DDD Ep. #21 – Vegan Spicy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Reposting this now here because there is a video to accompany it.   Please consider following me on my channel there.

I have posted several variations of cauliflower rice over the years – most of which can be found HERE.  This one is likely the richest of the lot due to the added lite coconut milk.  Still – if you consider that it isn’t really rice but, rather just grated cauliflower, that added decadence of the coconut milk & curry paste are not that bad.

Cauliflower rice is easiest if you have a food processor with a grating blade.  If not – you can grate the cauliflower with a box grater or other grater – but raw cauliflower tends to pop all over the place & can get rather messy.

I’m not sure if some of my earlier cauliflower rice recipes had the added step of steaming the cauliflower & squeezing out the water – but – that is a step not necessary for cauliflower rice.  I think that step only matters if you are going to make cauliflower pizza dough or cauliflower tortillas – as seen below.

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This dish is quick & easy & very tasty.  And good for you!

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Vegan Spicy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

Serves 4 or more as a side

INGREDIENTS

1 large head cauliflower – grated in with a food processor or a manual grater

Coconut or other cooking oil

1 red bell pepper – diced

1 onion diced

1-3 jalapenos – minced (use more or less according to your taste for heat)

1-6 cloves of garlic – chopped (use more or less according to your taste for garlic)

1 cup lite coconut milk

1 TBS red curry paste

1 TBS Bragg’s liquid amino acids (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Garnish – cilantro, lime wedges

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DIRECTIONS

In a very large saute pan, heat about 1 TBS oil & add the cauliflower.  Saute on high for 5-7 minutes or until it just begins to brown.  Transfer to a bowl  & set aside.

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In the same pan, add about another TBS of oil & saute the red bell pepper, onion & jalapeno until they get soft – maybe 5 minutes.  Add the garlic & stir for a minute & then add the curry paste & coconut milk & amino acid (or soy sauce) & agave.  Incorporate & then add the cauliflower rice.  Stir in some cilantro & combine.  Garnish with additional cilantro & lime wedges & serve.

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Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Lentils are cheap, versatile, comforting & good for you.   These can be made thick & served over a grain (like Basmati rice) or made a bit thinner & served as a soup.  They freeze well, too, so why not make a fuckton – like I did – and freeze a bunch for lazy days in the future?

I used sweet basil from Bangluck Thai market in Hollywood but hot basil or regular basil will do.  Were I to make this again – I would double the basil quantity.  I used a small amount of coconut milk in this so keep it lighter & less fattening but more coconut milk would make this creamier & yummier.  I also used a combination of lentils & dal & mung beans – seen below.  You can use all one kind or any combo you have handy.

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Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils

Makes a large pot full

INGREDIENTS

Coconut oil

5 cups lentils (or dal or mung beans)

1 onion – diced

2 jalapenos – chopped (optional)

1-8 garlic cloves (to taste) – minced

1-2 TBS minced ginger

5 ounces (or more) coconut milk (a 15 oz can would not be too much – I just kept it light)

2 TBS rice vinegar

6 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

8 or more cups vegetable stock

1-2 cups fresh basil

GARNISH – cooked rice & more basil

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DIRECTIONS

Melt 1 or more TBS of coconut oil (or other cooking oil) in a large stock pot.  Add the onions & jalapenos & saute until soft.  Stir in the garlic & ginger for a minute & then add everything else – (except the fresh basil) – starting with only about 6 cups of the stock.  Bring to a boil & reduced heat to low.  Cover & simmer for 30-60 minutes or until your lentils are soft.  I used & immersion blender & mashed about 25% of the lentils.  Not necessary.  Add more stock for a thinner dish or a soup.  Heat it down if it is too thin.

Stir in the fresh basil & serve with additional basil as garnish.  Serve as it is or over cooked rice.

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Vegan Coconut and Turmeric Lentil Stew with Kale for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Group of turmeric roots isolated on white background

I stole this image from Google.

I found fresh turmeric at the supermarket & just had to try it out.  It looks like that photo above – but that photo does not really get the grub-like visual it sometimes has.  I used 1 2-inch piece of it chopped into the stew but I can’t say what flavor it added so – if you can’t find it – skip it.  Powdered turmeric will do.  Google turmeric & learn of its many health benefits.  It is very good for you & has that gorgeous color – so I love using it.

This stew was born because I re-upped my membership to Farm Fresh to You & I had lots of fresh veggies to use.    This makes a shitload of stew but it is delicious & freezes well.  I have been eating it for lunch at work all week and I am never disappointed by the flavors.   I used this 6-quart Crock Pot and it was filled to the brim – so – get ready to either feed a lotta folks or to freeze some for future use.

I have to remark here how much better the local organic carrots I got from Farm Fresh to You tasted than supermarket carrots.  They were bursting with sweetness!  If you have a local produce delivery service near you – I recommend trying it out.  Support local farmers & get fresher produce.  It is a win-win.

