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Thai Red Curry Recipe + Thoughts About Life

This week has been quite the roller coaster of emotions for me, but I can’t really say this is a new thing. I am typically over-emotional. If that’s a thing.

It’s not even that one day has been good and another bad, but rather one minute of this day has been great, and then in the other minute, the day completely sucked, and on and on. I’ve gotten home from work two days this week and literally just sat down and cried.

But it’s not all work related. Most of it is just life stuff. In fact, work has been somewhat enjoyable, aside from the minor stress from constantly feeling like I’ve failed at everything. But that is beside the point.

 

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But life. Really. What’s the point?

Sometimes I just have a hard time believing that life is suppose to be this way. Wake up, work, come home, make dinner, fight with the person you’re suppose to love, sleep. Repeat.

That doesn’t sound like a great time to me, just saying. And yeah, yeah. I know there are things you can do to make life interesting, but it always feels so boring to me. Even when I try to have fun.

 

Thai Coconut Carrot Soup

I made soup.

On my days off I feel the need to do something, get shit done, so I cook or bake. Which is something I like to do. I have fun on my days off, mostly because I’m alone and I like being alone.

But I feel lonely lately. I feel in need of a new adventure or something.

If I could, I would pack up and move out West, do something completely different, try something new. You know? And yet, somehow I’m made to believe this is not something that is okay. I’m told it’s not ‘practical’.

 

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I don’t know. I’m just feeling lost. Uninspired about everything. I want to do something different. Make a change.

 

Thai Curry with Rice and Vegetables

Make more curry?

This was actually really amazing curry. Not gonna lie, I think I did an awesome job making this. Here’s the recipe in case you’re bored, like I was.

Thai Red Curry with Rice + Vegetables (Adapted from Cooke + Kate)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup brown jasmine rice or long-grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • Pinch of salt, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (about a 1-inch nub of ginger)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
  • 1 yellow or green bell pepper, sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into ¼-inch wide rounds (to yield about 1 cup sliced carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 can (14 ounces) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1½ teaspoons organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons rice vinegar
  • Garnishes/sides: handful of chopped fresh basil or cilantro, optional red pepper flakes, optional sriracha or chili garlic sauce
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. To cook the rice, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rinsed rice and continue boiling for 30 minutes, reducing heat as necessary to prevent overflow. Remove from heat, drain the rice and return the rice to pot. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes or longer, until you’re ready to serve. Just before serving, season the rice to taste with salt and fluff it with a fork.
  2. To make the curry, warm a large skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add a tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, while stirring continuously.
  3. Add the bell peppers and carrots and cook for until they are fork-tender, 3 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the curry paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and kale to the pan along with ¾ cup water and 1½ teaspoons sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the peppers, carrots and kale have softened to your liking, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the curry from heat and season with rice vinegar and soy sauce. Add salt (I added ¼ teaspoon for optimal flavor), to taste. Divide rice and curry into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if you’d like. If you love spicy curries, serve with sriracha or chili garlic sauce on the side.

 

Enjoy.

Food, Life, Personal

Vegan Strawberry Muffins + Streusel Topping

Strawberry season just barely ended at my farm, but the strawberry baking hasn’t ended at home quite yet. Ben and I were invited to go to a house warming party for a girl at Ben’s work, so I thought I’d be nice and bring something. Most people who work at Ben’s farm are health-conscious and one of the girls is vegan, so me, being nice again, thought to make vegan strawberry muffins with a streusel topping!

I even learned how to make and use flax eggs for the first time…which was exciting!

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Turns out everyone was at the get together was super appreciative that I brought a dessert, and even more thankful that I made it friendly for everybody. The best part?

Ben enjoyed them.

Which is saying a lot because he is definitely a sugar and butter kind of guy, just saying. He’s not too keen on me trying to make recipes healthier, but he thought these were amazing and didn’t even realize they were vegan until I told him!

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The strawberries I used were slightly old. We picked them on Saturday and I made these on Wednesday afternoon and they might not of been refrigerated all of that time…

But, hey, what can you do when you only have mini fridges? There’s just not enough space for everything sometimes! It worked out in the end because I froze most of them, and even the ones that I did use for these muffins weren’t that bad, just kind of mushy.

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The party turned out to be really fun. There was a lot of outrageously healthy food there which was all incredibly good, considering most of it was gluten free (a lot of gluten free foods can be a bit…cardboardy).

But really, it was great. And the desserts were awesome too. Besides mine, there was a chocolate cake (not quite on the healthy list) and chioggia beet and buckwheat brownies, which were one of my favorites. I love beets!

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The night was beautiful, we took the top down on the jeep and Ben had his door off, because why the hell not? It was fun to just drive and feel like we didn’t have a worry in the world.

And it was nice to be out at night for once. We hardly ever go out anywhere after work, besides of course, to the gym. But that’s not the same really.

