Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spicy and Sweet Tofu Curry Bowl

You may have noticed I haven't been blogging much. Since moving to Jacksonville, it's been a mix of family dinners, events, new restaurants at my disposal, and mosly wanting to get out of the house while I'm searching for jobs all day! This week is going to be the last of JJ's 2-a-day practices with the soccer team, so he'll be gone during dinner and I'll be cooking for myself.
Although dinnertime with JJ is probably my favorite part of the day, sometimes I like when he's not here so I can create some new dishes that he might not like, specifically tofu and cauliflower dishes. I also like to be creative, which is usually a great victory or bitter defeat. I don't mind eating the remains of a defeated meal, but I feel bad feeding JJ a failed dish.
I knew tonight's dinner would be a winner though, because it's something I often make for myself when he's not around. Somehow it never made it to the blog! Maybe because it's so simple, or maybe because I devour it before any photos can be taken... I can't say for sure!
The dish is essentially a beginner's guide to cooking a curry. It's not the most traditional, but it introduces you to the flavors you'll experience at your generic American Thai restaurant. It's totally up to the cook to decide which vegetables to use, how much spice to add, and what starch you want. I enjoy using rice noodles because they cook so quickly and they're much easier to cook than basmati rice (if you don't have a rice cooker).
Again, this dish is a building block. The protein can be switched out, the vegetables, the type of curry (green curry paste, golden curry powder), and the starch. And best of all, it's very healthy and vegan!
I want to note that I usually use Thai Kitchen brand products (noodles, coconut milk, etc.) but tonight I used Hokan brand, which was on sale at Publix. The light coconut milk was much thicker than Thai Kitchen, I definitely liked it much more and highly recommend it!

Spicy and Sweet Tofu Curry Bowl
(This recipe feeds 2 big eaters, with some leftovers)

3 oz. rice vermicelli noodles
1 12 oz. can Hokan brand light coconut milk
3 tbsp. Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 lime, halved
1 head of cauliflower in florets
1 orange bell pepper, in 1" chunks
1 12 oz. can baby corn
1 6 oz. can diced water chestnuts
6 oz. snap peas
1 block of tofu, diced (I used Indian Masala spiced tofu from Whole Foods, any firm/extra firm tofu will work just fine)

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add rice noodles.
Cook according to package directions, drain and set aside.
Bring an inch of water to a boil, place a steamer basket over the water, add cauliflower, peppers, snap peas, corn and chestnuts.
Steam for 4-6 minutes, or until tender.
In a small saucepot over medium, whisk together coconut milk, curry paste, salt, pepper, cayenne and brown sugar.
Bring to a simmer, add tofu turn heat off.
Plate noodles, top with vegetables.
Add the juice of 1/2 the lime to the sauce, plate over vegetables.
Serve with an extra wedge of lime to squeeze over top, if desired.

And now I must take a minute to wish my wonderful husband a very happy 24th birthday (a day late!) I love you!

And also, Happy 700th post, A Year in the Kitchen!

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Happy birthday to JJ! I'm sure you guys were having so much fun together and that's why you "forgot".

I love Thai food and all of the flavors in this sound amazing. I enjoy cooking for myself for all of the reasons you mentioned. The people I cook for most frequently are my parents and I hate serving them things that just don't quite turn out. They are usually pretty forgiving though.