tofu

Entrée, Summer, Gluten Free, Spring

WEEKNIGHT VEGETABLE CURRY

Weeknight Vegetable Curry . Sprouted Kitchen

Weeknight dinners. These are looking different than they did pre kids. I remember thinking that people with meal plans were inflexible and rigid but I understand the intrigue now. It’s far more efficient and I loooove efficiency. I see now that it does not have to be about creativity, or lack thereof, but rather reducing your market runs. So sensical, you meal planners. I stay pretty adaptable within my plan, but paused are the days of wandering multiple grocery stores grabbing whatever looks good. They say there is a season for everything. I repeat meals far more often than I used to and I take a handful of shortcuts but I am still fumbling through my days with the wee people at my feet (or on my hip and in the cupboards, more specifically). I plan for two easy staples, try two new things and then leave room for something impromptu, going out or having people over. There are usually burrito bowls with lots of grilled vegetables and avocado, a chopped salad night, something in a big pot like tortilla or lentil soup and we’ve started weekly grilled pizzas. It's simpler and that's alright. I have also taken to making more than we need so I am halfway through another meal. For example, the leftover rice and grilled portobellos from burrito night, get blitzed with a few other things in the food processor for veggie burger patties. I find it some sort of personal challenge to use what I have. Anyway, this curry was from one of my big pot situations and I just kept adding vegetables to stretch the great sauce. It is creamy, full of spices and there is just enough peanut butter for richness without making it a “peanut sauce” - I got that idea from the True Food cookbook. I am aware it is not authentic in any sense of the word but it makes for a flavorful bowl of food and a pretty quick dinner.

I don’t get asked frequently about kitchen equipment, but when I do, it is for my opinion on high powered blenders. They are quite expensive and take up a lot of cupboard real estate; I understand wanting to do your due diligence. But until KitchenAid® sent me their new ProLine® model, I actually didn’t own a blender. Well no, I have a NutriBullet which is great and has done everything I’ve needed in a blender, but that’s not the answer people are looking for. So much depends on what you use a blender for, I think. I smoothed this curry sauce in there and good gracious that thing is powerful. I knew I didn’t need to chop the garlic or ginger or worry too much about the size of my onions because the blender would take care of that. And as far making enough for two meals, this sauce was better the second day. I added another handful of vegetables, lentils and a bit more broth to stretch it with success. 

This post was created in partnership with KitchenAid® and their new ProLine® Series Blender.

Weeknight Vegetable Curry . Sprouted Kitchen

WEEKNIGHT VEGETABLE CURRY
Serves 4

The heat here will largely depend on your curry powder. I buy some from Penzey’s but know people are partial to paste versus powders as well. If you prefer paste, sub in about 1 tsp. red curry paste. Long as you use a sweet curry powder, the sambal oelek (chile paste) here should offer enough heat but adjust to your taste. You may add a pinch of cayenne if that is what you have. Taste as you good, I suppose. 

1 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
3 inch nub of peeled ginger
1 tsp. sea salt, to taste
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. muscavado or brown sugar
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1/2 tsp. fish sauce, optional
3/4 cup canned, diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups coconut water or vegetable broth, as needed
1 tsp. sambal oelek (chile paste)
handful of cilantro and basil leaves
juice of one lime 

14-ounce package of extra firm tofu, drained well
3 medium carrots, 1” thick sliced on a diagonal
2 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, cut in 2” pieces
8 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
3/4 lb. snap peas, larger ones halved

cooked brown rice, for serving

whole milk yogurt and cilantro, for topping

Weeknight Vegetable Curry . Sprouted Kitchen

In a dutch oven over medium heat, warm the ghee or coconut oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and salt and saute until softened but not browned. About 5 minutes. Add the cumin, curry powder, turmeric, muscavado or brown sugar and saute another minute. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, fish sauce (if using), tomatoes and coconut water or broth and stir to mix. Let everything simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add the chile paste and cilantro and basil and transfer sauce to a blender. Run the blender until the sauce is smooth and then transfer it back to the pot. Stir in the lime juice. Taste for seasoning. It should be somewhat thick, but still thin enough that the vegetables will cook in it’s heat. Add broth or coconut water if needed. 

Cut the tofu into 1” cubes and prepare all your vegetables. Add the carrots and shallot to the pot first and cook for 5 minutes, then add the tofu, bell pepper, mushrooms and snap peas and cook another 10-15 minutes until all the vegetables are just tender but not mushy. 

For serving, serve each bowl with a scoop of rice and a generous portion of vegetables and sauce. Garnish with whole milk yogurt and cilantro. 

