Monday, April 30, 2018

Instant Pot Peanut Tofu Curry with Rice

An easy to make Thai Curry with tofu; this Peanut based sauce is super yummy and easy to make. Plus the recipe makes the curry and rice together in UNDER 30 minutes!


One Pot meals are always on my mind. From recipes that make a rice with add ins to pasta and soups. I love them all! They save me a LOT of time, effort and yet make a satisfying meal. 

Since I bought my Instant Pot, I have been using it for MANY recipes that come together in a jiffy. Most of the recipes I have on the blog using the Instant Pot are made using just the base. This is the FIRST recipe that makes a complete meal using the pot-in-pot method. And I am in LOVE with this. Getting together a meal in under 30 minutes is always a great idea, especially on weeknights. 


Tofu is the protein of choice in our house and we enjoy it in all cuisines. From Indian to Mexican and Thai to other Asian cuisines; we love tofu in ALL these! I have a ton of tofu recipes on the blog that you can check out:

Coming to the recipe, this is a variation of a Thai classic. I used peanut butter to make make a thick and creamy curry for the tofu. With the addition of Red Curry paste and sriracha, I got the perfect orange color I was looking for and the great taste too. 

The first time I made this recipe I used the smooth peanut butter and was not particularly fan of the texture. So this time I bought myself a small amount of freshly ground peanut butter that was not smooth. The curry turned out just like I wanted. However the choice of smoothness depends on your personal preference. 


To complete the meal I made a bowl full of steamed white rice. I just used the regular rice but brown or jasmine rice tastes awesome too. The time taken for cooking the rice and the curry is just FOUR minutes, except the time taken to saute the vegetables. I love how the entire meal comes together in 30 minutes. 

When I bough the Instant Pot I was not sure what I wanted to make in it. I started off with a few recipes that came in the book with the pot and once I had a hang of how to deal with the settings, I experimented other recipes. Now I love my Instant Pot so much, that I use it for dinner atleast 3-4 times a week! I customize recipes to make in the pot, I use it for fermenting batter and for yogurt. Here are some of my favorite IP recipes:

If you are a fan of Thai food, this recipe is going to be on your favorites in no time. I have used ingredients that are super easy to find and make this cheat recipe in no time. And the result is ALWAYS perfect using this one. 


Variations

I made the curry with just tofu pieces. However, the same can be made using vegetables or your choice of protein. It works well with all these. 

To make the curry I used a Curry paste from the store. You can make your own too. Plus if you like extra basil or lemongrass flavor, go ahead and add more. They can become overpowering so make sure you go slow! 

The Pot-in-pot method helps to make the rice along with the curry. However, you can also make the rice separate. Mix and match the recipe with brown rice, jasmine rice or even quinoa. They all taste perfect with this curry. 

Last, I used crunchy peanut butter but you can use either that or the smooth one. Only change would be in the consistency of the final curry. So look no further and make your version today! Hope you enjoy the meal! 



Ingredients

For the Curry
Firm Tofu 1 block (14 oz)
Onion 1/4 medium, diced
Pepper 1/2 medium, diced
Garlic 2 cloves, minced
Peanut Butter 2 tbsp
Red Curry Paste 2 tbsp
Coconut Milk 1 cup
Cashew nuts 6-7
Chilli Oil 1 tsp
Vegetable Oil 2 tsp
Sriracha Garlic Sauce 1 tsp
Soy Sauce 1 tsp (tamari for Vegan)
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/4 tsp
Lime juice to taste
Spring Onion and cilantro to top

For the Rice
White Rice 1 cup
Water 1 cup and 2 tbsp
Oil 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp

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Method

Press the tofu between a couple of paper napkins and place a heavy pan on it. Keep aside for 20 minutes. Then, make even sized cubes and keep ready.

In a bowl mix together peanut butter with 1/4 cup water. Add in soy sauce, sriracha sauce, salt and sugar. Mix well. 

In the base of the instant pot add the vegetable oil and chili oil. Set the mode to sauté and medium. Once hot, add minced garlic and sauté till fragrant. Add in onion, peppers and cashews. Mix and sauté for a couple of minutes. 

Add Thai curry paste and sauté for a minute. Add the peanut butter mixture, and coconut milk. Add more water if desired. Mix well, add the tofu cubes and let it bubble. 

Meanwhile, wash the rice till the water runs clean. Add to a steel bowl and pour in water. Add salt and oil and mix.

Place a trivet in the Instant Pot and place the rice bowl on it. Close the lid. Press cancel and then press Pressure Cook and High pressure. Set vent to sealing and time to 4 minutes. 

Once the time is up, do a quick release. Remove the rice bowl and fluff using a fork. 

Add in lime juice to the curry and mix well. Top with spring onions and cilantro and serve with the rice. 


Friday, April 27, 2018

Movie Night Popcorn Snack Mix

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Quinn Snacks and I have been compensated. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Movie time delight; a mix of sweet and savory popcorn with snacks and nuts! This FIVE minute recipe is great for parties and beyond! 


The days are finally warming up and we are getting ready for multiple events. From Spring parties and beach picnics to watching movies at home and in the park.

