Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos from SkinnyTaste

These easy Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos are made with flaky white fish, tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro and lime topped with avocado. This recipe is from SkinnyTaste: https://www.skinnytaste.com/cilantro-lime-tilapia-tacos/

Flaky white fish, tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro and lime topped with avocado. A fresh and flavorful way to spice up fish, tacos quick enough to make for a busy weeknight!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb fish fillets, rinsed and pat dried (flounder, tilapia, etc)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped (seeds removed for less heat)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 white corn tortillas
  • 4 ounces (1 medium haas) avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced cabbage
  • lime wedges and cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Sauté onion until translucent about 4 to 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Mix well.
  3. Place fish on the skillet and cook until the flesh starts to flake.
  4. Add jalapeño peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice. Sauté over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, breaking up the fish with the spoon to get everything mixed well; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, heat tortillas on a skillet or directly over the flame of the burner a minute or 2 on each side to warm.
  6. Serve a little over 1/4 cup of fish on each warmed tortilla topped with cabbage, avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.


Quick Pantry Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Burrata by Half Baked Harvest

Quick Pantry Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Burrata… for those nights when you’re craving a fresh pasta dish, but don’t feel like heading to the store. I went to my go-to pantry staple, sun-dried tomatoes, to create this quick and easy 30 minute pasta dish. I used a little garlic, chili peppers, tomato paste, and basil, to flavor the dish. Then I used the reserved pasta cooking water to create a luscious sauce. Finally, I finished each bowl of pasta off with fresh burrata cheese and a light drizzle of olive oil. Perfection.

The post Quick Pantry Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Burrata. appeared first on Half Baked Harvest. https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/quick-pantry-pasta/

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 jar (8 ounce) oil pack sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped, oil reserved
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese cheese, torn
  • fresh dill, roughly chopped, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, drain the sun-dried tomato oil out into a large skillet. Reserve the tomatoes.
  3. Set the skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup basil, and lemon zest. Cook 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato paste, cook another minute. Stir in 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and pasta, tossing to coat. Stir in the parmesan and a pinch of pepper. Cook until warmed through, 1-2 minutes. Add the parsley and remaining 1/4 cup basil, toss until the herbs are wilted and the sauce coats the pasta, about 2-3 minutes, adding in more pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Remove from the heat.
  4. Transfer the pasta to serving bowls and top each with burrata. Drizzle with olive oil, dill, and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy! 

Check out this 30 minute Vietnamese beef and crispy rice bowl by Half Baked Harvest

Peppery, spicy, sweet, and tangy, this Vietnamese inspired stir fried beef has crispy rice, veggies, and plenty of fresh herbs. It’s colorful, delicious, super quick, and made in just one skillet in about 30 minutes.

This recipe is from Half Baked Harvest: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/30-minute-vietnamese-beef-and-crispy-rice-bowl/

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin or flank steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sesame or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 cup shredded radicchio or purple cabbage
  • 4 carrots, shredded or cut into ribbons
  • 1 Persian cucumber, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, and or mint, roughly chopped
  • chopped peanuts, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Season the steak all over with pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Add the beef and toss to coat.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the rice and season with salt. Toss to coat in oil. Press the rice evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Let cook, without stirring, until the rice begins to turn golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Spoon the rice out of the pan and onto a plate.
  4. Return the skillet to high heat and add the remaining oil. Spoon the steak out of the sauce, reserving any sauce left in the bowl, and cook, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Stir and cook, undisturbed for another 2-3 minutes. Pour the remaining sauce, 3 tablespoons water, and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sauce thickens and begins to coat the steak, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat
  5. Divide the rice among bowls and top with cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers. Spoon the beef and sauce over top. Squeeze with lime. Top with green onions, basil and peanuts. Eat!

