30 January 2012

Coconut Curry Stirfry

This dish is FANTASTIC.  I had pretty high hopes for it, and I was not disappointed.
I strayed so far from the recipe that I'm not even going to bother reposting it.

The first thing I put together was the sauce.  1 can of coconut cream (full fat - don't read the nutrition facts!).  Add to it two tbs of curry powder and two tbs of freshly grated ginger.
[Edit:  I later made this sauce out of an avocado and a cup of almond milk, and it was a smashing success!]
I used a tuna steak because I have a plethora of them, but chicken will work fine too.  Tuna works surprisingly well for stir fry - it doesn't really flake like other fish.  And it looks like chicken anyway ;)
So while that's cooking, get together your veggies!  One 12-oz bag of broccoli (~2 cups), I threw in about half as much cauliflower, half a red pepper, a small onion and five or six mushrooms.  Vegetables are like a stock portfolio - diversify!  The more colors you're eating, the better health benefits you're getting.
And here is where I lost the rest of the photos from my camera.  Mass deleting is never a good idea, FYI.  I set the meat aside and put the onion in the same pan in some evoo.  What the onions are good and tender, add the rest of your vegetables.  My eyes were much bigger than my pan; I could barely fit them all.  Cook those until tender then pour in the cream mixture.

The original recipe calls for spinach to be added next and then the whole thing cooked just until the spinach is wilted.  Since I just read up on enzymes (yeah, that's right, Caleb.  I know about enzymes now), I waited until the cream had just started to boil, then I served up the veggies on a plate and sprinkled on the spinach.  I wanted it to get a little wilty, but not so hot that it denatured the enzymes.  Then top with the tuna and voila!  Beautiful, tasty dinner.  I apologize for the crappy cell phone photo.

Coconut Curry Stirfry
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (as an alternative, try using 1 avocado and 1 cup of almond milk)
  • 2 tbs curry powder
  • 2 tbs freshly grated ginger
  • tuna steak or chicken breast, cut into stirfry-sized chunks
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cups (1 12 oz bag) frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower, thawed
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 5 or 6 mushrooms
  • a bunch of spinach, lightly chopped.
Mix together the coconut milk, curry powder and ginger.  Set aside.  Fry up the meat and also set aside.

Chop up your onion and put it in the pan with the olive oil.  While that is frying, chop up the rest of the veggies as needed.  When the onion is tender, add them to the pan.  Fry at least until heated through.  Add the coconut milk mixture to the pan.  When the whole thing is hot, add the spinach just until wilted (you can also add the meat at this point).  Serve it up, and if you haven't added it already, top with your tuna or chicken.  The tuna has a nice zing to it that you don't get with the chicken.

28 January 2012

Tuna Steak Night

Tuna!  It doesn't just come in cans.  And my BFF A-man had some decent priced tuna steaks that I couldn't resist.

So, here's the marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons ginger root , freshly grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt  
I had just bought my first ever ginger root, so this was an adventure!
And since I hardly ever use lemon or lime juice without also using the zest, I just want you all to know how difficult it is to zest a lime WEDGE.
Anyway, all that aside, mix up your marinade and tell the steaks to dive in.
The original recipe is for grilling, but I pan fried them due to it being winter and all.  Tuna steaks are naturally heart-shaped!
 Fry to perfection.  Serve with a side salad or two :)
And don't forget to add a local wine that reminds you of the sea.
So tasty.  Tuna steaks are much better than the canned version!  It's not too fishy, and as Kyle put it, "It's just like steak!  I mean a REAL steak!"  A nice treat on the night before he left for Texas for a week for work.

Alright, so here's a quick recipe recap for those that want it.

Spicy Grilled Caribbean Tuna

  • 2 tablespoons gingerroot , Freshly Grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt
  • 4 tuna steaks


  1. Preheat the grill to hot.
  2. Line the grill pan with aluminum foil if desired.
  3. Place the cumin, coriander, cayenne, oil, lime, ginger and salt in a shallow dish and mix well.
  4. Add the fish and turn to coat on all sides. Grill for 3-5 minutes on each side or to your liking.
  5. Serve immediately.

26 January 2012

Spinach and Artichoke 2-for-1 Appetizer

Who doesn't love spinach and artichoke dip?  No one.  Even people who HATE spinach and HATE artichokes love this dip.  So when I saw this recipe for s&a stuffed mushrooms...well, it sounded perfect.  But if you've ever made stuffed mushrooms, you know that you ALWAYS have leftover stuffing.  Here's how to work that to your advantage:

Whip up the stuffing.  Recipe here, I'm not going to repost it because the magic is what happens after the mushrooms are done.
Stuff those buddies and bake 'em up!  The great thing about stuffed mushrooms is that even when they're ugly, they're still a really cute appetizer.  I sprinkled them with extra cheese and a few with cayenne pepper before baking.

