Finally! A healthy recipe! It has been a rough couple weeks since returning from Mexico. The whole adjusting to real life/going to work thing was tough, but so was getting back to my healthy eating. I have to admit that there have been one too many cheat days lately. Probably because I have been in the mood to bake lately and there always seems to be a good reason to do so. My weight has not gone up (thank goodness) but it hasn’t gone down either. However, I don’t feel discouraged. I just feel… ready. Well, after we get back from Vegas anyways…
One of the more challenging aspects of writing a healthy living blog is trying to come up with new recipes and ideas. Especially since I tend to eat the same things over and over again when I am trying to lose weight.
In the past two weeks, I have been repeating really simple, clean foods that I don’t need to use a recipe for. This is something I struggled with in the past. I loved to cook complex and luxurious comfort foods that took time, effort, and a really complicated looking recipe. I used to think the best recipes were the ones that had the most ingredients! Now, I can’t believe what an immature cook I was. I am now finding that the foods with the most flavor and require the most skill are clean, simple, and are coincidentally healthy.
Although I still crave a greasy burrito from the taco truck by my work sometimes and I wish I could eat a thick, toasted bagel for breakfast, these are not foods that make me feel satisfied and nutritious. I don’t feel good after meals like that and I am getting to a point where they just aren’t worth the aggravation of bloat and fatigue.
The following meals are the ones that I make on a regular rotation. I haven’t gotten tired of a single meal yet although it has been 4 months. I sometimes change up seasonings or herbs, or switch out the sides or the salad dressing, but I don’t get tired of these foods.
- Steak, steamed broccoli, and Caesar salad
- Salmon, a pressure cooked sweet potato, and strawberry spinach salad
- Chicken breast with ranch baby carrots and a salad
- Lettuce wrapped burger with guacamole and bacon
- Chicken cobb salad
- Steak fajita salad
- Pressure cooked pork ribs with cruciferous crunch salad
- Bibimbap with cauliflower rice
- Chicken larb on cabbage cups
- Lettuce wrapped tacos or taco salad
- Mechado over cauliflower rice
- Chicken tortilla soup
And a new one to add to my list! Panang Curry with cauliflower rice. This is something I used to get to-go once in a while when I didn’t feel like cooking. I realized though that I was wasting a lot of money. Holy crap. Like $13 multiplied by…. a lot of times I didn’t feel like cooking. I would bring it home and put it over cauliflower rice that I keep in the freezer. But now, I will NOT buy this again at a restaurant. Way too easy and delicious to pay someone else to make it.
I found all the ingredients really easy to get as I frequent a couple Asian markets in our area. But I think you can get almost everything at an American grocery store. The only tough one is the curry paste, but it comes in a sizable container and you use so little at a time, that it really lasts. It only cost me a couple bucks. Very cheap ingredients too! I cut the recipe below in half and it was the perfect amount for Ryan’s and my dinner, plus enough for me to have for lunch today.
I was surprised that the recipe didn’t call for any Thai chilies. I kind of hate buying the stuff because there is always too much in a package and I use like 5 out of 40 chilies. What gives the curry a kick is the ginger and garlic. I did not add any Sriracha or red pepper flakes and it was perfect. And I am the girl that orders 4 star spice at all Thai restaurants and am disappointed at how tame it is!
The recipe I used is a combination of like 5 that I found. Some recipes were too Americanized and didn’t use lime leaves or Thai basil, but had that touch of peanut taste that I like. Some used too much sugar and some called for tamarind which I didn’t have on hand. If I did though, I could probably have omitted the lime juice and brown sugar, as I have substituted those 2 ingredients for tamarind before. I tried making this recipe without any of the brown sugar and it tasted off. I had to add it back in the end. Not one of those that you can just omit the sugar and call it good. I will try next time with tamarind and let you know how it goes! However, this recipe turned out exactly like I wanted it to. Tasted just like when we order it at restaurants, so I don’t like to fix what’s not broken!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons Panang curry paste (I used Mae Ploy)
- 1 pound thinly sliced beef or chicken breast (I used flat iron steak because it was on sale) (Cut into bite sized pieces, I did not do this and the pieces were a bit too big)
- 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced (most typical used is red but I had yellow and green)
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated or finely minced ginger (I used 4 tsps as I wanted a kick to it!)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 14 oz. cans of coconut milk
- 1-2 TB peanut butter (optional)
- 2 TB light brown sugar, packed
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 lime leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves, torn
- Garnish: cilantro (I didn’t have any as I forgot to buy it, but I did wish it had that cilantro-y taste!)
- Melt coconut oil over medium high heat in large nonstick skillet. Add curry paste and saute for 1 minute.
- Add sliced beef and cook just until meat is no longer pink. Add ginger and garlic and saute 30 seconds.
- Add the 2 cans of coconut milk. Stir in sugar, peanut butter, fish sauce, lime juice, bay leaf, lime leaves and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes then add red bell peppers and Thai basil and simmer 2-3 minutes or until peppers are crisp tender. Discard bay leaf and lime leaves.
- Garnish with additional fresh Thai basil, lime juice and cilantro to taste. Serve with cauliflower rice.
Also, I am tired of buying Thai basil so I just started growing my own 🙂 My next post will be about my somewhat pathetic, yet very eager attempts to garden! I don’t have a great track record, but am hoping my enthusiasm alone gets me somewhere with my garden.