THE STORY

My go-to, 30 Minute Vietnamese Beef and Crispy Rice Bowl. Peppery, spicy, sweet, and tangy, this Vietnamese inspired stir fried beef has crispy rice, veggies, and plenty of fresh herbs. It’s colorful, super quick, and addictingly delicious. The best part? It’s all made in just one skillet and comes together in about 30 minutes. A great fresh and flavorful dinner for any night of the week.

If there was a dinner that my family could eat week after week, it’s this Vietnamese beef bowl. Most of my brothers are the very stereotypical guy’s guy when it comes to eating. They love their chicken and steak, and prefer their veggies in potato form. I wish I was joking, but it’s all true. Thankfully most of their pallets have matured as they’ve gotten older (not sure they have though) and they do eat a pretty colorful…ish diet these days.

I like to think that I was a major part of this.

Anyway, it might be surprising, but it’s not a given that I’ll make a recipe my brothers with actually love. Sure, I make some of their favorite foods for them when they are here, but a lot of those foods will never see the light of day here on HBH. Some of them tell me that many of the recipes I make are too veggie focused or “weird” for them. But then there are recipes like todays. Today’s recipe is one they love, and that makes me so excited. As I’ve said many times before, my favorite thing to do is cook for others. I love being able to so easily please the people I love most with a simple recipe.

It’s truly my favorite thing…which is why, during the holidays, I end up playing not only cook, but often bartender too (because most of my family members love their steak and their cocktails).

Anyway, point is I am finally making a recipe my brothers will approve of, and that’s something I’m happy about today. Also? I’m just excited to share this recipe with you all!

I can’t really pinpoint my exact source of inspiration for this recipe, other than the fact that I’ve just really been craving these fresh flavors. Lots of fresh herbs, spice, limes, and salty, tangy sauces. To be honest, I had some beef in my freezer and found everything else in my fridge/pantry. That’s kind of how this recipe came to be. Not the best story, but it’s true, and it’s recipes like these that are always my favorite.

First things first, the crispy rice. You probably cannot tell, since it’s hiding underneath all the veggies and beef, but yes, my rice is indeed crispy, and it’s very good. Up until this recipe I’d never made crispy rice at home. But after realizing how simple and easy it is to make with leftover rice (which I almost always have on hand), I will be making it often.

As the rice crisps it takes on a more toasted flavor and lends a nice crunch. It’s a fun switch up from your average steamed rice.

Once you have the rice crisped, move onto the beef.

Now, I want to discuss the cut of beef you should use. I used very high end beef tenderloin, BUT only because this is what I happened to have in my freezer. Yes, it’s beyond delicious, melts in your mouth, and you really can’t mess it up. That said, I understand that most of you may not want to shell out the cash for beef tenderloin. If that’s the case, no worries. Use a very affordable flank steak. It really does work just as well.

I pan cooked the beef and then tossed in a little sweet, salty, and slightly spicy sauce. This nicely glazes the meat and it’s really delicious. The two key ingredients here are oyster sauce and fish sauce. You can usually find both in the Asian isle at most grocery stores.

At this point, it’s assembly time. I layered my rice and beef with radicchio, carrots, and lots of fresh basil and mint. You can really use any combo of vegetables you’d like though. If you are looking to add another layer… Yes, I do think a crispy fried egg, or even a soft boiled egg, would be really good here.

I know it’s a bit early, but this bowl almost reminds me of a springtime recipe. It’s kind of cozy, but still colorful and fresh. So the perfect balance.

If you make this Vietnamese beef bowl, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Chicken in Garlic and Herb Sauce Is a Super Tasty French-Inspired Dinner — From Jo Cooks

CHICKEN THIGHS

I’m back to cooking with some of my favorite ingredients like garlic, fresh herbs, wine and chicken thighs. Simple ingredients with amazing results. I don’t know if you all cook with chicken thighs but I love them because they’re so economical.

You can usually buy those big packages and from one package you can make 2 or 3 dishes depending on the size of your family. But just because the main ingredient is cheap doesn’t mean the dish has to be lacking in flavor. And this is why I love this chicken dish.

