Southwesternized Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup

I had forgotten about this tasty noodle dish. It is so good and so quick the way I modified it. Yesterday I noticed I had a can of coconut milk, a half package of rice noodles in my cabinet. And being from New Mexico….yes, it’s one of the 50 states here in the USA; I’m an American….I usually have green chile in some form.

Adapted from a recipe I found 4 or 5 years ago and just googled again and found on http://heatherchristo.com/2014/01/27/spicy-thai-curry-noodle-soup/ (always give credit where it’s due).

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• 2 heaping spoonfuls of minced garlic (small dinner spoon) or less if garlic isn’t your fav. You can also mince your own. (I’m all about shortcuts now that I had to become left handed and my right hand lost 90% function).
• 1 nub of fresh chopped ginger or a large spoonful of ginger paste found in the produce section in a tube.
• 2-3 tablespoons curry powder
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil or just enough to make your curry paste. Otherwise the soup is oily.

 

Combine well in a bowl. Fry your paste for a few minutes.

 

• 4 cups vegetable broth**see below** (you can use chicken for non-vegan soup)
• 1 can coconut milk
• 1/2 of a package of rice noodles
**optional: a palmful of hemp hearts ( for added easily digested protein, iron, omega-3&6, B-vitamins, antioxidants, zinc, calcium Vitamins D&E, and other goodies. And no…there isn’t any THC in it!)

 

Deglaze the pot with the broth. Add coconut milk. Add seasoning like Goya Adobo Seasoning (my staple, “go to” soup seasoning. You’ll see it in other recipes of mine) or salt and pepper to taste (or your favorite staple seasoning). Bring to a boil and throw in the noodles for a few minutes. They will soak up a lot of the liquid.

 

• 1/4 batch of fresh cilantro (or less if you don’t care for a lot of it)
• 1 bunch chopped green onions
New Mexico green chile (you can use the canned kind in the Hispanic aisle, the jar kind in the natural grocery stores, or the “real” kind…roasted, seeded, peeled and chopped, if you are from the Southwest. They sell it at Whole Foods Market in the fall here in the Portland Metro area also.
Some would use the rest of the ingredients for garnish, but I throw the rest in the pot. It blends the flavors better. Simmer for a few minutes to achieve this.
Chow time!

 

**Homemade Veggie Broth:
Roughly chop onions, celery, carrots, bell peppers, or whatever veggies you have in your fridge and place in a Dutch oven or stockpot (depending on how much you want to make). Add seasonings such as garlic, celery salt, onion/garlic powder, and yes…..Adobo Seasoning. Cover with water (don’t forget to leave space for boiling so it doesn’t end up coating your stove….yes I learned the hard way). Bring to a boil and simmer 20-30 minutes. Strain out veggie mush and put it containers. I freeze what I’m not in need of in 4 cup containers because recipes usually call for that amount.

 

How to drink enough water daily and improve your health – Part 2

I found this really good article. Sometimes I wonder if all the water I drink is really doing anything. Is it in there long enough?  This is good info.

“Being well hydrated is also about the foods you eat. Eating fresh, whole, raw, organic fruits and vegetables will help to keep your body hydrated. A high water content fruit or vegetable will provide your…

Source: How to drink enough water daily and improve your health – Part 2

Thoughts from a Box of Baking Soda

IMG_7423Early in January, I was sitting on the couch on my laptop getting bank info so I could go shopping at the wholesale warehouse we use. I had all my coupons ready so all I needed to know was how much I had to spend. I was headed 30 minutes in one direction; Hubby and my nephew (who was still living with us at the time) were headed 30 minutes in the opposite direction.

All of the sudden, out of nowhere and for no reason, I felt this horrid pain in my lower left abdomen that doubled me over and made me cry. It was so bad; I almost had Hubby take me to the emergency room. The intense pain lasted about 20 minutes. The pain has not stopped since. It comes and goes and has levels of “ow”. I think I’m getting used to it now, so I can tolerate it better (except on bad days).