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Vegan Coconut and Turmeric Lentil Stew with Kale for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a party

INGREDIENTS

1 lb lentils (I used pink  ones- despite the fact that they look yellow because of the turmeric)

7 cups vegetable stock

1 can coconut milk (I used lite)

4 tomatoes – diced

1 onion – diced

2 jalapenos – seeded & minced (I left the seeds in for extra kick)

1 head Kale – chopped

4 carrots – sliced

4 cloves garlic – chopped

3 TBS fresh ginger – minced

2 inches turmeric root – peeled & minced (optional)

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

2 pinches cayenne

1 TBS ground coriander

1 TBS mustard powder

1 TBS turmeric

GARNISH – cilantro, chopped tomatoes, chopped jalapenos

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything in the slow cooker & leave on high for 5 hours.

Shit don’t get easier than that.

If it is too thick – add water.  If it is too thin – take the lid off & leave on high.  It should thicken up in an hour or so.

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Homemade Almond Milk

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is very easy & the result is the purest almond milk possible.  No additives – not even sweetener – if you don’t like sweetener (and I do not).  It should keep two days in the fridge.  The almonds need to soak a day or two so, if you use lots of almond milk, maybe always have some almonds soaking in the fridge so you can make this as you need it.

HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK

Makes about 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw almonds

2 cups water plus extra for soaking

Cheesecloth

Possible optional sweeteners – agave nectar, honey, maple syrup or sugar – to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Soak the almonds at least overnight or up to three days.  The softer they are – the creamier the milk.  This ratio of almonds to water that I suggest produces a milk that is like a 2%.  Add more water for thinner milk – less for thicker.

Simply drain the soaked almonds & rinse them.  Then blend the 1 cup of soaked almonds with 2 cups of water for two full minutes in your blender – or 4 minutes in your food processor.

Then – over a large bowl or measuring cup – strain the almond meal out of the milk through cheesecloth.  Squeeze all the moisture out.  Sweeten to taste ( i skipped sweeteners because I like my almond milk straight) & chill.

The almond meal can be used in smoothies or muffins or dried out in the oven on a very low setting for 2-3 hours & used in baking.  You can freeze almond meal, too, for later use.

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Indian Yellow Curry Cauliflower with Coconut Milk & Forbidden Black Rice (part 2 of a 3 curry meal)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is the second of three curry recipes I will be posting today.  The first is my Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp.  Be sure to read that blog post as it also outlines a pretty embarrassing experience here:

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Indian Yellow Curry Cauliflower with Coconut Milk

INGREDIENTS

1 head of cauliflower – cut into florets

6 tbs oil

2 TBS cumin seeds

Spice mix

2 TBS coriander seeds

2 TBS cumin seeds

Ginger, garlic & serrano paste

1 tsp salt

10 cloves garlic

2 inch hunk of fresh ginger – peeled & diced

2 serrano peppers – seeded

Sauce

1 onion – minced

1 cup peas

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 14oz cans (or about 4 cups) coconut milk (lite, if you prefer)

4 ripe tomatoes

1 cup yogurt (optional)

1 lime, juiced

4 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Cut your cauliflower into florets.  Set aside

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Dry roast (in a dry frying pan) the 2 TBS each cumin & coriander seeds.  They should become fragrant in a few minutes.  Definitely agitate the pan to avoid burning the spices.  When they are just browning, remove them & transfer to a mortar & pestle & grind them into a fine powder.  Set aside.

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In a food processor, puree the salt, garlic, ginger & serranos.  Set aside.

Puree the tomatoes in your food processor.  Set aside.

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Mince the onion in your food processor.  Set aside.

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In a LARGE saute pan, heat the 6 TBS of olive oil & toss the cauliflower florets n it with 1 TBS of the whole cumin seeds.  Stir occasionally & fry until the florets begin to brown in sections.  Remove from heat & set aside.

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In that same pan,  add a bit more oil & the other TBS of whole cumin seeds.  Once they start popping, add the minced onion.  Fry for about 10 minutes of until they just start to turn golden.

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Add the ginger, garlic & serrano paste & stir.  After a minute or two, add the dry, ground spice mix, coconut milk, tomatoes & cauliflower & peas & stir to combine. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until your cauliflower is tender.  Stir in the yogurt (if using), the juice of the lime and a cup of chopped cilantro.  Taste & add salt if you think it needs it.   Heat through & serve over rice with more cilantro as garnish.

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Forbidden Black Rice

Just use two parts water to one part rice.  For example, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add 2 cups rice & return to a boil.  Reduce heat, wrap a kitchen towel around the pot lid & cover the pan.  Be CAREFUL that your kitchen towel is nowhere near the flame.  You don’t HAVE to take this step but it is supposed to produce a fluffier rice.  Let the rice sit unmolested on lowest heat for about 45 minutes.  Check the texture.  If it isn’t soft enough yet, let it sit another 15 minutes.

