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Eating Seasonally: Raw Pad Thai Salad with *Peanut-Free* Dressing

This salad is not just a salad. It's everything. Am I being dramatic? I am. But keep scrolling and you'll see what I mean.

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This salad is something so special. With a soft-spot for Thai flavors, I've eaten my fair share of this traditionally heavy, salt-laden dish in the past and yea, its amazing. But I would argue that THIS is almost better. My take on raw Pad Thai has the same flavor profile as it's noodley-counterpart but it's fresh, crunchy and leaves me feeling light and energized. 

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If you follow my blog, the sauce recipe should look familiar to you as I have shared it a few times. Usually I make it with powdered peanut butter or tahini but I really love this almond butter variation.

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This is the perfect way to use up all the veggies in the back of your fridge, or your new CSA box or to try something new you see at the farmers market with minimal risk (it's covered in bomb-ass sauce after all). It is slightly labor intensive with all that julienne peeling and chopping but it is SOOO worth it. 

P.S- Do not skip the addition of raw corn here! It's a summer staple that adds a really refreshing hint of sweetness!

Give this nutrient-rich, full-flavor salad a try and let me know how you think it stacks up to the original Pad Thai!

raw pad thai

Serves: 2 'dinner' size portions • Prep Time: 30 minutes


FOR THE SALAD

  • 1 medium zucchini/summer squash, julienned 
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green/Napa cabbage
  • 3/4 cup raw corn kernels 
  • 3/4 cup raw veggies of choice, julienned or thinly sliced (celery root, asparagus, beets, jicama, etc.) *optional
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. mint, chopped

Julienne, spiralize and/or chop your clean veggies and herbs. Add them all to a large bowl suitable for tossing. A julienne peeler (linked about) makes light work of this task.The goal is the get a diverse range of textures just like in a traditional noodle-based Pad Thai so opt for a few different methods when it comes to slicing your veggies.


FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup unsalted almond butter or tahini (for a nut-free option)
  • 1/4 cup  fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. coconut aminos OR Bragg's liquid aminos
  • 2-4 tbsp. water (depending on how thin your almond butter is)
  • 2-3 tsp. maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1/2" knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1" piece of lemon grass *optional 
  • 1-2 tsp. sriracha or other asian-style chili sauce *optional
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high til well combined. Sample and adjust seasonings to taste. Stores well in a glass container in the fridge for well over a week.

NOTE: This dressing will thicken slightly as it sits but you can always stir in more acid (lime juice) or water to thin in out.

PRO-TIP: I like to make a double (or even triple) batch of this sauce. The recipe above makes just as much as you need for these two salads BUT it can be tricky to get that small of an amount blending in a conventional size blender. Making more than enough of this is great because you can always store it in the fridge to use on salads later in the week, or to add to a nourishing and warm rice bowl. Although, if you have a nutri-bullet or something similar, whipping up a small batch should be a breeze.


FOR GARNISH

  • Sprinkle of cilantro and mint
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoon chopped dry roasted pumpkin, almonds, cashew or pistachio 
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Right before you're ready to serve toss the dressing through the veggies. You may want to reserve a bit of the dressing (for dipping) or if you don't like a lot of sauce. 

Garnish with chopped nuts, seeds, herbs and black sesame for an authentic look.

PRO-TIP: Be sure to toss just dressing into the veggies right before you serve. The acid in the sauce will break down the thinly sliced veggies over time and NO ONE likes a mushy raw pad thai. Make note of this if you are prepping salad for the week!

*recepie inspired and informed by Oh She Glows!

 

LOVE THROUGH FOOD, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Tofu 'Satay' Thai Lettuce Cups with Spicy Peanut Sauce

An easy, fresh lunch or dinner that satisfies that craving for something a little out of the ordinary. When I am feeling in a rut with my food choices I like to change up the way I eat salads - and these lettuce cups totally do the trick. By simply shifting lettuce from a "thing in a bowl" to a crispy vehicle for peanut-y tofu-y cashew-y goodness can make all the difference.

The recipe is inspired by my friend (and house mate) Mimi who totally does not give herself enough credit in the kitchen - shes a genius and she inspires so many of my dishes. She said the basis for this recipe was conceived on a whim while rolling through the isles of Trader Joe's - and if you ask me, it is a total masterpiece. When she first made it for us one night I couldn't help but eat more than my share - lol - sorry, Mimi. 

