Trader Joe’s Thai Style Yellow Curry Sauce

I love the convenience of bottled simmer sauces that are becoming available at the grocery stores. They are truly life savers for when you come home late from work and need something on the dinner table real quick. The trick is finding out which ones you like, which means trying out a few brands.

I’ve always been lucky with almost anything I get at Trader Joe’s. They’re reasonably priced and always delicious, but sometimes you get hooked but you can never get it again. I had some favorite cheeses and sauces that was not available anymore when I came back for more. Sad.

So if I see something I want to try, I usually buy a couple to start with. They do have expiration dates so I cannot really get a dozen or so as we will get tired of it if I cook it too often. 😊

So…this is my most recent find!

I’ll cook this with some cut up chicken, garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and a couple of bell peppers from the garden.

You can definitely eyeball the amounts and adjust anything to your taste.

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Begin by preparing all of your ingredients. I used the following:

1-2 tablespoons oil

3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 pound of chicken breast, cubed

1 big potato, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 zucchini, trimmed and cut into half moons

A handful of mushrooms, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 bottle of Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry Sauce

Water

Freshly cooked rice and chopped cilantro, for serving

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Sauté garlic and onions until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned. Next add the potatoes and carrots. Stir and cook for a few minutes.

3. Add the zucchini, mushrooms, and bell pepper.

4. Pour the curry sauce over. Fill the bottle halfway with water, cover and shake to get every last bit of the delicious sauce, open the bottle then pour contents into the pan.

5. Stir the mixture and cover with a lid. Lower heat to medium low and simmer until chicken and vegetables are done, around 10-20 minutes.

6. Serve over freshly cooked, hot rice. Top with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Moo Goo Gai Pan

Here is a quick and easy version of a staple Chinese restaurant take out!

Once in a while I’d crave Chinese food really bad. Most good restaurants are not close to where I live so it’ll be about a 20-30 mile drive to get to one and I’m too lazy to drive out to hunt them down. So I made this using an older cookbook I saw at the library a while back.

The cooking process takes no time at all so make sure to prep everything in the beginning (chop, dice, mince…)and have it all ready to go.

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Ingredients:

1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinese shao xing wine

2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/3 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons oil

2 teaspoon garlic

2 teaspoon minced ginger

6 oz snow peas

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

Salt and pepper

Green onions, to serve

Procedure:

1. Prepare all ingredients and set close by.

2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together chicken, soy sauce shao xing wine, cornstarch, chicken stock, oyster sauce, and sugar.

3. In a wok, heat up oil. Sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant.

4. Drain chicken, keeping the marinade, and add the chicken to the wok. Stir fry until cooked through, about 5 – 10 minutes.

5. Add the snow peas, and stir fry for a minute.

6. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for another minute.

7. Add in the reserved marinade and boil for 3-4 minutes. Make sure you boil it.

8. Serve hot with freshly cooked white rice.

9. Enjoy!

Chicken Satay

Right after I was done with college, my mom, dad, and I got into this habit of driving around without a destination, just looking to relax and unwind. In the process, we got to try a lot of different restaurants all over Luzon, in the Philippines.

One of our favorite was Thai restaurants. The delicious Chicken Satay, bagoong rice with green mangoes and scrambled eggs, and delectable peanut sauce served with it is enough to keep us dreaming till the next Thai meal. Rounded out with Thai Iced Tea and we’ve got fuel enough to take us wherever that full tank of gas can go.

Fast forward 21 years later, allergic to shrimp, I have not been able to eat this in a restaurant because of possible cross contamination. So what was I to do? Make it at home, so that I am sure of what went into my food!

This is a very delicious meal, even without the Bagoong rice. If you are not allergic to shrimp, I recommend you try this with the Bagoong fried rice. I did provide an easy guide at the very bottom of this article.

2 pounds chicken breasts, sliced into pieces about 1”x2.5”

MARINADE:

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped red chili, optional

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons minced ginger, or ginger paste

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 heaping teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

SAUCE:

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1/3 cup water

Procedure:

1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together all marinade ingredients until well blended.

2. Add chicken slices and mix well to coat evenly.

3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight, to allow the chicken to absorb the flavors. In the meantime, soak short bamboo skewers in water.

4. Skewer 3 – 4 pieces of chicken in bamboo skewers and set aside.

5. Grill until done on one side, then turn to cook the other side. I used my stovetop griddle/grill plate as it was too cold to grill outside today.

