Simple Green Chicken Curry

Thai_Green_Curry_2

Not too long ago I went to a Thai restaurant and ordered a curry for the first time. I was never too big of a fan of coconut milk in the past so I would never order the curries. But, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and I’m so happy I did. Ever since then, I have been obsessed with Thai curries and have been constantly making them because they are so simple to make, so fully packed with flavour, and are perfect for leftovers & reheating!

This is a recipe where you can definitely replace the protein with Tofu for the dish to become fully vegan, and it’ll still hold all of the flavour! I’ll fully disclose that this is not an authentic recipe, but merely my interpretation of the curries I have had at restaurants with my personal twists!

When it comes to the Thai curries, red is the most spicy, yellow is the most mild, and green is great middle ground so it quickly became my favourite. I get my curry paste in Chinatown because you can usually huge jar for a fraction of what you pay for at general grocery stores. However, if you want the recipe to be vegan, definitely read the ingredients in the curry paste because shrimp paste is usually a main ingredient. If it isn’t in the ingredient list for the paste, you’re in the clear!

This is the one I used:

Green_Curry_Paste

The vegetables you add in can be according to your preference. I added in my favourites. Adding in mushrooms would work really well too!


INGREDIENTS & COSTS for 2 generous servings:

1 Chicken Breasts($2.33)
1 Tsp Corn Starch ($0.01)
1/2 Medium sized onion ($0.10)
2 garlic cloves ($0.04)
2 Tsp Ginger ($0.02)
2 1/2 Tbs Green Curry Paste ($0.09)
2 Bay leaves ($0.04)
3 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.15)
1 Carrot ($0.16)
3/4 cup chopped Broccoli ($0.38)
1/2 Bell Pepper (I used both orange and green) ($0.52)
1/2 can Coconut Milk ($0.49)
1/2 a Chicken Bouillon cube dissolved in 1 1/2 cup of hot water ($0.09)
Fresh Basil (Thai Basil if you can find it!) to garnish ($0.25)
Cilantro to Garnish ($0.08)
1 Thai Chili (optional) ($0.05)

Takes 30 minutes

Total Cost = $4.80!*

Compared to the $16-$20 at restaurants! EACH! So double that number.

*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


DIRECTIONS

Prepare your vegetables:

Mince the ginger, garlic, onions, and optional Thai Chili. Then slice your peppers, carrots, broccoli, basil, cilantro, and any other veggies you want to add to your curry!

Green_Curry_Chicken_Vegetables

Next, cut up your chicken. I chose to cube it, but in the end I think maybe slicing the chicken might have made it a better consistency. Oh well, if you don’t learn from your own recipes you’re doing it wrong amirite? I then dusted some corn starch on the chicken just to have a bit of crispiness on the meat. If you choose to swap in some firm tofu it would be perfectly fine and dusting it with some corn starch would help with an outer crunch as well!

Thai_Curry_Chicken - Chicken

Once everything is ready to go in, put a pot or wok on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the canola oil once the pan is hot to avoid sticking, and once it’s hot throw in your garlic, ginger, onions, and (completely optional!) Thai chili.

Thai_Green_Curry_Chicken_onions

Once it starts to get a bit golden, throw in the green curry paste. Make sure to stir quickly as it may stick to the bottom of the pan. If it does a bit too much, just lower the heat!

Thai_Green_Curry_Paste

After the curry paste gets infused with the onions and garlic, add in your choice of protein and the bay leafs. Stir until the chicken looks crispy and well cooked through.

Thai_Green_Curry_Chicken

Almost done! Now pour in your coconut milk and hot chicken broth. Note! That not all coconut milks are made equal. Some are thicker than others and it can change the consistency of your curry. The can I bought was fairly thick so I used a bit less than half the can. I also just always use bouillon cubes instead of boxed chicken broth – it’s cheaper and lighter to carry from the grocery store so it works for me! Let the coconut milk and broth boil for about 5 minutes to get the curry to thicken.

Green_Curry_Chicken_Coconut_milk

If you feel like there isn’t enough liquid in your curry, just add water, the taste won’t change much since most of it comes from the curry paste. Once it thickens, add in the rest of your vegetables and stir for about 3 minutes for them to soften.

