Evil Jungle Prince-sorta Thai

I was attracted to this recipe by the name. Evil Jungle Prince? What's so evil? And who was this prince of the jungle.

Turns out this recipe originated at a Thai restaurant in California. Hence it's sorta Thai. I could not find an explanation of how it came to be named.

I neglected to pick up Thai bird chilis and Thai basil during my Whole Foods visit so I had to use serranos and regular basil. I don't know how much this changed the flavor profile of the dish. For all I know I made Naughty Jungle Prince.

I'll definitely make it again soon with the proper ingredients. It was very fast to put together and the ingredients are easy to keep on hand.


Evil Jungle Prince
Recipe from Recipe Land

1/2 lb chicken breasts boneless, or 1/2 lb mixed vegetables
2-6 small red chili peppers
1/2 Stalk lemon grass
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt (I didn't use any salt because of the fish sauce)
1-4 tablespoons fish sauce (I used 3 tbs)
10-15 basil leaves
1 cup cabbage chopped

Thinly cut chicken into 2-inch strips. (If doing veggie version, cut vegetables into thin strips.) Grind together red chili peppers, lemon grass, and kaffir lime leaves in a food processor or pound in a mortar. Heat oil to medium-high and saute pepper mixture for 3 minutes.Stir in coconut milk and cook for 2 minutes.Add chicken (or vegetables) and cook for 5 minutes or until cooked. Reduce heat to medium-low.Stir in fish sauce, salt, and basil. Serve on a bed of chopped cabbage.


I have PMS

I hate crowds.

And I especially hate crowds of mouth breathing assclowns who act like they've never seen a damned grocery store in they're lives (Overheard: "Oh look honey! ONIONS!")

So I guess I was asking for it when, in a temporary bout of insanity, I decided to go to the Grand Opening of a Whole Foods megastore. This store is over 50,000 square feet and I was curious what they had that the mini-Whole Foods by my work doesn't have.

Anyway, I said the serenity prayer (the one where you ask for the strength not to choke the shit out of stupid people) and got on with it.

Yeah it was crowded. They gave out free baguettes and if you spent $40 you got a free tote bag.

The moment the doors opened herd mentality kicked in. They had these platters of cheese samples and people rushed up to them and bypassed the tongs choosing instead to stuff cheese cubes in their mouths with their hands. At least they were right by the door which gave me a chance to beat the surge.

I like their meat and seafood departments a lot. They source all the meat and only carry sustainable seafood. The organic beef is all grass fed as well. I also like that they source their produce and tend to carry a lot of locally grown fruit and veggies. Their 365 brand of canned goods and condiments is good too. I can find any imported cheese I need too. I find that I don't spend any more than I would at the regular grocery store for those things.

They have a TON of prepared foods (and more free samples to deflect the hoardes away from me). I think the prepared foods is where they really earn their nickname of "Whole Paycheck". There's fresh cooked and refrigerated food from all around the world, Asian, Latin American, Indian, Italian, a bakery, a patisserie...you name it they make it. And the salad bar is enormous. I saw a bunch of old people rushing the seaweed bar. I have no idea why.

The prepared food is top quality. I'll have lunch there every now and then but if you're one of those non-cooks that get's take out most days of the week I think it can really add up.

There's a wine and tapas bar and even a little clothing section. I looked at some cute vegan shoes. The snarky side of me says, "sure they have no animal products but what kind of global foot print did that JEEP rubber sole leave? And they use child labor on some of those rubber farms don't they?"

This Whole Foods is fairly close to my house but I'll wait to go back when the crowds die down.

Shrimp My Way

Well not really MY way. I got this recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything so I guess it should be called Shrimp Bittmans Way.

Either way it's delicious and if you have a well stocked pantry you should have everything on hand. I made the whole recipe and will toss the leftovers with a salad for lunch.

I served it over romaine lettuce with a simple home made vinaigrette, roasted cauliflower and a piece of bread to sop up the extra sauce.


Shrimp, My Way
How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used 1/4 cup)
3 or 4 big cloves garlic, cut into slivers (I used 4)
1 1/2 to 2 pounds shrimp, in the 20 to 30 per pound range, peeled, rinsed, and dried(I used 26/30 ct)
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh spicy paprika
minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. Preheat the broiler and adjust the rack so that is as close to the heat source as possible.

2. Very gently, in a large, broad oven-proof skillet or baking pan, warm the olive oil over low heat. There should be enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan; don't skimp. Put the garlic in the oil and cook for a few minutes, still over low heat, until it turns golden..

3. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Stir to blend and immediately place under broiler. Cook, shaking the pan once or twice and stirring if necessary, but generally leaving the shrimp undisturbed, until they are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly. This will take from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat of the broiler.(mine cooked really fast!) Garnish and serve immediately.