But whoa!  Look at how much stuffing you have left!  What to do...
It really helps to know how to make a regular spinach and artichoke dip (something I've done before) so that you know it includes a good deal of alfredo sauce.  And what is the base of alfredo sauce?  Cream.

I added a cup of heavy whipping cream to the bowl and came up with this:
I also added more parmesan.  Then I put it in a baking dish, sprinkled it with cheese and some cayenne pepper.
I baked it for a while.  Say 350* for 20 minutes?  All you really need to do is get the cream almost to boiling point all the way through.  And let me tell you, this dip is tasty to the last bite.  Can you ever really have too much spinach and artichoke dip?

Voila!  Two appetizers for the effort of one.  And I'm sure that you could add alfredo sauce instead of cream if that is what your taste buds desire.  Bon appetit!

24 January 2012

The Cutest Girl in the World

Since it's my birthday, I'm not going out of my way to write a long post tonight.  However, since the celebration isn't until tomorrow night, I'll give you a quick post about the cutest darlin' in the world.

She got a car for Christmas.  And she knows how to use it.
 Yes, those are my REAL car keys.  She set the car alarm off from inside the apartment - I didn't even know it was possible!

 She also love my phone.  This is her "it's not working, turn it on right now" face.
I think she called Russia.

And this little gem is the face she gave me when she stole my phone and jumped in the car.
"Oh, yeah, I'm actually in the car right now...But you know what?  I'll just kick up my feet and chat."  Good thing I'll probably be dead by the time she actually starts driving.
Uh...this is where things got a little out of control...
Everybody loves snacktime!
All that driving made her tired!
K&J - thanks for letting us watch your daughter!  It was probably my most productive day of Christmas break :)

22 January 2012

The Best Blueberry Coffee Cake Ever

Courtesy of my favorite Mennonite cookbook:
 So, get together the ingredients and let's get cooking!

Take your egg (oh wait, you just used the last egg in an omelet.  Improvise)
Beat until fluffy...um...
Well, just add stuff.  It's not a lost cause yet.
And blueberries!
Brand new bread pans - a Christmas present!

The great thing about this recipe is that if you decide to forego the topping, it requires no butter!  However, I got this nice log of butter from the A-man, so topping it is!
 Bake until perfection...and then try not to eat all in one sitting!

Disclaimer:  Bananas can be substituted for eggs.  It's a well-known fact.  True story.

14 January 2012

Taco Bake

So tonight I took advantage of my brand new camera and a tripod I happened to collect some years ago.  Behold, a visual recipe!

Brown meat and put it in a 9x13 (I used home-canned venison, so it was already cooked)
 Add corn (homegrown Indiana corn, frozen this summer)
 Homemade salsa, canned this summer.
 Black beans (from the store, sorry)
 Green onions (you know it!).
 Cilantro, because this stuff is seriously ALWAYS in my fridge.
 Sweet peppers - isn't that pretty?
 Always and forever, cheeeeese!
 All those leftover tortilla chips from the bottom of the bag!
 Bake for half an hour at 350 F
 Add some tasty avocado slices and enjoy!

11 January 2012

Kitchen Disasters, Part III (Healthy Cookie Dough Dip)

Healthy Cookie Dough Dip (real recipe here)
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • up to 1/4 cup milk of choice (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 to 3 T oats (You can omit, but also omit the milk if you do)
Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips. 

How can this go wrong? you ask.   What part of this super-simple recipe could possibly lead to struggles?

Clearly, you don't know me very well.

So we have a small blender.  Actually, it's meant for smoothies.  So I started attempting to blend up the chickpeas, but they were just too dry.  So I added some milk.  Then I added some more milk.  Then a little more.  Finally they all blended smooth.

I added the salt, baking soda, vanilla, and peanut butter.  It didn't all fit in the blender, so I stirred it in a new container.  It was the perfect consistency.  And since I wanted to keep this recipe gluten-free, I opted to not put the oats in the mix.  But remember what the recipe says about oats and milk?  Sigh.

I had two ingredients left.  I added the brown sugar, expecting the consistency to be enhanced.
Bam!  Liquified.  Primordial goo, anyone?  Why, WHY do I ignore recipes?  Does it ever end well?  Will I ever learn?

On the plus side, I managed to score some rice flour and added that to the dip.  It made the consistency more cookie dough-like, kept it gluten free, and didn't really affect the flavor.  Throw some chocolate chips in there and pretend the whole thing didn't happen.

It was a hit!  Graham crackers were my instinct to serve it with as well - but I don't blame you if you just eat it plain.  Obviously, this doesn't taste exactly like cookie dough.  But it is so fantastically close that no one will know unless you tell them the secret - it's healthy!