Thai Tofu and Butternut Squash Red Curry with Thai Jasmine Brown Rice

Once upon a time, the Meat-eating Military told me he did not like tofu or curry (like when he told me he did not like soup). Imagine his horror if he knew I combined the two tonight!

Well, there was no horror. Instead, he cleaned his bowl and said, “Was that curry? I thought I didn’t like curry!”

I thought so, too, Meat-eating Military Man! (No, I knew better. I knew he just needed to try it again. But the jury is still out on Indian curry. Stay posted.)

For this curry, I drew inspiration from Heidi Swanson’s book, “Super Natural Every Day,” and from my friend’s Pumpkin and Chicken Curry in San Francisco. I didn’t have pumpkin though, so used butternut squash instead. It was a great way to use seasonal squash!

Happy Fall with Thai flavors

After a long day at work, the Meat-eating Military Man and I wanted a delicious, but easy-to-prepare dish. This curry was perfect. He helped chop all the veggies and I put it all together. I’m glad it tasted good — you know if the Meat-eating Military Man liked it, it was good.

(My only critique: Next time, I’ll make sure to have some green around — Thai Basil leaves would have been great.)

Click “Continue Reading” to get the recipe! 

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Meaty Version:

Meat-eating Military Man Shrimp and Tofu in Black Bean Sauce

When I meal plan or look for new recipes to try, I’m always looking for dishes that are meaty/meatless versatile without doubling the work. If a recipe looks like it won’t lose flavor whether it’s served with or without meat, I will tweak it to make it work for me and him. So I make dishes like Peanut Soba Noodles or Orange-Tomato Couscous.

I saw Food & Wine’s Steamed Tofu with Shrimp and Black Bean Sauce via Serious Eats and knew it would work perfectly. And, the Meat-eating Military Man and I had really enjoyed a Fried Tofu in Blackbean Sauce at a great Chinese restaurant in San Francisco, so I knew it wouldn’t take much convincing to get him to eat it!

Meatless Version:

Tofu and Black Bean Sauce

Okay, so please don’t judge me. My dish doesn’t look like the one pictured on Food & Wine’s site or on Serious Eats’. Or, the one from the Chinese restaurant! I apologize. I couldn’t find whole fermented black beans, so had to get fermented black bean sauce.

This dish tasted much better than it looked though and I loved how easy it was to make. It was perfect for meat-eating him and plant-eating me.

Before you enjoy, here are some notes about the recipe and ingredients: If you can’t find whole fermented black beans (like the original recipe calls for), just use the same amount of fermented black bean sauce. It won’t necessarily look picture perfect, but will taste great! Keep in mind that you will have to watch the salt level then. Can’t find Chinese cooking wine? A dry white wine will work. Don’t use your standard white cooking wine or sherry cooking wine. Those have added salt so again, will make the dish way too salty!

Click “Continue Reading” to get the recipe!

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A great recipe for the vegetarians and carnivores at your kitchen table!

Meaty: Chicken Peanut Soba Noodles

Meatless: Tofu Peanut Soba Noodles

When I made these soba noodles, I knew I couldn’t sell it to the Meat-eating Military Man by saying, “we’re eating buckwheat noodles tonight.” He would have lost interest at buckwheat. I don’t blame him. Had I not eaten these noodles in my parents’ house, I might be skeptical, too.

Instead, I said, “we’re eating Asian-style noodles.” I wasn’t lying, but I made sure to keep his interest. To further sell it, I added, “with peanut butter sauce!”

And at peanut butter, he was sold. I win!

The Meat-eating Military Man would have eaten this dish with tofu, but I knew he would appreciate having meat. So I added chicken to his carnivorous portion. This recipe is one that is easy to serve vegetarian- or carnivore-friendly because you add the vegetarian or carnivorous option at the last step. The base for both–soba noodles, scallions, snow peas, peanuts and peanut dressing–are the same.

Here’s how simple it is to cook the tofu and chicken without complicating the process:

Cook both the same way and at the same time 

 Two skillets with meat and tofu is what our stovetop generally looks like–it really doesn’t add extra time.

I gathered inspiration from Heidi Swanson’s 101 cookbooks and from Claire Robinson of Food Network’s Five Ingredient Fix. The recipe below shows what I did to make this. The recipe may make a large amount (serves 6-8), but because it tastes good chilled, it’s the perfect dish to keep for leftovers. Lunch is ready to go without any extra effort!

Click the “Continue Reading” link to get the recipe and enjoy the carnivorous or vegetarian version. The Meat-eating Military Man certainly enjoyed his bowl.

P.S. – Take a close look at these funny chopsticks. (Hint: sumo wrestlers). Our friends got these for us when they were in Japan. :)

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