Curry Coconut Stew with Fresh Herbs

Curry2

6 servings   

1 square extra-firm tofu, about ¾ pound) cut horizontally into 1-inch slabs

2 medium red onions, peeled, ends trimmed and cut into small dice, about 3 cups

1 ¼ pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded, (or one12-ounce package)

½ pound (or 12-ounce bag) trimmed green beans, cut on the diagonal in half

Curry Seasonings:

2 ½-inch slices fresh ginger, peeled, about the size of a quarter

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Sauce (combine all in a small bowl):

1 ½ cans l(13.5 ounces each) light  unsweetened coconut milk

3 tablespoons fish or soy sauce

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

 

1 ½ tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 pound baby carrots

½ cup shredded fresh basil leaves (optional)

 

1. Wrap the slabs of tofu in paper towels and set a heavy weight, such as a heavy skillet, on top and let stand 15 minutes to remove excess water. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Cut the butternut squash into 1 ½-inch squares.

2. Drop the Curry Seasonings into the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a metal blade while the machine is running. Turn the machine on and off to chop the seasonings evenly and mince to a coarse powder.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy casserole or a Dutch oven over medium low heat until very hot, about 20 seconds. Add the Curry Seasonings and diced onions and cook, partially covered, over medium-low heat and stirring with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes until the onion is tender and the seasonings are fragrant. Add the Sauce and bring to a boil. Add the tofu, c, squash, and carrots and stir to coat the vegetables with the sauce. Bring the mixture back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the squash is al dente.

4. Add the green beans and stir. Continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the green beans are tender. Sprinkle in the fresh basil (if using) and toss lightly for a few seconds to coat. Scoop into a serving dish or serve from the casserole with rice or another whole grain.

Saucy Garlic-Roasted Pork with Broccoli Slaw

Hoisin Roasted Pork with Slaw2

4 to 6 Servings

 

1 ½ pounds boneless pork tenderloin or center-cut pork loin, trimmed fo fat and gristle

Marinade/Sauce: (mix together in a bowl)

¾ cup hoisin sauce

5 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine or sake

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

½ cup water

 

1 bag (9 ounces) shredded broccoli slaw (3 ½ cups)

1 ½ cups grated carrots

½ pound angel hair pasta

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

 

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.

2. Put the trimmed pork in a bowl. Spoon one-third of the Marinade over the pork and spread to cover the surface. Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and set aside. Place the pork and its marinade in the prepared pan and roast, periodically spooning the marinade on top, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove and let cool slightly. Cut across the grain, into thin slices. Pour the remaining marinade/sauce into a small saucepan and set aside.

3. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the broccoli slaw and shredded carrots and blanch briefly for 40 seconds. Remove with a handled strainer and place in a colander. Refresh under cold, running water, and drain again. Bring the water back to a boil again and add the noodles. Cook a bit less than the package instructions indicate, until al dente. Drain the noodles into a colander and rinse under cold, running water. Drain again and using kitchen shears, cut into 4-6-inch lengths. Toss the noodles with the toasted sesame oil and arrange on a deep serving platter or in a bowl, leaving a slight well in the center.

4. Bring the remaining marinade/sauce mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Keep warm in the saucepan.

5. Arrange the broccoli slaw and carrots in separate piles over the noodles, reserving a few of the shredded carrots to garnish. Place the slices of roasted pork in the center and drizzle a bit of the warm sauce over the slices. Sprinkle the top with the reserved shredded carrots and pour the remaining sauce in a bowl to serve. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

 

 

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2014.

Rainbow vegetarian salad topped with a spicy tahini dressing

rainbowsalad

Serves 4 

Sichuanese chefs make a popular spicy sesame dressing for noodles and salads. Traditionally, the sauce is made with toasted sesame paste sold in Asian markets. For convenience sake, I’ve developed a recipe where I substitute tahini paste or peanut butter, which is much more readily available, but no less delicious. Serve at room temperature or prepare in advance, refrigerate, and serve slightly chilled.

 

TAHINI DRESSING:

1 4-inch piece fresh ginger

7 cloves garlic

1 cup sesame tahini paste, mixed thoroughly to combine the paste with the liquid

1/ 4 cup soy sauce

1 /4 cup toasted or dark Asian sesame oil

1/ 4 cup sugar, or to taste

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 1 /2   tablespoons unseasoned Asian rice vinegar

3 /4 teaspoon hot chile paste or crushed red pepper

10 tablespoons water

 

 

In a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade, chop the ginger, garlic, pulsing until chopped finely. Add the tahini paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste or hot pepper and blend until smooth. Pour the water down the feed tube while the machine is running. Taste for seasoning, adding more sugar if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl

