Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Holiday Shopping Guide? Really? Me?

I've been considering this for a little while, a small shopping guide to showcase both "vegan" and local independent artists. Shopping with your heart instead of just going to futureshop and opening your wallet. This will be an ongoing list, so check back now and again!


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thai Green Curry Ayam Thanksgiving!

Grab a nice small-pox free blanket and curl up by the fire with this awesome curry dish.
Let me start by saying that I'm not a fan of "faking the turkey". I'm sure there's some awesome "tofurkey" recipes out there, go find one if that's what you're after. This dish, as with most of my dishes is quick, tasty, and a little bit quirky...just like me. Here we go.

Green Curry Ayam:
I need to work on my photography.
Shopping List:
2 Tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste: you can call this cheating. I call it smart. $4.49 at Sobey's. And there's enough for a few dishes in there.
1 Green Pepper (sweet)
1 Red (or other colour) Pepper (sweet)
Hot chili (fresh or dried) to taste
1 Tbsp Sunflower (or vegetable) oil
Half a pkg of Firm Tofu. I like Sunrise tofu for it's texture.
400ml Can of Coconut Milk
125ml (1/2 cup) water or vegetable soup broth
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oyster Sauce (there's no oysters in it...weird?) OR Vegan Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Seed Oil
3 sections of a garlic clove (I'm sure there's a proper name for that) diced
1/3 cup Frozen Peas
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 medium potatoes 
1 Lime
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

You will notice in most of my recipes, I try to figure out some kind of timing. You should be able to make this dish in the time it takes to make the rice.

In a medium pot, combine 1 cup rice, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil.

In another pot put 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil, and your garlic. Hey is the rice boiling yet? No? Continue on.
Once the garlic is just a little golden throw in the 2 tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste, let it warm but do not burn. Add Coconut oil and stir over medium heat. Is the rice boiling yet?

If the rice IS boiling ignore it for a second while you peel the potatoes.

Now turn down the rice to low, and put a lid on it.

Cube the potatoes and put in the curry/milk mixture. You need the potatoes to cook as quick as possible, so increase the temperature to medium-high, but not hot enough to burn the milk. Stir when you remember.

Cut the tofu into a shape that doesn't look like the potato. I used wedges. People who are trying a vegan dish for the first time get scared and like to immediately recognize the weird tofu stuff. Help them out. Add to milk/potato/curry mixture.

Cut the peppers into sqaures. Everyone loves peppers right! Be heavy on the red/yellow pepper for colour. This is a very green dish otherwise. Do not add but set aside.

Add sugar, sesame seed oil, and oyster(ish) sauce to the curry/milk/tofu/potato mixture. Stir.

Taste a small sample of the sauce, if you need some heat, add chili flakes, or fresh diced chili (one at a time...) until you're up to heat.

Add frozen peas.

Take your lime and a grater or "zester" and add about a teaspoon or two (to taste) of lime zest. (Bonus points if you own a zester.)

As soon as the potatoes test to being near ready (use a fork, they're hot) add your sweet peppers. If the boiling process has caused the sauce to reduce too much, add some water to bring back the sauce. Simmer until the peppers are just approaching done-ness.

Check your rice. It's probably done.

Rice first. Make it pretty. Then add the curry around the rice. Garnish with a slice of lime.

You can use different vegetables than what I've listed here. I've had this curry with broccoli, and bok choy.

It's a good idea to serve warm/hot curry's with a fruit juice such as mango. Especially if your guests are a little "curry shy", the mango kills the heat almost instantly. Water just moves the heat around your mouth. For some extra fun, serve with red wine. Ask The Wife™ about me+red wine+hot spice=hallucination.

As usual this curry tastes even better the next day. The above recipe is enough for 4 servings. Or, in our case 2 full servings, two rounds of "seconds" and just enough for lunch the next day.

Try this recipe out. If you made any changes, or if you have any comments, let me know! Chow down!


Hi internets, welcome to a little recipe blog that I'm putting together. Here's a little blurb about me, about us, about what this is all about.
For context, my neighbour is currently listening, and desk drumming off beat and off tempo to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1vIQJqZjb0&feature=related, I personally would recommend playing this link while reading this so that you can, you know, "get in the zone".

What is this all about?
In January 2011 my Wife™ challenged me to try going vegan. I was a vegetarian prior, so she was challenging me to go the extra step, and go all out vegan for 30 days. I took that challenge, and am still taking the challenge 11 months later. Why? Because it's not as hard as it seems, and every bit makes a difference. This blog isn't meant to be a "vegan maker", it's a recipe blog. All the recipes are vegan (I hope, I've slipped up on ingredients in the past), all of the recipes are to show YOU what I've been eating, and to hopefully give you a chance to try some good recipes that aren't all that hard to do. If you try a recipe, take a moment to let me, and the world know. Your questions and feedback are welcome.

What am I about?
I'm a late 30 something father of two teens. I graphic design by day, cook and play rock music by night. You can hear my rock music here: http://facebook.com/takedrugsband. I'm also a Scout Leader and a vintage VW sucker. My garage is full of tents, a VW van, snowboards, and VW parts.

So that's me, in a nutshell. The goal will be to update this blog weekly, on a Thursday. That way you can try the recipes out on the weekend and report back Monday. Today's recipe is one that I tried last night, it's Thai Green Curry Ayam. It's really good. I hope you like it.