Thai_Green_Chicken_Curry

Finally, turn off the heat and throw in your basil & cilantro. Stir it in and you should immediately smell the difference in your curry.

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And voila you’re done making a delicious and simple green curry! Serve warm with some jasmine rice.

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Thai_Green_Curry_Bowl_4Thai_Green_Curry_Rice_2

INGREDIENT COSTS

I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store


Pack of 4 Chicken Breasts – $9.33
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
1 Orange Bell Pepper ($1.02)
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
75 g Red Hot Thai Chili Peppers ($3.99)
1 Broccoli crown ($0.99)
1 bunch of Cilantro ($2.49)
3 Lbs of Yellow onions ($2.00)
400 g Mae Ploy Thai Green Curry Paste ($2.49) – $0.62/100g
3 Lbs Carrots – $2.00
1 can of Coconut Milk – $0.99
900ml Chicken Broth – $1.49
Aurora Chicken Bouillon Mix – $1.19
20 g of Dried Bay Leaves – $4.49

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Spicy & Sour Shredded Potato Stir Fry

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My family and I immigrated to Canada when I was 6 years old. Up until that point I grew up in the Northwestern region of China where a beautiful blend of Chinese and Middle Eastern flavours came together at the end of the silk road. The food I grew up with is still what influences my tastes today. Asian-Fusion is definitely my favourite type of cuisine (if that’s even really considered a type of cuisine).

One of my favourite stir fries I used to eat in the restaurants in China was an incredibly easy and flavourful dish which incorporated shredded white potatoes to have a spicy and sour taste with a hint of Szechuan peppercorn. It’s usually served as a second stir fry to accompany a protein based stir fry at restaurants, but even by itself it’s pretty delicious!

There are many different ways to make this dish as it’s one of the most common dishes in that region on China. Some people cook it with only rice wine vinegar, some add in MSG, and some versions are very red after adding in chili oils & pastes. This is just my version using simple ingredients the majority of people have access to and have the dish mirror the original the best that I can remember!

Here’s everything you need

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium-sized White Potatoes ($1.30)
  • 1 Long Hot Green Pepper ($0.34)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic ($0.04)
  • 1 Scallion ($0.09)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Rice Vinegar or Black Chinese Vinegar ($0.27)
  • 1 Tsp Light Soya Sauce ($0.02)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt ($0.03)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.075)
  • 1/4 cup water or Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Tsp Szechuan Peppercorn (optional)
  • Takes 20 min,
    serves 2.

    Total Cost = $2.16!*

    Compared to the $7-9 at restaurants!

    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    The first thing you’ll want to do is peel & julienne the white potatoes. I find that the best way to julienne the potato is to cut it in half along the longer side and make thin slices.

    Shredded-potatos-toudou-si.jpg

    Shredded-potato-stirfry.jpg

    Once it’s sliced, take the slices and stack them up then cut small slivers so you have thin long strips of potato. After you’ve julienne the potatoes, put them in a large bowl and rinse them about 3 times (enough to get all the starch out). This allows the “potato-y” taste of the starch to not overpower your stir fry. After you’ve rinsed the pulp out, fill the bowl with water (there shouldn’t be any bubbles or dewy water – it should be clear!) and let the potatoes sit while you cut up the rest of your veggies. This allows the potato to stiffen.

    shredded-potato

    Next, mince the garlic & ginger. Julienne the long hot green peppers, and cut the green onions into slivers.

    shredded-potato-ingredients

    Take a wok and place it on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and let it heat. Once  warm, add in the ginger, half your garlic and half the green onions. This is when I add in the Szechuan peppercorn, it allows the numbing flavours of the peppercorn get infused with the oil. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and mix.

    Stir-Fry.jpg

    As soon as the ginger starts to get golden and it starts to get aromatic in your kitchen, drain the potatoes and toss them in! After about 3 minutes, add in the rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar.

    shredded-potato-cooking

    Stir for about 5 more minutes and add in your long hot green peppers and the rest of your garlic – save the green onions for last! Stir for about a minute and add in the water or chicken stock, this will allow the potatoes to cook a bit faster. Now add in the green onions, 1 Tsp of salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce.

    shredded-potato-cooking-spicy

    Stir for about 2-3 minutes and your stir fry is done! Try biting a sliver of potato to see if the texture is to your liking, but it definitely shouldn’t be soft or soggy – it’s supposed to have a slight crunch!