Weeknight Vegetable Curry . Sprouted Kitchen


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Entrée, Gluten Free, Spring

COLD SESAME CUCUMBER NOODLES

cold sesame cucumber noodles

The postpartum appetite is a moody one. With a super frequent nursing schedule, I was eating like a high school athlete, except not exercising at all, just, you know, keeping someone alive with the food my body is making. Then it slowly starts to balance itself out and my portions have become more reasonable and I just recently hit the phase where I'd like to be eating a more wholesome diet than I was getting away with while grasping for energy and sustenance all day. My grandma told me that you crave sugar when you're tired and I'm not sure how factual that is but it felt very true to me. I still need a lot of food, but I'm trying to clean it up as of late. And it's Spring! How appropriate. Fresh things abound. I mean, look at that beautiful pea pod above. So Jeanine's book came in the mail at just the right time because her whole schtick is colorful and fresh and simple. I made her cold noodle salad for lunch with some crispy tofu bits on top but you could leave those out or add any protein of your choice really. It came together in 20ish minutes and I would guess you have most of these items on hand. It's an everyone sort of salad - open to adaptations, saves well to pack for lunch, crunchy and light but still filling. So good. 

cold sesame cucumber noodles
cold sesame cucumber noodles

COLD SESAME CUCUMBER NOODLES

Adapted from the Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio

Soba noodles can come in a wheat blend or a full buckwheat version, which would make them completely gluten free. The former are a little easier to work with, the later more appropriate for those with dietary restrictions. I like my noodles with LOTS of vegetables, like more salad with noodles in it, so I personally could have gone for two cucumbers but the original calls for one. I use this julienne peeler. 

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1.5 Tbsp. low sodium tamari
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
2 tsp. grated ginger
3 chopped scallions
12 ounces soba noodles
1 large cucumber, julienned
two large handfuls blanched snap peas

for garnish
sauteed tofu cubes
roughly chopped mint and cilantro
avocado
sesame seeds

cold sesame cucumber noodles

In a large bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, tamari, oil, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger. Stir in the scallions. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the noodles according to instructions, cooking until al dente. Drain, then run the noodles until cold water until chilled. Mix the noodles into the large bowl of dressing. Add the cucumbers and snap peas and stir. Add your tofu and lots of herbs and then chill in the fridge for an hour before serving. Garnish with avocado and sesame seeds as desired. 

cold sesame cucumber noodles


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Appetizer, Entrée, Snack, Spring, Gluten Free

LEMONGRASS + COCONUT SUMMER ROLLS

Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen
Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen

I have waxed on about how helpful it is to stay on track eating healthfully when you have things ready in the fridge. This usually requires a "cook day," where I just embrace the mess and make about six things that will keep a few days. Always a batch of granola, a treat (recently these! and I'm making these next!), some quick protein like this egg salad or the beach day tuna salad from our cookbook, and a sturdy green salad that can sit like this fabulous kale goodness. I have found this to be especially crucial when working from home (due to frequent grazing) and now having a mini person, simply because I am not always interested in making myself lunch and would rather eat another few handfuls of trail mix and a piece of toast than make a mess and wash dishes. I value home cooked meals, eating wholesome and seasonal dishes, I'm passionate about the art of cooking and the joy there is in feeding people well, but the ebb and flow of life just changes the pace at which I am able to do these things. I know the same goes for you, as I am flattered by the emails I receive from people asking me for recipes that are ideal for travel, to freeze, for sick friends, or to make ahead for busy work weeks. I know our recipe index here is not user-friendly at all and a website make over is totally on the radar, but in the meantime, I will say that summer rolls are sort of amazing for all said circumstances. They keep well for a few days, fit most dietary issues by being gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian and don't need to be warmed which makes them extremely portable. 

The thoughtful couple, David and Luise, write the blog Green Kitchen Stories and I am a huge fan of their first cookbook Vegetarian Everyday. They've created a new (incredibly gorgeous and inspired) cookbook that showcases a collection of photos and recipes from their travels around the globe. It's the sort of book that takes you somewhere else and jump started me out of a bit of a rut that was happening in my own kitchen. I was flipping through looking for something that I could bring to my sister in law and her family who are welcoming home a new baby boy. We ended up keeping these rolls because I ate too many to warrant covering them for a full meal, but I will be packaging up a polenta mushroom situation from the book that is perfect as these nights are cooling down. All to say, I keep my cookbook collection pretty tailored and I'm proud to have this beauty on my shelf. 

Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen
Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen
Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen
Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen

LEMONGRASS + COCONUT SUMMER ROLLS // Makes about 8

Recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Travels

Maybe it is the California girl in me but I would add avocado next time. I like some creaminess with my veggie packed rolls, so just add some thin slices with your collection of other filling ingredients if you wish.  

  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, smashed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • juice of one lime
  • // dipping sauce //
  • 1/3 peanuts or 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 package rice paper
  • 1 head of butter lettuce, cleaned and separated
  • 1 big handful of mint
  • 1 big handful cilantro
  • 1/2 a cucumber, cut into match sticks
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into match sticks
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly toasted
  • 2/3 cup sprouts of choice or grated carrots
  • sesame seeds, optional

Drain and pat the tofu dry. In a large dish, combine the lemongrass, lime, maple and soy sauce. Add the tofu and marinate for 30 minutes. 

To make the dipping sauce, toast the peanuts and blend all the sauce ingredients together. 

Arrange all the filling ingredients and prepare a large bowl of warm water. Dip a sheet of rice paper in the water to soften, and lay it out on a damp dish towel or cutting board. Layer a lettuce leafs, a pinch of mint, cilantro, a slice of tofu, cucumber, mango, coconut flakes and sprouts and/or carrots. Fold the top over the filling, then the sides and roll tight to close. Repeat with remaining rolls. Serve with dipping sauce. These will keep in the fridge under a damp paper towel for 2-3 days. 

Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen
Coconut Summer Rolls . Sprouted Kitchen
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