Asian Beef with Peppers and Green Onions

Beef Teriyaki with Peppers and Green Onions

A satisfying stir-fry that comes together in a flash. Sirloin Steak, 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4 inch bite sized pieces is stir-fried with peppers and green onions.

Sweet peppers (also called bell peppers) and beef have always complimented each other in culinary dishes.

What is the nutritional value of bell peppers?

Bell peppers are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available.

Though a 3 1/2-oz (100 g) serving of raw bell pepper provides only 20 calories (mostly as carbohydrate and fiber), it is a good source of a large number of nutrients.

Peppers with Asian Beef

They include: vitamins-C, K and B-6. They also contain beta-carotene, folate, thiamine, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

B-6 is needed for blood cell formation, vitamin-k helps with blood clotting, and potassium and magnesium help with your heart muscles pumping of blood through your body.

You should try this: Orange Ginger Chicken Sausage with Sweet Peppers

A delicious Asian flavored sauce is used to flavor the beef and peppers.

The sauce ingredients include: soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame seed oil and rice vinegar.

Asian Beef with Peppers and Green Onions Served Over Coconut Rice

This Asian Beef with Peppers and Green Onions is served with coconut rice. Though you can serve it over plain white rice.

Read Here About: Is It Okay To Reheat Cooked Rice?

Asian Beef with Peppers and Green Onions

Stir-Fry Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce or Tamari

1/2 cup chicken stock or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced

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If you do not have fresh ginger you could use one (1) of the following:

1 tablespoon ginger paste (store bought squeeze tube)

1 tablespoon powdered ginger

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2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tablespoon corn starch

Whisk 7 first ingredients together in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add corn starch and stir until sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

Makes about 1-1/4 cups. You can refrigerate any unused sauce in an airtight container for up to 1 week (7 days).

Stir-fry Ingredients

1-2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 lbs. top sirloin steak, cut 1/4 inch thick, and sliced into 1/4 inch sized pieces

2 large bell peppers, any color, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

3 or 4 green onions, sliced vertically, then horizontally into 1/2 inch slices

Melt oil in medium sized frying pan over medium heat

Add meat and cook for about 4-5 minutes, allowing some pink in meat before adding peppers

Next add peppers and stir until peppers are fragrant. Next add onions and stir for 1 minute

Next add sauce starting with 1/2 cup and add more if needed, stir in. Let cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Plate beef and peppers over your cooked rice of choice. We prepared and used a coconut rice.

Is It Okay To Reheat Cooked Rice?

Rice is a grass plant that is edible and is classified as a starchy cereal grain.

Roughly one-half of the world population, including virtually all of East and Southeast Asia, is wholly dependent upon rice as a staple food.

95 percent of the world’s rice crop is eaten by humans.

Rice is cooked by boiling, or it can be ground into a flour.

It is eaten alone and in a great variety of soups, side dishes, and main dishes in Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, among many other cuisines.

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Other products in which rice is used are breakfast cereals, noodles, and alcoholic beverages, such as, Japanese sake.

With so many different rice recipes, and so many consumers of rice, raises the question, “If there are leftovers, is it okay to reheat the cooked rice?”

That is a question you need to ask and deserve an answered to if you regularly consume rice.

Different Ways To Cook Rice

Reheating Rice Requires Extra Care

An unpleasant soil bacteria called Bacillus cereus lives on the surface of most rice plants.

Cooking can kill most of the bacteria but not all of their hardy spores.

The spores can sprout into life on cooked rice and release toxins that can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea if eaten.

The bacteria starts to multiply and release its toxins on cooked rice when the temperature is between 39 and 131 degrees Fahrenheit (4-55 degrees celsius).

Cooked rice can be unsafe to eat when the toxins are at critical level. Though the smell and appearance of the rice doesn’t change.

Say Good- bye To Soggy Rice

How To Cool and Reheat Cooked Rice Safely

If you know there will be leftovers, you will need to promptly cool the rice dish by storing it in the refrigerator that is set to less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees celsius).

The quicker you can get any uneaten rice into the fridge, the safer the leftover rice will be to reheat.

Asian Rice with Almonds

When you reheat the rice, make sure it is pipping hot.

Do not reheat rice more than once.

If you plan to eat the leftovers in two servings for example, and you plan to eat only one serving now, than reheat only that portion.