HOW TO COOK THE CHICKEN THIGHS

In this recipe, I first pan sear the chicken thighs in a bit of olive oil on both sides, until they’re nice and golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. At this point they will not be cooked completely through, but that’s ok. We’ll continue cooking them later in the sauce.

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN CHICKEN IN GARLIC AND HERB SAUCE?

Lots of garlic and I mean lots of garlic. About 8 cloves of garlic, to be precise. Lots of fresh herbs like fresh oregano and fresh thyme. The garlic with these fresh herbs are amazing together.

I also use some low sodium chicken broth and some sherry wine. Sherry is a fortified wine and can range from sweet to quite dry. Because it’s a fortified wine it’s usually higher in alcohol and longer-lasting. In some countries like Spain, sherry wine is savored like a fine whiskey.

The sherry I used here is a dry red wine, so if you don’t have sherry on hand, a regular dry red wine would work. However, I always keep a bottle of sherry around because it’s perfect for deglazing and making delicious pan sauces.

HOW TO COOK THE CHICKEN THIGHS

In this recipe, I first pan sear the chicken thighs in a bit of olive oil on both sides, until they’re nice and golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. At this point they will not be cooked completely through, but that’s ok. We’ll continue cooking them later in the sauce.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN IN GARLIC AND HERB SAUCE

In that same pan you cooked the chicken thighs, add the garlic and the fresh herbs. The more fresh herbs and garlic the better. Cook until the garlic becomes aromatic, and trust me your entire house will smell heavenly. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and chicken broth, scraping all those brown bits, that’s where the flavor is, my friends.

You can then add the chicken back to the saucepan and cook for around 20 minutes on low until the chicken becomes really juicy and tender soaking up all the incredible sauce. Alternatively, you can pop the pan, if it’s oven safe, into the oven and continue cooking in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 F degrees.


Recipe: Palestinian Red Lentil and Squash Soup with Za’atar Croutons — Around the World in 30 Soups

Around the World in 30 Soups: This month we’re collaborating with chefs, cookbook authors, and our own Kitchn crew to share a globetrotting adventure in soups from countries and cuisines around the world. Today’s stop: Palestine.

If there is one flavor that makes me think of the Palestinian kitchen, it is za’atar, a tangy and aromatic spice mix made from wild thyme, sesame, and sumac. Palestinians use za’atar on everything from yogurt dips, to roasted meats, to flatbreads — and here, it is used to make crunchy, tangy croutons to adorn an aromatic soup of roasted butternut squash and spiced lentils. Roasting the squash intensifies its flavor and sweetness, giving the soup a glorious silky texture that perfectly contrasts with the crispy croutons.

Yasmin Khan, author of Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen

READ MORE »

Skinnytaste Meal Plan (February 18-February 24)

A free 7-day flexible weight loss meal plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner and a shopping list. All recipes include calories and Weight Watchers Freestyle™ SmartPoints®.

If you’re new to my meal plans, I’ve been sharing these free, 7-day flexible healthy meal plans (you can see my previous meal plans here) that are meant as a guide, with plenty of wiggle room for you to add more food, coffee, beverages, fruits, snacks, dessert, wine, etc or swap recipes out for meals you prefer, you can search for recipes by course in the index. You should aim for around 1500 calories* per day.

There’s also a precise, organized grocery list that will make grocery shopping so much easier and much less stressful. Save you money and time. You’ll dine out less often, waste less food and you’ll have everything you need on hand to help keep you on track.

Lastly, if you’re on Facebook join my Skinnytaste Facebook Community where everyone’s sharing photos of recipes they are making, you can join here. I’m loving all the ideas everyone’s sharing!

Also, if you don’t have the Skinnytaste Meal Planner, now would be a great time to get one to get organized for 2019! There was a print error last year, but it’s perfect now! You can order it here!

