Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Thai-Shrimp-Cauliflower-Kale Curry

Thai-Shrimp-Cauliflower-Kale Curry
Thai-Shrimp-Cauliflower-Kale Curry (Serves 4-5 people)

At the market, I noticed some lovely wild shrimp ... and that's how this recipe started! Needing inspiration for a shrimp recipe I browsed my fridge and noticed cauliflower, a nice bunch of kale, and some cilantro. All great ingredients for a curry!

What you need:

1 lb of uncooked medium sized shrimp (wild, or raised "responsibly" if possible), shelled and deveined
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 onion, sliced
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 bunch kale (leaves ripped off ribs)
1-2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger (finely shredded)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 keffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or 1-2 chopped fresh Thai chilies, or 1/2 tsp thai red pepper powder)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon curry powder
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro 
Lime or lemon
sea salt to taste

What to do:

Heat coconut oil in a medium sized saucepan on medium-low heat until onions are soft and starting to become translucent. Add garlic and ginger, lower heat to medium-low. Cook until vegetables are softened.

Add spices to soften onions, garlic, and ginger. Slowly cook until fragrant. Add coconut milk and broth, bring to a boil and add cauliflower. Let the curry boil for about a minute and lower heat to medium-low. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Add kale as the shrimp are almost done, and cook until the shrimp are fully cooked and the kale has begun to welt. remove keffir leaves. Salt to taste. Spoon in bowls and sprinkle chopped cilantro on top. Serve with sliced lime or lemon wedges.

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Why Another Food Blog?!?

I created this blog to journal my cooking and baking pursuits.

As someone who is conscious of the environment and the people who grow and harvest my food, most (if not all) of the ingredients I use are organic (or "free of pesticides"). Every time I choose to buy wild, local, organic, grass-fed, I choose against conventional factory farms, and mono-cultures. I choose to support farming practices that do not create toxic conditions for workers that pick my produce, as well as the pollinators that we rely greatly upon for so much of our food. I also try to be aware of genetically modified organisms (GMO's) as we are still uncertain on how they will affect us in the long-term. I vote with my dollar.

I try to cook using whole foods, while limiting my consumption of refined sugars, wheat, an processed foods. This is primarily for health reasons, as I have noticed that while consuming processed foods laden with refined sugars, wheat, and unhealthy oils, I've become very unhealthy. I'm learning while I go, remaining fluid throughout this journey.

I hope that we, as a society, begin to value food systems that are locally centered, support small farmers, small businesses, and individuals. As well as embrace fair trade and sustainable practices for coffee, chocolate, bananas, coconut, ect. in the communities that rely on exporting their goods.

I acknowledge that having these ethos can cost more for groceries, but I have also learned a few tips along the way to help keep costs down:

1. Shop at your Farmer's market!! You would be surprised on how inexpensive buying organic at the market really is, especially if you buy items right before they close (although, you can' t be too picky about what you get at these times). Ask for deals when you are there (especially at end of market)! Also, ask the farmers what their farming practices are, many grow organic and simply cannot afford to (or do not want to) certify.

2. Eat seasonally! Eating seasonally means less miles traveled, fresher ingredients, and lots of inspiration to work with! Get comfortable with food and working with different flavours.

3. Buy bulk! Buying bulk is a great way to reduce costs. If you have the motivation and the resources, pitch in with a group to get items at bargain prices!

4. Use those coupons! Most of the time coupons are used to advertise for processed foods and unhealthy items. However, the big chain natural food grocery stores often have really good deals and can be less expensive than their conventional counterparts.

5. Get gardening! Since I started planting my own food, I've become even more aware of what I eat and how it's grown. Even if you live in a small space, there are many things that you can grow in containers. Start with a few herbs, cherry tomatoes, and maybe even a container melon! There are endless possibilities here, and there is a great satisfaction in knowing how to grow your own food.

6. Barter! Try to trade or barter within your circle of friends, and maybe beyond. I know this may sound a little wacky to people who live in a society that is based off the dollar, but if you think about it, we all try to buy the same things anyways. Bartering or trading with your friends and/or neighbours can provide you with variety and a sense of community. You can make this fun by creating an event out of it! Trade canned goods, baked goods, and your own homegrown produce!

7. Experiment with herbs and spices! I haven't physically traveled much, but through the pursuits of my cooking adventures I've been all around the world! I still have many countries and regions to discover as food is a great way to learn about people around the world. You can buy spices fairly inexpensively in bulk at natural food stores.

Lastly. Have fun with it!

Thank you for reading.