Your second portion should not be reheated if it has been 2 days ( 48 hours) in the fridge since the original cooking of it.

It should only be served cold, as bacteria levels are dangerous for reheating, which would trigger a surge in toxin production.

If rice is left in fridge for 3 days (72 hours), again the rice should only be eaten cold and not reheated.

If by day 3 the rice is not consumed, discard it.

Always remember that you do not need to cool cook food completely before putting it in the refrigerator, as modern appliances readjust quickly after an influx of heat.

There is greater risk from leaving food out at room temperature.

Information Source: The Science of Cooking – author Dr. Stuart Farrimond – First Edition 2017 – Is it okay to Reheat Cooked Rice? Pages 132 and 133.

Chicken and Pumpkin Orzotto

Chicken and Pumpkin Orzotto

Orzo pasta takes the place of Arborio rice in this quick and creamy chicken and pumpkin orzotto.

If your looking for a Risotto recipe, try our tasty Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese or the Bacon and Sweet Pea Risotto.

What Is Orzo

Orzo, also known as risoni, is a short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. It is traditionally made from white flour, but it can also be made of whole grain.

Whole Grain Orzo Pasta

In Italy, where orzo originates, is classified as pastina or “little pasta,” which is a category of small, shaped pastas.

Orzo is typically used in many Italian dishes, including soups, pasta salads, grain bowls, and other dishes where a petite pasta is needed.

Orzo can be made like rice with a two-to-one ratio of water to dried pasta and will offer a creamier texture. The best part? Your cooking time will be about half of what it takes to make a pot of white rice.

Chicken and Pumpkin Orzotto

Orzo is a fun, versatile pasta that can not only be served as a side dish in place of rice, but can also be prepared as a risotto dish.

Risotto is a dish that requires a specific type of rice — arborio — as well as plenty of patience and continual stirring to get the texture just right.

However, using orzo can be more forgiving and takes less time. Plus, the starch from the pasta will give a nice creamy texture to your meal.

1 pound chicken thighs, skinless, boneless, diced, seasoned with salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

6 tbsp butter unsalted, divided

1 small onion chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

2 cups orzo dry

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups cream

1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Stir 4 cups of the chicken broth with pumpkin puree in large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a bowl. Turn heat to low.

In a large skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of butter and melt. Next add diced chicken and cook until chicken is oblique. Remove chicken from pan and set aside in a small bowl.

In the same large skillet, add the olive oil, 4 tablespoons of butter and allow butter to melt, about 30 seconds.

Next, stir in the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion softens and the garlic becomes aromatic, about 2 minutes.

Add the orzo to the skillet and stir until orzo starts to toast lightly, about 2 minutes. This will give it a nutty flavor.

Add one cup of the broth mixture to orzo and stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding a half cup of the mixture at a time, stirring often between additions, until liquid is absorbed.

Cook until orzo is tender and mixture is creamy.

If orzotto is too thick, stir in an additional ½ cup broth until loosened but not soupy. 

Next stir in the Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Add the chicken and vegetables and mix until combined.

Plate and serve immediately.

Chicken and Pumpkin Orzotto

Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at most restaurants in Thailand.

Street Food Vendor – Thailand

The dish is typically prepared with rice noodles, chicken, beef or tofu, peanuts, a scrambled egg, and bean sprouts, among other vegetables.

The ingredients are sautéed together in a wok, which creates even heat distribution.

Once the dish is completed it is tossed in a pad thai sauce, which gives the dish its signature tangy salty flavor with a hint of sweetness.

The History of Pad Thai

Stir-fried rice noodles were introduced to Thailand from China centuries ago.

The original name of Pad Thai is Gway Teow Pad Thai.

Gway Teow means “rice noodles in Chinese” which suggests that there are some elements of China in the dish.

Rice Noodles

But the present name tells us all about the famous dish. ‘Pad’ means ‘fried’ and ‘Thai’, means Thai style.

It is believed that a similar dish was brought to the Ayutthaya kingdom by Chinese Traders in the 1700s.

The website Expique writes that Pad thai is a relatively recent addition to Thai cuisine, and traces its origins to a period of ultra-nationalism in Thailand in the wake of the 1932 revolution.

Pad thai was listed at number five on a list of “World’s 50 most delicious foods” readers’ poll compiled by CNN TRAVEL in 2017.

