Eating all the colours of the rainbow can be seen as difficult during the winter season. Truthfully, you just need to look beyond the usual suspects. Eating and drinking many colours is so easy compared to following a menu plan or diet. Most colours are in the fruit and vegetable family, but whole grains and legumes are a great starting point that will help the healing begin. Eating from the rainbow fills your body with rich antioxidants, healthy fibre and much needed vitamins in gloomy January.
Spicing your meals up with a trip to the local Asian grocery may be in order. This week we had to restock many of our ingredients from a very busy season. Vegetables like nappa cabbage, snake beans, baby Shanghai bok choy, yams, Chinese eggplant and carrots are all friends in a hot wok kissed with sesame oil.
The perfume of Thai cooking in the kitchen evokes excitement for the meal ahead. This Thai chicken recipe brings forward flavour and textures not found on a meat-and-potato plate. The sauce itself can also be used for seafood, or fish with rice. Kaffir may be an ingredient you may not be familiar with but you will enjoy its lemon-lime scent and flavour. If you can’t find it, lime zest will be fine. Black mushrooms are available at the Asian grocer; thread-like black mushrooms are best. You can pre-soak in warm water and drain the water before you add to the sauce.
Thai Curried Chicken Breast
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red curry paste
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup black mushrooms soaked
3 kafir lime leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
6 cherry tomatoes 1/2’d
9 chicken breasts, bone in
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
Brown in skillet, both sides, and place in casserole pan for baking;
Heat oil in pot, add curry paste, tomato paste, and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes;
Add coconut milk, broth, mushrooms, lime leaves, fish sauce and brown sugar;
Simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat;
Once chicken breasts are seared, place in baking pan and pour half the sauce over the chicken. Bake in oven for around 35 minutes on 350 F;
Once chicken is cooked through, remove chicken and skim fat off the sauce and place in pot to reduce sauce on medium-high heat to attain sauce consistency, which would coat the back of a spoon;
Place cherry tomato in just before serving.
Jump Fried Asian Vegetables
3 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 red onion
10 Shanghai baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
12 snake beans, blanched
1/2 julienne of red pepper
1 med. carrot cut into sticks
1/4 cup of cashews
Pinch of chili flakes
1 thumb of ginger
In very hot pan, pour in sesame oil, red onion and sauté;
Allow the heat to return to the pan, add the other vegetables, omitting the carrots and peppers;
Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the carrots and peppers, ginger and chili.