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Posted on Mar 2, 2011 in Food | 9 comments

Scary Foods Dinner Attempt #1

Good morning, everyone. So, in an attempt to broaden my culinary horizons, my latest trips to the grocery store have included the sincere attempt to buy what I like to call my “scary foods”, which are foods that fall into one of the following categories:

1) Foods I haven’t liked in the past;
2) Foods I haven’t tried in the past;
3) Foods I have never been able to successfully cook for myself.

Last night, I attempted to actually make a palatable dish out of a few of my scary foods. On the docket were:

Brussels sprouts (category 1),

Kale (category 2),

Tofu (category 3).

I decided that the best way for me to tackle these strange, unfamiliar ingredients (well, except tofu – my mom makes awesome tofu dishes that I’ve never been able to replicate!) was to cook them up in a style that I’m veeeery familiar with: Thai!

Specifically, Thai green curry! YUM. Enter the other players:

I made a supah quick marinade for the tofu using low-sodium soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, crystalized ginger, and sriracha. Then, the curry sauce itself was made utilizing a green curry paste and a can of light coconut milk. You whisk the latter two together in a pan on the stove, and then I added a green bell pepper, red onion, and some stemmed kale to cook in the sauce.

Tossed the tofu into a pan with a little coconut and olive oil, and let it do it’s thing before adding it to the curry sauce and vegetables to let it all simmer together (and let the curry sauce reduce slightly):

As you can see in the sprouts picture above, I tried roasting the b. sprouts in the oven with some olive oil and salt. They didn’t end up being a part of the curry itself. After everything was done I piled it into a bowl with some quinoa that I cooked up in the rice cooker (another past scary food, but one that I’ve since conquered and come to <3):



Verdict?

Well, the curry was great. I mean, of course it was – curry IS great, haha. But the tofu turned out really well, so I was quite pleased! I think in the past the reason why I haven’t been successful with my tofu dishes is because I didn’t allow the tofu to really cook long enough. So I let it be for a long time just sizzling away until the edges got browned and it tasted really good. I think the marinade made a big difference too (tofu in and of itself doesn’t have much flavor.)

The kale also tasted good in the curry sauce. It is a little more of a substantial green than spinach or chard is — chewier, I guess. But I can definitely see myself eating this green a lot more in the future, which is good because it’s a superfood, right?

Unfortunately, the sprouts were the least successful part of the meal. I declare that I am not a Brussels sprout convert. I didn’t even finish eating all of the ones in my bowl (and I have like a gajillion leftover!) I think that I *want* to like them more than I ever really will (I see ’em all the time on other healthy living/food blogs and I want to be part of the gang!) I think I had read that roasting them is the best way to make them, but they just have this kind of bitter, sour flavor to them that I don’t think I’ll ever get on board with. Maybe if I doused them in BBQ sauce or something… if any of you have a magical b. sprout recipe that you think will change my mind, please share it with me! I’d be willing to give them one more chance but right now, the odds aren’t stacked in their little green, brainy-lookin’ favor.

Anyway, that was my food adventure for last night! I brought the leftover curry for lunch today, so I’m excited to revisit it (mad love for leftovers for lunch — sandwiches schmandwiches!) I have another exciting-slash-fairly-disgusting health thing that I’m currently pursuing, so I need to determine whether or not I have the ‘nards to actually blog about it, hahahaha. Stay tuned!

PS – I created a new page under the “About Me” section of the blog, all about the pupsters! Have you checked it out yet?

9 Comments

  1. I’ve never been a brussels sprout fan either but i went to a restaurant and tried them there- roasted style, and i’m not sure if they put something on them prior to roasting them but they were delicious! Made me realize i could be a b. sprouts fan after all these years of dad saying how terrible they are 🙂

  2. The one and only time I tried and liked brussel sprouts was when a friend made them and cooked them in olive oil, I’m talking delicious. But I just learned that olive oil can be high in calories so not sure if that helps at all. Oh, there was one other time that I liked them but they were doused in butter, which wasn’t healthy in the least bit haha.

  3. i LOVE Brussel sprouts. the way my boyfriend cooks them is best. we picked up the recipe from a restaurant and tried to mimic it. first sautee garlic and onions together in olive oil. then cut the brussel sprouts. first cut the end of them, where the stem was, just a little bit off. then cut them in half. place the flat side of the brussel sprout down on a skillet, which has been covered in EVOO. sautee them until they are tender, and most likely slightly brown, and flip them over to get the other side, add the onions and garlic that you sauteed. then we add Parmesan cheese to the top and put them in the oven to melt the cheese, but this probably isn’t a very health conscious idea, so you can leave that out, or just add a tiny bit of cheese. you really can’t go wrong with onions and garlic though!

    • I may just have to try that! Like I said, I’m not giving up on the sprout completely, I just need some way to make it taste awesome. It’s so weird WANTING to like a food so badly, hahaha!

  4. Props to you for trying so many new things! Plus it looks delicious. I’d eat a vat of it. I recently started eating raw tomato on things like BLT’s. This is a huge milestone for me. Keep branching out!

  5. Soak brussels sprouts in salt water before roasting! It takes away the bitter taste. This also works for eggplant.

    • Ooh, what an interesting tip! I hadn’t heard that one before. Eggplant too, huh? Do you think that soaking it in water would help decrease the oil absorption too? I looooove eggplant but it’s like a SPONGE for oil when you cook it!

    • I’m definitely still willing to give b. sprouts another chance. I do love butternut squash, so maybe this recipe will be the thing that helps drive me to the other side! 😀

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