Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sriracha Lime Stir-Fry Sauce (with Tofu)

God, is there any foodstuff more perfect than Sriracha sauce? No. No there is not. 

I've been messing around with stir-fry recipes that rely on Sriracha for their flavor. I finished one today and I'm simply calling it Sriracha Lime Stirfry Sauce. Below you'll see most of the basic ingredients behind a lot of Thai-inspired recipes I'be been researching.


I've tried a lot of them this past week and came to the conclusion most people blogging about Thai food in English are 1) have some crazy access to foods I do not have, 2) have really weird ideas of what tastes good, and 3) apparently have unlimited time and money on their hands. No. This will not do.

This recipe is stupid easy. And I'm going to show you how to make it even stupid easier. You'll need a jar.

Sriracha Lime Stirfry Sauce

- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice (the bottled stuff is fine)
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 (OR MORE) tablespoons of Sriracha sauce

Got it? Great. Dump it all in your jar and shake that shit up. 

Now, you need tofu. Extra-firm is always best for stir-fry. Regular firmness is not firm enough to withstand the trials of being stirred. Cut the tofu into pieces. I recommend little triangles but don't be afraid to go fucking nuts and use cubes. Or rectangles. Or pentagons. See if I care how you waste your time with this endeavor. 

Ok, now before dumping the sauce in, saute the tofu in a little sesame oil (or any oil will do). Just enough so it gets a bit crisp around the edges.

Then dump the sauce in, like so:

When you are done, plate it and the extra sauce over some rice (or quinoa if you're paying attention). 

You could always make a lot of this sauce and keep it in that jar and put it in your fridge. I imagine it'll keep for about at least a week or so.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Instant Berry Sorbet (No Ice Cream Maker Required)

Most people don't own an ice cream maker. Most people don't need an ice cream maker.  Most people don't need ice cream. What they need is some sorbet.

Sorbet is a good way to incorporate high-fiber fruit into your diet, especially berries. Unless you are picking your own, frozen berries are the way to go. "Fresh" berries that sit on the shelf off-season are nutritional garbage and a huge waste of money. Meanwhile, frozen berries are frozen hours after being picked and thus lose very little of their nutrient content. Lots of antioxidants and lots of fiber. And more importantly, they're cheaper. For less than $2, I can buy a 12 oz. bag of blackberries. I think a fresh half-pint of blackberries costs something ridiculous like $5. Rich people are crazy.

Ok, so to make blackberry sorbet (or strawberry sorbet or blueberry sorbet or OMG MIXEDBERRY SORBET), you need the following:

Berry Sorbet
12oz bag of frozen berries
1/2 cup of greek (or whatever you prefer) yogurt
1/4 - 1/2 cup sweetener (Sugar, Honey, Agave Syrup, Splenda, Stevia, whatever)
1/4 cup hot water

Dump the hot water, yogurt and sweetener into your food processor or blender. Blend until well processed. Then add the berries. Pulse blend. Not too much, or you'll have a smoothie. Which I know is totally the worst thing ever.

You're done when it looks like sorbet.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Whipped Coconut Cream

Whipped cream is delicious. It's pretty easy to buy the crap in the can, but at $2 for what amounts to like maybe a cup of actual product, it's not cost-effective (at least not the way I eat whipped cream because come on, that shit is ambrosia). So you want to make it at home to get the bigger bang for your buck (and avoid whatever preservatives and stabilizer crap they put in there).Traditional whipped heavy cream, however, sucks because 1) no one ever just has  a carton of heavy cream just sitting around and 2) it's dairy and sometimes dairy just doesn't sit right with some people. 

So what about whipped cream you can make with a 99-cent can of coconut milk? Oh yeah. Possible.

So next time you go grocery shopping, stick a can or two of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge. Forget about them.

Then when you want whipped cream, you can say, "Oh yeah! I have coconut milk in the fridge. Hellz yeah. Good job, self. Way to listen to Holly. She's so smart and nice and full of good ideas."

So for this recipe you need a can of coconut milk and your choice of sweetener. Today I'm using honey, but you could just as easily swap it out for sugar. Note: though this is plant-based, this stuff is not low-fat. Coconut cream is still cream. 

Whipped Coconut Cream

1 can of chilled coconut milk (hugely important this be chilled because science)
2 tablespoons of honey (or sugar)

The first step is to separate the cream from the water. To do this, just open the can and drain out the liquid into a separate container. You can drink that stuff. Let me tell you: it tastes exactly like coconut water. 

So what remains now is the cream. As you can see, it's thick, fatty, fatty stuff. 

So then we whip it and the honey on your mixer's highest setting for about 10 minutes. If I had a fancy-ass stand mixer, I could leave this sit and go do something more important, but since I don't, I stood there and read about the effect of porn consumption on men on my phone. Oh your mother didn't read about porn while she was cooking for you growing up? THAT'S BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE SMART PHONES BACK THEN.

