Dinner

Turning up the heat

Every couple of weeks, I gather up my various spices and seasonings and start to cook. There is no set recipe or name for this concoction, but it tastes good and it is spicy. And spicy food is the bomb.

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Yesterday I was back teaching in the classroom as a bona fide substitute teacher. Like I got paid to teach! For the first time ever! It was really great to see the students and teachers that I worked with while I was student teaching this semester 🙂

But when I got home, I was hungry. In the spirit of using up my groceries now that there’s less than two weeks until graduation (!), I decided to make my spicy-veggie-tofu bowl*.

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I’ll give you a general idea of the ingredients that I use each time, but it’s really customizable based on your food and flavor preferences! I think that’s why I like it so much; if I don’t have something on hand, it’s ok! You can basically use whatever you have in the fridge and on the shelves.

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Ingredients:

  1. Tofu or chicken, cut into cubes
  2. Veggies, chopped (I used broccoli, red bell pepper, onion, and lima beans in this one)
  3. 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  4. 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  5. 1 tbsp. red curry paste
  6. 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  7. 1 tbsp. dried shallots
  8. 2 tbsp. spicy orange chicken sauce (or other Asian-style sauce, like teriyaki or soy)
  9. A couple pinches of red pepper flakes
  10. 1 cup of rice (uncooked)
  11. 1 tbsp. yellow curry powder
  12. 2 tsp. lemon juice

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Instructions:

  1. Heat garlic, ginger, red curry paste, onion, and pepper in a skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add tofu, broccoli, and lima beans after about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Mix together until coated, and let heat for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Drizzle with oil* and add shallots.
  5. After another 3 minutes, add red pepper flakes and sauce.
  6. Turn heat down to simmer, and let the mixture cook for 5 minutes.
  7. While the spicy veggie mixture is cooking, start the rice. I used quick cooking rice, so it only took about 10 minutes to make. Be sure to check the instructions on the rice you use so that the two parts are ready at the same time.
  8. While the rice is absorbing the water, add in the curry powder and lemon juice. Stir and let sit for 6 minutes.
  9. When the rice is done, serve in a bowl and top with the spicy vegetable mixture!
  10. Attempt to eat with chopsticks, and enjoy!

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Again, feel free to adapt this recipe as needed for your own taste preferences. There are a lot of flavors going on in this one bowl. I’ve used chickpeas and black bean noodles before when making this as well. The spicy orange sauce can easily be replaced with chili sauce (tried this, approve), teriyaki sauce, or soy sauce. Remember to buy gluten free soy sauce or Tamari sauce if you’re going that route and have an allergy! I once also made this into more of a pad Thai with noodles and a brown sugar/peanut sauce. Totally different taste, but still good!

The moral of the story is that baking is a science, but cooking is an art. This recipe proves how simple it is to build your own recipes based on what you have available in your kitchen 🙂

Let me know how you decide to make this dish! I’d love to hear some new ideas!

Peace, love, and experimentation,

Colleen

 

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