    Shredded-potatoes-tou-du-si.jpg

    And in under 20 minutes and $2.25 you have a yummy spicy potato stir fry!

     

    I hope you enjoy it! Any comments or feedback on the recipe is 100% appreciated! 🙂

    *This recipe can be gluten free if you swap the soy sauce to a GF soy sauce!


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store

    2 Medium Sized White Potatoes – Loose – ($1.30) – $11.40/kg
    355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
    500 ml Rooster Superior Light Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    Garlic – $0.88/100g
    Ginger – $0.43/100g
    946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
    1kg Windsor Table Salt ($1.69) – $0.17/100g
    1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
    Green Long Hot Green Peppers – ($0.34) – $4.39/kg

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    Fresh Chicken Summer Rolls

    healthy-Summer-rolls-1.jpg

    Summer rolls are my go-to quick meals in the summertime and occasionally in the Winter when I want a light but filling meal. They can be packed full of your favourite veggies, proteins, herbs, and always be delicious. Though a lot of people know what summer rolls are – it seems a lot of people also don’t seem to realize how easy (and cheap!) they are to make!

    In most restaurants, two of these wraps can go for $5-6. It’s a lot more cost saving (and fun) to be making these at home! Try to go through this recipe and see if it becomes a staple for your own hot summer days.


    INGREDIENTS & COSTS FOR 6 WRAPS
    TAKES 30 MINUTES, SERVES 2

    1/4 of a package of thin vermicelli noodles ($0.49)
    6 Rice Paper Wraps ($0.39)
    1 Carrot ($0.16)
    1/3 Cucumber ($0.66)
    6 Romaine Lettuce Leaves ($0.30)
    1/2 cup of fresh Basil (Thai Basil if you can find it!) ($0.49)

    FOR THE PROTEIN: (You can use any protein you’d like, ex: substitute chicken with 1/2 block of Tofu)

    1 Chicken breast ($2.33)
    1 Tsp Corn Starch ($0.01)
    2 Tsp Soya Sauce – 1 for marinade, 1 for sautéing ($0.02)
    1 Tsp Ginger ($0.01)
    1 garlic clove ($0.02)
    1 scallion ($0.09)
    1 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.05)
    1 Thai Chili Pepper (Optional)

    Total Cost = $5.02* – $0.83 each!

    Compared to the $5-6 for 2 at restaurants! For the amount you make – its comparing $5.00 to $15.00-$18.00! That’s a great trade off.

    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    The very first thing you should do is boil a small pot of water for your vermicelli noodles. I personally think the texture of the noodles is the most important part of these wraps, they should never be wet and soggy! While the water boils, gather all your ingredients!

    ingredients-summer-rolls-fresh-healthy

    Preparing your protein should be the next step. Chop the green onions then mince the garlic, ginger, and Thai chili if you opted for it to be spicy! Next slice your protein (I used chicken), then add in the cornstarch and soy sauce. Mix it all together!

    By now your water should be boiled. Add in the 1/4 package of vermicelli noodles. Lower the heat to medium and cook the noodles for about 2 minutes. Once the noodles look cooked, drain and rinse using a sift. Try to squeeze are much water out as possible and cool the noodles in the fridge. Putting the noodles in the fridge allows it dry out a bit more and allows it to have a great texture!

    chicken-ingredients-rolls

    Once your protein ingredients are ready, set a pan on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and wait for it to heat. Once heated, add in the ginger. As soon as it gets aromatic, add in the protein. Stir for about 2 minutes and wait for the chicken (or your choice of protein) to cook through. Once it does, add in the green onions, garlic, soy sauce, and chili. Now stir quickly for another 30 seconds and take it off the heat. Set it aside.

    marinated-chicken-rolls.jpg

    Now that your protein is set, start cutting up your veggies! I chose the julienne most of the vegetables so it’s easy to fit into the wraps.

    chopped-vegetables

    Once your veggies are ready, you can now start making your wraps! Take the noodles out of the fridge and shake them up a bit so they pull apart.

