Tag Archives: spicy

Creamy Thai Chowder

11 Feb

After a long break, the creative juices are flowing and we’re trying again! This is the first of (hopefully) more recipes to come. ~Mindy

Ingredients: Potato, butternut squash, yams, sweet onion, garlic, large mushrooms, scallions, vegetable broth, honey, nut butter, oil, yellow curry paste, coconut milk, salt, and Sriracha chili sauce.

Peel and cube 1 potato, 1 butternut squash, and 2 yams. Peel and slice 1 sweet onion and 4 cloves garlic. Combine all and sauté in 2 TBSP oil. Then cover in vegetable broth and simmer in 2 TBSP honey and 1 TBSP yellow curry paste till vegetables are mushy. Puree 1/2 simmered vegetables. Mash remaining and combine. Add 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk blended with 2 TBSP nut butter. Sauté 3 large chopped mushrooms in 1 TBSP oil. Add to soup along with 4 chopped fresh scallions. Season with salt and Sriracha chili sauce.

Optional: Garnish with cilantro, chopped peanuts, or fresh basil.

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Experiment: Try simmering thai red chilies in with the vegetables (remove before pureeing), or add a few spoonfuls of Savory Cilantro Sauce for a spicy kick.

Potato Soup

15 Nov

Ingredients: Potatoes, onion, olive oil, granulated garlic, sea salt, basil, spinach, dried red pepper flakes, chicken, and chicken stock.

This tasty, slightly spicy, soup is quick and easy to make. It literally took me less than thirty minutes from start to finish. It would make a great lunch with a side salad or served as an appetizer with pasta for dinner.

Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add six peeled and cubed russet potatoes, half of a diced onion, half a teaspoon of granulated garlic, one to two teaspoons of dried red pepper flakes, and half a teaspoon sea salt. Cook this for about eight minutes, stirring often.

Stir in one cup of chopped fresh basil, two cups of chopped fresh spinach, and one cup of chopped, pre-cooked chicken breast.  (I use leftover roasted chicken from the night before.) Pour in just enough chicken stock to cover the potatoes and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for another fifteen to twenty minutes until the potatoes are soft but not quite falling apart.

Depending on the flavor of your chicken stock, you may need to add more salt to taste.

Experiment: Add fresh red bell peppers. Try kale instead of spinach. Use cooked Italian ground sausage instead of chicken. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end for an added twist. Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Mexican Squash Soup

4 Oct

Ingredients: Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic, carrots, a sweet onion, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salsa verde, acorn squash, Savory Cilantro Sauce, half and half milk, sea salt, dry ground mixed hot chili peppers, and mild cheddar cheese.

This smooth, rich, and spicy soup warms the body through and through. It is excellent served alongside your favorite Mexican dishes or as a meal in itself. The following makes a very large pot of soup. Halve the ingredients listed or make it as is and have a party! It will also freeze well.

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees to roast the squash. I use one dark green acorn squash and one white acorn squash. These have a delicate sweet flavor and smooth creamy texture. Cut each in half and place them cut side down on a cookie sheet. Roast them for an hour and then turn the oven off. Leave them to rest in the oven for another thirty minutes or so. Note that the time may vary depending on the size of the squash. Remove them and let them cool completely for easy handling later.

Next, sauté seven chopped cloves of garlic and one chopped whole sweet onion with a touch of olive oil in a large stew pot. As they begin to soften and brown, add three chopped carrots and three peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes. Continue sautéing for another ten minutes or so. Then add one eight ounce can of organic tomato sauce, one cup of salsa verde, ¾ cup of Savory Cilantro Sauce and 32 ounces of organic free range chicken broth. Now, working with the roasted cooled squash, remove the seeds with a spoon and peel the skin from each piece. It should come off quite easily. Cut it into chunks and put it in the stew pot. Next, bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover, allowing the lid to still vent a little. Allow the vegetables to cook until they fall apart easily when poked at. Now remove it from the burner and allow it to cool.

Using a blender or food processor, puree the cooked vegetables in batches to the consistency that you desire. Then add it all back into the stew pot. Turn the heat on low and stir in one cup of half and half milk, one cup of organic free range chicken stock, 1½ teaspoon of sea salt, ¼ to ½ teaspoon of dry ground mixed hot chili peppers and ¼ cup of mild cheddar cheese. Heat through and serve!

Experiment: Try different types of squash, add different peppers or chilies to the mix, use vegetable stock for a vegetarian alternative, add cooked rice for a different texture, top with fresh cilantro or green onion for added color, stir in cooked black beans or corn at the end for an even heartier soup, add shredded chicken or beef.

Savory Cilantro Sauce

2 Aug

Ingredients: Cilantro, jalapeño, lime, olive oil, onion, garlic, sugar, sea salt, avocado, and water.

Note: This recipe makes a lot.  (We’re a family of seven and we like “green sauce” on almost everything!) So you may consider halving or quartering this recipe.  The picture above shows about a fourth of what this recipe will make.

Either a standard blender or food processor work really well for making this sauce nice and smooth.

First, I put three jalapeños in my blender. (I remove the majority of the seeds from them but leave some so it has some kick.) Then I add two big bunches of well-washed cilantro, the juice from 2 1/2 limes, 3/4 cup of olive oil, six cloves of garlic, half an onion, half a tablespoon of sugar, about one tablespoon of sea salt, 2/3 cup of water, and one avocado. I let it blend until it’s the consistency of a smoothie. Then I give it a taste to see if it needs more salt or lime juice.

This sauce is SO versatile! It’s great with tortilla chips or served along side any Mexican dish. It also pairs well with Asian dishes. I like it over fried rice to add a bit of spice. It’s delicious over grilled chicken or with fish. I’ve also mixed it with a bit of mayonnaise and buttermilk for a salad dressing. I’ve even had it over certain egg dishes for breakfast!

Experiment: Try adding more garlic cloves, if you’re a big garlic fan. Or, if you like really spicy stuff, add more of the jalapeño seeds. Green chilies could also be used to add a different twist.

Coconut Curry Beef Wrap With Chèvre

26 Jul

Ingredients: Carrots, onions, garlic, extra lean ground beef, ground curry powder, ground ginger, ground cumin, sea salt, red pepper flakes, corn starch, coconut milk, beef broth, honey, spring salad mix, chèvre, and fresh grilled tortillas.

If you have a wok, it’s great for cooking this dish. If not, a deep skillet or stew pot would work, too.

I start by sauteing carrots, onions, and garlic together with a bit of olive oil over medium high heat until they just begin to soften. (About eight minutes.)

While the vegetables are cooking, with my hands I knead into the beef the curry, cumin, ginger, half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, sea salt and one tablespoon of corn starch. I use about three parts curry to two parts cumin to one part ginger. When the vegetables are done, I remove them from the pan and brown the beef.

While the beef is browning, I make the sauce. I combine one cup beef broth, half a can of coconut milk, and two tablespoons of honey.

Lastly, I add the vegetables back in with the beef and pour the sauce over the top. I bring it to a boil uncovered and then reduce the heat to medium low and cover it for about twenty minutes. As it cools, it will thicken some but it should remain a bit saucy.

I like to spoon it into a fresh grilled flour tortilla with spring salad mix and pieces of chèvre.

Experiment: Try differing amounts of carrots, onions, and garlic or add other vegetables into the mix. Don’t be afraid to change the amount of spices you use. If you don’t like cumin, don’t use it and add more curry instead. Or use fresh ginger instead of ground ginger. Serve it over rice or in flat bread instead of tortillas.