Month: August 2014

Yellow Curry

Hello, hello!

As many of you know I was not introduced to Thai food until I was way into my 20’s. Yikes! I missed out, for sure. Now, I feel like I am always trying to make up for lost time. I could seriously eat Thai food everyday, well maybe every other day! The point is I absolutely love it! I love everything about it and the best part is it’s actually pretty good for us.

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Thai food is very aromatic and powerful. It is not shy at all about it’s spices! Everything has a “POW!” factor. Most of the dishes are made with some kind of coconut milk base. Coconut milk or really anything coconut is very good for you. Coconut is great brain food and is an awesome fat metabolizer for anyone looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight! It is a win win because coconut adds such a nice texture and flavor to our food without having to compromise health.

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One of my favorite Thai dishes was yellow curry. I could eat yellow curry like you wouldn’t believe. In fact, I started making it at home because it was becoming costly to buy it every week and I may or may not have wanted it during closing hours some nights, like at midnight. No judgements here!

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Anywho, when I was about 5 weeks pregnant with Graeyson I suddenly lost my stomach for yellow curry. I had made a large batch at home the night before and then when I opened the tupperware the next day for lunch I immediately ran to the bathroom. I couldn’t even look at the dish. It sat in the back of my fridge for two weeks until one day I told Bobby to just get rid of it and wash it before I came home from the store.  It was awful, my favorite food was no more.

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I thought I would never be able to love yellow curry again until a couple weeks ago, Bobby’s cousin wanted to order Thai and I thought I would give it a try again. So I ordered my once beloved yellow curry, tried it and SUCCESS! I didn’t get sick! It only took me two years! So I thought I would give it a go for the blog and you know what? It is so much better than the version I used to make. I used corn on the cob slices that really sweeten it up and give the dish a nice little crunch!

Enjoy!

XO Nicole

Yellow Curry
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, full-fat
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces (skin on or off)
  • 1- 1/2 pound chicken breast, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 piece of galangel (thai ginger)
  • 1 tsp xylitol granules
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 ears corn, cooked and corn removed with a knife
  • Brown rice, 2 cups cooked
  • Fresh Cilantro, leaves only chopped
Instructions
  1. Take out a large wok sized skillet or large pan
  2. Open the can of coconut milk, scrape off the thick cream and put it into the pan
  3. Heat the cream up and once it starts to bubble up add in your yellow curry powder
  4. Add the chicken and onions and coat them in the sauce
  5. Add the water and the rest of the coconut milk from the can
  6. Cook the chicken and onions on low heat for about a couple minutes and then add in the corn, fish sauce and Xylitol
  7. Cook for another two minutes on low/medium heat
  8. Taste and make any adjustments
  9. Serve over brown rice with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro

 

Chocolate Ganache Tart with Raspberries

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Happy Friday!

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Was it just me or do this week go by crazy fast? Yes, we are still unpacking and reorganizing. Will this ever end? We are starting to get adjusted to mountain life from having city life for so long. It is very different and is not so easy to get groceries when I forget something downtown. It takes me 20 minutes to drive to a store downtown. They have a market a mile down the road but you will definitely pay for the convenience and you will not have quite the selection as you would at a bigger store. You may not have a left kidney, but hey you got that garlic that slipped your mind while you were at the store earlier.

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In the mountains there isn’t a lot to walk to like there is in the city. In the city we were able to walk to stores, shops, restaurants, parks or someones house. The possibilities were endless. Here in the mountains, they are just kind of that, the end.

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We have a main loop we do in the “neighborhood”  and it takes us about 45 minutes. There is a house that has four dinosaurs. They are totally life size and made out of iron. The things people do with their money baffles me. Then if you go a little further you will hit Graeyson’s favorite spot, the horses! There is a family that has a ranch and they have three horses. Other than that, there’s not a whole lot more that’s overly exciting about living up here. Maybe I am just a city girl and I am not a fan of mud pies, unless they are made of chocolate of course, and sticks!

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Today we are going to a BBQ and Bobby volunteered me to make food. It’s probably best considering he would bring something in a bag if it was left up to him. We decided to bring my Crack Kale Salad and try out a new dessert. That makes sense right? One safe item and one risky one. Believe it or not there are still so many people that cringe when they hear the word “kale.” I don’t know if you remember a couple weeks ago for Graey’s party I made the Crack Kale Salad for one of the dishes. We had about 50 people and I used about 20 huge bunches of kale. There was so much kale I thought I was going to be in trouble. Lo and behold there was maybe two or three portions left and a couple friends ended up taking them home with them because they loved it so much.