In the past four and a half months I have done nearly every test known to doctors. CT scans, ultrasounds, biopsy, blood work…..you name it. My blood work shows lower count white blood cells, large red blood cells, and I have toxic granulation (where my blood cells break apart), but no one can tell me what’s wrong with me or why I have this pain. At first they said I had beta-strep in my bladder which is a different kind of bladder infection. After 10 days of strong antibiotics (and one rip-roaring yeast infection) the problem still hadn’t been solved. Apparently I am a carrier of these bacteria. GI docs say it’s possibly colon spasms which can be quite painful; Female docs say it could be endometriosis. The hematologist said sometimes people have unexplained pain. I’ve been poked, prodded and drugged with no answers. Exploratory surgery is next on the list.

Not real keen on the idea of someone fishing around inside me for who knows what, I decided to try and take matters into my own hands.

I’m one of those people who don’t like to take medication unless it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I know God gave us doctors and there is a place for medication but we don’t have to go the other way and say there is no place for natural remedies.

The GI doc told me to look into peppermint oil. It’s an anti-spasmodic. I got enteric coated peppermint oil supplements so they digest within the colon. Researching that lead me to other herbs and remedies. Did you know that Frankincense is one of God’s pain “pills” and that valerian root (you don’t want to take this too regularly) helps with pain as well? Stinging Nettles (which makes for great iced tea), Astragalus Root and Holy Basil (Tulsi) help build the immune system as well as having other benefits. And Turmeric helps with the digestive system as well as having other benefits (a nice warm cup of Silk Vanilla flavored soy milk with a tsp of turmeric and a tsp of cinnamon twice a day is pretty good stuff).

I’ve always leaned toward natural ways of doing things. Honey (local of course) and cinnamon or lemon concoctions for allergies, flu and colds or sore throats (I’m a huge fan of “Emergen-C” too); my system can’t handle dairy so I do soy or rice milk; ; I try to eat mostly fruits and veggies which is the original diet God had in mind for us “11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good……..29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

Over the years I’ve done a lot of reading on herbs and the healing properties they have. Until now, I haven’t really delved into trying too many. There are some great places online to buy bulk as well. It really is affordable to get into. Hopefully my immune system will thank me for it.

This mystery pain has really gotten me thinking about all the chemicals and things I constantly bombard my system with. It’s not just in the food and drinks but the toiletries and cleaning products too. “Convenience” has caused us to do things to our bodies that are really unhealthy. Our bodies are fighting back.

So, my next projects will be all about getting back to the basics in life; using the things that were provided for me to begin with. In a world where convenience has trumped healthy, I know it won’t be an easy task. Hubby thinks I’m weird anyway, so no harm no foul. I know my son will do some of these things with me (after all he is a product of me) but Hubby is a convenience/technology/”state-of-the-art” kind of guy……he’ll fight it tooth and nail.

About 2 years ago I started using homemade baking soda toothpaste. It works great, but I need the peppermint flavoring. I had a small bottle that lasted me through 2 batches then I couldn’t find it at any store in the area. I tried cinnamon which tasted terrible and then I got some great coupons and started using store-bought again. Frankincense powder is supposed to be great for teeth too but it tastes awful. I’ve seen recipes for it but don’t know if I can take the taste. Chewing the resin for pain isn’t too bad but the powder is nasty.

At the beginning of this week I gave up shampoo and conditioner. Hopefully this will solve my dandruff problem. I’m not a hair washing junkie anyway. Unless I get Grioli’s all over my hair (that’s the name of the Italian restaurant I work at) I only wash my hair every four days so this shouldn’t be a hard transition. See my project section to follow my journey on getting back to the basics. I really want to start taking care of my body, God’s temple and I’m not getting any younger. The time is now.

Peppers and Potatoes Stew

PEPPERS AND POTATOES STEW: PEPERONATA DI PATATE

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/debi-mazar-and-gabriele-corcos/peppers-and-potatoes-stew-peperonata-di-patate.html

This stuff came out awesome, so I decided to share.

