For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I got to take a mini trip around the world with Tara’s Multicultural Table. Tara actually has a similar background to me, including Filipino, Japanese, German, and the Southern United States. Her passion for different cultures through food is apparent through her delicious blog. Looking through her recipe index was painful — there were so many things that I wanted to make, how could I choose between Northern Thai Curry, Mango Cinnamon Basil Smoothie, Afghani Kebab with Gravy, Macarons with Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling, Yaki Udon, Cong You Bing (Scallion Pancakes), or Sichuan Wontons in Chili Sauce.
My decision was made instantly easier when I spotted her recipe for Curried Vegetable Noodles.
One of our favorite dishes to get when we order takeout or visit the local dim sum restaurant is Singaporean Curry Noodles. It has the perfect level of spiciness (flavor, not heat) and the little nuggets of meat and vegetables break up the monotony of the noodles. I was a bit lazy and used some stir fry vegetables and packaged sauce from Trader Joe’s, but I counter-acted that laziness by topping the noodles with some home-grown Thai Basil.
To make it closer to the takeout version, throw some chicken, pork, or shrimp in with the noodles. Or, as my fiancé suggested, the addition of some egg would add a nice amount of protein.
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These energy bites are super easy to whip up and are ready in about five minutes. I always have oats on hand and whenever I’m in the mood for something sweet but not too bad for you, we make these tasty “balls”.
The flax seed adds a great roasty toasty flavor, especially if you grind your own from flax seeds. If you don’t have peanut butter, you can substitute it with any other nut butter. Sometimes I like to throw in a tablespoon or two of spiced speculoos cookie butter too. Because I can’t leave anything *too* healthy.
Spinach artichoke dip is one of the things that I sometimes indulge myself in when I eat out at restaurants. It always seemed a mystery how the dip would be perfectly gooey, cheesy, and warm. I’m not going to lie, I have rushed into a dish of dip too early a few times and burned the roof of my mouth.
So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that not only was spinach and artichoke dip easy to make, but it’s also easy to make healthier. I’m not going to say that this is healthy because it is spinach and artichoke dip. I’m also not going to say that I have devoured a big dish of only this for dinner, because that would be crazy, right?
I crafted this recipe from one that I saw on Washingtonian and have served it fresh on Super Bowl Sunday, used it as a spread on a sandwich, and re-heated it for a side for normal weekday dinners. It’s easy to customize to add more or less moisture and flavor, so mix it up to your liking! Serve with chips, crackers, or pretzels (trust me, they’re all good).
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired up with Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories. It was incredibly hard to decide what to pick from her wonderful assortment of recipes. I had “narrowed” it down to sixteen finalists and had to tap my fiance to help decide.
Karen has some beautiful bread recipes, including Danish Apricot Braid, Demerara Sugar & Honey Challah, Gruyere Cheese Bread, Hokkaido Milk Bread, Kimmelweck Rolls, and Whole Wheat Challah. I have never made bread before (unless you count banana bread or zucchini bread!), so I was excited to try one of her recipes, but in the end I chickened out.
I wanted something pretty easy and quick since I wanted to make the recipe as soon as possible when SRC buddies were announced. We had just put an accepted offer on our first home and the thought of packing and baking at the same time was overwhelming. Plus, we recently discovered a Lao/Thai restaurant nearby that makes amazing salads and thought this might be a close re-creation.
If you have a food processor, this salad is easy peasy. If not, you might want to buy pre-shredded ingredients. I like the color that the purple cabbage adds, but it is noticeably tougher in texture than the green cabbage. In the future, I’d use 3/4 green and 1/4 purple cabbage, or all green cabbage.
I made extra dressing because that’s the best part. I plan to have it tomorrow with some spinach, broccoli/carrot slaw, and baked tofu.
Checkout the other recipes in this month’s Secret Recipe Club round-up, or head over to Karen’s Kitchen Stories and check out other amazing recipes such as Spicy Parmesan & Herb Grissini, Biscoff Cheesecake (!!), Boca Negra Cake, Boston Cream Pie (my all time favorite dessert), Chocolate Hazelnut Madeleines, Ovaltine Macarons, Asian Take-Out Style Spareribs, General Tso’s Chicken, and Mini Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme.
For some reason I don’t make too many soups. Something about them just seems daunting. This soup is fast, easy, and healthy. The best part is that it only uses one pot and one blender (or food processor). If you have an immersion blender, then this is truly a one-pot meal.
I’ve made this soup several times in the past month and it’s easy to customize. It’s also pretty cheap to make, especially if you stretch it by adding some rice or quinoa to it. I’ve also added frozen corn and peas to it to add some more nutritional value. As it is, it’s under 500 calories per warm, hearty, bowl.
The version pictured here has vegan chorizo in it instead of dried chorizo, and is topped with some chopped gouda and sesame seeds.