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So the newbie recipe for the day should be no shock that it’s chocolate, I know right, gasp! But, because it’s kind of a special occasion I went all out and made ganache with organic raspberries on a homemade cookie crust. It doesn’t get much better than that! Wait, it does. It’s good for you, it takes no time to make and it only has 5 ingredients. Say what?

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It is so simple, yet really elegant and rich. I made this twice because I wanted to make sure I was bringing over something decent! So once I had the recipe down the second tart took no time at all to make this. The longest part is allowing time to set. I hate waiting for chocolate. I want it NOW!

Enjoy your weekend!

XO Nicole

Chocolate Ganache Pie with Raspberries
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 can coconut milk, full fat
  • 1- 11 ounce bag of dark chocolate chips, 65-75%
  • 30- 365 brand creme filled sandwich cookies (The Whole Foods version of Oreo’s)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted –> measured after melting!
  • 1 pint fresh organic raspberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray a 9 or 11 inch tart pan (9 inch will have a thicker crust, while the 11 inch will have a thinner crust)
  3. In a food processor with the “S” blade intact add 30 sandwich cookies and turn the food processor on for around 1-2 minutes until the cookies are dusty crumbs
  4. Once the cookies are crumbs slowly add in the melted oil while pulsing
  5. When the oil and crumbs are well combined dump it into the tart pan, spread it out and start pressing it down. You want to make sure the bottom is completely covered and then cover as much of the sides as you can. Go up at least half-way.
  6. Bake the crust for 10 minutes and then set out to cool
  7. In a medium sized saucepan pour an entire can of coconut milk and heat it up on the stovetop until the milk is lightly boiling
  8. Remove from heat and add the bag of dark chocolate chips
  9. Stir the chocolate chips and coconut milk until all of the chocolate is melted
  10. Pour it directly on top of the prepared cookie crust
  11. Cover with wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours
  12. If you want to add your raspberries before the chocolate completely sets, so the raspberries stick half-way inside the chocolate, then add the raspberries after about 1- 1 1/2 hours
  13. This pie is best if it can set overnight!

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Yogurt

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Hi Guys!

I know it is hard to believe, but it is really me! Remember a couple weeks ago I took a week sabbatical? I apologized and promised you I was back. Well, here’s the deal. We ended up having to move pretty quickly after that, like the next week. I decided that instead of stressing out over the blog I was just going to take a little break. I wanted to try to unpack boxes and get a little organized. I am absolutely not even close to being there yet, but it’s a work in progress.

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I still don’t even know where all of my seasonings and pantry goods are, which makes it pretty hard to cook if you ask me. On Tuesday I made my famous Oodles of Zucchini Noodles Lasagna and I actually had to buy oregano, basil and parsley for it. How lame is that, the most common spices?

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On top of moving my husband started a new job this week. For those of you who didn’t know he was in San Diego in the military while I was up in the Bay Area raising Graeyson. Now we are finally back together again, but he started his new job this week and so we are transitioning again.

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Hopefully it will all settle down soon. I felt like I really needed to get back on the blog wagon because it gives me stability and I love it. It’s my way of blowing off steam. I love creating something in the kitchen, mainly because I can eat it afterwards, but more importantly so I can photograph it and write about it so others can try it! I may not be completely ready to get back into my three days a week like I was, but I am really going to try.

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I want to take a moment to thank everyone (if you’re still reading this –> thank you!) that has reached out to me and encouraged me. I really appreciate the encouragement, emails and notes everyone sends. I also just love everyone that is pinning, twittering and sharing my links on facebook! It is a huge help to me to get my recipes out there! So thank you!

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Alright, now that the housekeeping is done–> Today I introduce to you Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Yogurt. Does this sound strange to you?

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I promise you, if you love peanut butter, you will love this. Three of my most favorite things –> peanut butter, chocolate chips and bananas. You will think you have died and gone to heaven. I am totally embarrassed, but not ashamed, to admit that I sometimes have this twice a day. Eek! Don’t judge until you’ve tried it!

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The coolest thing is this actually helped me lose weight. This way one of the things that helped me blast off the rest of that baby weight. I will talk more about this in future posts and how you can eat better and lose weight too. For now, I know I have totally talked your ear off so I am going to head out now!

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Thanks for listening and I appreciate all of you that come to the NP!

XO Nicole

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Yogurt
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
I love Straus Greek Yogurt. The Non-Fat literally tastes like Full-Fat. It is ridiculously creamy and mild for a greek yogurt. You can totally try a different one, but you may not get the same consistency and flavor. So use at your own discretion! 🙂
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Straus Non-Fat Greek Yogurt (See Note Above)
  • 1/3 banana, mashed (about 2-3 inches)
  • 1 tablespoon chunky all-natural peanut butter (I used the 365 brand from Whole Foods)
  • 2 teaspoons Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix the above ingredients together and chow down!