thai

COOKING FOR ONE: BRUSSEL SPROUT AND NOODLE BOWL

COOKING FOR ONE: BRUSSEL SPROUT AND NOODLE BOWL

This week I was catching up on my post Christmas ironing, two back breaking sessions each lasting two hours! To make my job easier I watched some cookery shows on TV. Watching Nigella made me realised how much we have in common. No I do not indulge in pigs ears, deep fry bounty bars or have an obsession for alliteration.

Like Nigella, however, I am obsessed with food. I am obsessed with eating it, cooking it, writing about it, talking about it. I love discovering new flavours and ingredients (like the yellow carrots I bought today). Most of all, like Nigella, I love cooking for myself.

You won’t see me grabbing a quick sandwich or couple of Ryvitas for lunch. I believe it is not a waste of time to cook or prepare something delicious just for one. This is my me time, I love it. Of course not everybody has the time, that’s where batch cooking comes to its force, freezer full of stews and soups can ensure you have a nutritious meal when pressed for time. Even salads can be made ahead. Some keep really well even for a few days. Just don’t try to store tender leaves that have a dressing on.

Lunch for one can be a brilliant way to use up odds and ends from your fridge or pantry. Got some leftover rice, one lonely noodle nest or half a pepper in the fridge? Bits and bobs get my cooking mind going! Yesterday I found that lonely nest of noodles, some Brussel sprouts and a recipe idea was born. Delicious it was too! If you want, double it, triple it.... just maybe go easy on multiplying the curry paste, you don’t want it to blow your head off. I did fancy some edamame beans or just regular green beans, but my freezer was bare.... hence the peas. Can’t complain, they did taste great.

brussels-sprout-noodles

BRUSSEL SPROUT AND NOODLE BOWL
Beware that Thai red curry paste very often contains dried shrimp or fish sauce, if like me you want to avoid those, read the ingredients!

For 1

ingredients
1/2 cup of light vegetable stock
1 small onion, thinly sliced
80g of flat Asian noodles (rice, wheat or buckwheat, whatever you have)
1-2 tsp vegan red curry paste (they very in heat)
1 cup of Kara coconut or other non dairy milk (not coconut milk from a can)
12 Brussel sprouts
couple handfuls of frozen peas, green beans or edamame
1 Tbs smooth peanut butter
juice of half a lime
handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)

method
  1. In a medium sauce pan heat the veg stock, add the onions and simmer till soften.
  2. In another medium sauce pan cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Rinse with cold water.
  3. While the onions are sauteing prepare your Brussels sprouts. Peel off any unappealing leaves of the sprouts, cut of the stalk end bit and halve them lengthways.
  4. Add the curry paste and coconut milk to the onions together with the Brussels sprouts.
  5. If using green beans or edamame add them now too.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook about 5 min or until the Brussels sprouts are tender.
  7. Now add the peas and peanut butter. Heat up together, the peanut butter should melt into the sauce.
  8. Add the cooked noodles, just heat them up.
  9. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice.
  10. Serve generously garnished with chopped coriander and an extra lime wedge.



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THAI FLAVOURED PUMPKIN SOUP

THAI FLAVOURED PUMPKIN SOUP

What a way to treat the rest of my sweet mama squash! The sweet roasted flesh made into a soup with thai flavours, sweet cashew nut milk, zingy lime. Utterly indulgent.

I could tell my husband looked rather suspiciously at the thickened soup I kept for his dinner. Why does cashew milk thicken everything like that??? After adding some water and reheating it he changed his mind very quickly. He said that the soup transported him back to our honeymoon in Jamaica where he ordered their curried pumpkin soup quite a few times. (Now this wasn’t my intention otherwise I would have made it for Valentine’s day!!!). Can of Red Stripe in his hand and he was in the Blue Mountains all over again. He only had one complaint, there wasn’t any left.... Next time I am making at least double the portion.

So please do make this soup. It is so simple, quick (after you have dealt with the squash) and really delicious. I know what I will be doing with the other sweet mama squash sitting in my vegetable box...

THAI FLAVOURED PUMPKIN SOUP
Any rich flavoured squash or pumpkin will work well in this recipe, even orange sweet potatoes (yams). Some of the squash gets pureed into the soup, some stays in pieces for texture.
I used cashew milk, quickly whizzed up from half a cup of cashews and a cup of water. Or use coconut milk.
This soup is thick enough to be served with some Jasmine rice for even more satisfying meal. I have added tofu pieces for extra protein.
If doubling the recipe I would double everything but the cashew milk.

Makes enough for 2 (big main dish bowls)

thaisweetmama

ingredients
about 500g (1lb2oz) roasted sweet mama squash
500ml (2cups) water (or l
ight vegetable stock)
1 Tbs Thai red curry paste (or 2 depending on the strength of your curry paste)
1 stalk of lemon grass (optional), bruised with back of knife
1 cup cashew nut milk
100g (3.5oz) silken tofu cubed (optional)
lime juice
fresh coriander

method
  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the squash flesh with the water, curry paste and the lemon grass stalk.
  2. Bring to a boil, cook on gentle heat for about 5 min, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the cashew nut milk a heat.
  4. Add the cubes of tofu and just heat through. If too thick add more water.
  5. Fish out the lemon grass stick and discard. Add lemon juice to taste, chopped coriander and serve.
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