Just the other day we had snow which felt a little unwelcomed so early in the season but a couple of days later it was in the high eighties and I was feeling grateful, as were my plants that struggle as it is to flower and ripen fruit in this high mountain air and the shade of the tall pine trees.
Wildlife has been abundant with a momma bear and her two cubs stopping traffic at the bottom of our hill, a large black bear meandering its way across our property and coyotes and foxes hunting for food just below our deck.
I even had the pleasure of meeting this pretty girl while I was previewing a property for a client. I pulled up to the house and as I stepped out of the car I looked down the driveway to see a red fox racing towards me. I quickly hopped back into the car and shut the door. The fox sat down on the steps that I needed to walk up in order to get into the house and just stared at me. Because she seemed so docile, I got out of the car and walked towards her.
After passing her on the steps, she followed me like a puppy and she was not the least bit aggressive. When I came out of the house she was sitting on a rock along the path. Such a beauty she was.
Even though it is a beautiful sunny day today, I’m beginning to crave some of the spicy warm dishes that I love to make during the cooler months. This dish has a rich curry base, which is wonderful paired with a protein, veggies and noodles. I make it with tofu but it works very well with chicken too. Make it with rice noodles and you have a fabulous gluten-free and vegan meal.
|Vegan Burmese Kao Soi|
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
- 2½ tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
- 1 teaspoon palm or light brown sugar
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced Julienne style
- 2 carrots cut on the diagonal
- ⅓ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 8 ounces shiitaki mushrooms
- ½ cup cilantro, washed and chopped
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
- 2 limes
- 1 package Asian style noodles (approx. 8 ounces dry noodles)
- Salt to taste
- In a small sauté pan add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, sliced onion and red peppers. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and caramelized, which should take 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, red curry paste, curry powder, turmeric and cardamom. Cook for a few minutes, stirring until the curry paste and spices become fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk and beat with a whisk to combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil for a few minutes and then reduce to a simmer.
- Add the ginger, carrots, tofu (or chicken) and sugar to the sauce and give it a stir. Cover and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Thin out the curry with a bit of water or vegetable broth if needed.
- Season with salt to taste, cover and set on the lowest heat setting to keep warm.
- Once the onions and peppers are caramelized, transfer them to a dish and set aside.
- Using that same pan, place the last tablespoon of oil into the pan and heat on medium.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to soften and then add the green beans and give them a toss to coat with oil. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the onions and peppers back into the pan to warm, cover and then remove from heat.
- Cook the noodles as directed by the manufacturer. Drain and rinse in a colander.
- Divide the noodles between 4-6 bowls depending on how large you’d like the servings to be. Ladle the curry sauce over the noodles, divide the sautéed vegetables over the sauce and noodles. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions, cilantro and slices of lime.
- Optional: make 4-6 nests of noodles by placing small heaps of cooked noodles in a pan of hot vegetable oil. Fry until the noodles are still light in color but crisp. Drain and cool on paper towels.