People may assume I cook everything from scratch but I don't. I like to use tasty sauces as a short cut but get creative with what gets simmered. It's also easy to boost nutrition by adding extra ingredients like quinoa or chopped chard, for example.
Besides eating gluten-free, I am also choosing to eat vegetarian for 5-6 days of the week to force myself to eat more grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. This has been a positive change but also means I have to be more creative with meals.
I keep tofu on hand because my daughter has acquired a taste for it. My son will eat it as well and it's the perfect accompaniment for a simmer sauce since it takes on that flavor. The way to use a simmer sauce is to cook your food in the sauce itself, to give the most taste to each ingredient.
One of my strategies is working in parallel. While the food cooked on the stove, I was chopping. Once the dish started simmering, I prepped the rice and quinoa. I figured both would be done in about 20 minutes and if one was done before the other, that would be ok, too.
The result was a well rounded, really flavorful meal that everyone enjoyed, especially my dear husband. Yellow curry is one of his favorite meals. He also loves jasmine rice. By adding the red quinoa to the rice it maintained the flavor but added a big boost of nutrition. I have to admit, I hadn't thought to do it before but I'm sure I will do it again. Enjoy.
Yellow Curry Tofu
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 sweet potato, orange or white, chopped (optional; I had one in the pantry to use)
3 carrots, peeled and cut into thick circles
8-10 yellow creamer potatoes (or 3 yukon gold potatoes, chopped in medium pieces)
1 jar yellow curry sauce (I used the World Foods brand)
8 oz firm tofu, cut into cubes
1. Saute onion in olive oil. While that cooks, cut the sweet potato. Add potato to onion and stir.
2. Cut carrots while potato is cooking and add that next.
3. Wash the yellow potatoes and then add to pot. Add entire jar of sauce plus half a jar full of water (place water in jar, place cover on jar, shake and then pour into pot to get all of the extra out).
4. Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes, or until potato is becoming soft. Add tofu, stir, remove cover and cook another 5 minutes.
5. Serve over red quinoa rice.
Red Quinoa Rice
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed with water
4 cups water (use less if you want it stickier)
1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed
Place all ingredients in a rice cooker and set to cook. If using a pot, bring to a boil, cover and lower to a simmer. Cook about 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Protein Tip: If you want to use chicken breast chunks, cook chicken with onion, remove and add back in for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. If breast cooks too long, it will become chewy. If you are using chicken thighs, cook that with the vegetables. Cook shrimp the same way you would the chicken breast. If it simmers for a long time, it will also become very chewy.
Kid Tip: If this is too spicy for your children, try removing half of the curry and adding about 1/2 can of coconut milk to mellow it out; save the other half for you. These sauces are flavorful so give it a try. Your children might surprise you. I think mine like it because of the creamy texture. Another good sauce to try is a green curry.
Veggie Tip: Try other vegetables in this curry like peas, cauliflower, red pepper or spinach. Let your children decide which vegetables to put in and if they can help with the prep, even better.