West African Peanut Soup

image_4 by you.

I was craving soup so I perused my recipe collection and found this, which I used to make quite a bit. I have no idea why I put it aside.

I love this soup! It's so easy, healthy and tasty. Precisely why I'm planning on taking it to a cook-off at work! I used the homemade vegetable stock previously posted here.

The modifications I made are as follows:

I added the sweet potatoes with the carrots. That was an accident as they're the same color and I grabbed the wrong bowl. No harm done.

I used an immersion blender to puree the veggies with the tomato juice because I have a nice immersion blender precisely for this task. Saves pouring hot liquid and potential splatter too.

I added very little sugar. I think it can actually be skipped altogether.

I like thick soup so I didn't add any additional liquid.

(from "Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant")

2 cups chopped onion
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cayenne or other ground chiles
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cups chopped sweet potatoes
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 Tbsp sugar
chopped scallions
chopped roasted peanuts

Sauté onion in oil until it is translucent.
Stir in cayenne and ginger. Add carrots and
sauté a couple minutes more. Mix in potatoes
and stock, bring to a boil, simmer 15 minutes
(until the vegetables are tender). Puree the
vegetables with tomato juice (and some of the
cooking liquid if necessary) in a blender or
food processor. Return the puree to the pot.
Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Check
sweetness and add sugar if necessary. Reheat
gently, using a heat diffuser if necessary to
prevent scorching. Add more water, stock, or
tomato juice to make a thinner soup if
desired. Serve topped with plenty of chopped
scallions and chopped roasted peanuts.

Serves 6-8

Josie from 2dogsandagirl tagged me.

The rules are:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names, linking to them.
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

OK five facts about myself

1. I can't stand a messy kitchen and will make sure the dishes are in the dishwasher, the pots are washed and the counter is wiped before I sit down to eat
2. I started a new job in September and I still don't know what the hell I'm doing. I was really worried until the big boss told me to chill out and it will come.
3. I hate talking on the phone. I rarely answer my own phone. I prefer to return calls.
4. I'm a voracious reader and belong to a book club
5. I like cooking reality shows. Right now I'm getting a kick out of Last Restaurant Standing on BBCA.

Now I'm going to tag The Kitchen Queen Victoria who shares my passion for perfect buns.
The Savory Notebook. Alysha is a fantastic cook and a much better photographer than me!
Recipe Girl who posts on the CL boards. Her blog is new and looks fantastic!
I like snarkiness so I'm Mad and I Eat and Gild the Voodoo Lily are two blogs I check in on when I get time.

Odds and Ends

Well I had a nice Mexican recipe all picked out but I left it at work.

This week I've been trying avoid trips to the grocery store and cook with what I have on hand. The following are two very easy recipes. I would bet that you have most of the ingredients on hand.

The first recipe is from Weight Watchers Take Out Tonight Cookbook. The recipe calls for bone in breasts and I have made it that way but I had boneless skinless in the freezer so I used them. It was good but the bone-in breasts are better. If you use the boneless you'll reduce your roasting time.

I served it with steamed asparagus.


Lemon-Garlic Roast Chicken

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. marjoram
3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 skinless, bone-in chicken breasts
1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
1/2 C. water

1. Preheat oven to 425 F

2. Combine the lemon juice, 1 T. of the oil, the garlic, oregano, marjoram, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken, tossing well to coat and marinate 20 minutes

3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 T. oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper in a medium bowl. Add the potatoes and toss well to coat. Place a wire rack in the center of a large roasting pan. Arrange the potatoes around the rack and roast 20 minutes.

4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserve marinade. Remove the potatoes from the oven and place the chicken on the wire rack. Add the water to the reserved marinade and pour over the chicken and potatoes. Roast chicken and potatoes 20 minutes, baste with the pan juices. Return the pan to the oven and roast until the internal temperature is 170 F.

4 servings, 6 WW points per serving

The second recipe comes from the January '06 issue of Cooking Light. I looked at wild caught salmon at the store and it's very expensive right now. Luckily I had some frozen wild caught in my freezer. I won't eat farmed salmon so it may be a while before I make this again. I used my cast iron grill pan and didn't cover it. I served it with roasted brussels sprouts drizzled with balsamic vinegar.


Grilled Salmon with Garlic, Lemon, and Basil

We found that fish cooks best on a nonstick grill pan with a dome-shaped lid, so the fish steams while it gets great grill marks. Serve with a tossed green salad and couscous.

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cooking spray
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To prepare sauce, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

To prepare fish, heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper; add fish to pan. Cover and grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with sauce.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and about 1 tablespoon sauce)

Spicy Cabbage and Chicken Salad -Vietnam

This recipe comes from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen. The cookbook is a good read but I'm having a hard time getting inspired to try the recipes. I think it's me and not the book though.