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This recipe was adapted from Crazy Vegan Kitchen

Yields 12 Muffins

Vegan Strawberry Muffins + Streusel Topping

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

    Lemon Sugar Topping
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 Lemon
  • Muffins
  • 1 cup Frozen Blueberries (for jam)
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup frozen Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh Blueberries
  • 1 1/8 cup Sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Flax Eggs (see note)
  • 1/2 cup melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup Almond Milk "buttermilk" (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.
  2. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with non stick muffin liners.
  3. Bring 1 cup frozen blueberries and 1 tablespoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.
  5. Whisk remaining 11/8 cups sugar, flax eggs, coconut oil and vegetable oil together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous.
  6. Slowly whisk in Almond Milk buttermilk, and Vanilla until combined.
  7. Using rubber spatula, fold dry mixture into wet mixture, along with ½ cup Frozen and ½ cup fresh blueberries until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)
  8. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.
  9. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Type: Dessert

Notes

Flax Egg - For each egg needed, combine 1 tablespoon Golden Flaxseed Meal with 3 tablespoons Water, stir and let sit for 1 few minutes.

"Buttermilk" - Combine 1 cup Almond Milk with 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar. Whisk, and let sit for 10 minutes.

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http://taylaanne.com/2016/07/16/vegan-strawberry-muffins-streusel-topping/

Food, Life

How to Make (+drink) Greens Juice

I used to hate smoothies.

When I was sixteen and in the darkest days of my eating disorder, my Mom felt the need to make smoothies for me in order to “sneak” more calories into my diet. I would scream and yell and pour the smoothie down the drain.

But not anymore. Not anymore.

I have finally learned to love smoothies because, duh, you can add whatever you want to them and yet somehow still come out with an awesome tasting drink. And they don’t necessarily mean an over-abundance of wasted calories.

In fact, smoothies or even protein shakes, which I tend to have every day, offer more bang for your buck because there really isn’t anything that’s “wasted”. All of the nutrient calories that they may contain are amazing and will give you long-lasting energy, and that’s what we’re all striving for right? Energy.

Moving on.

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After work on Saturday, my husband, Ben and I went strawberry picking at my farm. Everybody had left for threats of a storm so we just drove our jeep out to the fields and picked for a half hour or so. We ended up with ten quarts, which for two people seemed like a whole shit ton!

I enjoyed picking so much more now that it was just for me, picking as a job is definitely NOT fun, just saying. So next time you buy local strawberries, thank the person who picked them!!

The next day, I attempted to make a “green” smoothie because we just have way too many vegetables laying around! It’s hard to eat them all, so I thought why not put them all in the blender and drink it.

Perfection. (Well, kind of)

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Strawberry + Ginger Green Smoothie

The ingredients:

2 Purple Carrots (Root 5 Farm)

1 Cup Lacinato Kale (Root 5 Farm)

4 Whole Strawberries (Crossroad Farm)

1/2 Peeled Cucumber (Crossroad Farm)

1 TSP Grated Ginger (Root 5 Farm)

1/2 Lime

You can then just literally through everything into a juicer, or I just used my NutriBullet  and it blended everything right up. You can add some NuNaturals stevia or honey if you need it to be sweeter.

I also grated some more ginger for a cool, mostly unnecessary topping.

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It turned out to be a little thick so you could add some water to make it easier to drink, but I tend to like thicker drinks so whatever floats your boat, I guess.

I really liked experimenting with this whole juice thing. I think I’ll be doing it more often, maybe mixing some better flavors together next time, although I did LOVE the ginger.

A cool trick: If you have a lot of ginger and don’t want it to go bad, stick it in a bag and in the freezer. The ginger will hold up to a year in the freezer and it’s much easier to grate when frozen!

Hope you’ll enjoy + share.

Food, Life

In a New York Minute

Last weekend I visited New York City for the first time.

My cousin lives right out side of Manhattan, so it was a perfect excuse to go into the city and explore. My Mom, my Aunt, and I all went down for the day on Saturday, helped my cousin with some things, took the subway into Manhattan, walked around central park, got some frozen yogurt, took a crazy cab ride, and on Sunday, went for breakfast at the Brooklyn Bagel Co.

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Exploring the city was interesting. I knew there would be a gazillion people around, but the strangest thing was when we walked through central park. I just couldn’t believe how many people were there, all sprawled out on the lawn in their bikinis and trying to suntan. It was like they thought they were going to a beach or something.

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One of the scariest parts of the trip was our cab ride from Manhattan to Long Island City. My cousin uses Uber, which is a private taxi cab service, instead of the normal yellow cabs. It was crazy. We almost hit a biker…twice.

Above is a photo I took looking out from the harbor in Long Island City. We definitely lucked out with the weather, that was for sure.

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Saturday night we wandered through the streets of Astoria because my Aunt wanted to go to Mundo, a kind of Latin restaurant situated inside the Paper Factory Hotel. The whole place was stunning. I was pretty much in awe of how nice everything was; I guess I’m not much of a high roller, eh?

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I ordered a cocktail called a Sourbon, which was described on the menu as bourbon with date syrup and rhubarb tea liqueur. I had to try it. My Aunt had been here before and raved about the Red Sonja appetizer, so we got two of those, and tried Puro Turco (feta cheese rolls) with raspberry sauce, and the Turkish meatballs. Everything was definitely amazing.

I didn’t have a great photo of my entree, but I ordered Gnocchi al Pesto, which was also awesome. I tried making Gnocchi once at home and failed epically, so it was nice to try it somewhere more upscale to see how it was actually suppose to taste!

It was a fun weekend for sure. I really enjoyed myself, even though the city was too hectic for me. And I thought I managed my anxieties well and was able to flow with everything that was going on. It is nice to be home though, in my own little world without all the chaos.

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Food, Life, Travel