And....I hate to brag but by no exaggeration this peanut sauce is the best around. The recipe actually makes a much larger batch than you might wish to use here but I have a feeling you will be wanting more - it's great over any fresh salad, tofu dish, or even spread onto bread as the beginnings of the best Thai-influenced sandwich. Not to mention, it's made with PB2 powder which has 80% less fat than peanut butter so you can eat A LOT without feeling weighed down.

Okay, enough talk, scroll on down and make this recipe for yourself. Let me know how you like it in the comments! 


Serves: 2 • Prep Time: 15 minutes • Cook Time: 6 minutes


 

For the Lettuce Cups/Filling

  • 1-2 heads of bib or butter lettuce (romaine will also work great)
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, sliced in .5" cubes
  • 1/2 red fresh onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced finely
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, chopped
  • handful mint or cilantro (optional)

Satay Thai Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup PB2 powder
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce of choice (I use Sriracha)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or other sweetener
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup water, depending on desired thickness
  • salt & pepper to taste

1. Mix together your satay sauce in a small bowl or mason jar (the amount is way too much for this recipe but, I am betting you'll want more)

2. Prep your veggies by washing the lettuce cups and delicately separating the leaves, dicing the onion and red pepper and mincing the fresh herbs. 

3. Sautee your cubed tofu in a dry shallow pan, allowing it to slightly brown each side (this takes about 1-2 minutes per side). Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

4. Once the tofu is slightly cool, add it to a bowl and pour in about 1/2 cup of the peanut sauce. Give it a stir till well combined and then add in your fresh herbs, cashews, red onion and pepper. 

5. Spoon the mixture into the lettuce cups and enjoy with extra peanut sauce on the side!

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

 

 

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Thai Style Green Wrap Recipe & Tutorial

"YES, YES, YES!" I am literally straight out of the Herbal Essences commercial right now!

Collard wraps are my new favorite thing, well, I mean, not new, I first experienced them a few years ago at Kye's in Santa Monica. Kye's catered an event I attended and I could not get enough of their awesome concept - a guilt-less, gluten-less, just-as-tasty burrito?! I remember thinking to myself that I would probably never make one myself because it seemed like a pain in the ass to get a leaf act like a tortilla but let me tell you now - IT'S SO EASY and I am so excited to share the method with you! It takes *maybe* 3 more minutes than using a conventional tortilla and I can genuinely say I like collards better - they are more pliable, the filling is less likely to fall out and I can eat my weight in them and not feel like crap afterwards. 

The ingredients for traditional flour tortillas often look like this "Enriched Flour Bleached(Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, interesterified soybean oil, glycerin, hydrogenated soybean oil. contains less than 2% of: corn syrup solids, baking powder (sodium aluminum phosphate, baking soda), salt, monoglycerides, potassium sorbate and calcium propionate (preservatives), fumaric acid, enzymes." They usually come in at about 120 calories per wrap and contain up to 350mg of sodium and get 30% of their calories from processed fats. 

Collard greens on the other hand are pillars of health - they supply the body with protein, fiber, calcium and iron and rack in at a whopping 11 calories a leaf meaning, more burritos for you!!!!

I've now tried a whole slew of different fillings in these wraps (because I'm obsessed)  and it's always best to have some kind of grain or filling protein (like beans, quinoa or rice, bulking ingredients (like raw and cooked veggies) and some kind of healthy fat (tahini, avocado, cashews, etc.)- heres a few ideas:

  • roasted sweet potato
  • black beans
  • quinoa
  • corn salsa
  • cilantro
  • avocado

 

  • white rice
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • sprouts
  • ginger
  • nori

 

  • brown rice
  • butternut squash
  • white beans
  • nutritional yeast
  • tahini drizzle

 

But my favorite has to be the Thai style wrap I share with you below...mostly because of the sauce (recipe included). 

I have perfected my thai-peanut sauce in the past few months and have been eating it on everything. I have been waiting for the perfect time to share it on the blog and this is it! It's spicy, peanut-y, creamy - it uses no oil and is pretty damn good for you! 

Scroll on down to check out the ingredients used in this recipe and then keep reading  for detailed instructions on how to roll the perfect collard wrap - no matter what fillings you choose! Great creative and report back!