The details:

Breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday, are designed to serve 1 while dinners and all meals on Saturday and Sunday are designed to serve a family of 4. Some recipes make enough leftovers for two nights or lunch the next day. While we truly believe there is no one size fits all meal plan, we did our best to come up with something that appeals to a wide range of individuals. Everything is Weight Watchers friendly, I included the updated Weight Watcher Freestyle Points for your convenience, feel free to swap out any recipes you wish or just use this for inspiration!

The grocery list is comprehensive and includes everything you need to make all meals on the plan. I’ve even included brand recommendations of products I love and use often. Cross check your cabinets because many condiments you’ll notice I use often, so you may already have a lot of them.

And last, but certainly not least, this meal plan is flexible and realistic. There’s plenty of wiggle room for cocktails, healthy snacks, dessert and dinner out. And if necessary, you can move some things around to make it work with your schedule. Please let me know if you’re using these plans, this will help me decide if I should continue sharing them!

Monday (2/18)

B: PB + J Yogurt (6)
L: Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce* (8)
D: Red Lentil Soup with Spinach* (1) and 1 mini naan (or flatbread) (5)
Totals: Freestyle™ SP 20, Calories 1,008**

Tuesday (2/19)

B: 2 hard-boiled eggs (0) and an orange (0)
L: Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce (8)
D: Instant Pot Chicken Taco Chili (0) with 2 tablespoons reduced fat cheese blend (1), 1 tablespoon light sour
cream (1) and 1 ounce avocado (1)
Totals: Freestyle™ SP 11, Calories 863**

Wednesday (2/20)

B: PB + J Yogurt (6)
L: Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce (8)
D: LEFTOVER Instant Pot Chicken Taco Chili (0) with 2 tablespoons  reduced fat cheese blend (1), 1 tablespoon
light sour cream (1) and 1 ounce avocado (1)
Totals: Freestyle™ SP 17, Calories 915**

Thursday (2/21)

B: 2 hard-boiled eggs (0) and an orange (0)
L: Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce (8)
D: One-Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (8) and 1 ½ cups romaine*** (0) with 2 tablespoons Skinny Caesar Dressing
(2)
Totals: Freestyle™ SP 18, Calories 991**

Friday (2/22)

B: 6 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt (0) with ½ cup sliced strawberries (0), 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts (2),
and 1 teaspoon honey (1)
L: LEFTOVER One-Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (8) and 1 ½ cups romaine (0) with 2 tablespoons Skinny Caesar
Dressing (2)
D: Honey Garlic Shrimp (2) with Asian Edamame Fried Rice (4)
Totals: Freestyle™ SP 19, Calories 1,018**

Saturday (2/23)

B: Eggs and Tomato Breakfast Melts (3) and 1/2 cup grapes (0)
L: Asian Lettuce Wrap Chicken Chopped Salad (8)
D: DINNER OUT!
Totals: Freestyle™ SP 11, Calories 544**

Sunday (2/24)

B: 3 Czech Crepes with Berries and Cream (6)
L: Lentil Bowls with Avocado, Eggs and Cholula (2) (Recipe x 2)
D: Slow-Cooker Banh Mi Rice Bowls (10)
Totals: Freestyle™ SP 18, Calories 970**

**Prep Chicken Salad Sunday night for lunch Mon-Thurs. Freeze any leftover soup you/your family won’t eat

**This is just a guide, women should aim for around 1500 calories per day. Here’s a helpful calculator to estimate
your calorie needs. I’ve left plenty of wiggle room for you to add more food such as coffee, beverages, fruits,
snacks, dessert, wine, etc.

***Chop extra 1 ½ cups romaine for lunch Friday
(more…)

Skinnytaste Meal Plan (February 18-February 24)

Vegan Shawarma with Soy Curls

Grab a napkin, because things are about to get messy! Made with soy curls, loaded with vegetables, and drizzled with sauce, Vegan Shawarma is lunchtime perfection.