Or just use a rice cooker.

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Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream, Cilantro & Lime

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

I apologize for posting so many straight recipes & no adventures lately.  Year end expenses etc have kept me pretty much at home and alone nearly every day & night for at least the last month.   If I blow off the gym, as I did in the week between Christmas & New Years, I can go days & days without ever seeing another human, outside of Ed, my early morning donut dealer.  As fascinating as I’d like to consider myself – a month of watching Maury reveal paternity results & MSNBC squawk on & on about fake crises like the fiscal cliff & the debt ceiling has left me with something akin to a test pattern humming in my head & my jaw slack.  And weekends are worse. I fucking hate “Caught on Camera” which is MSNBC’s new weekend wall-to-waller for injury fetishists.  And SOMEHOW it got DVR’ed – so the fucking series is getting recorded every time it plays and I cannot figure out how to cancel it.  And Lock Up?  Seriously.  They run Lock Up marathons on MSNBC sometimes from Friday night at 7 through Sunday evening, only breaking for the insufferable Meet the Press.  Who watches six hours of prison inmates with tattooed faces & then thinks to themselves, “You know what I am in the mood for now?  Another hour of prison inmates with tattooed faces, bitchez!”   Ugh.

So – I sit in my kitchen & stare blankly at my TV and simultaneously play the 40 million Scrabble & Words with Friends games I have running – 30 million of which are with my mother who is the best GD word game player ever – in real life.  But on the iphone apps – she mostly just phones it in (get it?) – and I feel like I am doing endless homework way beneath my intellectual ability.  I am a hamster stuck in a Habitrail repeating the same limited and mindless actions ad infinitum just waiting for death or for someone to get close enough so I can bite them.

So – I drink wine so that I at least have an excuse for the stupid look on my face and I cook.  And cook.  And I eat some and freeze more & then I cook.  I wish I had more mouths to feed here & more money to do it with because the cooking is the best part of my days but I can’t just endlessly cook food in quantities I cannot possibly consume just so I can be distracted & then take some pretty pictures.

Aren’t you glad NOW that I have been keeping to myself?

OK – so – yesterday I had a bunch of fresh corn to use.  Again – I challenged myself to make a dish that didn’t require a grocery store run.  I wanted to make a corn chowder but I had no dairy or soy milk or anything like that in the house.  But I DID have cans of both coconut milk & coconut cream.  Not knowing the difference (having never yet used coconut cream) – I opted to use the cream version.  I still don’t know what the difference is.  Once I broke up & blended the solid chunk of whatever at the top of the can – it looked & tasted like coconut milk to me.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Coconut cream is very similar to coconut milk but contains less water. The difference is mainly consistency. It has a thicker, more paste-like consistency, while coconut milk is generally a liquid. Coconut cream is used as an ingredient in cooking, having a mild non-sweet taste.

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Anyway – coconut cream/milk is a perfect substitute for the dairy in  this chowder.  The fresh corn is the real key here so try to use fresh corn rather than canned or frozen.  The fresh corn is far sweeter than the coconut cream & overpowers the coconut almost completely.  In fact – my boyfriend says he hates coconut but I bet if I served him this chowder – he would never guess what it was made from.

This is easy as pie.  And really good!  If you do not like spicy food, omit the jalapenos & hot sauce.  If you cannot find red jalapenos (or are eschewing them entirely) add some diced carrots or diced red bell pepper – just for color.

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Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream & Cilantro

INGREDIENTS

8 ears fresh corn on the cob

1 13.5 oz can of coconut cream or coconut milk (light version if you prefer)

1 large potato – peeled & diced

1 large onion – diced

2 (or more) jalapenos (red if possible) – seeded & diced (use a red bell pepper here if you do not like spice)

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)

1 lime

fresh cilantro

olive oil

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Cut the corn from the cobs.  Take the dull side of a large knife & run it down all sides of each corn cob with a bit of pressure – over a bowl.  This is called “milking the corn.”  Reserve this corn milk.

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Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a stock pot.  Add the onion & jalapenos & saute until the onions are soft & translucent.  Add potato & corn & stir.  Add the stock, hot sauce, corn milk & the coconut milk.  Stir.  Add about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low & simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potato & corn are tender.

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See the corn “milk” mush on the top??

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With a slotted spoon, scoop out some (maybe a cup or two) of the solid veggies & reserve in a bowl.  You will use this later to garnish the soup when you serve it.

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With a blender or food processor or immersion blender – puree the remaining soup.  Add S&P to taste.  At this point – you can squeeze in the juice of half a lime – or you can opt to serve the soup with lime wedges & let folks control the amount of citrus in their chowder.

To serve – ladle some puree into bowls.  Top with a spoonful of the solid veggies & some more chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley) and a wedge of lime.  Fresh cracked pepper – more hot sauce?  Your call.

Some crispy fried shallots would be pretty nice on this – as would a good drizzle of basil oil.

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