Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thai Time!

So yeah, no hiking lately! What with DC finishing up his Master degree (he'll officially finish tonight! Woohoo!) and my stinkin' heel spur flaring up again, we just haven't made it out there. I'm not sure when we'll be able to go either since many of ou favorite spots are being closed (or destroyed) due to wildfire danger. :(  It looks to me like the Saguaro Park West trails are still open, so maybe soon we'll get there. I'm gonna give DC a weekend or two of sleeping in before I start getting him up in the dark on a weekend. He deserves it :) So, instead of a hiking update, here's a foodie post that I've haveon the burner for a few weeks...

Been on a Thai jag lately. I think it got started with this video a few weeks back from the soon-to-be-famous Vegan Black Metal Chef.



These fabulous Thai green curry tofu cakes from the FatFreeVegan site have also been on the menu more than once in the past few weeks. They are crunchy on the outside, smooth and creamy inside, and oh-so-yummy all over! I've made them both with fresh and frozen tofu and either way, they totally rock!

So I've been trying to come up with my own Thai-inspired dish. I want one that was low in fat and vegan, but still intense in flavor. That's not an easy order since I associate peanuts and peanut butter with Thai food and at around 16 grams of fat in one serving (2 Tblsp), peanut butter is off the menu until I can find a jar of Walden Farms calorie-free Peanut Spread. I'm interested to taste this stuff. The nutritional label looks like this(!!):



While I haven't had any luck finding that, I did have lots of success using coconut flavoring and soymilk to make a damned good substitute for coconut milk! Thanks again to the FatFreeVegan blog site. It was no easy thing finding coconut flavoring, extract or essence, but I eventually found it at Spices, Etc. Shipping cost as much as the actual bottle, but on the brighter side, they did send me a coupon for 15% off my next order and free Fleur de sel.

So looking around, I found a Heavenly Pineapple Fried Rice dish, but there were several things I needed to fix to make it a) suitable for my fat-free and vegan diet and b) tasty, more "Thai-ish". I just can't leave well enough alone! It goes something like this:



  • 1 small can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 3 c. cooked jasmine or long-grain brown rice, leftover or cooked and cooled
  • 3-4 T. vegetable stock for stir-frying
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 red or green chili, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. mashed soft tofu
  • 1/2 c. frozen peas
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1/2 c. broccoli florets, cut in to very small pieces
  • 1/4 c. raisins or currants
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced including white & green parts
  • 1/3 c. fresh cilantro or culantro


  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • 2 t. curry powder
  • 1 t. peanut butter
  • 2 t. lime juice
  • 2 T. soymilk mixed with 1/8 t. coconut flavoring or extract OR use 2 T. coconut milk


  • Use your fingers to separate any chunks of rice into grains. Set aside.
  • Stir together the soy sauce together with the curry powder,  peanut butter, soy "coconut milk" and lime juice until smooth.
  • Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp. vegetable broth in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, and chili, stir-steam until fragrant (1 minute). Whenever the wok/pan becomes dry, add a little stock (1/2 to 1 Tbsp. at a time to keep the pan sizzling).
  • Put the tofu into wok and stir quickly to cook.
  • Add the carrot and peas, and broccoli. Stir-fry 1 minute in the same way, adding more stock if needed.
  • Now add the rice, pineapple chunks, and currents. Drizzle the stir-fry sauce over and gently stir-fry to combine over medium-high to high heat until the rice "dances" (begins to make popping sounds) - about 3 minutes. Avoid adding any more stock from here on, or your rice will turn out soggy. The pan should be hot and dry.
  • Remove from heat. Do a taste-test for saltiness, adding a few shakes of salt or up to 2 Tbsp. more soy sauce, as needed.
  • To serve, scoop rice onto a serving platter. Top with green onions and cilantro. ENJOY!


Personal note: I had to keep the pineapple out until the end b/c DC is allergic to it. I fried it up separately in a small pan and then added it to my plate.