Butternut Vegetable Curry

I have no idea how long it’s been since I last blogged. A lifetime, I’m sure!! Last summer, I quit my job and took a giant leap of faith and decided to go to nursing school!! I could not be happier with my choice. I love everything about it – even though it’s a LOT of work (and I mean a LOT), I am a very happy girl!!

I started school in August and I’ll be honest – I didn’t cook much at all. We ate lots of tacos and spaghetti and, well, that’s just the way things have to be sometimes!! This semester started last week and I am so far, very pleased with my schedule. I have class on Mondays and Fridays. I go to the hospital for clinicals on Tuesdays and am completely off Wednesday and Thursday. That’s a huge improvement from last year!! This means, too, that I can get some cooking in. I could not be happier and my family seems to like it too šŸ˜‰ Hopefully I can keep it up!

So that brings me to today’s recipe. I had a part of a butternut squash I needed to use up. I have been craving curry. It’s Monday (Meatless Monday!) and VOILA this dish wash born. There’s a little chopping, but once you get moving, it’s not too hard. One note – you really do need to cut the squash in bigger cubes otherwise you’ll have mush.

You won’t get any fancy pictures on this one (sorry!) because lord only knows where my camera and my light box and all that jazz are. Here’s the view from my iPad, though! I love technology in the kitchen!



Quick & Easy Potsticker Dipping Sauce

I love ordering the steamed dumplings at our local Chinese takeout. I’d say it’s 50% because I love the dumplings and 50% because I love the dipping sauce. True story. So tonight when I made homemade pot stickers for dinner, I needed a quick sauce to go with it. I had too many things going on the stove, so I didn’t want to add another thing. I have no idea if this is authentic, but it was good!! If you want it spicy, go nuts with the sriracha . I just used a small squeeze so my kids would eat it!


Thai Chicken Drumsticks

Another winner from Rachel Ray’s magazine! I think I’m going to have to subscribe because I really like these recipes I’ve tried lately. This one was not fast, but it was easy!! I marinated the chicken the night before and left it in a Ziplock in the fridge just waiting for us. While it was in the oven, I made the rice and prepped the cucumbers. RRs method for making the rice took longer than her recipe said it should, so I will just make the suggestion to prepare jasmine rice according to your package’s directions. If you’d like to see what she suggests, check it out on her website. Apologies for a “2 seconds before I bit into it” picture! I promise to step the photography up here soon! šŸ™‚ But for now, just use your imagination. This one was good! The chicken moist and flavorful (not just in the skin!) and the cucumbers and rice were a perfect compliment. I also served some spring rolls and we were a happy, well fed family!

Grilled Japanese Eggplant

Let me guess. You have a bag full of Japanese Eggplant from your CSA box (or your garden, or your neighbor’s garden) and you haven’t a clue what to do with it. Am I right? Because if so, you and I are so in the same place. I got these slender, gorgeous eggplant from my farm box but I was stumped on what exactly I should do with them. They were too small to make into eggplant parmesan and would have been too much chopping to make into ratatouille, so they went on the grill.

This marinade is easy to put together and it works for any size eggplant. If you have large eggplants, you can cut them into wedges (think thick steak fries), or if you have baby eggplants like me, just slice the tops off and cut them in half lengthwise. You could also throw in some other veggies – mushrooms would be an excellent addition!

Grilled Japanese Eggplant

Inspired by: Aubergines.org (a neat little eggplant website!)
Serves 4

1 to 1.5 lbs Japanese eggplant
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 cloves garlic finely minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger

Slice tops from eggplant and cut in half lengthwise. Place eggplant in a large shallow baking dish or long tupperware with a lid (a plastic baggie will work too, but I’m personally trying to get away from using too many of those, so go for the reusable option!)

Mix together the soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, garlic and ginger in a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the eggplant and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (up to 1 hr), tossing occasionally. Preheat grill. Grill eggplant on each side for 2-3 minutes, basting occasionally with the remaining marinade.

(66) Thai-Style Chicken Stir-Fry

In my attempt to use up various packs of meat from the freezer, I pulled out this Thai-style stirfry recipe. My husband LOVES stirfry (and egg rolls!) so he was pumped to see this on the menu! I was a little concerned about two whole jalapenos, but I carefully seeded them and the dish was mildly spicy, but could have used a touch more heat. So if you like a kick, leave some seeds in!

This was a hearty, filling, and DELISH meal! Spend the 25 minutes of marinade time chopping and you’ll be ready to roll when the time is right!! After that, this is quick to make! I served over jasmine rice and with some frozen eggrolls (again, the freezer holds all sorts of surprises!). I will make this again for sure!

Thai-Style Chicken Stir-Fry

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
Source: adapted from a Cooking Light recipe

1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices yellow squash
1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices onion
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices red bell pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and minced (keep some seeds if you like a kick!)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice. Add chicken; seal and marinate in refrigerator 25 minutes. Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; stir-fry 2 minutes or until chicken begins to brown. Add zucchini, squash, and next 4 ingredients (through jalapeƱos); stir-fry 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Add reserved marinade, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, basil, cilantro, and green onions.

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