Let me start by saying that I’ve never had non-vegan shawarma. I was my 20s the first time I saw that not-very-appetizing shank of meat revolving behind the counter of the Mediterranean food stand in the mall where I had a part-time job at the bookstore. I was vegetarian, and it was the best place in the mall to grab a bite to eat after leaving my day job as a graphic designer, before starting my shift at the store. My two regular dishes were the falafel sandwich and something they called the Greek peasant vegetarian dinner, which was made with spiced roasted vegetables and pita wedges. That revolving meat always gave me the heebie jeebies, but I ate there twice a week.

Vegan Shawarma

Fast forward to last year. Cedar Ridge Café, a local veg-friendly lunch spot took meat off their menu and created an expanded line of vegan and vegetarian items. (Woo-hoo! Let’s home more restaurants follow suite.) I spotted Seitan Shawarma on the menu and wanted to give it a try. It consisted of a flat bread loaded with spiced seitan, peppers, greens, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and pickles, and it was smothered in dairy-free thousand island dressing. It was incredible. So good, that I have a difficult time ordering anything else when Dennis and I got there for lunch, so I haven’t tried too many of the other new menu items. The last time I had it, someone walking in the door came over to me and asked what it was, because she wanted it, too.

Last month, we were in the middle of a deep freeze here in New Jersey. I found myself with a hankering for vegan shawarma, but it was just too cold to get bundled up and go out. The fridge was full, so maybe I could recreate it at home. I had most of the ingredients on hand, with the exception of the seitan. What could I replace it with? I had just stocked up on soy curls, that I order in bulk from Amazon, and they have a meaty-texture that’s similar to seitan. Why not give them a try?

Soy Curl Shawarma

I cooked the soy curls with sliced peppers, onions, and some shawarma spices. Traditionally, shawarma spices include cinnamon and cardamom, but I don’t like cinnamon in savory foods, and Dennis doesn’t like cardamom, so I left them out. If you don’t mind them, feel free to add ¼ teaspoon of each to the pan when you add the rest of the spices.
I also crumbled a Not-Chick’n vegan bouillon cube into the pan. Often, I’ll add them, or a Not-Beef bouillon cube, to a soy curl dish to give it a little more flavor. No Chicken Better than Bouillon works really well, too.

I loaded lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and pickles onto flatbread along with the cooked soy curl mixture. I had made tempeh Reubens the day before, so I had half a jar of Thousand Island Dressing in the fridge. Since the café serves their vegan shawarma with thousand island, I decided to go with it. Shawarma is traditional served with a yogurt sauce, but I didn’t have any non-dairy yogurt on hand. The thousand island dressing works really well with this sandwich, but if you want to go with something a little closer to the traditional option, you can top yours with Lemony Tahini Dressing, which makes for an equally delicious wrap.

I almost always have soy curls on hand since I order them in bulk from Amazon, but if you can’t find them, you can use seitan instead.

You can Make Vegan Shawarma Can in Less than Half an Hour!

  • First, you cook the onion and pepper in a large pan over medium high heat.
  • Then, you add the soy curls and spices and cook them until they’ve browned and are slightly crispy.
  • Next, you pile flat breads high with the soy curls, mixed greens, cucumber, tomatoes, and pickles.
  • Finally, you drizzle on the dressing.

The measurements for the vegetables and pickles in this recipe are approximate. Because it’s a sandwich, you won’t mess things up if you use less cucumber and more dressing.

Since my original at-home recreation, vegan shawarma  has become a lunchtime favorite. I’ve made it many times, usually using soy curls, but I’ve used seitan as well. Sometimes I use thousand Island dressing, and other times I’ll use tahini, depending on what I have on hand.

These hearty wraps are best eaten while the soy curls are warm, but they’re delicious when cold, too. They can be packed up and taken to the office for lunch. They’re messy, so make sure you have a napkin or two at the ready!

