Summer Squash Red Thai Curry

It’s that time of year again! Are you ready for summer squash out the wazoo? I love summer squash, especially zucchini. Honestly though, how much zucchini bread with crazy twist-ins can a girl make? I know there’s only more summer squash to follow….till the end of the summer, so when these babies showed up in my CSA I decided to think outside the box.

J and I love Thai food. And when I say love, I mean really love. We almost always go out to eat Indian or Thai. When it comes to Thai, while we love our noodle dishes, we adore curries. The spice soup with a cool aftertaste due to the coconut milk is just what our tongues desire. Not to mention the loads of vegetables and hot, steamy rice. Sadly though, as a poor postdoc and graduate student, we don’t get out much. Thus, we have learned to make curries at home! And to be honest, we’re pretty good. This recipe was more an improv than anything else. I don’t claim it to be traditional, just very tasty!

Summer Squash Thai Red Curry (4 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon(s) curry paste
  • 1 15 oz. coconut milk
  • 1 small basil, fresh, chopped, Use Thai, it will make the flavor pop 
  • 1 small lemon, juiced (Okay Kaffir lime leaves are true Thai)
  • 1/4 cup(s) water
  • 1  tablespoon(s) soy sauce
  • 2  teaspoon(s) brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon(s) red pepper flakes (Thai dried chilies are best, but traditional work fine)
  • 2  large summer squash squash, or four small
  • 1 large container of baby portobello mushrooms

Directions:

Cut squash into bite size pieces and roast in oven until tender. My squash took 25 minutes at 350F. Clean and slice mushrooms while waiting.

Place olive oil in pan and heat on medium high. When oil is warm, add curry paste and mix until oil and paste become homogenous. Slowly pour coconut milk into curry paste mixture, stirring to integrate the sauce.

When all coconut milk is integrated into the sauce, add the basil, lemon, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, pepper flakes, squash, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes.

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Serve wtih rice and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Calories 295
Total Fat (g) 26.71
Saturated Fat (g) 20.65
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 267
Total Carbohydrates (g) 9.93

 

WIAW – with Vacation!


 

It’s finally hump day! This has been a long week after my great weekend with J! I had my first Maryland blue crab fest, and it was excellent! I loved it so much.

I promise we had more than crab! See- coleslaw, soup, potato salad, and beer (cider for some of us). What could be better?

There was so much crab left over that we picked the rest of the meat and J’s dad made us crab cakes the next night. Because J’s sister and I require gluten and yeast free, these crab cakes were…crab! What an amazing concept, huh?! They were awesome with just a bit of cornmeal to bind them.

Vacation has been so wonderful, now I have to get back into work though and make my own meals. Guess I forgot to say above, J’s dad makes the most amazing cappuccinos and eggs (coddled, they’re amazing) every morning. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself on Monday when breakfast wasn’t made for me. J’s parents are the best! So to make up for having to make my own breakfast, I’ve been enjoying overnight oats. Flavor:  chocolate and strawberries. You should try them, they’re healthy!!! (This has been my snack food too, I seriously have been eating on average three jars a day!)

Which is good because I’m eating it all the time, even for dessert! I’ve been pairing oats with lots of fun juices for my juicing challenge. Lately, I’ve been on a peach kick, with carrots and or kale.

For lunch today I had some wonderful sautéed bok choy with a ginger, soy sauce marinade and crunch sliced almonds. Stay tuned, recipe coming soon!

 And for dinner, what could be better than a spicy thai curry? Just to kick things up a notch! This simple red curry with squash and mushrooms was not only tasty, but filling and great as a quick, light dinner in the summer. This makes the second recipe I owe you, promise it will be up by the end of the day!

It has been difficult adjusting back to normal life haha! But as you can see, I’ve been treating myself with great food! Two recipes to be published today, so wait and see! Thursday will be a big post with exciting news for cragsandveggies, make sure you stop by to hear what it is!

Do you have vacation blues when you come back to real life?

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Oats

Yes, you heard that correctly! Chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast! What if I told you it was healthy too! No really, it is. And it’s super easy for those of you who are like me and don’t really wake up in the morning.

This is a reason to wake up though! I promise you. Sweet, velvety chocolate. The tang from a nice piece of fresh strawberry. Not to mention, you’re getting amazing amounts of protein and omegas from the chia seeds. Did you know chia seeds are also great at reducing sugar bursts and blood pressure changes? These little powerhouses are great!

If you’re vegan or dairy free, just use your favorite non-dairy yogurt and milk. It will still work the same, I promise!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (not instant and not steel cut!)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (I use plain or vanilla flavored)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of chia seeds (find at your local health food store)
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened chocolate powder
  • 1 small handful of washed and cut strawberry slices
Place all ingredients in a container. I prefer a glass jar for portability, but an open bowl will work just fine. Stir together (or shake!) and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Slowly throughout the night, the oats and chia seeds will swell and make a yummy, creamy mixture! In the morning, grab a spoon and chow down! With chocolate….for breakfast!
Don’t be scared before mixing.
Because it will change once you mix it. Don’t worry though, you’ll devour it quickly- as you can see that I did.

Mama Mia’ Orzo

I love Italian food! Seriously, I eat at least two meals of pasta every week. Thus, I can’t just eat marinara sauce and spaghetti noodles. I like to spice up my Italian food and make it robust and full of color!

I have no clue why spaghetti and penne are so popular in the US. There are so many different shapes of pasta to have fun with! One of my favorites is orzo. I think I like it so much because it’s a cross between pasta and rice. Okay, not really. But it’s shaped like rice and is pasta, what could be better? As a veggie girl, I have to make sure I get lots of grains- usually being rice or pasta. So orzo has to be the grain for me!

