I am a lucky girl.
I live in the foothills of the Berkshires, surrounded by farms of all types — produce (veggies, fruits, herbs), pasture-raised meats, apple orchards, free-range chickens, dairy farms that turn out delicious cheeses, and more. For any cook, this is an almost indescribable blessing. I can get the very best AND get to know the people who produce it.
With summer crops at their peak right now, I have a large variety of produce to choose from every week. Doing some menu planning, I called three of my favorite farmers — New Leaf Farm, Hawk Dance Farm, and Honey Dog Farm — to check on what each was harvesting
(Did you know that they all grow different crops — sometimes VERY different? Even when they plant the same vegetables as another farmer, it could be 2 weeks earlier or 3 weeks later, so the harvest times are completely different. AND even when it is the same vegetable at the same time, the VARIETIES of that vegetable can be radically different. I didn’t realize the extent of these differences in farming, until I moved here and got to know them better — amazing how much I was a victim of supermarket ignorance). Read the rest of this entry
Many of my dishes can be adapted (some might even say, improved) by making them vegetarian. This one is an adaptation of my Thai Shrimp with Coconut Rice:
Follow the same recipe, but substitute 1 1/2 pounds of cubed, firm tofu.
It is likely that the only Thai dish you’ve had is Pad Thai . While delicious, Thai cuisine is not yet as popular in the US as Italian or Indian, for example.
So break out of the box and try something new!
Here is an easy recipe for a mild, Thai-inspired dish that will take your mouth to far away places…
4 cups cooked brown rice, prepared according to package directions
2 T coconut cream *
1 ½ lbs shrimp, deveined, tails on
olive oil or vegetable oil
1 T Thai Treasure spice blend by Your Spice of Life
sea salt to taste
1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)
Prepare the brown rice according to the package directions. Once cooked, stir in the coconut cream, then cover to keep warm.
On medium-high heat, sautee the shrimp in 2 T of oil 4-5 minutes until cooked. **
Turn off the heat. Add the Thai Treasure spice blend and toss well to coat the shrimp.
Taste for seasoning, and add a little sea salt and/or more Thai Treasure to taste.
Mound the rice on a platter, and arrange the shrimp on top of the rice. Garnish with some lime wedges and serve immediately.
* Confused about the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream? Check out this helpful link: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/ingredients-pantry/whats-the-difference-coconut-milk-vs-cream-075446
** How to tell if the shrimp are cooked? Check out http://www.seapak.com/smarterseafood/cookingtips for a surefire way to tell. I have also read that when they form a “C”, they are cooked, but when they form an “O”, they are overcooked.
© 2011 Your Spice of Life ~ an original recipe!
This is an easy and healthful version of the traditional stroganoff recipes…. brown rice is the key!
Prepare 6 servings of brown rice (long grain,basmati or other) according to package directions. For extra flavor, use low-fat chicken or vegetable broth instead of water, and omit the salt.
While rice is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients:
1 lb beef (top round or sirloin), sliced into thin strips [note: the beef is optional; if you omit it, increase the mushrooms to 4 cups]
3 cups halved mushrooms (white button, baby portabellos or a mix of wild mushrooms)
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, cored and cut into strips
In a large sautee pan, brown the beef in olive oil. Remove from pan.
Sautee the vegetables in the same pan until softened but still firm.
Add 2 tsps. Racy Paprika spice blend from Your Spice of Life.
When rice is ready, add to vegetable mixture. Stir in the cooked beef.
Taste for seasoning; add sea salt or slightly more Racy Paprika according to your preference.
When ready to serve, mix in 1 cup cup sour cream. Stir to coat the rice mixture, then serve immediately.
(thickened plain yogurt may be substituted for the sour cream)