PEPPERS AND POTATOES STEW PEPERONATA DI PATATE

ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped fine
  • 5 cloves garlic cut into 3 pieces
  • 8 bell peppers(2 red, 2 yellow, 2 green, 2 orange), seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 (28-ounce) can pelati tomatoes, blended smooth
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (recommended: organic vegetable broth)
  • 1 generous handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large Dutch oven saute the onion in about 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat, and when it is completely softened, and before it starts browning, add the garlic. Saute for an additional couple of minutes, then add the peppers, lower the heat to medium-low and stir well. Partially cover with a lid and let them soften up, about 10 minutes.

When the peppers have settled into the pan, add the tomatoes and the potatoes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, stir well over medium-low heat, cook for about 1 hour.

Use the vegetable stock to help the sauce come together, by adding a ladleful to the peperonata here and there while cooking. Depending on the tomatoes you are using and the degree of ripeness of the peppers, you might not need to use all the broth indicated in the ingredient list. Look for a nice balance between sauce and vegetables, at the end you are working on a vegetable stew…consistency of the final dish should be thicker than a pasta sauce.

 

Pasta with Kale and Tomatoes and Onions

This one came out great the way I made it. I love modifying healthy recipes during my fast to adapt to the dudes too (who don’t fast).

Pasta with Kale

Whole wheat penne pasta

Kale

Olive oil

1 onion

Garlic

Can of tomatoes

1 TBsp wheat flour

2 cups soy milk

Red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Adobo seasoning

Beef Stew Meat

Cook pasta add kale last 3 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Sautee onion in oil with seasoning , 6-8 minutes. Add garlic. Dredge in flour cook stirring for 1 minute. Gradually add milk. Cook til slightly thick, 2-3 min. Add red pepper. Throw everything together. Add tomatoes and simmer while you cook the meat. In another skillet, brown the meat in a small bit of oil. Take out fasting portion, add meat simmer for a few minutes to mingle the meat flavor. Voila! Dinner for all

Vegan Polenta Pizza

This is awsome! I made the “crust” and put it in the fridge overnight. I will definitely be making this all the time. I got the recipe from http://withoutadornment.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/vegan-polenta-pizza/

Vegan Polenta Pizza

2 c. water
1 tsp. italian seasonings
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 scant tsp. kosher salt
fresh pepper
3/4 c. cornmeal

1 leek, chopped
4 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 portabello mushroom, sliced
1 piece of kale, cut into strips
2 – 3 tbsp. pine nuts
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
Tomato paste
Fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water up to a boil. Add in the seasonings and olive oil.

Whisking constantly, pour cornmeal into water in a steady stream. Continue whisking for 5 – 7 minutes or until the polenta is creamy and thick. Add water if needed – I ended up adding about 1/3 c. more water.

Evenly distribute polenta between two 9″ cake pans. Using a spatula, spread out to about an even thickness.

Let polenta cool slightly, then stick both pans in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the polenta to solidify.

Heat oven to 350F. Transfer polenta disks onto a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.

Cook in oven for about 40 minutes and remove. Set aside.

While there is about 15-20 minutes left in the baking of the pizza crusts, toast the pine nuts in a frying pan until fragrant.

Heat up olive oil in the same frying pan. Saute the leek in the olive oil for a few minutes.

Add the mushrooms and sauté until cooked.

Add the kale and sauté until bright green.

Spread tomato paste onto polenta crusts, leaving 1/2″ uncovered. Add any spices you want to.

Sprinkle the tomato paste with pine nuts.

Arrange the vegetables on the crust. Make sure you evenly distribute the mushrooms and kale!

Cook pizza in oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until the kale starts toasting.

Sprinkle with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

Lebanese Navy Beans With Tomatoes & Onion

This stuff is THE BOMB!!!!! I added some seasoned stir-fry beef to it for the dudes (would be good with chicken too). They loved it. This recipe is from http://www.sanctuaryofocala.com/danielfastrecipes.html#40

Lebanese Navy Beans With Tomatoes & Onion

1 cup dried navy beans, soaked overnight

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 onions, diced

4 garlic cloves

14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tsp cumin

salt & freshly ground black pepper

 

Throw Navy Beans in crockpot with water (I put in enought to cover the beans and have a few inches over) before work (cook for 6-8 hours on high) reserve liquid. In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sauté until golden for about 10 minutes. Add cumin, tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and enough of cooking liquid to cover beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes until beans are tender and sauce has thickened. Serve over brown rice.