Serves: 2 (2 wraps per-person) • Prep Time: 10 minutes • Assembly Time: 5 minutes


  • 4 large collard green leaves, steamed in the process described below
  • 2 servings of extra firm tofu, dry seared in a pan with salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded green or purple cabbage 
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 -1/2 of a large hot house cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped raw cashews *trust me*
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Thai basil, minced

Low-Fat Thai Peanut Sauce

(makes more than enough, but trust me, you want this much)

  • 1/3 cup PB2 powder
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1/2 the juice of a lime
  • 1-2 tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • enough water to give you your preferred consistency (I use about 2-3 tbsp.)

All you have to do to make this sauce is chuck all the ingredients in a mason jar - throw on the lid and shake away!


MAKE A COLLARD WRAP/BURRITO: STEP-BY-STEP

Firstly, you'll need to get the largest, freshest collard greens you can find. I always have luck at farmers markets and in my experience bundles of 6-8 collard greens can be found in the organic section of most large grocery stores. Inspect the collards for tears and holes - those should be avoided if possible. Rinse them well.

If you won't be making your wraps right away, I like to stick the stems of my collards in a bit of water just as you would a bouquet of flowers and store them on the counter - this helps to to keep them super fresh. Plus, it makes your kitchen look pretty. 

When you are ready to assemble your wraps start by heating a bit of water (2-3 tbsp) in a large, shallow pan that has a lid. 

Grab a leaf and a sharp knife. Flip the leaf so that the underside or stem side is facing up. With your knife, gently shave down the woody part of the stem so that the whole leaf becomes more pliable. Trim the bottom of the stem off.

Place your leaves into the pan and cover with the lid for no more than 45 seconds - blanching the leaf gently - you are doing this to increase the flexibility of the stem, not to wilt the greens. A good way to tell if it's done is to look under the lid - the collard should get brighter, if it begins to darken, you've gone too far. You can add one leaf at a time or do them all at once, it doesn't effect the cook time much!

When ready, carefully remove the collards from the pan, separate them and allow them to cool throughly on the counter. 

To wrap, begin by placing your collard leaf, under-side/stem-side facing up on a plate so that it lays flat. Add your filling into the center of the leaf *length wise* (from stem to tip of the leaf) leaving at least 2" on either side. Don't be afraid to pack these pretty full with sauces and tons of stuff- I actually find collard leaves to be more durable than regular flour tortillas when it comes to stuffing and wrapping!

Now comes the actual wrapping - if you've ever watched the masters at Chipotle, you're golden. The only trick with a collard is making sure you have the correct orientation of the leaf, so listen up! Fold the lengths of the collard leaf into the center- essentially touching the bottom of stem to the tip of the leaf over your filling as seen in the second image above.

Then pull the sides closest to you over your filling and roll upwards making sure to tuck all of your ingredients - end with the seam side facing down on the plate.

Your collard wrap should now look like the first image above - the outside of the leaf facing up so you have a nice clean surface. HOW GOOD DOES THAT LOOK?!

Sorry, getting excited. 

Anyway, if you wish, you can cut your wrap in half - and do it on a bit of a diagonal please...you didn't just go through all of that hard work to not make it look great. Okay?

Enjoy! 

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Vegan Thai Red Curry Soup

I have a weird obcession with soups that make my sinuses open up. Do you know what I mean? That kind of spicy that hurts-so-good? Well if you love that too, this soup is for you! 

The broth is rich, creamy and FULL of flavor. It's taken years of trial and error for me to get this broth completley right - the perfect balance of coconut, chili, ginger and curry. It is inspired by my favorite thing to order when eating out at Asian restaurants but beware -  many spicy coconut broths at restaurants and in stores have fish or shrimp paste in them (learned that the hard way) so why not make your own and know it's full of plant based goodness! My version is oil free and loaded of healthy veggies - I especially love the cauliflower in there. It's also packed with tummy healing spices like ginger, turmeric and cilantro.

 Like all of my recipes this soup can (and should) customized to your liking...tofu would be great here as would green beans ... add in whatever you have lying around in the fridge, it's a great "use it up" type of dish.  

Enjoy, fellow 'hurts-so-good' soup lovers!