Tim Cheung journalist for CCN says of the 2017 poll, “Here’s a food Thai people can’t live without. Similar to Bulgogi, pad thai is packed with nutrients stirred into one glorious fried-noodle dish.

BULGOGI – KOREAN BBQ BEEF – #22 on CNN Travel

Tim says Pad Thai’s secret is in the sauce — tamarind paste. If anyone ever creates a Hall of Food Fame, that should be first on the list.”

Tamarind Paste

Shrimp Pad Thai

10-12 ounces dried flat rice noodles (1/4-inch wide; sometimes called pad Thai or banh pho)

1/2 pound cooked medium shrimp, shelled, deveined, tail on if desired (for looks)

Medium Shrimp

3 tbsp tamarind paste

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 tbsp chili sauce (recommended: Sriracha)

4 medium shallots, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

4-5 scallions, green and pale green parts, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/2 cup radicchio, chopped (or vegetables of choice, like kale or green and purple cabbage)

1 1/2 cups peanut oil

Lime wedges

In a small bowl add the tamarind paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, and chili sauce, sir until sugar has dissolved, set aside.

Add rice noodles to a large bowl and pour hot water over them, making all noodles are submerged in hot water.

Soak the rice noodles, according to the instructions on your package, until they are tender. Usually 4-5 minutes. When done, drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Next, heat a wok or frying pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil, then swirl to coat side of pan or wok.

Stir-fry scallions, garlic, and shallots until softened, about 1 minute.

Add noodles and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.

Next add crushed peanuts, radicchio, sliced green onions, tamarind sauce and simmer, turning noodles to coat with sauce evenly, about 2 minutes.

Plate noodles and top with cooked shrimp, and chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Coconut Green Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

There of 3 colors of curry, which are red, yellow and green.

The color of a curry dish is determined by the color of the chiles and other main ingredients or spices used.

Traditional red curry sauce uses dried red hot peppers.

Yellow curry gets it color from yellow curry, turmeric, fresh red peppers are used along with other dried spices.

Green curry gets its vibrant color from green jalapeños, with cilantro. Some cooks will even include fresh Basil and/or baby spinach.

Green Jalapeño and cilantro curry sauce

Other ingredients in Coconut Green Curry includes ginger, lime, and of course coconut milk. All which are traditional ingredients used in Asian food.

Green curry tends to be less spicy than its red counter part.

Texture wise though, curry sauces, no matter what the color, are creamy and slightly thick.

Green curry vegetable and meat on a white plate and silver fork

Curry Powder, A Traditional Asian Spice Mix?

Curry powder is actually a British culinary invention.

According to author Alan Davidson in his book – The Oxford Companion To Food, he writes,

“The curry spice sold commercially represents an attempt by the British manufactures to provide in ready-made form a spice mixture corresponding to those uses in South India.”

Read more about the curry invention HERE and try our (yellow curry) Coconut Basil Chicken Curry with Vegetables.

Coconut Basil Chicken Curry with Vegetables

The Spruce Eats also writes in respects to curry powder, saying that the spice powder is not an ingredient used in Indian cooking and doesn’t even represent any spice mixture typically found in a Southeast Asian kitchen.

Curry powder is a mix of cumin, coriander, and turmeric, which gives it its signature color.

Other common ingredients include black pepper, mustard, ginger, clove, cardamom, bay leaf, and fenugreek.

Curry powder doesn’t contain or include the curry leaf.

Curry Leaves Used In Authentic Indian Curries

Read more here about curry leaves and try some curry in an untraditional way: Curried Chicken With Dried Cherries

Coconut Green Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

16 ounces of boneless, skinless, chicken thighs

1 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk

½ cup chicken stock

3 tbsp. green curry paste

1 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. fish sauce

3 garlic gloves, minced

½ cup chopped Thai basil

3/4 cup mixed peas and carrots

Add coconut milk, chicken stock, green curry paste, sugar, fish sauce, basil, and garlic into a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Add sauce to a large frying pan over medium heat. Next, add chicken and cook 15 minutes more.

Next add the vegetables with lime juice and cook 5 more minutes.

Plate and serve. Top with basil or try something different, such as shredded root vegetables.

Orange Sauce Vegetable and Cashew Stir Fry with BBQ Sesame Ginger Chicken Thighs

The flavors of the orange and ginger complement each other in this vegetable stir-fry with orange sauce and BBQ sesame ginger chicken thighs.

