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Thai Vegetable Curry Soup

This is soup is just so so so good!  I love thai food, it’s one of my favorite cuisines!  I’ve made this delicious soup for dinner this week, ate it for breakfast the next day.   I’m eating it right now for lunch as I write this.

Of course, this is my own spin on making this soup so I suppose if you are an authentic thai food cook perhaps the sweet potatoes, peppers and kale in this particular soup may make your eyes roll.  They happen to be good for you so that’s why they are in it!  You can literally put any of your favorite vegetables in here or whatever you have on hand.  Make it your own!  Chicken or shrimp would be awesome as well.  I like to eat vegetarian at least a few times a week if I can and this comes together as an easy weeknight meal.

It actually took me a long time before I realized that I actually love curry.  I never had curry growing up and it wasn’t until I became a personal chef that I started exploring.  Now if you are not a curry lover don’t automatically dismiss making this delicious soup.  Often I have clients that tell me that they hate curry but when I make them certain soups they didn’t even realize that was what they loved about it.   I don’t often make things that my clients don’t like on purpose (lol).  But, as I cook for certain clients I can see how they like to eat ~ that’s when I know they might like it and don’t even know it. 

Please try this delicious soup and feel free to make it your own! Let me know in the comments what you think!

 

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Thai Vegetable Curry Soup

Delicious Thai Vegetable Curry Soup

Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 large onion small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic large and grated
  • 2+ tbsp fresh ginger grated (about 1" piece)
  • 1/4 cup thai red curry paste see notes
  • 1+ tsp madras hot curry powder
  • 1 large sweet potato large dice
  • 1 bunch kale large bunch, torn in pieces, discard stems
  • 1 ea yellow pepper med dice
  • 1 ea red pepper med dice
  • 5 ea carrots sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped (and more for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 cans Native Forest organic coconut milk full fat (save the rest in freezer for later or use the entire 2 cans if you wish)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 ea limes juiced
  • 1 pckg vermicelli rice noodles soaked in hot water separately
  • 2 tsp lemon grass paste see notes
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Himilayan Pink Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Saute onion in avocado or olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  When translucent add grated garlic, ginger, lemon grass paste (or grated fresh lemon grass -- see notes).  Lower heat to medium and cook for a few minutes.  

  2. Add rest of vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow & red pepper) excluding the kale.

  3. Add vegetable stock and coconut milk, stir until blended. Add thai curry paste, curry powder, lemon grass, fish sauce, chopped cilantro. Add brown sugar and Himalayan Pink Salt to taste. Bring to up to a boil then reduce heat simmer for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and flavors have come together. Add the torn kale pieces and juice of 2 limes cook for another 10 minutes.  

  4. Stir, taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking.

  5. While the soup is simmering, bring a small pot of water to a boil for the vermicelli. Pour the hot water over the vermicelli in a bowl and soak until tender. Drain in a colander and set aside.

  6. To serve, divide the rice vermicelli among bowls. Ladle the soup and vegetables over the vermicelli and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Recipe Notes

thai curry paste:  

You can find Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste right in your local supermarket in the asian aisle or on amazon.  If you don't like a lot of heat you may like this brand.  It's very mild and has lemon grass flavor so you can leave out the lemon grass if you wish.  Also, you may need more than 1/4 of a cup.  Just follow your taste buds and add a little at a time.

If you like heat and are looking for an authentic paste - I love Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste which can be purchased online or in an asian supermarket.  It's stored in the fridge and lasts a long, long time.  It is a bit hotter so you may need less so again follow your tastes buds and add a little at a time.  However, with this particular curry, I'd add the lemon grass to the soup.  When I made it at home, I actually used a 2 drops of doTERRA lemongrass essential oil and was perfect!  When I made it for my client I used the above Thai Kitchen curry in the supermarket because thats what they prefer.

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Eating Lighter for Spring – Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls

These fresh shrimp spring rolls are bursting with fresh flavor!  My clients eat these lovely spring rolls any time of year. I especially love them during spring which is why it was on their menu today. They are light but surprisingly filling! It’s packed with colorful nutrient dense veggies! It’s gluten free and did I mention delicious!

