "persistent" weed is that if you keep pulling at the remaining pieces around the piece that you broke off (or any piece, really), the "main weed" (the one deep in the ground) eventually gives a 'harumph' and magically an entire (HUGE) community of giant nightshade weed metropolous that has been slumbering and growing deep down in the ground simply loosens, allowing you to pull it out of the ground and toss in the garbage where it belongs. Ok, I may be imagining the 'harumph' but it is quite interesting how you're pulling and pulling thinking the root is never going to come up and then, like a lightswitch being turned on, the whole thing just 'gives up'
The moral of my earthshattering discovery (maybe only earthshattering to me):? You may have a recurring, annoying, terribly terrible, good for nothing, lame, stupid, cocky, overassuming, overdeserving 'something' in your life, but do not give up! Keep pulling in the right places and you will absolutely pull it up (a.k.a. get rid of it) That thing, whatever your 'thing' may be, no matter how persistent it thinks it is, will eventually give in to your 'pulling', give it's theatrical 'harumph' and give in.
This gives me enormous hope. I hope it does for you too. Whatever your 'nightshade' may be.


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