Chicken thighs are a favorite cut of dark meat for those who love to cook, due to the thighs flavor and tenderness.

Because dark meat contains more tendons, chicken thighs are a tough cut, but because they contain more fat than white meat, they are more tender and juicy.

Read more here about chicken thighs here in our article: Cooking With Chicken Thighs

Preparing The Marinated Chicken Thighs

Marinate the thighs in sesame ginger sauce for about 30 minutes.


Read more here about marinating meat: What are the Benefits of Marinating Meat


Prepare your bbq grill and place thighs on the cool grill. Close lid and allow to cook on one side for about 10 minutes, than flip and cook another 6 minutes or so.

After flipping the thighs, by this time the grill will be hot.

After chicken is done, dip thighs in sauce and return to grill to cook about 2-3 minutes more on each side. The meat should have shinny glaze appearance.

Sprinkle thighs after second flip with sesame seeds. Remove from grill and place in pan with prepare vegetables, cashews and orange sauce.

Preparing The Orange Sauce Vegetable and Cashew Stir Fry

If you have a side burner, start cooking the orange sauce, vegetables and cashews in a large pan over a medium-high flame when chicken thighs are about three fourths way done.

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs marinated in sesame ginger sauce

Orange Sauce

1 cup of Orange Juice

1 tbsp White Vinegar

1 tbsp Sugar

1 tbsp Honey

¼ tsp Salt

½ tsp Dark Soy Sauce

3 pcs Shallot

1 tsp Minced Garlic

½ tsp Minced Ginger

1 tbsp Corn Starch

2 tbsp Barbeque Sauce

2 tsp Sukiyaki Sauce

2 tsp Orange Marmalade

Place all ingredients in a large pan over medium high heat.

1 16 ounce bag frozen vegetables, your choice

1/3 cup cashews

Add partially thawed vegetables to orange sauce and sauté. Do not over cook the vegetables.

Add cashews and stir in. Turn off heat and top stir-fry with bbq chicken thighs.

Plate and serve.

Ranch Steak with Maple Honey Mustard Sauce

Ranch Steak with fries

If you like a steak that is all meat and no fat, but you don’t want to pay the premiums attached to the Fillet and the Ribeye, then you found the right recipe.

Most of us have never heard of the ranch cut steak.

Most butchers and beef buffs claim the ranch steak is a great alternative to the more expensive cuts such as Sirloin Tip or the Flat Iron Steak.

The ranch cut steak comes from the shoulder area of the cow (Chuck), were the muscle is worked a little leading to it lacking the tenderness of some other cuts of beef.

But this cut of meat doesn’t lack in flavor.

A Ranch steak is trimmed of all excess fat, silver skin, and connective tissue so that it’s very lean.

It must also be free of the strip of gristle running through the middle.

Ranch Steak

You don’t need to worry about removing the fat, connective tissue or gristle, as the meat is bought already prepared for you.

The name Ranch Steak is simply a commercialized name for the Boneless Chuck Shoulder Center Cut steak, a name that is short and easier to remember.

Because it isn’t an easy cook tender cut like a Ribeye or a Sirloin, it shouldn’t be cooked past medium, unless of course you like a chewy steak that gives your jaw a good workout.

Ranch Steak with Maple Honey Mustard Sauce

2 – 4 ounce Ranch Steaks

1 tbsp. olive oil

Sauce

1 tbsp. Grainy Honey Mustard sauce

2 tbsp. Maple syrup

1 tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. fresh minced garlic

salt and black pepper

In a small bowl, combine first four ingredients, season with the salt and pepper to taste and whisk until well combined. Set aside.

Season the steaks with salt and freshly black pepper.

In a large skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat.

Add steaks and cook both sides about 3-4 minutes (medium cooked steak), cook longer for more doneness.

Remove from pan and let steaks rest.


Business Insider writes an article on 19 Facts All True Steak Lovers Should Know.

In respects to letting your steak rest, they write, “Let your steak rest for half the amount of time you cooked it. This will let the juices retract and stay inside the meat, not on the plate.”

Ranch Steak Resting

Letting a steak rest after grilling or pan frying it has nothing to do with it being tired.

Resting a steak has everything to do with wanting it to be as juicy as possible.

