When there is no time to cook…

Sometimes there is just no time to cook. I had aspirations of creating and writing about about all sorts of dishes that dreams are made of. Recipes that challenged me, and expanded my repertoire. Concoctions that required that I put my brand new Creuset to good use, for something other than soup. A new Creuset calls for a braised meal for me to truly say that it has been broken in. I’m over zealous, need to be consistently over -stimulated, that it is difficult to back off from overdrive. Amongst numerous parties and events  that have kept me out of the house, I still need to eat good food made with my own two hands. Coming home late, tired and lazy, sometimes the last thing I want to do is cook. Yes, it happens to me too. You know when you open up that fridge and the only words that come to mind are: “there is nothing to eat!” Even though you know perfectly well that there are plenty of healthy ingredients, that should be used up and converted into food before you are forced to toss them?Yup, I do that too; but I hate wasting food. That is how I put this dish together.

It was 9pm and I was just walking though the door. Opened up my fridge felt completely uninspired and tired at the thought of having to be up at 6 am for the 6th day in a row after going to bed way past my bedtime more than once in the last week. Changed into sweats, considered skipping dinner but my tummy was growling. Went back into the kitchen opened up every single cupboard, drawer,  and door for inspiration. I thought of my wilting spinach and abandoned bell pepper, caught a glimpse of the opened package of rice noodle vermicelli and settled on an idea. Twenty minutes later I was eating this:

Red Curry Veggie Bowl

Makes one portion, ready in less than 20 minutes.

  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup of raw vegetables
  • 1 cup of leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard or kale
  • 1 handful of rice vermicelli, softened in boiling water (or about 1 cup cooked)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
    1 tbsp hot water (take from noodle soaking water)
    1 tbsp coconut oil
    Salt and pepper to taste

Use an assortment of vegetables, whatever you have leftover in your fridge is fine. I used some zucchini and red peppers. In a pan on medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil and sauté the garlic, onions and ginger until soft. Since discovering coconut oil I always have some in my pantry. It gives a great flavour to any dish and is great for sautéing. If you do not have any on hand, simply use a vegetable oil and add a dash of sesame oil when serving to add a nice nutty flavour. Add the remaining vegetables, sprinkle with the turmeric and sauté until cooked. Add the leafy greens, cover the pan and allow to wilt, about a minute.

In the meantime, dissolve the red curry paste with the hot water and the fish sauce. Strain the soaked and softened vermicelli. Uncover the pan to toss in the red curry mixture and noodles, until everything is well mixed.

Serve piping hot and you can choose to garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, a wedge of lemon or lime, or even some nuts or seeds for added crunch. I had none of these on hand, and my bowl was just as tasty.

You can also add some cooked shrimp, meat or a scrambled egg. Play around with what your fridge has to offer. We rarely ever make a fuss over our everyday meals, but nothing is stopping us from making something tasty and bright in no time flat.

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