Thai Green Curry (serves 4)

I love this recipe. It’s fast, nutritious, and works wonderfully to use up veggies in the fridge or those fresh in the garden needing a home. This is for my sister, Heather, who’s eating vegan these days.  Green curry is as delectable with vegetables and tofu, as with prawns or chicken sauteed in garlic and shallots or onion first, then added to the pot.

 

                                         Thai Green Curry with Tofu, Eggplant, and Yam                                 

Thai Green Curry – Vegan (or Not)

3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp Thai green curry paste (or more to taste)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large yam, cut into 1” cubes
2 Japanese eggplant, three Thai eggplant or one regular eggplant, cut into 1” cubes
2 cans low-fat coconut milk or one can regular, and equivalent amount of water
2 Kaffir lime leaves, julienned in ¼ “ strips
juice of two fresh limes
1 stalk fresh or frozen lemongrass, the root end to about 5 inches up the plant, finely diced
1 stalk lemongrass cut in 3 inch pieces and julienned
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 block firm tofu, cut into 1” cubes

In a good saucepan, sauté garlic and onion on medium heat till fragrant, then add the curry paste. Let it cook for a minute, stirring to release the flavour. Turn the heat down to simmer. Add the yams, stirring to just coat them in the curry mixture. Quickly add coconut milk to prevent the pan from scorching, and stir. Add the lime leaves, lemongrass, brown sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Stir. After five minutes or so, as the yam begins to soften, add the eggplant. Finally, add the tofu. Let the mixture simmer for another few minutes, then serve on Thai jasmine or basmati rice.

Variation:

Chicken: In a skillet, sauté two chicken breasts cut into 1” cubes with a tbsp of oil. Add the garlic and onion, and cook till tender – 5 – 7 minutes. Then add curry paste. Continue with the remainder of the recipe.

Prawn: Since prawns take less time, and don’t do well when overcooked, I sauté them separately with garlic and a bit of onion while the curry is cooking. Add to the mixture at the end, once the vegetables and the rest of the curry has cooked through.

Spinach and Mushroom Cannelloni with Fresh Roma Tomato Sauce

Fall Harvest Bounty: Fresh Roma tomatoes, garden spinach, wild mushrooms

Yield: a large 11×14 and small 8×8 dish or extra large lasagna dish (Serves 10-12)

This cannelloni recipe takes about an hour to prepare, but it’s time well-spent! The recipe can be made the day before and baked the next day, or baked, frozen and reheated. Garlic infuses both the vegetable and cheese mixture inside the pasta and also the sauce that tops it. Gluten free pasta can be substituted for wheat-based cannelloni.

My UBC-WKTEP students think this dish is pretty good. It is! Serve with a green salad

4 cups mushrooms (a variety is best: chanterelles, oyster mushrooms, field mushrooms)
3 tbsp olive oil
5 cups baby spinach or regular spinach, chopped
salt and pepper
1 lb (2 cups) ricotta cheese
1 lb (2 cups) feta cheese
3 eggs
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 ½ cups mozzarella, grated
1 cup parmesan, grated
4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 ½ packages cannelloni tubes
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp butter
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups light cream (or 2 cups light cream/2 cups milk with tbsp flour instead of whipping cream)
1 cup parmesan, grated

Roma tomato sauce:
2 onions, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
16 fresh Roma tomatoes, seeded and then chopped into eighths.

Saute the onions and garlic in oil over medium heat for a few minutes, till fragrant. Add the tomatoes, cooking gently for 3 minutes. Add fresh basil. Take off the heat.

Saute the sliced mushrooms in oil on medium heat till browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the spinach and cook just till wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the ricotta and feta cheeses, eggs, 3 tbsp garlic, mozzarella and 1 cup parmesan, basil and the mushroom and spinach mixture. Mix well until blended.

Next, make the tomato sauce. Pour the sauce into baking dish. The cannelloni will be placed on top as they are stuffed with filling.

Put the mushroom/spinach/cheese filling into a pastry bag or use a spoon and stuff the uncooked cannelloni tubes. Lay the cannelloni closely side by side in two rows atop the tomato sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Make the alfredo sauce: Saute 3 tbsp garlic with butter till fragrant, then add cream. Stir over medium heat for five to eight minutes, until sauce is reduced and thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce on top of the cannelloni. Add the remaining 1 cup of parmesan to the dish. Sprinkle with fresh Italian parsley, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, then remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Spinach Mushroom Cannelloni topped with Alfredo sauce

 
 

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A trio of summer salads: Miso Noodle, Mediterranean Watermelon, and New Potato Salad.
 

Thai Red Curry Bowl

This fragrant and simple curry is mild and full of interesting tastes. Thai spices such as lime leaves, lemongrass, fish sauce and coconut milk are readily available and store well in the freezer, pantry, and cupboard respectively.  Preparation time is short: about 25 minutes start to finish. Either a vegetarian or carnivore version works equally well.  Tofu, chicken or prawns augment the vegetables delightfully.

Without doubt, this curry pleases a big crowd, or, makes leftovers that become more and more delectable over a couple of days as the flavours meld.

2 tbsp minced garlic

Saute garlic and onions till fragrant,

1 onion, chopped

a few minutes. Then add curry paste.

2 tbsp Thai red curry paste

 

1 tbsp oil

 

2 cans coconut milk (or 1 can coconut, plus 1 can water, for a lower fat version)

Add coconut milk to onion/garlic mix.

 

 

1 large yam, cubed in 1” pieces

While garlic and onions sauté, chop

2 potatoes, cubed in 1” pieces

vegetables, and add them to the pan.

1 Japanese eggplant, (or Italian eggplant)

 

I sweet red pepper, cut in 1” cubes

 

 

 

1 lime, zested and juiced

Add lime zest and juice, fish sauce, and

2 tbsp fish sauce

brown sugar. Add lime leaves and

2 tbsp brown sugar

Lemongrass.

3 lime leaves cut into ½ inch strips

Let simmer for 20

1 stalk lemongrass or 2 tbsp dried or frozen

minutes or until vegetables are soft.

 

 

 

 

1 pkg firm or extra-firm tofu

Add tofu and cook for another few minutes.

Serve on a bed of brown basmati rice or Thai jasmine rice.

This is the vegetarian version of Thai red curry. For chicken, start the garlic and onions and then sauté chicken cut in 1” pieces until tender. Add curry paste, coconut milk, and so on, as above. To make the dish with prawns, sauté prawns separately with garlic and a tad of onion as the curry cooks. Add seafood to the curry mixture at the end. Mmmmm.. .Good every way you make it!

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