Day 39 – Recipe: Vietnamese Lemongrass Curry (vegan, gluten-free and soy-free!)

Image

I have no idea why I decided to make this today. I had a million things to do and I knew this was probably going to take awhile – but I had (almost) all of the ingredients on hand and I just couldn’t think of anything else to make so I made it. And I’m glad I did because it turned out really really good.

I saw this recipe for Chicken Lemongrass Curry on seriouseats.com the other day and figured I would try and make it with vegetables. I had a sweet potato, some yukon gold potatoes, and a zucchini laying around so that’s what I ended up using, but you could use pretty much any vegetables that are good with curry and they would work (i.e. carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas). I didn’t really change much from the original recipe so I can’t really take credit for this, but this is what I did. Oh and it took a little over an hour.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Curry

  • 3 to 4 hefty lemongrass stalks, outside layer removed, trimmed and chopped (about 2/3 cup total)
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T Madras Curry Powder (I didn’t have Madras so I just used regular curry powder)
  • 1 Thai red chili, thinly sliced (or 1/2 tsp red chili flakes)
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • One 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 large yam or sweet potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1 lbs yukon gold potatoes (I used about 5 small), cut into small cubes
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4″ half moons
  • lime wedges for garnish
  • cilantro leaves or green onions for garnish

Toss the chopped lemongrass into a food processor. Process until it turns into a “fine, fluffy mass,” scraping the sides with a spatula occasionally, about three minutes. Add the ginger, and pulse until it is chopped finely. Then add the onion. Process, scraping the sides with a spatula occasionally, until it is a paste.

Pour the oil into a wok or large saucepan set over medium heat. When shimmering, add the lemongrass paste. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until very fragrant, about two minutes. Add the curry powder and red chili flakes, stir well, and cook for a minute. Add the salt, pepper, and coconut milk. Stir well with the wooden spoon, and then add chopped yam and potatoes. If the liquid does not cover the potatoes add a little bit of water to do so (I added about 1/2 cup). Once liquid starts to boil, reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer. Simmer covered, for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add the zucchini, stir well, and turn heat up again to bring to a strong simmer. Then reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer, and cook, covered, until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.

Serve hot with the lime wedges, cilantro/green onions, and quinoa or brown rice. Serves 4

 

Don’t leave out the lime wedges, they add a lot of flavor!

Whatever vegetables you decide to use, you will need about 2 lbs total.

I didn’t include this in the recipe but I threw in some broccoli and cauliflower stems into mine at the end (at the same time as the zucchini) for an added crunch. Yum!

 

 

Day 18 – Fresh Mint

Image

Woo-Hoo it’s Friday! For dinner tonight we went to a Vietnamese style vegetarian restaurant in Scottsdale called Fresh Mint. I thought I knew of all the vegan restaurants in the Phoenix area but I’d never heard of this place before – my dad had seen an article in the newspaper about it a few days ago and told me to check it out, so we did.

In looking at the menu online, I noticed most of the dishes featured either tofu or some kind of soy meat (both of which I’m trying to avoid), but I figured if I had a little bit of soy today it wasn’t going to kill me.

For our appetizer we ordered the Fresh Cucumber Rolls. For some reason we didn’t read the description correctly and both thought it was going to be a fresh roll rolled in rice paper. To my pleasant surprise it was rolled in cucumber slices.

Image

It was absolutely delicious. Gave me a good idea too, I’m going to attempt to copy this somehow at home, without the tofu though. Inside were fried tofu strips, marinated daikon, carrot and fresh mint. So yummy!

For my dinner, I ordered the Mushroom Wonder, it was the only entree that didn’t have some kind of soy meat in it. It was delicious though, reminded me of the black mushroom dish I usually get at Chinese restaurants. It came with steamed veggies and a giant pile of brown rice.

Image

My boyfriend ordered the Fresh Lemongrass Tofu, I tried a bite of it and it was excellent. He really liked it too and kept saying that it almost tasted like sweet and sour fish.

Image

Yum! The place was a little pricey for what it was, but we didn’t leave disappointed. I’d definitely go back.