New Recipes from a New Cook Book (warning, explicit language)

I’ve been in a rut lately when it comes to cooking.  This is in part due to all the Saturdays I worked this past winter/spring.  I stuck to my good old standby recipes that were easy and I delicious.  However, I started feeling like I was in a rut and needed to break out of it, while maintaining my plant based lifestyle.  I decided to drag out a cookbook I got this winter (or maybe last fall) that I hadn’t used yet, but had read through when I purchased it.  I can’t remember how I discovered it, but it is a hoot!  It’s called Thug Kitchen, cook like you give a f*&k!!!  It’s written in a very entertaining and casual way that makes cooking not so scary!  I will warn you, there is a lot of swearing in the book, it’s how it’s written.  It is very fun to read!  The best part about the book is it’s all plant based.  They do use some oil in it, but that can easily be left out.  

I decided to try to recipes tonight.  I made the Ginger Mushroom Summer Rolls and Coconut Rice-Lime Rice with beans and mango.  Both take a bit of prep work, but the timing works out great because once you get the rice dish started,you can make the spring (summer) roll filling in the time the rice dish finishes cooking.  I’ve never worked with spring rolls before, but it does take a little work and patience.  But I think they turned out pretty good.  My husband gave me an A+ on execution and flavor as both dishes are very yummy.  I did cut back on the coconut milk called for in the rice recipe since hubby does not like coconut to over power a dish.  It was great the way I made it.  I made my own version of a spicy vinegary sauce using Trader Joe’s chili sauce, maple syrup and some seasoned rice vinegar.  I also made my peanut sauce which is basically creamy natural peanut butter, seasoned rice vinegar, maple syrup, mirin and the chili sauce.  It’s my hubby’s favorite.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you like somewhat gourmet cooking without too much fuss.

Below are some photos of the book and the dish.

  
  
  

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Pad Thai Stir Friy

I’ve never had traditional Pad Thai made with eggs and fish sauce; but when I saw a video of Lindsey Nixon (Happy Herbivore) make a quick 5 minute ‘Cheater Pad Thai’ I was intrigued (http://happyherbivore.com/recipe/cheater-pad-thai).   It’s been some time since I’ve seen the video, but I haven’t forgotten it.  I recently bought some Pad Thai Rice Noodles and today decided to make it for dinner tonight.  But of course I had to put my own spin on it.  Lately, when I make a plant strong recipe, expecially one with a sauce, I google other versions of it to get ideas on how it is traditionally made.  I then make the original recipe, taste, and add my own variations until I get something I like.  That’s exactly what I did tonight.  I also like to double sauce recipes because I don’t think you can ever have enough sauce!  

I made a regular stir fry of various fresh veggies and added a little sauce at the end of the cooking to coat the veggies.  The noodles absorb a lot of the sauce and get sticky, but don’t let this discourage you…it is a very yummy dish.  My hubby (my official recipe tester) says it’s a keeper as he has had seconds of the dish before I could finish writing this!  Be sure you read the directions on the rice noodles ahead of time.  The brand I bought required them to soak in cold water for 30 minutes, then cook for 5 minutes in boiling water.  You have to plan ahead when you make this meal, but it’s a pretty easy meal to make.

Here’s the recipe.  I hope you like it.

Ladybug’s Pad Thai Stir Fry

Ingredients (I doubled what Lindsey used)

1/2 tsp hot sauce (used Siracha…added more)

1/2 tsp ground ginger (I used the equivalent of fresh grated ginger)

1/2 tsp garlic powder (I used the equivalent of fresh grated garlic)

2 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (I used Smuckers natural creamy peanut butter)

4 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (I used Tamari, which makes it gluten free)

1 tbs Mirin

1 tbs maple syrup

1/2 each Peppers (red/yellow, chopped into 1 inch size pieces)

1/2 head broccoli

4 large button mushrooms (quartered or smaller)

6 carrots (cut into matchsticks)

1/2 onion, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 – 1/2 pound rice noodles (I used about 2/3 of the package I bought)

Garnish

chopped cilantro

sliced green onions

peanuts or cashews

Lime wedges

Directions

  1. Prepare sauce (hot sauce to maple syrup) and mix well.  I used an immersion blender to blend it really well since I used natural peanut butter that still had bits of peanuts in it). Taste it, if it doesn’t taste good, adjust the ingredients until you like it!
  2. Prepare noodles according to directions, including cooking them.  Keep in strainer until veggies are done.
  3. Stir fry veggies , starting with carrots.  Add a little veggie stock to keep veggies from sticking (but don’t add too much); add onions after the carrots have been sauteing about 2 minutes and start to get al denta.  Add broccoli and peppers and saute another few minutes until they start to get tender.  Add the mushrooms at the end and saute until they just start to release their juices.  Turn off the heat and add about 1-2 tbs sauce and toss to blend.  Remove from heat.
  4. Put noodles in a bowl or pot that they were cooked in and add the rest of the sauce and stir to coat all the noodles.  
  5. Place noodles on a plate and add stir fried veggies.  
  6. Garnish with chopped cilantro, peanuts (I only had cashews, which were yummy) and some sliced green onions. Drizzle fresh squeezed lime over the entire dish.

Here’s the final dish (I forgot to take pictures along the way!)