I also love that you can eat orzo hot or cold. It’s perfect for making pasta salads. This dish, not only is full of color, is great for eating as a cold summer picnic lunch.

Remember to pull apart your basil instead of cutting or chopping it into pieces. This allows the flavor to gain more depth and strength.

Vibrant Summer Orzo

  • 4 serving orzo cooked as directed by packaging
  • 2 Tbs olive oil (or butter if desired)
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 3 Tbs capers
  • 1 Tbs caper juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • Handful of freshly cut and pulled basil
Heat up the olive oil and garlic in a pan on medium heat. When garlic begins to brown, add capers, caper juice, sun dried tomatoes, and raisins to oil and stir. Once mixed, add the white wine. Turn down to medium low and let white wine cook off. Once boiling add the diced tomatoes. I find it best to drain the tomatoes (different than rinsing!). Cook for another minute to allow the tomatoes to warm up. Sprinkle pan with basil and stir. Pour mixture over cooked orzo and toss lightly. 
This makes a really great and healthy lunch! Or dinner with a glass of white wine

Savory Breakfast

I loved the surprise trip that J gave me for my birthday, it was a much needed break! Traveling is one of my passions! I absolutely love seeing the world. The one thing I hate about traveling though, packing! Okay, unpacking is just as bad.

This trip was unfortunately no different. J and I rushed to pack everything the night before, in addition to last minute laundry and cleaning. Nonetheless, we needed something for dinner that was fast. Breakfast made the most since because it used up our milk and eggs and took less than 10 minutes.

We love adding herbs in our eggs. If it’s in your spice cabinet, there’s a chance we’ve tried it with eggs! This was a simple mixture of basil, oregano, and thyme. We love adding red pepper flakes (see below) and hot sauce!

The real trick to the meal though is biscuits and gravy! I love biscuits and gravy. They are warm, moist, salty, creamy, and melt in your mouth. However, I don’t eat sausage and try to stay away from processed “artifical meats”. Thus, I really missed biscuits and gravy till I got the idea for this recipe.

Biscuits and Gravy (servings for 4)

  • 1/4 cup of unbleached flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter (or healthy substitute! I have a butter made with some olive oil to reduce the fat that I got from my local heatlh store)
  • Herbs of your choice (to go with the eggs, I chose basil and thyme. Amount depends on your choice, but you can always add more! I usually start with a total of 2-3 tsp)
  • Black pepper and salt to taste

This recipe is all about balance so you might have to add more or less of something. Especially depending on the fat content of your milk.

First, melt the butter on medium in a pan with the herbs. Add a few tablespoons of flour in once the butter is melting and cook till a roux is made, or when your flour starts to have a nice brown color. Slowly add the rest of your milk and flour in small alternating portions. Stir a few minutes until completely combined. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to boil. At this point, you will notice the mixture is to the thickness of a “gravy”. Depending on your preference, you can thin it with milk or thicken with flour to obtain your desired thickness. Feel free to add more herbs after tasting. Some of our favorite variations of the herbs include rosemary and thyme, fresh thai basil, and oregano and red pepper flakes). Add cracked pepper and salt to your desired taste. J and I don’t eat a lot of salt so I usually just add a dash of cracked multi-color peppercorns at the end.

This is an extremely simple recipe, but fulfills cravings for biscuits and gravy. While we would normally make our own biscuits, we complimented our gravy with some store bought biscuits.

Bayward Breezes

J surprised me with a sailing trip!

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J and I had so much fun! I’ve never sailed before so it was a new experience of tipping in the boat and blowing with the wind.

what’s the best surprise birthday gift you’ve received?

Get a Grip! part 1

I’ve been drinking lots of carrot juice! I need to post pictures, promise I’ll be better. I’ve tried adding some unique things to it including ginger (yum!), apple, kale, spinach, and blackberries! So on with the post….

If you’re reading this then you know I love climbing! I believe rock climbing is the most amazing sport. It gives me such a well rounded workout in a fun puzzle atmosphere. The hardest thing for me to learn with climbing was holds and the best way to approach them. As a female with small hands, I can adjust holds to make them more useful to me. However, there are some basic techniques that will help you obtain the best grip depending on the hold.

UnderhangImage

Underhangs are unique holds and much easier to grip than one might expect. Wrap your hand underneath and support your weight outwards. Placing weight between your palm and fingers will give you lots of strength without the need to grip using your forearm and fingers.

Crimps

Crimps are small holds that test the ability of you to hold your weight and balance only using your finger tips. They’re not comfortable and often will make your fingers hurt after using them. I think the best way to use them is to balance the weight on your distal phalanges (the distal parts of each finger tip).

J’s larger hands are in a similar position.

Pinch

Pinches are just as they sound, a hold that you have to pinch between your fingers. However, instead of pinching with your index and thumb, you pinch with your four fingers and your thumb. Squeezing your fingers around the hold is the best way to know you have friction to keep you connected to the wall and balance.

Sloper

Slopers have no hold, but are rather a smoothed ledge. The best way to hold onto a sloper is to place your finger tips to the back of the hold and to keep your weight below the hold. I prefer to keep my forearm straight  and directly below the hold. J demonstrates nicely below.

Play around with holds and test what you’re comfortable with. Slopers are difficult at first, but you will become more and more comfortable with them as you test and try with your body position.

Each hold is different, no two are the same. Even though I’ve displayed pictures of the holds here, you will likely never have the exact same hold as I’ve displayed.

Stay tuned for part 2 as there are still a few more types of holds to tell you about! Happy Climbing!

What type of exercise are you into lately?