Cooking a steak causes the cells of the meat to release its juices as it heats up. As long as you do not cook the steak past medium-rare, the cells will not burst.

As the steak cools a little the cells will return to their shape and will reabsorb the juices back into the meat.


To same large skillet add maple mustard honey sauce and heat. Stir frequently until sauce thickens some. Remove from heat.

Cut steaks and plate. Pour sauce over steaks and serve with your favorite side dish.

We suggest you serve the ranch steaks with seasoned roasted carrots and potatoes.

Plate of potato and carrot fries

Cut two medium sized carrots and 1 medium potato into 1/4 inch thick fries. Mix with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Place fries onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle some turkey or chicken gravy over fries (about 1 – 2 tablespoons) and bake in a 425 degree pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn oven broiler on high. Place rack about 4-5 inches from broiler and place fries under broiler until they brown in some spots, about 1-2 minutes.

Plate steak and fries. Enjoy!!

Ranch Steak with  Maple Honey Mustard Sauce

Tortellini Primavera with Cajun Shrimp

Tortellini are ring-shaped pasta, sometimes also described as “navel shaped”, hence their alternative name – “belly button” (ombelico).

Originally from the Italian region of Emilia (in particular Bologna and Modena), they are usually stuffed with a mix of meat, which is pork loin, raw prosciutto, and Mortadella.

It also contains Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, egg and nutmeg.

The Origins of Tortellini

Legend claims that Venus and Zeus were weary after a day of worrying that they stared at a near by inn.

It is said that night the innkeeper went up to their room and peeked through the key hole to see the navel of Venus.

The site of seeing this leaves him spellbound – so much so that he immediately rushes to the kitchen and creates a pasta inspired by Venus’ navel…and so was born the Tortellini.

IS ALL OF THAT TRUE – you ask?

I don’t really know – But that’s what Barrilla (the pasta makers) write on their website – titled What Is The Origin Of Tortellini.

The Italian Tradition of Tortellini

In the land of pasta tortellini’s birth, the region near the Italian city of Bologna, they’re strictly served as broth-like dumplings.

Tortellini in Broth
Tortellini in Broth – Image Source: La Cucina Italiana

There in Bologna a tortellini has never been served as a Pasta Primavera and no less served with Cajun shrimp.

Cajun shrimp over pasta

Gianni degli Angeli is the president of the San Nicola Association, which has taken on the task of safeguarding the local region’s renowned culinary traditions.

He says the No. 1 symbol of the local gastronomic culture is the tortellino.

“In times of poverty and hardship, we ate tortellini only at Christmas, Easter and at weddings, because the filling is made of costly ingredients like prosciutto and parmesan cheese,” he says.

Tortellini are an integral part of family life in the Emilia region, says Massimo Bottura, chef and owner of a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Modena.

He says, “I grew up under the kitchen table escaping my older brothers at my grandmother’s, where flour fell on my feet”(source: NPR).

Cajun Shrimp

These spicy smoked cajun shrimp bring a lot of pizazz to the pasta dish.

Use as much or as little smoked Cajun pepper as you’d like, depending on your taste and those you cook for.

Jar  on plate with smoked Cajun  spice
Smoked Cajun Pepper Spice

The smoked Cajun pepper spice is a mix of:

• Smoked Paprika

• Black Pepper

• Chilli Flakes

• Dried Thyme

• Dried Oregano

• Garlic Powder

• Onion Powder

If the spice you are using for the shrimp is a Creole Cajun Seasoning, it would have all of the seasonings noted above, with the addition of dried parsley and basil.

Tortellini Primavera with Cajun Shrimp

1 package (20 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini

3/4 cup sweet peas, fresh or frozen

2 medium sized carrots cut into 1/4 inch circles

3 cups broccoli florets, stems removed

12-15 large shrimp, shell, head and guts remove

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp. smoked Cajun pepper spice

Sauce

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of heavy cream

1 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking in potted water, add 2 tablespoons of butter to a large skillet over medium heat, and let melt.

Next place shrimp over butter and sauté for about a minute then sprinkle Cajun spice over shrimp and continue to cook shrimp on both sides until pink.

Shrimp in  a frying pan

Remove skillet from heat and spoon shrimp onto a plate and set aside.

Next, wipe skillet clean and return to heat.