Using a mandolin helps keep the julienne vegetables in uniform size but not necessary.  Feel free to use any veggies you like. One of my clients that often wants this happens to like this combination but the possibilities are endless.  Sometimes I will add a layer of jasmine rice which is how my kids like it, or vermicelli rice noodles.  Avocado and red cabbage add even more nutrients.  Fresh herbs like cilantro or mint are great additions too!  However, when it comes to lettuce in these fresh spring rolls; the “living lettuce” that comes in a shell with the roots is the way to go.  Otherwise, it’s cumbersome to roll and tends to make holes using a harder lettuce like romaine.   If that is all that is available then just remove the spine of the lettuce and use the pliable leaves.  

This is a great friday night appetizer or light dinner after a long week with a glass of Prosecco or I suppose a Saki might go too!  Hmmm, know what else would be delicious with these fresh shrimp spring rolls? A   delicious sparkling fresh green juice with a little bit of fruit topped served in a wine glass to give it extra pizazz! The best part of the green juice is it won’t make you tired like a glass of Prosecco will.  It will energize you!  And, you can feel awesome drinking it!  These spring rolls can be prepared ahead of time. It keeps in the fridge for up to 2 days pretty well. Keep it in a sealed glass container that is lined with non-stick aluminum foil so it does not stick – parchment paper tends to stick for some reason.  Once it’s cold it actually doesn’t stick too much.  

You can find rice paper wrappers at your local Whole Foods stores or asian market.  I usually buy them online at amazon so I have them on hand any time I want a fresh snack or light meal.  Look in the natural food aisle of your local supermarket for coconut aminos and asian section for the chile garlic sauce.

Most of all don’t fret on the process of making them.  It really comes together quickly and is a lot easier than it looks!

If you try these delicious spring rolls please post a comment and let me know how you liked them.  

 

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Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls


Course Appetizer, Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 rolls
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

Shrimp Rolls:

  • 2 yellow peppers (julienned)
  • 2 orange peppers (or red) (julienned)
  • 1 large english cucumber (seedless, middle removed) (julienned)
  • 5 large carrots (thick) (julienned)
  • 1 container living leaf lettuce
  • 10 poached shrimp (11-15 count - jumbo) sliced in half lengthwise
  • 10 sheets of rice paper wrappers (three ladies brand)

Asian Dipping Sauce:

Instructions

  1. Shrimp: bring a 3 qt pot of water to a boil. Add cleaned shrimp to the boiling water, and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool slice in half lengthwise, set aside until ready to assemble. 

  2. Vegetables: julienne all the vegetables into matchstick size pieces. See recipe notes if you'd like to watch a video. Otherwise, a mandolin also helps if you have one.  Keep each julienned vegetable separated and on paper towels to absorb extra water before assembling.

  3. Rice Paper Prep:  once you have the filling ready and you are ready to assemble.  Keep a pan large enough to hold the wrapper such as a cake or pie pan with hot water from tap.   Place one rice paper in the hot water at a time prior to wrapping.  It softens in about 20-30 seconds.  Once it is softened, place one wrapper on the non-stick foil, blot with a paper towel.  Sometimes I lift it with two hands to dry it a bit as well.  I usually blot it with a paper towel, wipe the foil and than flip it to the other side before proceeding to wrap.  

  4. To wrap:  Place one split shrimp on the softened rice paper about 1/3 in (closest to you).  The pink side of the shrimp should be face down.  Next, add about 1-2 leaves of lettuce folded, and proceed to add a handful at a time of each vegetable, keeping it neat.  When you are assembling one, add a new fresh wrapper to the water so it's ready when you are ready to roll the next.

  5. To roll:  hold the filling and bring the side closest to you over and around.  Start to roll then fold in the sides and continue rolling tightly.  It should automatically stick.  Try to keep it as tight as possible.  

  6. Slice the fresh shrimp spring roll in half and serve with the asian dipping sauce.

Asian Dipping Sauce Instructions:

  1. Mix first 7 ingredients together then swirl in sesame oil at the end.   Adjust seasons to your taste.

Recipe Notes

It is actually easier if you are not familiar with how to julienne vegetables to just hop on over to u-tube than me trying to explain it in the instructions.

Coconut aminos is a gluten free "soy sauce" that is made from coconuts but does not taste like coconuts and is healthier than tamari or regular soy sauce.  It is a bit sweeter and not as salty or strong as tamari.  It's perfect for this dipping sauce.    Should you choose to use tamari sauce over coconut aminos you will need to cut it with a bit of water as well as add some honey to sweeten it up. 

