Whether you are an avid cookbook collector, a quickie online recipe-grabber or a naturally gifted home cook, there are cookbooks that seem to become your own personal first responders. The Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin has become a habitual go-to for me because the recipes are interesting, easy and provide a modern twist to the everyday. My daughter thumbed through the book and placed bookmarks on all the recipes that she wants me to make… eventually. Since I’m always open to ideas for delicious vegan dishes to try, I take a look at these lovingly bookmarked pages whenever my mind goes blank or I’m up for something new. This is a great way to get kids involved in healthy eating—actively looking through a cookbook, picking out recipes they like and helping to prepare them is so good for them on many levels.
Thai Coconut Soup is a recipe that I might not have made had my daughter not earmarked, it but I am so glad that I did! Bursting with flavor, hearty and healthy, this soup was absolutely delicious. My husband, who is normally my best guinea pig (just and expression!), was a bit tentative about the flavor prospects of this soup, but really loved it at the very first taste. It certainly didn’t disappoint my daughter, who wants me to put this in my regular cooking routine. We decided that if you add 3 ingredients to anything, you will make it “Thai”—coconut milk, lemongrass and lime juice. Of course, some basil and cilantro seals the deal! Whether you’re a Thai food “beginner” or lover, this soup will hit all the buttons!
I have to admit, there were a couple of ingredients that I didn’t have on hand (the jalapeño peppers and the kaffir lime leaves) so I can only imagine how great it will come out next time. Instead of lemongrass stalks, I used Gourmet Garden’s Lemon Grass Paste which comes in a tube. One tablespoon of the paste is equal to 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped lemon grass. I love this product because lemon grass may not be available in the market or you may want to make a recipe on a moment’s notice and this stays good in the fridge for a while. In place of fresh shiitake mushrooms, I have a large container of dried shiitake mushrooms, by Shiitake-Ya, that I rehydrate whenever a recipe calls for it.
I really adore the Skinny Bitch series of books because, in addition to great recipes and information, these ladies are irreverent and entertaining, obviously! Of course, they’re skinny and bitchy but underneath their thinly veiled persona there is an strong, very non-bitchy agenda to spread health and happiness to readers….
“Use food to turn your health and life around—it is powerful. Use food to clear your head. Use food to reunite friends. Use food to bring your family together. Use food to influence change. Use food to get laid, if that helps. Just use it. That’s what it’s there for…Invest in yourself and your body will invest in you. Any positive changes you continue to make in your diet are steps in the right direction and every choice you make is a new chance to discover just what you’re capable of.”
–from Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin
That doesn’t sound so bitchy to me!
Thai Coconut Soup
from Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin
- 1 Tbs grapeseed oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbs chopped fresh ginger
- 2 lemongrass stalks, lightly chopped
- 1 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper
- 1 15 oz can light coconut milk
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 3 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 Tbs white miso paste
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 cup peeled and sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup small-cut broccoli florets
- 1 cup firm tofu, drained and cubed
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 tsp pepper chili flakes
- 1 Tbs chopped fresh basil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1) Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and jalapeño and cook 1 minute.
- 2) Add the coconut milk, broth, sugar, cilantro, kaffir lime leaves and white miso and simmer 30 to 40 minutes.
- 3) Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour in the soup. Discard the strained ingredients and add the strained soup back to the pot.
- 4) Cook again over medium heat and add the soy sauce, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli and tofu. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
- 5) Add the lime juice, bean sprouts, red pepper flakes and basil. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.