Add the 1/2 cup butter to warmed skillet and melt. Once butter is melted add the garlic, stir and cook until garlic is fragrant about 1 minute.

Next add heavy cream, cheese, and nutmeg and mix well.

Next add vegetables and stir in. Allow to warm about 2 or 3 minutes.

Next add pasta and mix in well.

Two options: mix shrimp with pasta and vegetables or plate pasta and top with shrimp.

Coconut Basil Chicken Curry with Vegetables

Coconut Chicken Curry with Vegetables

There is a variety of dishes or plated food that is prepared with curry originating in the Indian subcontinent.

Though curry dishes make up a significant part of India’s food culture, there is vastly more to Indian cuisine than curry.

Curry powder though is not used in India, as authentic curry dishes from India use the leaves of the curry tree, which is related to the citrus family.

Curry leaves of the curry tree

The powder is a blend of different spices which may or may not include curry leaves.

The spices usually include ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and fresh or dried chilies among others.

Bowl of curry powder on a wood deck

Who Invented The Curry Powder

If curry powder is not a spice mix in authentic Indian cuisine, who then coined the term curry powder?

The term curry powder was coined by the British according to the author of the book, “The Oxford Companion to Food.”

The Oxford Companion to Food

The author Alan Davidson writes, “the kind sold commercially represents an attempt by the British manufactures to provide in ready-made form a spice mixture corresponding to those uses in South India.”

You will not find a dish in India prepared with the spice mix called curry powder, but rather only with curry leaves.

In other parts of the world, when you here the word curry, it invokes an image of warm, spicy, delicious food. Such as our Coconut Basil Chicken Curry.

This dish is incredibly fragrant with coconut milk as its base.

After the curry is finished, you add fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, chopped cilantro and basil then stir in, and wait for the herbs aromatic fresh smells to get your taste buds going.

Lemon zest basil and cilantro over a pot of curry

Coconut Basil Chicken Curry with Vegetables

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper using more or less to your taste

kosher salt and black pepper

3 tablespoons sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil

2 zucchini or summer squash, diced

2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob

2-3 medium shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk

juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly torn

2 cups cooked basmati rice

toasted sesame seeds for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, curry powder, turmeric, cayenne, 1 tablespoon oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and brown all over, about 5 minutes.

Skillet of curry chicken

Next add the zucchini, corn, shallots, garlic, and ginger. Season with crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook the veggies another 5-10 minutes or until they just begin to soften.

Stir in the coconut milk and 1/3-1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, cook 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. If the sauce thickens too much, add additional water to thin.

Remove from the heat and stir in the zest, lemon juice, cilantro, and basil.

Serve along side or top over rice.

Coconut Basil Chicken Curry with Vegetables

Bacon and Spring Pea Risotto

Risotto is a dish that is creamy, scrumptious and filling.

The beauty of preparing risotto is that you can add just about anything you’d like.

You can use various types of vegetables, herbs, and meat. You can make with or without meat.

Risotto is a comfort food, as it is filling, and is a wonderful dish for leftovers.

Risotto can be a side dish (without meat) but it is also often consumed as a complete meal (when prepared with meat).


Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese


Unlike other rice that is left in a pot of water to boil, risotto rice requires constant attention to ensure a perfectly finished dish.

The rice is not to be pre-rinsed, boiled, or drained, as washing would remove much of the starch required for a creamy texture.

When Arborio rice is cooked slowly with stock (usually chicken or vegetable stock) it allows the amylopectin starch to be released.

As a result, the rice takes on a smooth, creamy texture.

A 1/3 cup of uncooked Arborio rice (used in preparing risotto) has about 166 calories.

Bacon and Spring Pea Risotto

4 pieces bacon

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 cups arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock, hot

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut bacon into small bite-sized pieces. Add to a large, deep, skillet and cook until crispy. Remove from pan to cool.

Drain most of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 Tbsp. in the pan. Add diced onions and cook on low heat until translucent.

Turn heat to medium and add uncooked rice to the pan. Stir to coat in bacon grease.

Add 1 cup hot chicken stock, reduce heat to low and stir while rice absorbs the liquid. Once it’s absorbed, add another 1 cup and repeat until all the liquid is gone and rice is tender.

This process should take about 20 minutes.

Next, add to tender rice frozen peas and carrots, lemon zest, cilantro and bacon. Mix in well.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.