    Take a large flat bottom pan or bowl (wide enough to fit the rice paper) and fill it with warm tap water. Grab a couple paper towels and put them next to the pan, you’ll be using these to dry the rice wraps! Put a rice paper wrap in the warm water and wait for it to get soft – it shouldn’t take more than 1 minute. Once it does, take it out and try to shake off as much water as possible, then dry it on the paper towels. This allows it to stick and hold better as your make your roll! Place the wrap on a cutting board or a flat surface and start filling!

    summer-rolls-healthy-instructions-copyThe easiest way to wrap is to pull up the bottom half, then the side of the wrap, and then roll it up. And there you have it! In less than 30 minutes and 5 dollars, you have a wonderfully light but filling, healthy lunch for two!

    healthy-summer-rolls-3

    These wraps can be further enjoyed with sriracha, hoisin sauce, and especially my All Purpose Thai Peanut Sauce! I can’t recommend that enough, it’s just wonderful.

    This recipe can be gluten free if you substitute the soy sauce used in the protein to a GF soy sauce!

    summer-rolls-dip

    Enjoy! And any feedback is 100% appreciated.


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) receipt, weekly flyer, and their website, as well as my Farmboy receipt.

    Pack of 4 Chicken Breasts – $9.33
    500 g No Name 100% Pure Corn Starch ($2.29) – $0.46/100g
    500 ml Rootster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
    Garlic – $0.88/100g
    Ginger – $0.43/100g
    Romaine Lettuce – $1.50
    3 Lbs Carrots – $2.00
    1 Cucumber – $1.50
    Basil – $1.99
    400 g package of Thin Vermicelli Noodles – $1.99
    Six Fortune Rice Paper Wraps – $2.99(comes with 45-50 papers)

    Veggie-Packed Noodle Bowl with Tofu Steaks and Peanut Sauce

    I’m an omnivore in every sense, but I aim to have vegetarian meal days twice a week as a preference. Doing this not only allows me to eat a larger variety of vegetables, but also is cheaper than eating meat, is more sustainable, and forces me to learn how to make meals that don’t use meat as a crutch. This veggie noodle bowl does just that.

    Inspired by a local vegetarian restaurant, this noodle bowl packs in so much flavour, incorporates a large variety of vegetables, and is my go-to meal since it’s one of the easiest and fastest meals anyone can make. This recipe can also be vegan and/or gluten free if you substitute a few ingredients with others (I’ll be highlighting those substitutes). This is an incredibly dynamic dish as you can pick and choose what vegetables you want to add depending on your preference, almost any leafy green works!

    The protein of the recipe is the sweet soy sauce marinated tofu, with an addition of the All Purpose Peanut Sauce recipe I posted earlier this week! If you wish to add meat to the bowl, you absolutely can by just substituting the tofu and keeping the marinade the same!


    INGREDIENTS & COSTS FOR 1 LARGE BOWL
    Takes approx. 15 minutes to make

    Marinated Tofu:
    1/4 block of Firm Tofu ($0.62)
    1/2 Tsp of Corn Starch ($0.006)
    1 Tsp of Dark Soy Sauce (regular works fine if you don’t have dark, this just has a richer flavour) ($0.01) – Can be substituted to be GF
    1/2 Tsp of Cumin ($0.02)
    1/4 Tsp of ground Szechuan Peppercorn (you can use regular pepper, but I highly recommend a trip to Chinatown to get this peppercorn!)
    1 Tsp Sesame Oil ($0.07)
    1 Tsp Honey (or Maple Syrup if you want a vegan recipe) ($0.05)

    The Bowl:
    1/3 – 1/2 of a sheet of Thai Vermicelli (rice) noodles depending on appetite! Each package usually comes with 3 sheets ($0.20)
    1/3 cup Broccoli (or Chinese Broccoli) ($0.19)
    2 heads of Baby Bok Choy (and/or Nappa Cabbage, Kale, Spinach, the list goes on!) ($0.50)
    1/4 cup Zucchini ($0.19)
    1/3 a Bell Pepper (Green, Orange, Red, Yellow – pick your preference!) ($0.70)
    1/3 cup of Thai Peanut Sauce ($0.46)
    1 Green Onion to garnish ($0.09)
    Cilantro to garnish ($0.08)

    Total Cost: $3.18

    Compared to the restaurant cost of $19 per bowl!

