Spicy Thai Coconut Quinoa – Local Dish

Spicy Thai Coconut Quinoa

Ways in which things are returning to normal at Casa Local Dish:

  • Out with the lunch meat! We’re eating dinner leftovers for lunch the next day, which has been our habit and preference for years. You can only eat so many sandwiches. No matter how you vary the ingredients, it’s still a sandwich.
  • A full pot of tea every morning! No more heating up water in the microwave or kettle to make individual mugs. Our “coffee” maker is full steam ahead, using our favorite loose-leaf teas to make 12-cup pots of warmth for early winter mornings.
  • Also full dishwashers! No more paper plates. No more take-out containers. You wouldn’t think I’d be happy about dishes, but, well, life can be surprising.
  • Welcome back tofu! Welcome back spicy! Welcome back Asian! Three of my favorite things to cook myself, all included in:

Spicy Thai Coconut Quinoa

Is that a Kate dish, or is that a Kate dish? (Hat tip to

Gina on Pinterest

for the recipe.) But not everything is business as usual. How could it be in such new surroundings? What’s not normal:

  • The vast, lovely amount of space I have in my new kitchen to arrange my ingredients for blog photography.
  • The amount of Sriracha hot sauce this recipe calls for: 1/3 cup. Hoo whee.
  • The shiny, white counters, which are awesome but reflect more light than I’m used to when I take food photos.
  • The vast, lovely amount of space I have in my new kitchen to arrange my ingredients for blog photography. Oh, I said that already.

(Sorry, I’ve probably crossed the line into bragging now. I’ll stop.) (I’ll try to stop.) As the last pictures show, the key to this recipe is preparation. This is not something to throw together after a long day of work or on short notice. This requires reading all the steps in advance and staying organized, which at least in the kitchen,

I’m usually pretty good at

. Even so, I wouldn’t label this recipe as the original CHOW post did: “It’s still simple enough for a weeknight dinner and you won’t use every pot and pan in the house.” Yeah, even I don’t consider it simple. Not hard, but not simple. The quinoa, broccoli, carrots and tofu all have to be cooked in separate stages. Then the dressing, tasty but thick and sticky, is difficult to stir evenly through all the ingredients. There were a few pockets of nothing but dressing that took me by surprise. It’s a Kate recipe, and one which I’m glad I made. It was good. Not good enough for me to eagerly put it back into rotation right away, though. Surprisingly, the best part — the new bit I’ll take away to put into use in the future — was simple: the preparation of the quinoa… … which is cooked in broth and coconut milk. Why have I never thought of this? Talk about flavor! The healthy whole grain becomes creamy and craveable all by itself. Perhaps it could be used as a simple side dish? Perhaps the same method would work well with other grains like rice? You eat every day, my friends. Might as well learn something new, too.

special-occasion recipes to re-emerge to be enjoyed at holiday meals — hopefully with some new photos to accompany. Happy holidays!