This salad is pretty good but I will warn you that the dressing is a nose runner. Very spicy. The dressing is also supposed to be red, which would make a prettier picture, but I used a green serrano instead of red Thai chile. The author suggests serving this with and even in rice soup. If I make this again I'm going to try it that way.


Spicy Cabbage and Chicken Salad
Goi Bap Cai Ga

Serves 4-6

1 tsp salt
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
About 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 small head green cabbage cut into 1/4 inch ribbons
1 carrot peeled and finely shredded
2 tbs finely chopped Vietnamese coriander or cilantro

1 or 2 Thai or serrano chiles, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch salt
3 tbs fish sauce
6 tbs unseasoned rice vinegar

Fill a saucepan half way with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Add chicken breasts. When water begins to boil remove pan from heat and cover. Let sit for 20 minutes. Drain chicken, shred with 2 forks and let rest to room temperature.

Place onion in a bowl and cover with vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and add to bowl with shredded chicken, cabbage, carrot and cilantro.

Use a mortar and pestle to mash the chile, garlic, sugar and salt to a fine paste. Place into a bowl and add the fish sauce and rice vinegar. Taste and adjust as needed. Toss with salad.

Tempeh Tantrum

Yeah I know I said I'd do a Vietnamese dish but it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

I was craving another tempeh dish and this one came highly recommended. I think this is my official "go to" tempeh recipe. It was really easy to put together and the end result was outstanding. It's also a very healthy vegan meal.

I used regular basil because I didn't have time to go to the Asian market for the Thai basil. I think the two taste so different from one another that I'm going to use the Thai basil when I make this again to give it a more Asian flavor. The regular basil worked but I think it would be perfect with the Thai.

STB_0381 by you.

Stir-Fried Tempeh with Spinach and Thai Basil
Cooking Light August 2003

Thai basil has small purple leaves and a stronger taste than sweet basil; if unavaliable, use the latter. The longer you marinate the tempeh, the more flavorful it will be. We liked this dish best with soy tempeh, but any variety (five-grain, three-grain, soy-rice) will work.

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 pound soy tempeh, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach

Remaining ingredients:
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups thinly, vertically sliced red onion (about 3 medium)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 cups loosely packed fresh Thai basil leaves or coarsely chopped sweet basil
4 1/2 cups hot cooked basmati rice(I used brown basmati)

To prepare tempeh, combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with whisk. Add tempeh, turning to coat. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes to 4 hours, turning once. Remove tempeh from marinade; discard marinade.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tempeh; sauté 2 minutes. Remove tempeh from pan.

To prepare spinach, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons sake, salt, and spinach; stir-fry 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Remove spinach from pan with a slotted spoon.

Combine sugar, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, water, and juice; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; stir-fry 3 minutes or until onions are tender. Add tempeh, sugar mixture, and basil, stirring to combine. Cook 2 minutes or until heated, stirring frequently. Spoon tempeh mixture in the center of a serving platter; arrange spinach around tempeh. Serve with rice.

6 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup tempeh mixture, 1/3 cup spinach, and 3/4 cup rice)


I've joined the Foodie Blogroll a wonderful community of food bloggers. I hope to glean some new ideas and recipes so watch for more changes. If you can't get enough of food blogs be sure and check out the list on the sidebar of this page.

I've also started to list and review my cookbooks on my Goodreads page. Check out my other books too if you're a reader.

Sauteed Chicken with Mango and Red Onion Chutney

This is seriously tasty and very easy to put together. My only regret is that I was out of brown rice to serve with this. I did steam some asparagus. The leftovers made a nice lunch the next day too.

The recipe comes from my Healthy Hedonist cookbook.

I also used coconut oil. I didn't expect it to be solid but I got the desired amount out of the jar and then some extra to rub on my hands. It really does soften the skin and there's no coconut scent.


Sauteed Chicken with Mango and Red Onion Chutney

5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
black pepper
2 tbs coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 red bell pepper cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 tbs minced fresh ginger (I used jarred)
2 mangoes peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs curry powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Slice chicken into 3/4 inch wide pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute half the chicken pieces until browned and barely cooked through about 1-2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add onions and bell pepper. Saute until softened about 4 minutes. Add ginger and saute until fragrant about 20-30 seconds.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken, cover and cook for a minute to heat through. Add salt if desired.

I just checked a Vietnamese cookbook out of the library so it looks like I'll be doing Asian again soon!

And I've also ventured into the blogging community and joined The Foodie Blogroll! I hope to visit all those sites and get some new recipes and ideas for my own blog.