Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cool & Spicy

There's some weird stuff going on at my condo complex. For the past month, there have been construction workers tearing apart balconies, roofing, fences and patios -- and just this week they got to me. So, grilling is now (and will be for the remainder of the summer -- err!) off limits because the patio that I do have is covered with tarp and plywood. I also no longer have a fence, which means that every person that walks by my unit can get a glance inside my first floor, which as you can imagine, freaks Henry out (I do pull my curtains most of the day, but little Henry is too smart for that and finagles his head next to the window). So, while trying to distract Henry from the contruction workers, neighbors and their dogs I needed to make some lunch, so I went with a couple of tried and true's: a blueberry banana smoothie and quick and simple curry rice.

Smoothies are personal, but this is my go-to mix when I need something to cool me off -- it's easily adaptable, so use your favorite flavor combo. Loaded with antioxidants from the blueberries and potassium from the banana, it's a good workout recovery drink too.

Blueberry Banana Smoothie (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

1/4 cup fresh blueberries (you can definately use frozen here)
1 frozen, then slightly thawed banana
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 dash of cinnamon
1 sprig of mint for garnish (optional)

Place the first four ingredients in your blender or magic bullet and blend until desired consistency is reached; mine took about a minute. Enjoy post-workout or to cool off with the spicy dish below.

Oh, P.S. I sometimes add a tablespoon of peanut butter.

There's an Indian dish that I really love: vegetable biryani. Most recipes that I have seen for the dish involve myriad, hard to find spices and a cooking time that I just didn't have today, so I go for my quick and simple version. I often cook up a batch of brown rice each week to use as I please, so this recipe assumes you have some sitting in the fridge too.

Lazy Eatah's Vegetable Biryani, or Quick and Simple Curry Rice (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

serves 2 as a side dish, or 1 as a meal

1 cup of cooked brown rice
1/3 cup coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen, which says gluten-free on the label)
1 loosely packed cup of sliced yellow onion
1/2 cup frozen peas (or pretty much any vegetable you have on hand)

In a skillet on medium heat, add the coconut milk and the curry paste. Whisk together the two until they have thoroughly combined (the coconut milk will turn redish). Add the onions and simmer for a few minutes. Next, add the rice and stir until combined (the rice will now take on the color of the curry). Lastly, add the peas and cook for another minute or two.



Ricki said...

Love the quick biryani idea--it does take SO much time to do the whole thing from scratch! And poor Henry! Hope he gets over the stranger stress soon! (He does look a little freaked out in that photo. . . )

The Good Eatah said...

One of these days I'm going to make it from scratch, but probably when it's cold out and I'm not distracted by going outside.

The poor little guy is a bit stressed out, but we went for a nice, long run this morning so he slept for a good chunk of the day.

Tiffany said...

Those both sound so good, but the rice dish sounds fabulous! I do the same thing with cooking big batches of brown rice, and I also have a jar of the same red curry paste, so that is on the menu for this week! Awesome!

Emilia said...

Awww, poor Henry; animals get stressed so easily, my cats got stressed out even when I used a vacuum cleaner for example. I love seeing all your dog pictures here when I read the blog.

That biryani sounds easy enough to try, I sometimes make rice with spices and coconut milk, but I've never tried using a curry paste before, but after reading this I will try.

I read somewhere that you shouldn't cook rice in advance because it can contain some weird bacteria (?), but I don't know how serious that is. I always cook up big batches too and have not yet had any problems, that thing I read got me a bit freaked out anyway.

The Good Eatah said...

I hope you enjoy it Tiffany! I am a big fan of Taste of Thai Kitchen products; they're so good at labeling things gluten-free.

Emilia, thanks! I had a photography teacher once who said "photograph what you know" and since I spent the majority of my time with the little fella, I try to include him a lot.

Thanks for letting me know about the rice/bacteria thing; I have a sensitive gut, so any bacteria would make me sick. I'll definately do some research on it.