Thoughts from a Morning Mug of Hot Water

IMG_7437Sugar is my major eating habit downfall. I have a sweet-tooth! I love non-chocolate candy and Oreos the best. I’m definitely a honey addict too (which is a healthier way to get sweets). If you’ve read previous “Thoughts by Me”, you know that I can’t have dairy products because my system can’t tolerate whey…..which is in all dairy, chocolate candies and a lot of foods. I am an avid label reader now (you get faster at it the more you do it. It’s second nature to me now).

I wasn’t always like this. When I was pregnant with my son, who is now 16, my whole third trimester I ate a large thin crust extra cheese pizza for dinner (it was an expensive pregnancy). Nearly every night I devoured all that cheesy goodness. I would snack on large hunks of cheese and MUCH chocolate as well. I think I overdosed myself along with the fact that sometimes pregnancy changes your body.

I was picked on about my weight my entire life and battled eating disorders (I got so bad that I wouldn’t eat in front of anyone unless I HAD to. If someone was around I had specific things I would let them see me eat and specific amounts) so when I got pregnant I thought, “Yay! This is my chance to eat anything I want, whenever I want, however much I want and no one can pick on me”.

I weighed 299 after he was born….go figure! I spent the next year in a gym losing the weight and paying for my mistake of being a glutton. One of the trainers suggested I try Whey Potein powder. So I went to the local nutrition store and bought a huge container.

I had never been so sick in my life. I kept going to the doctor with complaints of ridiculous nausea and much time hugging the toilet bowl. At first I thought it was psychological because of my past with bulimia (I would throw up everything I ate in my younger years. Not just binge and purge). After many dollars and doctor visits, we figured out it was the whey. I now had to read the ingredients of everything I consumed.

I learned to read every label of the food I put in my body and in the process started noticing all the preservatives and junk the manufacturers put in foods. Stuff that god never intended for us to ingest. Over the years I’ve learned so much about eating healthier. I personally think people are causing a lot of their own health problems because of all the garbage we put into our systems and believe it or not…..watch out here it comes……..

Our love of chocolates and sweets and junk food is a learned behavior…an acquired taste. People tell me all the time, “I could NOT live without chocolates or dairy. I feel so sorry for you. I would do it anyway”. I have NO desire to eat those foods anymore. I unlearned the behavior.

Americans are obese because of our “addictions” to foods that are bad for us. Don’t get me wrong, I know calcium is a very important nutrient and dairy is the best way to get it. But anything in excess is bad. We can literally cause our bodies to reject what we are overusing (ie: certain types of Diabetes, high cholesterol. The list could go on). Especially when we aren’t really getting pure foods anymore with the hormones, preservatives and other ingredients that we can’t pronounce. Moderation is the key to healthier living.

The Daniel Fast is not a diet!

Fasting is done throughout the bible in order to get closer to God and deny ourselves certain things that are fleshly. It is a refocus on the Almighty, which is one reason Daniel Fast is observed at the beginning of the year. There are many reasons for fasting all which are personal and between the individual and God. The bible states there are some things can only be accomplished through fasting AND prayer. It is a setting aside of wants….a denial of self.

The guidelines are from the book of Daniel:
In Chapter 1, Daniel who was in royal training says to the king “12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.”
Then in Daniel 10 as he had just received a disturbing vision of the desolation of Jerusalem, “2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”
As well as focusing on God, we can learn healthy eating habits. We can learn to eat more of what God originally supplied us with and intended us to consume, before the fall of mankind.
I have some crazy dreams while I’m fasting and I always learn so much more about what He has in store for me and the path He wants me to take. It’s a way for me to lay it all at the foot of the cross and focus on how amazing my Lord really is.
If you want more information about the Daniel Fast go to http://www.daniel-fast.com/about.html
They have great information, recipes and bible study plan ideas to go along with the fast. I’ve gotten a lot of my recipe ideas from them.