As noted on the blog, other variations of fillings are great as well, jasmine rice, vermicelli rice noodles, avocado, red cabbage, etc.

 

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Creamy Asparagus Soup

This has been a long time favorite soup of mine for years despite that it may not look that appetizing in color.  The best part is it’s so simple to make.  I often leave out the asparagus tips and just puree the entire soup.  Mainly because I love to sip this in a mug as a mid-day snack or with my lunch.    

I’ve been cleansing for a few weeks and this is the perfect soup for it! Did you know that asparagus is a vegetable that is a great cleanser for your body naturally? Yes it is! It is a great diuretic, helping in the cleansing process and lifting the detox load of the liver and kidneys.

Here’s some great health benefits from this beautiful spring vegetable:

  • It’s a rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
  • Helps slow down the aging process due to it’s high antioxidant properties and neutralizing cell-damaging radicals.
  • It contains the amino acid asparagine which is a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts.  Good for edema and high blood pressure!
  • It contains vitamins A, C, E and K as well as has lots of fiber, folate and chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. 

Asparagus contains asparagusic acid, among other compounds, that gives urine that unique odor.  Have you ever noticed it?  It literally can happen within 15 minutes of eating it. Its compounds are volatile and released as a vapor through the urine. However, apparently not everyone can smell it and that is because everyones sense of smell is unique to themselves as well as the ability to produce the odor. Interesting!!  

Okay, enough about asparagus pee ~ eat asparagus because it so good for you!

Creamy Asparagus Soup
Serves 4
Dairy-free delicious asparagus soup
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs of asparagus (trim tough ends, cut in 2” pieces) (extra if you want to add some asparagus tips at the end)
  2. 4 cups organic vegetable stock (32 oz con’t - such as Saffron Road or Nature’s Promise)
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 1 garlic clove, minced.
  5. 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  6. Himalayan pink salt
  7. fresh cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Sauté onion in extra virgin olive oil, add garlic & asparagus and add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft.
  2. Take asparagus out with a slotted spoon and add stock (a little at a time) to blend in high speed blender or regular blender until smooth and creamy (you may not need all the stock depending on the consistency you prefer (reserve juice and drink it up in a mug if you want). Add Himilayan pink salt (about 1+ tsp) and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Enjoy!
  3. If you are adding asparagus tips to your soup, blanch them for just about 30 seconds (add to already boiling water, than in ice cold water to retain color, remove with slotted spoon). Add them to your soup before eating.
Notes
  1. for future and if you tolerate dairy, you may add a dollup of organic plain yogurt to the mix while blending for added flavor but it is perfect the way it is.
Stacey DiVerde http://staceydiverde.com/
source:  
Eating Well 3/2016
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19895471
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Mixed Berries with Sweet Cashew Cream

This has been my go-to breakfast lately!   Who knew breakfast could be so creamy but delicious, healthy and satisfying while being dairy-free!  I have been really enjoying this!  It all started when I was cleansing a few weeks ago and decided to have this over a smoothie.  Smoothies in the morning are great especially on the days I chef.  However, I become “smoothied-out” sometimes especially after years of drinking smoothies.   Plus there is something to be said about chewing your food.   Digestion starts in the mouth when you chew your food.  The enzymes amylase and lipase are released which starts the digestion process.  

When you are eating healthy you just feel better, think better, move better and your body runs better!   Try this delicious and satisfying breakfast it’s so light and refreshing as well as gluten-free and dairy-free!  Berries are packed with antioxidants and lower on the Glycemic Index!  Ideally fruit should be eaten alone so another plus to have this first thing in the morning.  

Mixed Berries with Sweet Cashew Cream
Serves 1
Light & refreshing!
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2+ cups of berries (strawberries, black berries, blue berries)
  2. 1 ripe banana (divided)
  3. 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in hot water for 1/2 hour or more)
  4. 1/2 cup+ coconut milk or almond milk (no carrageenan) (add more depending on consistency)
  5. 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
  6. handful slivered almonds
  7. chia seed (optional)
  8. cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place mixed berries in a bowl and slice up 1/2 of banana. Blend the other 1/2 banana, coconut milk or almond milk, vanilla extract and cashews together until creamy smooth.
  2. Pour cream over fruit and top with slivered almonds. Add cinnamon and chia seeds if desired.
Stacey DiVerde http://staceydiverde.com/