  • 1  16 oz. can lite coconut milk
  • 1 16 oz. can can low sodium tomatoes (diced, pureed, crushed...your preference)
  • 3 cups low sodium veggie stock/water  
  • 1 tbsp. thai red curry paste
  • 1 tsp. yellow curry powder, chili powder, turmeric, garlic powder, cumin, paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt/pepper (optional)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets 
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • OPTIONAL: Add in any additional veggies or bulking items you love: frozen peas, summer squash, carrots, tofu - all make good additions
  • 1 16. oz can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans
  • 2 packed cups spinach
  • Cilantro, chopped and fresh lime juice for garnish

1. Add diced onion and garlic to a large stock pot and sautee in a little bit of water till the water has evaporated and the veggies are soft. 

2. Pour in the coconut milk, tomatoes and veggie stock and stir in all the spices - bring to a simmer.

3. While you're waiting for the broth to come to temperature, dice all the remaining vegetables. Once simmering add the cauliflower and sweet potato and cook with a lid on till fully tender (about ten minutes). 

4. Add in the remaining vegetables and beans and cook for a few minutes more with the lid off so that the broth reduces slightly. 

5. Remove from the heat and squeeze in the juice from one lime, stir in the cilantro. Serve over quinoa or rice or enjoy alone! Keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

 

LOVE & LIGHT, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Crisp Thai Slaw Salad with Masala Roasted Chick Peas and Creamy Tahini Peanut Dressing

HOL-LEY HELL. This salad is so damn good. If you, or someone you know, hates salads, I dare you to make and then hate this one. If you never think to include cabbage in your diet or rarely think of slaw outside of the context of 'gross' and 'summer picnic' get ready to have your mind blown and your palate rocked.

The quality of the fresh ingredients chopped finely combined with herbs (ugh, the herbs, DO NOT leave them out), roasted crispy chick peas and this complex, creamy dressing make for a textural, flavorful and colorful combination.

Thai flavors are some of my favorite - and I believe I have absolutely perfect a 'pad thai' style dressing here. It is creamy from the tahini (my favorite dressing based), peanut-y from the PB2 powder, acidic from the citrus and just a little bit spicy from the addition of hot sauce.

There are a few elements in this recipe so know that you can make each of them separately as each is great on it's own. For example the slaw tastes great with literally any dressing, the sauce is amazing hot over ramen noodles and veggies and the chic peas make an awesome snack all on their own.

Below I outline how to make each one separately, and I believe it's rather intuitive as to how to throw it all together.I like to drizzle the dressing over the whole salad so the veggies stay at maximum freshness but I could also see the whole thing getting even better with age if you tossed the salad well and then let it sit in the fridge for a while. If you do that though, I would store the chic peas separately as you don't want them to get soggy!

Enjoy!

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Crisp Thai Slaw

This amount serves 1 as a main dish, but I would suggest at least doubling the recipe to have enough for others or for seconds!

  • 1 cup shredded napa or savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot (I used pre-shredded store bought here)
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced extremely thin
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced extremely thin
  • Handful of mint, chopped
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped

1. Clean and finely chop all of your ingredients so that they are similar in size and add them to a large bowl, stir to combine.

2. You can store it in the fridge sans dressing or mix the dressing in and let it marinate for a few hours as described above!

Smokey Masala Roasted Chick Peas

These come together so easily - one of those set it and forget it kind of things. If you use one can of chick peas, you should have enough for around 4 servings if you plan to sprinkle them over the salads. 

  • 1 can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala spice
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pink salt

1. Preheat your oven to 450*F

2. Rinse and drain the chick peas

3. Add to a foil lined sheet pan or shallow oven safe dish and pour in spices, toss till well coated

4. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until desired crisp-ness is reached.

5. Allow to cool before adding to the salad

Creamy Tahini Peanut Dressing

All measurments are rough here, I have made this a few times with a few different ingredients (which is why I offer all the substitutions) but I feel the recipe to be the best proportions - of course, as always, adjust to your taste level. 

This makes enough for two salad servings but again, you may want more or less. I suggest doubling this recipe so you have extra to play with (and use again).  

  • 3 rounded tsp. salt-free tahini (or sub peanut butter and omit PB2 powder)
  • 3 rounded tsp. PB2 powder
  • 2 tsp. coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp. liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. of your favorite hot sauce (I used The Pepper Plant)
  • the juice of half a lime plus 1 capful rice wine/apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Thai curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Enough water to thin the dressing out to your desired consistency (I used apx. 2 tbsp. and I like a thinner dressing)

1. Combine all ingredients except water to a mason jar or bowl, use a small whisk or spoon to bring everything together then add water slowly, keep combining till you reach your desired thickness.

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

 

 

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