Vegan Shawarma with Soy Curls

Grab a napkin, because things are about to get messy! Made with soy curls, loaded with vegetables, and drizzled with sauce, Vegan Shawarma is lunchtime perfection.

  • 4 ounces soy curls ((about half a package))
  • 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ onion, sliced (about ½ cup)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 Not-Chick’n vegan bouillon cube ((or 1 tablespoon No Chicken Better Than Bouillon))
  • 4 whole wheat flat-breads or pitas, warmed
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced ( (about ½ cup))
  • ¼ cup sliced pickles
  • ½ cup dairy-free Thousand Island Dressing

Re-constitute the soy curls by placing them in a bowl and pouring 2 cups of hot water over them. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Once they’ve softened, drain them and squeeze some of the excess water out of them.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the green bell pepper and onion along with the pinch of salt. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onions begin to brown.

Add the soy curls to the pan along with the cumin, turmeric, paprika, ginger, black pepper, coriander, and cayenne. Crumble the not chicken vegan bouillon cube into the pan. (If using no-chicken vegan bouillon, just add it to the pan and stir.) Stir to coat everything in the spices. Cook for about 10 more minutes, or until the soy curls brown and crisp a little, stirring often.

To assemble the wraps, place ½ cup of mixed greens onto each flat bread. Place ¼ of the soy curl mixture on each. Top with the tomato slices, cucumber slices, and pickles. Drizzle each one with 2 tablespoons of the dairy-free Thousand Island Dressing.

Fold over each flat bread, serve, and enjoy!

The post Vegan Shawarma with Soy Curls appeared first on Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen.

Recipe: Coconut-Galangal Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Kai)

This recipe is amazing. You will love it!

Photo credit: https://nourishedkitchen.com/tom-kha-gai-recipe/

Tom kha kai is easy to make. If you can smash things, cut things, and boil water, you can pull off this classic on the first try. The hardest part? Getting your hands on the essential fresh seasonings. Galangal (the ‘kha’ in tom kha kai), kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass have come to define tom kha kai. Some people will tell you that you can substitute ginger for the galangal, but that is not the case. In fact, the two ingredients are not even close to being interchangeable in the minds of Thai cooks.

But if you cannot find the fresh galangal and kaffir lime leaves, either locally or online, you can use tom kha paste, which comes in small glass jars. Any brand from Thailand will do. Just follow the directions on the label. Most of the time, making the broth involves dissolving the paste in the coconut milk.

Leela Punyaratabandhu, author of Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home KitchenI made this!15 Ratings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 cups sodium-free chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 (2-inch) piece galangal, thinly sliced
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces and bruised
  • 8 ounces oyster or white mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 or 5 fresh bird’s eye chiles, bruised
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut the chicken against the grain and on the diagonal (30- to 40-degree angle) into thin, bite-size pieces. If using oyster mushrooms, separate them into individual pieces. If using white mushrooms, halve the small ones and quarter the bigger ones.
  2. Trim off and discard the leafy parts of the lemongrass stalk, remove the tough outer leaves of the bulb portion until the smooth, pale green core is exposed, and trim off the root end. Quarter the bulb portion crosswise and smash the pieces with a heavy object until they are bruised and split.
  3. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately turn down to heat so the liquid is barely bubbling. Add the galangal, lemongrass, and lime leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken, mushrooms, and fish sauce, stir, and increase the heat slightly so the liquid is simmering gently. Once the chicken is no longer pink, after about 2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Add the lime juice and chiles and stir. Taste and correct the seasoning as needed. The soup should be sour and salty with natural sweetness from the coconut milk. Sprinkle the cilantro on top just before serving. Thai cooks do not usually remove the chunky herbs from food when they serve it, as it is understood that they are not to be eaten. But you can fish out the lemongrass, galangal, and lime leaves before serving, if you like.