    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    First the tofu. This is the main marinade I use for the majority of meals I make with tofu, mainly because it gives it a great crunchy crust but still keeps the salty and sweet taste of the soy sauce and honey. First cut 1/4 of the block for 1 bowl (I got greedy and cut 1/3rd and had left over tofu!).

    tofu_1

    Take the left over tofu, fill a container with water, and store it away for other meals! Next, slice the tofu to be about 1cm thick, and then cut again diagonally.

    tofu_3

    Use 2 pieces of paper towels and squeeze excess water out of the tofu by pressing down on it on both sides. This allows the tofu to soak up more of the marinade. After drying, take a small bowl and combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey (or maple syrup), cornstarch,  Szechuan pepper, and cumin. Stir it all together, put the tofu in a different container, and pour the mix on top of the tofu. Now mix! Or shake! Whatever floats. While doing this, put a pot of water on boil.

    marinated_tofu2

    Let the tofu marinate for a bit. You can chop up your veggies now! The great thing about this bowl is that you can really add in anything you want! Any leafy green works perfectly, or anything you would put in a salad. I decided to cut up bok choy, Chinese broccoli, orange peppers, and zucchini. Chop up the scallions and cilantro as well to act as your garnish. I don’t recommend you skip on this step, the two herbs really tie the dish together.

    veggie_bowl_vegetables

    By this time your tofu should be marinated enough, put a tablespoon of canola oil in a pan and put it on the stove on medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, use a pair of tongs and fry the tofu on each side for about 30 seconds to make sure its nice and crispy. Once the tofu’s skin is well cooked, take another paper towel and transfer the tofu from the pan onto the towel to let it collect excess oil. Keep the leftover oil in the pan for our next step!

    marinated_tofu

    Time to boil the noodles! By now the water should be boiling. Break off a piece of the rice noodles, I’ve made the mistake of cooking 1/2 a package for 2 people too many times – trust me it’s definitively going to be MORE than what you expect!

    rice_noodles_gluten_free

    Read the instructions on the package, but they should be ready within 3-5 minutes. Feel free to check after 3 to see if it’s soft to your own liking.

    Once the noodles start to cook, toss all your vegetables in the pan you cooked the tofu in (except the garnish!) on medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and wait for it to get hot. When the vegetables start to steam, take the lid off and splash a teaspoon of soy sauce on and stir for about 15 seconds. Take the pan off the heat.

    By this time your noodles should be cooked! Drain the noodles, quickly rinse them in cold water, and place them in a bowl. Now you can assemble your veggie bowl! Add in the tofu and the veggies.

    veggie_asian_noodle_bowl_vegan2

    Now pour on peanut sauce and you have a delicious healthy, vegetable-packed, gluten free noodle bowl even a carnivore would enjoy. And all for under $3.25 compared to the restaurant cost of $19!

    asian_noodle_bowl_peanut_sauce5

    I’d love to hear feedback (good or bad) or any tips! Don’t hesitate to comment! Enjoy! 🙂


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) receipt, weekly flyer, and their website.

    1 block (420 g) of Rooster Tofu ($2.49)
    500 g No Name 100% Pure Corn Starch ($2.29) – $0.46/100g
    500 ml Rootster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    400 g Suraj Cumin ($3.49) – $0.87/100g
    443 ml LKK Pure Sesame Oil ($6.99) – $1.59/100ml
    500 g Farm Boy™ Pure Ontario Honey ($4.99) – $0.99/100g
    454 Rice Stick Vermicelli Noodles, small ($2.29) – $0.50/100g
    1 Broccoli crown ($0.99)
    1 bag of Baby Bok Choy ($1.99)
    1 Zucchini ($0.79)
    1 Orange Bell Pepper ($2.10)
    1 cup of homemade peanut sauce ($1.39)
    1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
    1 bunch of Cilantro ($2.49)