6. Repeat with all remaining chicken skewers.

7. Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. *Forgot to take a picture of this sauce! Sorry! I will update once I make it again!

8. Serve with chicken and rice. Enjoy!

*This is usually served with fermented shrimp paste rice. My son and I are both allergic to shrimp so we do not serve it this way. If you do want to make it, though:

Heat a pan and add some canola oil. Saute minced garlic until golden then add chopped onions. Cook until onions are golden and soft. Add a few spoonfuls of bottled bagoong (fermented shrimp paste). Mix well and add cooked rice. Stir to heat up the rice and distribute the shrimp paste evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with scrambled eggs sliced in long strips.

Green Beans With Chicken

This an easy to make dish for weekday nights. You can serve it as a side or as the main dish. My boys like meat so this will only be a side dish tonight!

Try to cook the green bean only briefly so that it retains the crunchy texture that is perfect with the sauce. AND a lot of rice! 😊

1 tablespoon oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1 chicken breast, cut into thin strips about 1 inch

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces

2 – 3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

1. Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan. Add garlic and saute until browned. Add onions and saute 5 minutes more, until soft and lightly browned.

2. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with ground pepper. Cook until lightly browned.

3. Add green beans, oyster sauce, and water. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked but green beans are still crisp but cooked, about 5 minutes.

4. Add cornstarch dissolved in water and cook 5 minutes more, until thickened. Adjust seasoning to taste.

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Electric Lunchbox #79: Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I love food…any food…but lately have been craving Chinese/Asian food (anybody notice?) and been busy cooking a lot of them.

This time, it’s Lettuce Wraps! I recently got an Ankarsrum mixer and also bought the complete grinder/blender/citrus juicer combo. Not that I needed more gadgets, but I figured it’s worth it if can grind my own meat to just the size I need it.

So I got some chicken breasts today at Stater Bro’s with my mom after her doctor’s appointment and when I got home started my holiday baking (Alfajores Peruanos and Bacardi Rum cake – also baked 3 Butterfly Pea Sourdough with Toasted Oats and Einkorn at 6 am to bring to my mom) then ground some of the chicken to make Chicken Lettuce Wraps! Whew! So much for a day off!

And here is the recipe! It is delicious! Happy to say it all worked out (the mountain of dishes and utensils to wash too!) and I’m done, just need to type this up!

I hope you try this recipe out! Low carb people, here is a recipe for you! ❤️

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup ground chicken

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger (I used 1/2t, I like ginger!)

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

3 button mushrooms, diced

2-3 tablespoons chopped water chestnuts

Dash of ground pepper

3 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure:

1. In the big ELB bowl, place chicken, olive oil, garlic, ginger, and onions.

2. Next add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and red wine vinegar.

3. Then add the mushrooms and water chestnuts. Sprinkle with some ground black pepper.

4. Mix everything together until well blended. Do not pack it in the bowl. Lift and loosen up the meat after mixing.

5. Cover with foil and place in the ELB. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, around 1 hour.

6. Carefully open the ELB and check the meat for doneness. This is how it’ll look like after steaming.

7. Mix and break up the meat into little pieces.

8. Serve with washed lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Filipino Menudo

This Menudo recipe is a Filipino dish that makes it’s appearance on everyday lunch and dinner tables to fiestas and special occasions. It is tomato based and has a little sauce that make it perfect with white steamed rice, and LOTS of it!

You can use cubed chicken breasts or pork meat in this dish. I have not tried nor heard of a beef version though. Please let me know if you know of a Filipino menudo recipe made with beef!

When I was a kid, I remember this dish having *chopped liver when served, but I do not really like liver nor is it easy to find where I live now, so I left it out. If you want to add it, of course feel free to. I’m sure it will taste closer to the authentic version my aunts used to cook!

I usually add *sliced hotdogs to this dish too. My son loves hotdogs (I mean, all kids do right?!) so if I have it, it definitely goes in the recipe too. I just didn’t have any on hand this time.

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound pork or chicken breasts, cubed

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Onion, diced

1/2 cup Tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

*1 cup chopped liver, optional

*1 cup sliced hotdogs, optional

1 bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup raisins

Salt and pepper

Procedure:

1. Season cubed chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a wok or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and let cook until lightly browned about 4-5 minutes, without stirring. You want that caramelization as it adds so much flavor to the dish. Give it a quick stir and let sit again until most of it is lightly browned.