All these parties are coming up and we have ONE favorite recipe that works for all of them; popcorn. I cannot believe I NEVER put a popcorn recipe on the blog yet. So when I got my box full of Quinn Popcorn bags; I was sure I was making an addictive popcorn mix for the blog.


I have had a TON of popcorn while watching all kinds of games and movies. From microwaveable popcorn to those made from kernels in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker and from packaged popped corn to the freshly made popcorn at the theatre; I have had it all. From all these popcorn types, I have one thing that I like the most. It is the popcorn that is popped first and seasoned later. 


That style of seasoning ensures the butter or oil is not cooked while popping the corn kernels. When I realized my bag of Quinn Popcorn came with just the corn in the bag and the seasoning separate, I was SO happy! I made a bag of it and gobbled it all while binge watching Netflix. Get your favorite flavor here

The bags I made for this post were the ones with Real Butter & Sea Salt. Combining that seasoning with some sugar and cinnamon; I made a sweet and salty popcorn blend that was super yum.


Just to add in variety, I mixed the bag with a snacking mix, chocolate covered grapes and almonds. With a perfect blend of sweet and savory, this mix is SO good to enjoy. Plus, if you are having this with your favorite soda or juice, it completes the movie menu! 

This snack goes a long way for all kinds of parties. It is easy to make, can be made in advance and served, easy to scale up because the popcorn comes together in under 5 minutes and can be customized based on preferences and allergies (if any). Make a nut-free combination or spice it with some Mexican spice blend, do it all and enjoy your time! 


Variations


I used the Real Butter & Sea Salt flavor from my box of Quinn Popcorn bags. However, you can choose your favorite flavor from Just Sea Salt, Vermont Maple Kettle Corn, White Cheddar, Parmesan & Rosemary, Real Butter Tastes Better Original,  Real Butter Tastes Better Truffle Butter or Real Butter Tastes Better Movie Night Extra Butter.

To enjoy a sweet and salty snack I mixed in cinnamon and sugar. But if you are not a fan of the flavors combined, skip the sugar. You can also add in other seasonings like Mexican Taco Seasoning or Italian seasoning.

The final mixture had a mix of add-ins; both sweet and salty. I skipped marshmallows and cookie bites, but they taste great. Adding other nuts is always a great idea too. 




Ingredients

Quinn Popcorn bags 2 (freshly popped)
Quinn Pretzel sticks 1 packet
Snack Mix 1 cup
Chocolate covered grapes/almonds 1/4 cup
Almonds 1/4 cup
Cinnamon Powder 1/4 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp


Method

Pop the Quinn popcorn bags as per the instructions on the package. In each of the bag add the oil and seasoning. Also add in cinnamon powder and sugar. Mix well. 

Transfer to a big bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients, mix well and serve in popcorn bags or bowls. Enjoy with your favorite movie or game! 


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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

25 Refreshing Summer Drink Recipes

A collection of 25 BEST drink recipes for the entire family. This post is a keeper for the entire season and beyond! 



The cold days are gone and we are getting ready for warmer days ahead. With barbecue recipes, beach party prep and ice creams; I have a list of TWENTY FIVE drinks that you need to try this Summer. 

All these drinks are alcohol free, best when served cool or ice cold, and are easy to make. No complex ingredients, no crazy methods. Just a few ingredients, kids friendly recipes and most of them scale well for crowds too! Still reading this? You need to pick your favorite recipe NOW :)

Click on each of the recipe names to go to the full list of ingredients and steps to make it. Each one is addictive and perfectly suited for the warm days! 


The PERFECT drink for Summers, this variation to the classic Iced Tea is a treat! Easy to make, needs a few ingredients and tastes awesome too. 




Just what you need to bring back a TON of childhood memories! The cotton candy grew up into such a cool drink to enjoy through the Summers.



If you LOVE pineapples and can grab a bag of frozen cranberries, make this AWESOME drink for everybody. It is a crowd pleaser and super easy to make!



If you have a TON of strawberries that you picked from the farm or got from the Farmer's Market, you need to make this milkshake. A no-fail recipe to give you a thick and wholesome version of the restaurant classic! 





Think of Fall and make a glass of this mocktail! This pumpkin pie drink is such a treat and makes me want another glass! 




A traditional Indian drink enjoyed in Spring and the festival of Holi, have a glass of chilled Thandai through the warm months! It is super satisfying and has some amazing cooling properties.




Who needs ice cubes when you can freeze your drink with popsicles? These kiwi popsicles and lemonade make an awesome drink for any season, plus it needs only a few ingredients and is kids friendly.



Whenever you want a summery drink, Iced tea is the answer. Especially if it is infused with Peach. This peachy delight goes a long way on HOT days! 



Oreo lovers, where art thou? You need to be HERE and make this for summer afternoons. Just like the cookies, this drink is addictive and super yum. 



What is summer without mangoes? This colorful drink is perfect for any day, especially if you are celebrating SUMMER! WE love this grenadine infused mango juice. Have you ever tried it?



