Thai-rific!

Day 2 of my “weekend” started off as any other day in which I don’t have somewhere to be before 10 am – by sleeping in. And much like all the other times, I had every intent on getting up earlier than I did, but my bed was just too darn comfy. I will never be a morning person, it’s just not in my genetic make up.

I did get a little excited for breakfast though, knowing that I had a whole whack of wild blueberries and huckleberries awaiting my culinary skills.

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Okay, okay, so I didn’t exactly go wild and crazy here, but sometimes simplicity is best. Like taking the berries you foraged for and using them to top some eggy oatmeal.

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  • 1/2 cup oats, Silk True Almond, water
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cashew butter
  • wild blueberries & huckleberries

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With some sort of juice. Orangey, mango-y? I’m not really sure.

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A meal fit for the 4th of July. Too bad I was a day early.

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After breakfast I spent some time perusing my expansive collection of cookbooks, as I was trying to decide what to cook for dinner for myself and my cousins. I hummed and hawed over various cuisine options, still not sure what I wanted to make. So I went for a walk – I find I always come up with some solutions while I’m outside walking, alone with my thoughts. By the time I returned home, I knew it was going to be Thai food, and a quick look back through my favourite Asian cookbook helped me finalize my dishes.

I sweat it out with some Jillian Michaels, then made a 3 ingredient blog-world inspired lunch.

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“Baked” sweet potato (thank you “Potato” button on the microwave), topped with cottage cheese and salsa. And chives, only because I wanted to be fancy.

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I like that it looks gourmet, but involved minimal effort other than poking fork holes in the potato to avoid an unfortunate microwave disaster.

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Remind me again why I haven’t tried this combination? Because it was basically amazing. Yeah, the almond butter/sweet potato thing is good, but this was 10 times better. I may need to stock up on sweet potatoes. And cottage cheese and salsa. So easy, and so filling.

After a quick run to the grocery store for a couple of dinner items and a much needed shower, I set to work prepping dinner while munching on this black velvet apricot.

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What can I say, I’m a sucker for different looking fruit. Plus it has such a sexy name 😉 Wikipedia can tell you more about it here.

So on to dinner. My recipes came from the best Asian cookbook out there, The Essential Asian Cookbook.

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Which, as you can see by the sticker, I purchases many years ago for $14.99 on clearance. It has definitely been worth that and more. The book had been out of print for quite a few years, but I did notice that Chapters had a new edition out recently. I highly recommend picking up a copy if you can get it, especially if you like Asian cuisine. It is organized by country, has great photos, easy to follow instructions, and even gives you basic nutritional information for each recipe. The recipes do call for authentic ingredients, which may or may not be hard to find depending on where you live, but you can sub other things in, or even leave a few things out, and you’ll still get great results.

I decide to make two dishes, and tonight I’ll highlight one of them. Don’t worry – I have leftovers that I’ll be taking for lunch tomorrow, so you’ll get the second one then.

When I found half a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer, I knew I needed to make Fresh Spring Rolls.

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I’ve made these once before, and at the time I said I should make them again, but of course, I never have. Shame on me.

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Of course, I had to make some modifications, simply because I wanted to use things I had on hand instead of spending money on extra ingredients. Here’s what I used:

  • 16 shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
  • 100 g dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 8 dried rice paper wrappers
  • 16 fresh spicy basil leaves
  • 16 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

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It’s all quite simple to do.

  1. Soak the vermicelli noodles in the hot water for 10 min, then drain.
  2. Soak 1 rice paper wrapper in water until it is soft and pliable. Place on work surface and in the centre of the wrapper layer 2 shrimp, 2 basil and mint leaves, then carrots, lime zest, vermicelli, and drizzle with a little sweet chilli sauce.
  3. Fold the two short sides over the filling, pressing to compact the filling a bit. The roll up, and place seam side down on a plate. Keep covered with a damp paper towel while make the rest and until ready to serve.

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As you can see, I cut each of them in half before serving, as it makes them a little easier to eat. Plus then you can see the pretty fillings better. I served mine with a simple dipping sauce of water, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, red chilli flakes, and fresh mint, but a peanut sauce or more sweet chilli sauce would be great as well. Feel free to use other fillings as well – crab, avocado, cucumber, and other herbs would be great.

In theory, we should have eaten them as an appetizer, but we just waited until the whole meal was done. Here’s my plate, with the mystery second dish.

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I know, horrible plating job, right? I just wanted to eat and enjoy my company, so I didn’t really take the time to make it pretty and take nice photos for you. I hope you understand.

My cousin’s wife brought over dessert – mini angel food cakes, with fresh raspberries and blackberries, plus some whipped cream. We added some of my wild blueberries and huckleberries as well, and all sampled a black bean brownie just because.

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She may have gone a little wild with the whipped cream 😉

All in all, it was a great evening with family and good eats. I’m definitely looking forward to my leftovers tomorrow, which I get to take to work and make everyone jealous with. I secretly take pleasure in that, especially when people are amazed that I made them myself.

Come back tomorrow to see the second part of our Thai-rific dinner. I’m off to sleep, as I have waffle making plans for the morning. Night!

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Categories: Books/Cookbooks, Breakfast, Dessert, Dinner, Lunch, Recipe, Snack

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4 Comments on “Thai-rific!”

  1. July 4, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    everything you eat looks absolutely delicious! your spring rolls turned out really nicely, i’ve always wanted to try and make them myself but have been too intimidated by the rice paper and little asian veggies. i feel like i’ll inevitably screw them up!

  2. July 4, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    definitely my favorite sweet potato toppings ive seen to-date. i grew up eating a lot of white baked potatoes with the same topping.. sometimes switching up the cottage cheese with sour cream. i wish i knew about sweet potatoes at a younger age 😛

    leftovers are SO GOOD! u’ll definitely be enjoying urs 😛

    xoxo

  3. July 4, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    So that’s what huckleberries look like! I just received a sample copy of a berry cookbook, and several of the recipes call for huckleberries.
    Love the looks of that sweet potato!

  4. Amy
    July 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    Mmmmmmmmmm, give me some pasta topped with cottage cheese and salsa and I’m a happy girl, despite my love for tomato sauce =)

    I’ve never tried the combination on a sweet potato, but I think I know what’s for lunch tomorrow! Amazing pictures, as always.

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