Saucy garlic butter shrimp with coconut milk and rice noodles

This food is just awesome. Here is the original post from Half Baked Harvest: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/saucy-garlic-butter-shrimp/

Sharing an easy…let’s make this weeknight feel special…dinner, Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles. Spicy, garlicky, and gingery shrimp, pan seared and tossed with a touch of butter and coconut milk. This dish is creamy, saucy, a touch salty, and just a little spicy. It’s served over rice noodles and comes together in no time at all (about 30 minutes). Perfect for busy weeknights when you’re looking for something a little more special, but still quick, healthy-ish, and DELICIOUS.

overhead photo of Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles

Recipes like this saucy shrimp are my favorite. This shrimp has a mix of flavors, fusion food as some might say. It’s quick, it’s saucy, relatively healthy (there’s some sneaky greens in all that sauce), and just an all around delicious meal.

Traditionally garlic shrimp is more of an Italian dish, and is served simply with butter and lemons. But I wanted to put a twist on the classic and switch things up a bit.

So I threw in some Thai flavors by adding creamy coconut milk, a squeeze of fresh lime, and rice noodles. Yes, it’s different, and I will probably get criticized for this not being “authentic” over on Instagram (if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all, right?). But hey, my purpose here is to provide you guys with easy and delicious recipes, this shrimp is both, so all is good.

shrimp in garlic butter

The shrimp is first tossed with a little olive oil, garlic, ginger, and spicy jalapeño. These are the main flavors, so if you don’t love garlic, this recipe might not be for you. And if you want to tame the spice level, just use one jalapeño.

Let the shrimp sit a few minutes and cook the rice noodles. I really love using vermicelli rice noodles, but any noodle works, so use your favorite.

Next, cook up some bacon. It adds a really deep flavor and a hint of saltiness that is delicious. Go with me on this. Now, pan sear the shrimp. The key is to remove the shrimp from the garlic marinade. If you cook the shrimp in the marinade, the shrimp with steam, and the garlic will burn. So first remove the shrimp, cook, add the butter, and then add all of that garlicky marinade. As the butter melts, the garlic caramelizes around the shrimp creating truly the most mouth-watering smell (and delicious sauce).

This is that moment you know the recipe is going to be good…so good.

side angled photo of Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles

At this point, I like to remove half of the shrimp and save it for topping. Honestly, you don’t have to do this step. You can instead leave the shrimp in the skillet and combine it with the coconut milk. I just like to remove some of the shrimp so that it stays crisp…and if being truly honest, for photo purposes.

Once the coconut milk has been added, the shrimp looses it’s crispness a bit. It’s also a little more visually appealing to have a few shrimp sitting atop the rice noodles. And we all know that I’m all about a visually good-looking dish…

You guys always ask if I do anything special to the food for photos, and the answer really is no. But I like to add garnishes or pull out tricks like this one…

If you have something extra saucy, or you’re making a soup and want to keep the dish both colorful and full of texture. To create a beautiful looking dish, remove a little bit of one of the main elements of the recipe. In today’s case the shrimp. But think along the lines of keeping out some of the chickpeas in a curry, or the noodles in a soup, things like that. Then reserve them for topping the dish just before serving. Again, this is not necessary for flavor purposes. But if you want to create that “Instagram worthy” food photo, this is one of my go-to tricks to really make food pop off the page, as seen in the cacio e pepelemon garlic chicken soup, and herb salad.

side angled photo of Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles being pulled up out of the bowl with chopsticks

Okay, styling talk over. Moving along now.

Once I’ve removed half the shrimp from the skillet, I add the coconut milk. I know the coconut milk might seem like an odd ingredient to add, but as I mentioned, I wanted to put my own twist on a classic, and the coconut milk creates a creamy, flavorful sauce.

