There really is paradise on Earth and it is in the Maldives.
This little island nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean is a true geological wonder. With is breathtaking clear waters, unbelievable reefs and sea life, powder white sand beaches and lush tropical groves – what the Maldives offers to visitors is unparalleled.
These are the gorgeous gifts I get in my weekly fall organic veggie box from my farmer at my local CSA.
Here is an unexpectedly simple way of cooking scallions, which is super delicious and really healthy.
Pansit is a delicious Filipino rice noodle dish that I learned from my friend Rob Aguilla’s mother – who always made the most amazing Filipino food. This is a really healthy recipe with tons of vegetables and meats in it. You can easily skip the meats to make this dish vegetarian altogether. I love to top my Pansit off with crushed peanuts and some cayenne pepper.
2 Tbs. oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 cups thin asian rice noodles ( wash noodles and set aside)
1⁄2 cup sliced onion
6 medium shrimps, peeled in halves length wise
1⁄2 c chicken meat diced
1⁄2 c ham cut in strip
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1⁄2 c shrimp juice
1 c green cabbage shredded
1⁄2 c string beans (julienne cut)
1⁄2 c carrot (julienne cut)
1-2 stalks celery (diagonally diced)
1 Tbs. finely cut green onion
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste
1 lemon (sliced) for garnish
- Heat wok.
- Add oil and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.
- Add chicken and shrimp.
- Toss to mix to precook chicken and shrimp.
- Add soy sauce, string beans, carrots, diced celery and green cabbage.
- Add salt, pepper and soy sauce to taste.
- Remove meat and veggie’s and put them in big bowl.
- Set aside. Keep warm. Retain sauce in the wok.
- Add one cup of stock to the sauce.
- Let it boil, then drop the washed rice noodles.
- Toss and let noodles cook with the sauce.
- After the noodles are cooked (don’t overcook the noodles) put back the veggie’s and mixture and
- Toss the rice noodles with the veggies and mixture.
- Serve warm.
- Sprinkle with finely cut green scallion, peanuts and garnish with slices of lemon.
Ground Chicken with Basil is one of my all time favorite Thai dishes. I love it extra spicy!!!! I could not believe how easy it was when Aunty Pen showed me how to make it in Thailand. You can put any kind of vegetables you like in the chicken with basil. She used bamboo shoots….I used onions and green beans when I made it! Both taste great. Here is the recipe I learned.
Chicken with Basil
4 chilies peppers ( red, yellow, green – the slightly bigger ones that are less spicy)
10 cloves of garlic
2-3 sliced Thai chilies (optional – depending on how spicy you want to make it)
1 pound of ground chicken
1 sliced onion
1 cup green beans/ any veggie you choose
2 teaspoons of fish sauce
1 onion sliced thin
½ teaspoon dark soya sauce
1-teaspoon palm sugar
1-cup Thai basil
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil.
- Add the garlic and chillis combined together.
- Fry it well for about 4-5 minutes till fragrant.
- Add the ground chicken and stir.
- Add 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.
- When the chicken is almost cooked, add sliced onions, green beans and Thai chilies.
- Stir it well and add ½ teaspoon of dark soya sauce and 1 teaspoon of palm sugar.
- Add the basil and mix it in very well till the basil leaves just wilt.
- Remove from fire and serve hot with jasmine rice.
Aunty Pen's Basil Chicken with Bamboo Shoots
Yogurt is largely an everyday part of the Indian diet. It is still mostly homemade and eaten plain or in many forms of “raita” which is a kind of yogurt salad. Raita can be eaten with a variety of Indian foods but goes especially well with flavored rice & roti (bread) dishes such as Biryani, Pulav and stuffed parathas.
Here is a simple spinach raita that I make often. You can use either fresh chopped spinach (slighly blanched) for this or you could use frozen chopped spinach, thawed (I don’t usually blanch the frozen spinach but you can if you would like to). Make sure that the spinach is not too mushy if you are cooking it.
1 cup chopped spinach, fresh or frozen (all moisture squeezed out)
2-3 plum tomatoes chopped or 10 grape tomatoes chopped
1/2 an onion finely chopped
2 cups yogurt & 1/2 cup milk whisked together
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon rock salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder (optional)
cayenne pepper (optional)
- Whisk the yogurt and milk together till smooth.
- Add salt to taste and mix well.
- Add the spinach,onions and tomatoes in and mix it well.
- Garnish with rock salt, roasted cumin and cayenne pepper.