3. Remove chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

4. Add another 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat up. Pan fry the potatoes and carrots until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and set aside. *You can skip this step but my Tita Saning who showed me this recipe did it this way, so I am sharing this step too. Kind of like honoring her memory. I miss those times. ❤️

5. Heat up the last tablespoon of oil and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the onions and saute for about 3-5 minutes, until golden.

6. Add in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, potatoes, and carrots. *If using liver and hot dogs, add them too*

7. Let simmer over medium-low heat until meat and potatoes are done, about 20-25 minutes. Taste, taste!

8. Add the bell peppers, peas, and raisins and simmer until heated through, about 5-10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Serve hot over freshly cooked rice. Fish sauce on the side is optional, but highly recommended! 😋

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Electric Lunchbox #59: Arroz Caldo (Rice Porridge with Chicken)

It’s has gotten a bit cooler the past week here so I started making soups and other cold weather recipes for the ELB. All of a sudden this week is HOT! Oh well! I’ll still be sharing this Filipino recipe with you anyway, to have if, and when, you need it.

Arroz Caldo literally means “hot rice”. It’s the Philippine version of rice porridge, okayu, juk, congee…it is the food we eat when we’re sick, when you do not WANT to but HAVE to eat, when your stomach isn’t happy, or just when it’s cold outside and you want something to warm your hands and tummy.

The most basic ingredients are rice and water, with salt or fish sauce to taste. This version is cooked with garlic, ginger, onions, and chicken, dressed up before serving with boiled eggs, fried garlic, and spring onions. A squeeze of “calamansi” – Philippine lemon, completes the flavor profile of this dish. Yummy!!

Calamansi in my garden.

Feel free to use less rice if you want a more soupy Arroz Caldo. Or simply add some hot water to thin it out if it is already cooked and is too thick for your taste.

Hope you’ll try this comforting food soon as the weather turns cooler, fingers crossed!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 ELB cup white glutinous rice (“malagkit”)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

1 teaspoon dried minced onion

175 grams diced chicken breasts

1 teaspoon fish sauce, plus more to taste

Dash of ground pepper

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1-2 raw eggs

Chopped green onions and fried garlic, for topping

Lemon juice, or calamansi, to serve

This is the store bought fried garlic that I use. And the glutinous rice called “malagkit” in the Philippines.

Procedure:

1. Place the rice, garlic, ginger, onion, chicken, fish sauce, pepper, and chicken broth in the big ELB bowl.

2. Place the bowl in the ELB base, add 3 ELB cups water in the base.

3. Place the raw eggs in the little nesting bowl (or the middle layer egg holder for the Jumbo).

4. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

5. Open the lunchbox carefully and check if chicken and rice are done. Adjust the consistency by adding some broth or water if needed. Adjust seasonings to taste too.

6. Top with the boiled egg, fried garlic, and green onions. Serve with lemon slices or calamansi.

7. Enjoy

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Electric Lunchbox #56: Chicken with Green Beans

Chicken with green beans – this is an ELB version of a stir fry that our family loves. I believe that the original version uses shrimps but allergies made me switch it to chicken. It’s still really good! And if you do want to try it with shrimps, just replace the chicken with the same amount of shrimps.

I use garlic powder and minced dried onions because I find the flavor is more pronounced than using fresh, when steaming is the method used for cooking. If you don’t keep those in your panty, feel free to use fresh.

Of course, as with all my cooking (not really baking though!) recipes, feel free to add or remove ingredients and use this mainly as a guide. Make it your own! And I hope you enjoy the end product of your efforts! ❤️

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

100 grams diced chicken breasts

10-12 pieces green beans, trimmed, and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion, or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped onions

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce

3 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Dash of ground black pepper

Rice (optional):

2 ELB cups rice

2 ELB cups water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon Knorr chicken and tomato bouillon powder

Procedure:

1. Place chicken, green beans, garlic, onion, oyster sauce, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, and pepper in the big ELB bowl.

2. Mix until cornstarch dissolves. Place bowl on the ELB base.

3. If cooking rice, place rinsed and drained rice in the small nesting bowl, add water, turmeric, and bouillon powder. Stir. Place bowl on top of the bigger bowl. Add 3 ELB cups water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.

4. Carefully open the ELB, remove the bowls and check chicken and rice for doneness. Serve hot, over rice, if cooked together.

5. Enjoy!

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