Not Just Tofu

Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

Recipe: Vegetarian Coconut Curry

In Cooking Tips, Entrees, Recipe on September 24, 2013 at 6:28 pm

001Being of West Indian descent, I am prone to love curry.  Since tasting Thai food, I have realized that not all curries are created equally.  Even among the West Indian islands there are different strengths of curry.  I have found that curry from the Trinidad is stronger than the curry that comes from Jamaica and Asian curry is more floral. Don’t get me wrong because all are delicious and I love them dearly but every now and again I crave Thai curry which is usually cooked with coconut milk. Something about coconut milk and curry that warms my soul.  This curry can be used with all proteins but this one includes a seitan product that Alvin buys from Veggie Heaven in Teaneck, NJ. I have made this with blue fish and whole porgies which is so yummy.  I also think that using TVP Chunks would be great, my doctor friend does it that way.  Please try this recipe and if you can, let me know how it comes out.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 stalk of scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 package of setian or 1 cup of TVP Chunks
  • 1 tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli florets
  • 1 carrot, julienne
  • 1/2 cup of sliced red pepper (bell or Cubanelle)
  • 2 dried hot chilies
  • zest of a lime

Recipe

  1. Warm oil in frying pan over medium/high heat
  2. Brown and remove protein
  3. Saute shallots, garlic, ginger and scallions until fragrant (add oil if needed)
  4. Mix in curry, turn down fire and cook for 1 minute
  5. Add water and stir until because it becomes a thick paste
  6. Pour in coconut milk and soy sauce and add dried chilies
  7. Return the browned protein to the curry sauce and simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Mix in vegetables (carrots and broccoli) and cook until tender.
  9. Finish with zest of lime

Hint: Serve over Jasmine rice garnished with cilantro

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Taste Tested: Trader Joe Gluten Free Snickerdoodles

In Editorial, Food, Products on September 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm

wheatWhen I got diagnosed with Lupus, I started to research diets that would help me manage my new condition. I asked my doctor about removing gluten from my diet, he said that there were no medical research that supported removing it would help my condition. After that visit, I realized that my doctor was not open to alternate methods of management. Other people with this and other autoimmune diseases testify that removing gluten from your diet helps to fight inflammation. So in spite of my doctor’s opinion, I started cutting back on the amount of gluten I ate. Prior to my diagnosis, I had realized that wheat was not my friend because it would leave me bloated. For a good run I would eat one or less servings of gluten a day. I can’t say that I saw any great difference but I continued until I returned back to school when I ate out of convenience.

What is gluten? Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye barley and sometimes oats. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease when the body can not digest the gluten protein because it causes inflammation of the intestines. A person does not have to have Celiac disease to have an adverse reaction to gluten. Some have a gluten sensitivity like me which limits how much gluten a person can eat before they start to feel similar symptoms like inflammation of the intestines. Why are so many people going gluten-free? Gluten has been known to cause fatigue, aches and a lack of concentration. Some argue that it is due to the way that wheat is processed but I have read articles where Europeans suffer with Celiac as much as Americans. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are not new, it’s just recently doctors have been able to diagnose it accurately.

snickerdoodlesFor me eating less gluten is optional, but for others a gluten free diet is mandatory. I have a friend whose son has to live egg-less, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten free. I took it upon myself to create or find a cookie he could eat. I spent a good bit of time trying to bake, buy and taste gluten free baked goods and let’s just say some where good and some well….were not fit for human consumption. Then I stumbled upon Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Snickerdoodles which are not only gluten free but vegan. I have tried these cookies with those who have and don’t have allergies and both have given them the thumbs up. I bought a box for my friend to try with her 2-year old on a special diet and he liked them too. These are the only cookie that are moist, flavorful and don’t finish with a heavy grit and aftertaste found in most gluten-free baked goods. The price point is great too because they are only $2.99 which allows you to buy 2 boxes.

I am still working on a homemade version of gluten free cookies but none have met my criteria for a good cookie. As soon as I bake it, you will know.

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