How To: Big Batch – Thai Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup

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Have I told you how I won the cookbook lottery jackpot?

Just before we rang in 2017, I found out I won not one, not two, but TWELVE cookbooks! Do you know how many cookbooks twelve is? A LOT! So much that they are all still sitting in a pile on my bedroom floor as we have absolutely no room to put them anywhere else. I think an Ikea run may be in order soon.

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So, I have started to try to always go to one of these new cookbooks when I need some dinner inspiration, instead of relying on the easy Mr. google. One of the cookbooks I have been loving lately is the new Oh She Glows Everyday. Every recipe I’ve made so far has been spot on, and this soup is no exception. And no, this is not a sponsored post. I seriously am just crushing hard on this cookbook.

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We already have a very delicious and creamy Thai sweet potato soup that uses coconut milk to add that richness. This version has a different approach – almond butter. The almond butter gives this soup a deep flavour and velvety texture without the use of any cream or dairy. Kind of like the peanut butter in our sweet potato, white bean, peanut butter stew. I would imagine peanut butter would also make a great substitute for the almond butter if that’s what you have on hand. Or if you need it nut free, try sunflower butter – but I would try to find the all natural unsweetened variety.

The almond butter also adds a boost of extra protein and fat to this soup, making it more filling than the average bowl. I also loved the crunchy almond topping – but you could also leave it off and go with a super smooth bowl of soup if that’s more your thing. Me, I’m all about the textures!

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My new favourite thing when my girls are napping is to curl up with a cup of coffee, a snack, and a cookbook, or two, or three…

Dara

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Thai Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 4-6
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Soup
From book Adapted From Oh She Glows Everyday

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 Cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Cups water
  • 3 Cups carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 Cups sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • cilantro (chopped)

Almonds

  • 1/2 cup almonds (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce

Note

The toasted almonds are also delicious tossed into a salad for some crunch. The soup freezes well - just portion in individual containers for a grab-and-go lunch or dinner.

Directions

1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large pot.
2. Add onion and sauté for a couple minutes. Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the curry paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Place almond butter in a small bowl with about 1/2 cup of broth and whisk to combine. Add the almond butter mixture, carrots, sweet potato, remaining broth, and water to the pot and bring to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until sweet potatoes and carrots are very tender.
5. Using an immersion blender, puree soup in the pot until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chopped cilantro and almonds.
Almonds
6. Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss almonds with soy sauce and spread out evenly on baking sheet.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes, until brown and toasted. The soy sauce will have dried up and the almonds will firm up as they cool.
8. The almonds will keep in a container on the counter for a couple weeks.

How To: Quickie Meal – One Pot Quinoa with Chicken, Vegetables, and Peanut Sauce

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Do you know what I want more than anything in the world?

I want there to be some kind of robot that will just follow me and my two girls around and continuously clean up after us. It seems that my entire day is spent cooking, feeding, and cleaning. And at the end of the night, when all I want to do is put on netflix and binge watch my latest show (any new ones??), I have a high chair covered with the remains of dinner, a kitchen counter covered with whatever snack my 3 year old has chosen before bed, and a kitchen sink filled with dishes.

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So my latest weapon against all this kitchen destruction is the one pot meal. The less pots, the less mess, the more time for netflix.

Enter this one pot quinoa. You have your protein, veg, and grain, all cooked together in one large pot and tossed with a creamy peanut sauce. Okay so you do need a small bowl to mix that sauce up, so we can call it a 1.25 pot meal if you want to get picky.

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This meal is easily customizable for the  whole family – I separated out the edamame and chicken for my daughter who wants everything divided on her plate (typical threenager) and gave her some extra peanut sauce on the side for dipping. As a side note, I find she will generally eat anything if she has a dip – that’s your free tip for the day. My husband and I enjoyed it all mixed together with a squirt of sriracha for some extra heat.

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Until my kitchen and dining room can magically clean themselves, get ready for many more one pot recipes!

Dara

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One Pot Quinoa with Chicken, Vegetables, and Peanut Sauce

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 bag of coleslaw
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 Tsp ginger
  • 2 Cups frozen shelled edamame (thawed)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (chopped)

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp sesame oil

Note

If you wanted to make this a vegetarian dish you could substitute tofu for chicken and cook it the same way, or simply double up on the edamame. Other vegetables, like mushrooms, cauliflower, or zucchini, could be used in place of the red pepper and broccoli. If you like things spicy, top with a squire of sriracha.

Directions

1. Place chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag and add the 2 tbsp of soy sauce and cornstarch. Shake so all the chicken is evenly coated and place in the fridge to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium high heat and add canola oil. Stir fry chicken until browned and cooked through. Remove and set aside.
3. Add red pepper and broccoli and stir fry for about 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add coleslaw mixture and continue to cook for another couple minutes. Add ginger, quinoa, and 1 1/2 cups of water and mix to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fully cooked.
4. Fluff with a fork and add edamame and chicken and mix to heat through. Add peanut sauce and cilantro and mix to evenly distribute sauce.

 

 

How to: Seasonal Cooking – Thai Sweet Potato Soup

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Anyone else disturbed by the amount of their grocery bill lately?

Not OK.

With the tumbling loonie, word on the street is grocery costs will continue to rise. It’s all of that fancy imported food we like. Like cauliflower, the caviar of 2016.

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Not to worry though, friends. I’m here to give you an insider tip on how to save some sweet cash.

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Buy local! Yup. Not only does Ontario still have a good variety of locally available fresh produce (check it out here), you can also buy frozen ‘product of Canada’ fruit and veg. In fact, a lot of it is on sale this time of year.  Perfect timing.

Oh, you need some incredibly well tested recipes which feature local foods? I happen to know of a cookbook that’s just the ticket.  Homegrown is selling like mad though, so you bes’ be ordering a copy STAT.