Eventually it'll whip into whipped cream. You should know what whipped cream looks like but if you don't, here's a weirdly angelic shot of what it looks like sitting with its majestic halo atop some blackerry sorbet.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Frozen Greek Yogurt

So frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt is sort of healthy. Kinda? I mean, it's better than eating a pint of heavy cream and egg yolks, sure, but it's still not really doing anything for you. A normal 1/2 cup serving of Pinkberry with no toppings weighs in at about 120 calories--virtually all of it carbohydrates that your body can't really distinguish from sugar anyway. And there's almost nothing in it nutritionally except a smidge of calcium. And me being the white-trash wunderkin, I can't understand how people throw away $5 on fancy coffee drinks let alone this shit. At least coffee is a drug.

And as my friends like telling  me, I am known for saying, "Hey, I can make that better at home" a lot. I'm kind of a dick about it. Mostly because I hate when people throw money away on stupid things but also because I can make that at home. Cheaper. And better for you.

How am I going to do it? Chobani. We're basically just going to take a container of Chobani and dump the entire thing into my ice cream maker. (Ok, you know how I said earlier this week I don't own any fancy kitchen crap? I lied. I have an ice cream maker. I have this one, specifically. It's pretty awesome because I make this recipe a lot. Maybe once a day in the summer time.)

Frozen Greek Yogurt

32 oz container of plain Greek Yogurt (fat-free or low-fat, doesn't matter)
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
1 tbs. vanilla extract (optional)

If you're using my ice cream maker, you just place the frozen ice cream chamber (what the hell is it called?) into your ice cream maker, dump the yogurt and other crap in and let it transmogrify. It'll look like this after about 20 minutes.

Then you can put stuff in it. Any stuff. Here I put in some stewed blackberries. Nom.

No fat and a cup of this stuff weighs in at maybe 200 calories and 24 grams of protein (OR HALF OF MY RECOMMENDED PROTEIN ALLOWANCE NEED FOR THE DAY, PEOPLE. FUCKING VEGETARIAN POWERHOUSE, HERE.)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Holly's Secret Almond Milk Red Curry

Curry is delicious. But as traditionally prepared with coconut milk, it's super fatty. How can you get all the tastiness of curry without the fat? You wanna know the first secret of this post? Do you? 

Unsweetened almond milk. 

At about 40 calories a cup, 3 cups of almond milk weighs in at 120 calories and 9 grams of fat compared to the 63 grams of fat contained in a can of coconut milk. And, actually, compared to coconut milk, ounce for ounce, it's a lot cheaper.

So that's the first secret. 

The second secret has less to do with secret ingredients than my secret for preparing a ridiculous amount of vegetables that can be thrown quickly into the prepared curry. It's not really a secret so much as no one ever seems to fully realize the potential of stackable bamboo steamers. These things are golden for those of you who need to prepare lots of vegetables for lunches over the week. Works like a dream on frozen or fresh, so get out those bags of frozen broccoli. Cut up that sweet potato. Whatever you got? Steam it. Let's go, bitches. Let's do this.

Almond Milk Red Curry

3 Cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 Cup water
3 tbs. Red Curry Paste
1 tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. Cumin (optional)
1/4 tsp. Coriander (optional)
Sriracha sauce (Do what your body tells you to do with this one)

Bring the milk and the water to a boil. Stir in the curry paste, sugar and the spices until blended smooth. Simmer to reduce to a thickness you prefer. 


My suggested veggie combo here is wilted spinach (one lb. package), sweet potato (2 small), carrot (about 5) and tofu cubes (one package).  Wilting spinach is stupid easy so I'm going to not going to waste your sweet-ass time describing it here. But to use the bamboo steamers, simply chop up the sweet potatoes and carrots into chunks and arrange in your steamer shelves. Place baskets over boiling water (a wok or stockpot work equally well) until the veggies are tender. How do you tell if they're tender? Stick a fork in a veggie. It should be soft. That's what tender means. 

Veggies ready? Ok, dump all that crap into the curry and mix it up. It's going to make an insane amount. Probably at least 3 or 4 normal human servings. I don't know how to tell you what normal people eat. 

I threw some leftover cooked quinoa in here, too. It's a good recipe for throwing crap like that in. I hear normal people eat curry over rice. You could try that. I like eating curry over more curry though. 

Sriracha Hummus (light)

When I donate blood, at least a fourth of it is extra virgin sriracha. Obviously, I'm going to make sriracha hummus. I make sriracha everything.

For this recipe, you will need 3 cups of garbanzo beans (see here for my suggestion about using dried beans over canned). Then most of the usual hummus suspects. Sriracha (duh). Aaaand the secret to it being light? Greek yogurt.

So before we get started let me tell you that hummus is not low fat. Much of its fat comes from the tahini and olive oil. For my recipe we are going to swap out about half the lipids in favor of fat-free Greek yogurt (we're talking about cutting out 28 grams of fat or about 250 calories). I don't miss it and I've forced others to eat this and no one has ever noticed.

Sriracha Hummus
(Modified from here)

3 cups chickpeas
2-4 tbsp. Sriracha sauce (I would use ten but I'm superhuman)
1-2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tbsp. Peanut butter
2 tbsp. Greek yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. Minced garlic
1/2 tsp. Cumin
Sea salt to taste

Again, puree this all until it looks like you pureed a bunch of crap. Then if you're like me, serve half of it to others and reserve the other half to put more sriracha in because your friends are weak.