It’s beyond good. Especially with the rice noodles. It’s kind of like Italian meets Thai. A weird, but delicious mash-up that’s just a touch cozy, a touch on the healthy side, and all things good. And quick, which is always a very nice bonus!

overhead photo of Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles with chopsticks in bowl

If you make this saucy garlic shrimp, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Caviar 101: Everything You Need to Know About Eating Fancy Fish Eggs

Caviar, or fish eggs that are usually sourced from one of three types of sturgeon, is one of the symbols of decadence in the food world, and true food lovers tend to look at the delicacy with awe. It’s something that many aspire to eat in a romantic and even over-the-top way, and is often an investment.

Kolikof Caviar Russian Sturgeon Gift Set, $450 on Sur la Table

Everything you need from the eggs, to the utensils, to the accoutrements, to live the glamorous life with caviar.

Luxury Awaits

“Unfortunately, there is no inexpensive way to enjoy caviar. You will have to spend a bit to get a quality caviar. I feel that it’s most important to enjoy caviar with someone you love. With caviar, consumers are likely shelling out money to celebrate a special occasion, so really savor the experience and make it memorable,” says Jacques Sorci, Las Vegas, Nevada-based Hakkasan Group’s vice president of culinary global.

However, to spend significant money on food  you may know little to nothing about is frightening for both the wallet and the digestive system. Not something that is eaten regularly, it’s akin to a newbie wine drinker attempting to create the perfect balance between wine and meal without being exposed to the breadth of what’s out there.

Whether it’s your first time or you’re a caviar pro, there are certain best practices that should be followed when setting out to pick caviar, notes Sorci, so that you are able to get the most out of your experience.  

Get Good Grades

“Try to get the best for your budget. Grading is of course essentialthe larger and the firmer the eggs are, the better it is. Making sure the caviar is sourced from pristine waters is very important. Caspian Sea caviar has become extremely rare, as most sturgeons are now farm-raised in France, Italy, Switzerland, and China. Caviar may be served on top of hot ingredients, but it should always be chilled,” says Sorci.

Godinger Silver Art Dublin Caviar Set, $35 on Amazon

What better pairing for your new found taste for luxury than a crystal bowl to showcase it?

Own It

Skip the Silver Spoons

He also explains that one very surprising detail may derail the entire experience if one is not aware of it—the type of utensils being used to serve and eat the caviar.

“Absolutely avoid silver or metal to come in contact with the caviar,” he says, as metal will react and change the flavor of the caviar. Glass or mother of pearl utensils are best and a spoon is the most practical way to ingest the caviar.

Marycrafts Mother of Pearl Caviar Spoons, Set of 6 for $28.80 on Amazon

Elegant mother of pearl spoons ensure the best transition for the precious caviar from the tin to your mouth.

Learn More

Pare Down the Pairings

As for pairing up caviar with other accoutrements, Sorci says that keeping it simple is the key to a successful tasting, whether at home or in a restaurant.

“Attempting to pair caviar with too many ingredients will meddle [with] the flavors and destroy the integrity of the caviar. Most traditional accompaniments are considered classics for a reason. Caviar is great on steamed fingerling potato with crème fraîche, simply buttered pasta, or delicately folded into a chilled potato leek soup,” he says.

Additionally, says Sorci, pairing the caviar with Champagne or a shot of iced vodka will take the full experience up a notch, as the beverage pairings will complement the taste of the caviar as well as the accompaniments.

Vegan Caviar Is Still a Little Fishy

Although caviar is a desirable treat for those who eat fish, vegans were long barred from taking part in the ritual surrounding the delicacy. While there is vegan caviar on the market now, however, says Sorci, it does not seemingly successfully replicate the real thing.  

“Vegan caviar does not come close to the flavors of actual caviar. Sadly, there is simply no substitute. Caviar is the ultimate ingredient worth making an exception for,” Sorci says.

Caviart Vegan Caviar, 3.5 oz for $9.95 on Amazon

For a taste of the ocean without the fish themselves.

Try It

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