Inspired from Indian Falooda, these mini servings of milk, ice cream and rose syrup along with add-ins make a great treat for summers. Plus, it helps in portion control and looks chic too.




Watermelon is THE fruit for Summer. Enjoy this Agua Fresca with your kids. It is super awesome for any party and easy to make even for a LARGE crowd.





Who does not know Thai Iced Tea? This perfect drink is something you need to enjoy through Summers. DIY is always better than restaurant, right?



IF you are a fan of Ice cream soda, this drink is a MUST-TRY. Flavored with fresh Blood Orange juice, this drink recipe is a keeper. Works great with all kinds of citrus and berries. 



The Indian version of Lemonade, this awesome Shikanjvi is a cooler for the warm months. Bold flavors and easy to make recipe! 




The starting point of all drinks Pumpkin, this syrup can be made and stored for several days. Use it to bring in Fall to the Summer days! 



If you are a fan of Betel leaves, this drink is the one you HAVE to try. Super flavorful and easy to make. Make it in shot glasses and have a great party guys! 



Surprise your kids with a naturally colored lemonade. With a small bit of beetroot, this lemonade recipe goes a long way! 



Raw mangoes come together so beautifully in this drink. Aam panna is a traditional Indian summer drink. It has a few ingredients and is always fun to make for a BIG crowd. 


20. Frozen Grape Lime Rickey Slush


A perfect combination of grape and limes, this Slushy drink is a must-have this Summer! Easy THREE ingredient recipe that is super awesome for kids and adults alike! 


21. Unicorn Smoothie

Once a latest fad at Starbucks, this drink is STILL as good. A smoothie that is perfect for summers and all parties that are Unicorn theme, this recipe is AMAZING all year round! 



Orange lovers, here is a recipe you are going to LOVE! Iced Tea flavored with Oranges, this drink is super yummy. Flavors of tea and orange come together perfectly in a chilled glass of this drink! 



Kids friendly virgin version of Pina Colada, this drink needs only four ingredients and comes together so easily. Remembering the beach and a cool drink?? You need this for sure! 




Peaches make the PERFECT drink for picnics and parties. Have you tried a Sparkling Peach Lemonade yet?




For the short time that the citrus is available, make the MOST out of it. This lemonade is not just yum, it looks almost too cute to drink. We love this for our Spring parties, how about you?


Friday, April 20, 2018

Blood Orange Iced Tea

Homemade Blood Orange syrup makes this Iced Tea full of flavor and super yum! Make yours while the fruit is still in season! 



The days are finally warming up! We are seeing glimpses of Spring around us. My patio garden is finally growing, the flowers are back and I can see the bees and hummingbirds around them! 

This year has been crazy cold and I have been waiting for the days to warm up since long. We saw Hail, rain and lots of wind here. Not really the best things to encounter while kids around are on Spring break!

This time of the year brings with it some yummy fruits that I love. BLOOD ORANGE is my favorite citrus, given its flavor and awesome color. Every time they are in season, I stock up a few dozens and enjoy them while they last. From being a great addition in baked delights to making cool drinks, I have used these in many recipes. 



Looking for Blood Orange recipes? Try one of these
This time I wanted to combine Blood Oranges with my other favorite drink; Iced Tea. Back in India I used to enjoy iced teas at various restaurants. From lemon flavored and orange flavored to cherry and strawberry; I have had gallons of them! I wanted to make a similar recipe using Blood Oranges. Finally I got myself to make it.

A simple combination of strong black tea, blood orange juice, sugar and garnishes; this drink comes together in NO time! It can be made in advance and stored till ready to enjoy. It can be customized in various ways and made in any quantity from one glass to a gallon.



The last time I made this tea, I HAD to shoot it and post it here. Having planned for a couple of years, the season for the citrus runs out by the time I think I will shoot it. So this time I decided to shoot it the FIRST time I made it and the recipe is here just before the season is done for the year! So make sure you grab a few blood oranges and try this TODAY!



Love tea hot or cold? You need to try one of these recipes for sure! 


Coming back to the recipe, here are a few variations you can make for the recipe. 



Variations

I know Blood Oranges only make an appearance for a short while. Plus they are not available everywhere. So use your favorite citrus for this recipe. Lemons, limes and oranges work well for this! 

If you like a strong version use 2 tea bags per glass of tea. If you like a lighter version, use 1. Plus, you can use green tea for the recipe too! Use your choice of sweetener from sugar, honey or maple syrup. 

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Ingredients

Blood Oranges 3 medium
Sugar 2 tbsp
Black Tea bags 4
Water 2 cups
Mint Leaves a few
Blood Orange slices 2-3
Ice as required



Method

Juice the Blood oranges and keep ready. Refrigerate till required.

In a pan heat 1/2 cup water and mix in sugar. The amount of sugar can vary depending on how sweet the citrus are. Once hot, turn down the flame and add the tea bags.

Let the tea steep for a while. Remove the tea bags and discard. In the tea extract add the Blood Orange juice. Mix well.

In a glass add ice cubes. Add half the tea mixture and top with cold water. Mix well and serve with garnishing like mint leaves and Blood Orange slices.