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This super cinch recipe makes use of Ontario roots – sweet potatoes and carrots.  I’ve added a few thai inspired ingredients because thai food kicks ass. Is there a better reason?

Serve it as a side or a starter for any of our other Thai-inspired recipes (um, it seems we’re sort of obsessed with thai food):

Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Pizza

Thai Kale Salad with Sesame Tofu

Shrimp and Mango Fresh Rolls

Thai Chicken Cabbage Wraps

Thai Mango Salad

Thai Turkey Meatballs

Enjoy!

Erin

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Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1lb sweet potatoes (approximately 2 medium - peeled and chopped)
  • 1lb carrots (approximately 4 medium - peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated or minced ginger
  • 1l low sodium vegetable stock (divided)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (plus additional lime wedges for garnish)
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup roasted, chopped peanuts (for garnish)
  • parsley or cilantro (for garnish)

Directions

1. Add potatoes, carrots, ginger, 3 cups of stock and coconut milk to a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 until potatoes and carrots are very soft.
2. Remove from heat. Using a hand blender or counter top blender, puree soup until smooth. Blend in additional stock as needed to reach desired consistency and reheat in pot if necessary. Add lime juice and salt to taste.
3. Divide soup among 4 bowls and top with parsley/cilantro and peanuts. Serve with a lime wedge.

 

 

 

 

How To: Quickie Meal – Thai Chicken Enchiladas

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It seems we like us some enchiladas.

Tortillas filled with everything from butternut squash to corn and zucchini, wrapped up and topped with sauce and lots of cheese. What’s not to like?

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These enchiladas are unlike any enchiladas that have come before. There is not an ounce of cheese in sight. Now don’t go closing your browsers just yet. I promise, these are just as good, if not better than your usual Mexican variety.

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Leftover grilled chicken from you Victoria Day barbecue is perfect for using in the filling of this dish. I used a bag of coleslaw mix for convenience, but feel free to shred your own cabbage and carrots if you have the time.

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And trust me, once you taste the creamy coconut milk and sweet chill sauce mixture, you won’t even notice there is no cheesy topping.

Dara

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Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Serves 3
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (chopped)
  • 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 8 oz bag coleslaw (or mixture of shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • 1/2 red pepper (chopped)
  • 4 green onions (chopped)
  • 1 handful parsley (chopper plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (chopper plus more for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 Cups light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sweet chill sauce
  • 6 corn tortillas

Note

These enchiladas are a great way to use up leftover bbq chicken in the summer months. If you can't find corn tortillas, flour or whole wheat would work too. This is also a great make ahead dish - you could make each component and store separately or assemble the whole dish and bake it just before you are ready to eat.

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat and add canola oil. Once hot, add coleslaw and red pepper and sauté for about 7 minutes, until tender.
2. Add in chicken, green onions, parsley, cashews and mix together. Cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add in a 1/4 plus 2 tbsp cup of coconut milk and 2.5 tbsp of sweet chill sauce and remove from heat. Stir to combine.
4. Spray an 8 x 8 pyrex with cooking spray. Combine remaining coconut milk and sweet chill sauce and spread about 1/4-1/2 cup on the bottom of your pyrex, just to cover it.
5. Take 1-2 spoonfuls of chicken mixture and place in the middle of your corn tortillas. Roll up and place seem side down in your pyrex. Try to roll them up tightly and just stuff in any filling that falls out.
6. Cover with remaining coconut milk and chill sauce mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon any sauce that has pooled on the bottom or sides of your dish over top of the tortillas. Top with additional parsley and cashews and serve!

How to: Quickie Meal – Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Pizza

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Italian-thai fusion. So hot right now.

Or, I made that up to hook you.

But please friends, for the love of Pete, you’ve got to try this.

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I’ve seen different takes on the thai/pizza infusion throughout the blogosphere and while intrigued, have always been a little skeptical.

I decided to revamp a recipe from Kevin over at Closet Cooking to make it vegetarian and holy moly guys,  I basically exploded with joy at how good (and easy!) this was.

You can go ahead and make your own pizza dough for this if you’re keen. Lookie here, we’ve even got one right on the blog! Using premade frozen dough or crusts will speeds things up though.

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The tofu is simply crumbled raw, and when you add some of the peanut sauce it soaks up the flavour like a sponge. A delicious sponge you want to shove in your face.

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Then, you just-a make-a your pizza, and badda bing badda boom…glorious bubbly goodness.

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Erin

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Pizza

Serves 2 - 12 inch pizzas
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Website Lightly adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1 packet extra firm tofu (crumbled)
  • 300g mozzarella cheese (finely grated - about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (substitute parsley if you dislike cilantro)

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (natural will work too)
  • 2/3 cups full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (use soy sauce sauce as a substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (if using natural peanut butter, adjust sweetness to your liking)
  • 1 tablespoon thai red curry paste

Note

If you'd prefer to forgo the tofu, replace it with leftover shredded chicken.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450F. If you have a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven.
2. In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients for peanut sauce and whisk together until smooth. It should be the consistency of a regular pizza sauce.
3. Add about 1/4 cup peanut sauce to crumbled tofu and stir until all tofu is lightly covered with sauce. You may need an additional Tbsp or two.
4. Divide the remaining peanut sauce in two and spread over the base of your pizza crust. If there is any leftover sauce, you can combine it with the crumbled tofu or use it for a really great dipping sauce. Divide the cheese and sprinkle over each pizza.
5. Cover pizza with carrots, bean sprouts and green onions and bake for about 8-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and brown around the edges and the tips of the bean sprout are beginning to char. Use the broiler for the last minute or two if you find it's not browning to your liking.
6. Sprinkle peanuts and cilantro over pizza and serve.