RAINBOW SALAD:

1 14-ounce squares extra-firm tofu, sliced through the thickness in half

1 1 /2 tablespoons soy sauce

3/4  pound snap or snow peas, ends snapped and veiny strings removed

8 ounces whole wheat linguine

1 teaspoon toasted Asian sesame oil

4 carrots, grated or 2 cups shredded  

3 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into thin slices

1 1/ 2 tablespoons olive oil

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

1. Wrap the tofu sections in 1 layer of paper towels and place in a pie plate or any large flat pan. Place a flat cookie sheet on top and a heavy pan on top as a weight. Let sit 20 minutes to press out the excess water, discarding the paper towels and drying the tofu. Rub the surface with the soy sauce.

2. In a large soup pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add the snap or snow peas and blanch for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out and refresh in a colander under cold, running water and drain. Bring the water back to a boil and add the noodles. Cook for about 11 minutes over medium heat, or until al dente. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold, running water. Drain thoroughly and toss with the sesame oil. Transfer to a large round serving bowl and arrange evenly with a slight indentation in the middle. Set four to five red pepper slices aside for the garnish.

3. In a large, non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the drained tofu and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 12 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towels and cut into 1/ 4-inch thick slices.

5. Arrange the blanched snap peas, shredded carrots and red pepper slices in separate concentric circles over the noodles, leaving a well in the center and arrange the fried tofu slices there. Sprinkle the top with the reserved red pepper slices and serve with the spicy tahini sauce.

EASY BASIL CHICKEN SALAD WITH SOBA NOODLES

BasilSoba

EASY BASIL CHICKEN SALAD WITH SOBA NOODLES  6  servings

3/4 pound snow or snap peas, ends snapped and veiny strings removed
12 ounces soba noodles

Spicy Pesto
6 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
4 scallions, white parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces (reserve the greens for the garnish)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin julienne strips
Reserved scallion greens, cut into 1/4-inch sections

Dressing (combine in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves)
1/2 cup light soy sauce, or to taste
6 tablespoons Japanese clear rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin, or rice wine or sake mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the snow peas and cook for 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon and drain in a strainer or colander under cold running water. Bring the water to a boil again and add the soba noodles. Once the water boils again, cook for 3 1/2 minutes, or until al dente. Drain in a colander and rinse the noodles under warm running water. Drain again.

2. To make the Spicy Pesto: Drop the garlic, scallion whites, and red pepper flakes down the feed tube of a food processor while the motor is running and chop finely. Open up the bowl and add the basil leaves. Pulse, turning the machine on and off, then slowly pour the sesame and olive oil down the feed tube and chop the mixture to a fine paste. Add the lemon juice and soy sauce and continue blending until the mixture is a fairly smooth paste.

3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked soba noodles with the pesto mixture. Arrange in a large shallow bowl or platter. Sprinkle the snap peas evenly over the noodles, followed by the julienne chicken, and finishing with the scallion greens. Serve the Dressing on the side in a sauce bowl, or drizzle on top of the salad. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Variation
Substitute cooked shrimp, pork, or flavored tofu for the chicken. You can also replace the snow or snap peas with 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots, bean sprouts, or other sliced vegetables.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Basil and Fresh Lime Dressing

Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Basil and Fresh Lime Dressing

smaller viet pork (320x240)

6 servings

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and gristle

Marinade (combine in a small bowl)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic

6 ounces thin rice stick or vermicelli noodles, softened in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained
1 1/2 tablespoons olive spray or canola oil
3 cups Boston or leafy lettuce, stems trimmed and leaves cut into thin shreds
2 cups shredded or grated carrots
2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into shreds or ripped into small pieces
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts (optional)

Vietnamese Dressing (combine in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves)
Juice of 4 to 5 limes or 2 1/2 lemons (about 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup fish sauce, or more to taste
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

1. Place the pork in a shallow dish, add the Marinade, and rub to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand while preparing the other ingredients. Mix the Dressing.

2. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add the rice noodles, swishing them around in the water for a minute or so, then drain in a colander. Refresh under cold running water and drain thoroughly.

3. Prepare a medium-hot fire for grilling and brush or spray the grill rack with the oil, or heat a skillet and heat the oil in the pan until hot, about 15 seconds. Grill or pan-sear (covered) the pork for 9 to 10 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature registers 160°F. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick.

4. Place the noodles in the bottom of a large serving bowl or platter and arrange the lettuce, carrots, and bean sprouts in separate concentric circles on top. Sprinkle the pork evenly over the vegetables and top with the shredded basil and chopped peanuts, if using. Pour some of the Vietnamese Dressing over the top and serve the remainder in a bowl or saucier on the side. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.

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