Cool and Spicy

Cool and Spicy

These dry, hot summer days call for quick and cool dishes. I also find that despite the heat we tend to gravitate to the heat of chilies, ginger and garlic. And indeed, the cuisines of South Asia are the inspiration for the week. Here are a few of my favorites that fit great with the offerings in this week's share.

This Week's share:

cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, salad, green beans, dill, garlic, kohlrabi

This Week's recipes:

Cold Soba Noodles with Cucumber, Cabbage and Spicy Peanut Sauce
Stir-fry with Thai Chili Paste
Green Beans with Mustard and Dill Vinaigrette 

Cold Soba Noodles with Cucumber and Cabbage and Spicy Peanut Sauce

This recipe is easily adapted to whatever veggies you have on hand and what ever noodles you like. Feel free to swap the soba for rice noodles or ditch the noodles all together for a slaw and toss in your kohlrabi, carrots, scallions or other veggies.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 1 clove smashed or microplaned garlic

  • 1 inch microplaned ginger

  • juice of 1 lime

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 3 Tbsp peanut butter

  • 1 Tbsp water

  • 1 tsp sambal olek chili sauce

Simply mix all the ingredients together and stir until smooth.

Cook and drain noodles and run under cold water until chilled. Thinly slice a cucumber, about a 1/4 of a cabbage, mint and basil and toss with the noodles and sauce. Top with sesame seeds or chopped peanuts.

Stir-fry with Thai Chili Paste

Having a well stocked pantry is a boon for throwing together a quick, delicious meal. By well stocked I don't mean you need to have every condiment or dry ingredient under the sun. I mean that having your old reliables on hand can offer the key to the no-brainer supper when it's too hot to think about cooking, when you've just come back from an afternoon of swimming and the kids are ravenous, or you're bone tired from work but need to put some nourishing food into your body. Thai Roasted Chili Paste is one of these magical go-tos in my kitchen, elevating the standard blah stir-fry into super yummy and it all comes together in about 15 minutes.

I like to make this with ground pork and any veggies that are around but of course you can swap the protein as well as the veg.

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 bunch scallions or small onion
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • green beans
  • cabbage
  • kohlrabi

Heat some coconut oil over medium high heat and quickly cook the onions. When soft, add ginger and pork. Cook for a few minutes then add kohlrabi and beans. When the pork is just about cooked through add the cabbage and the sauce.

For the sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Thai roasted chili paste (I like the Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp water or orange juice

Green Beans with Dill and Mustard Vinaigrette

Remember that nice homemade vinaigrette recipe from a few weeks ago? We're building off of that here. Go ahead and make your dressing. Steam or boil your green beans and drain, while still warm add a clove of fresh minced garlic and dress with vinaigrette and some chopped dill. The warmth of the beans will help them soak up the flavors. Serve at room temperature.

Share Recap:

My plan this week is that I made the noodles last night for dinner and since I am alone for the first part of the week without my kiddos I'll take the leftovers to work for lunch. The stir fry I'll make for a quick dinner with the kids and we'll have some of our delicious salad greens too.

Greens beans will probably accompany a quick herb grilled chicken paillard like this one.

We'll still have zucchinis, some kohlrabi and extra cabbage to play around with for the rest of the week. Enjoy and keep cool!