Spicy Mocha

Who doesn’t love chocolate and spice? I know I certainly love this spicy mocha as it’s an indulgent treat with that nice bit of caffeine to get you going. My spicy mocha is similar to a Mexican hot chocolate, but with a couple twists that make it not only healthy but enjoyable.

Ingredients

  • coffee from a 2 c moka pot or percolator
  • 1 c almond milk*
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice*
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon*
  • 2 shakes cayenne*
  • 2 chakes of alspice*
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla powder*
  • 1 shake of ginger powder*

Recipe

Brew your coffee in the percolator. Warm up your milk in the microwave for about 2 minutes. When it’s done, froth it in the french press as I have explained in a prior post.

Mix your spices, sugar, and cacao together in your mug and add just a little coffee. Mix until it forms a smooth paste, now add the rest of your coffee and stir to combine.

Pour in your milk, and it’s ready to sip on. Enjoy!

*Use whatever spices you have and that make you happy! Also, use whatever milk you like; oat milk would be splendid in this. Sweetener is optional although I do recommend it as the cacao powder contains no sweetener. You could also do this iced!

Ras al Hanout Spice Blend

Ras al Hanout is my all-time favorite spice. It is perfect by itself or in combination with just about everything. You can sprinkle it on everything from roasted vegetables and hummus to popcorn! It’s an all in one complex and warm spice. Ras al hanout is my everything.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp star anise
  • 2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 nutmeg (whole)
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder

Recipe

Take all the whole spices, and toast them over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until they all become aromatic. Let them cool before grinding.

Once your spices have cooled, throw them in a grinder, and pulse until they are mostly ground. (The cinnamon sticks usually give me problems as my grinder is far from industrial, so I like to break them small pieces.)

I made the mistake of putting my turmeric in the grinder with the other spices, and now my grinder will always be yellow!

Now grab your container (preferably glass or the turmeric will stain it forever) and add your coriander and turmeric to it. Take a funnel and a small sieve and sift the spices you ground through the funnel and into the container. As you go, dump the not fully ground spices into another container to re-grind at the end. Once everything is sifted, grind the remaining spices, and sift into the container again.

Now shake everything in your container together to insure the spices are evenly distributed. Your ras al hanout is ready to enjoy!

Creamy Miso Ramen

Ramen is delicious – especially miso ramen with some creaminess. That’s what I’m making on this stormy night, something warm and soupy. It has been my go-to ever since I became a vegetarian and chicken noodle soup went out the window, fast. At least to me, ramen is so much more complex and warming.

Ingredients

  • Leftover tofu from the Thai red curry (if you have any)*
  • 1-2 medium boiled eggs left over from the egg curry*
  • 2 tbsp red or dark miso
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste*
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes or sambal*
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy*
  • 1 1/2 c water or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp vegetable bullion powder or paste
  • handful of fresh or packaged ramen noodles
  • evaporated milk or soy milk*

Recipe

Heat a small pot over medium heat and add the miso and ginger garlic paste to combine and cook for a minute. Next, add the chili flakes and soy sauce until it becomes a thick creamy consistency. Don’t add salt at any point until the end if it isn’t salty enough for you, as the miso is quite salty in and of itself.

Now add your broth or water mixed with bullion and bring to a boil. Preferably, cook your noodles in your broth as I think this adds more flavor to them. The fresh ramen noodles only need to cook for 2-3 minutes and will be done, so you can add your tofu and eggs at the same time as the noodles.

However, the packed noodles will take longer, and you may need to add more water to make up for the water the noodles soak up. Then, add your tofu and eggs once the noodles are ready about 5-7 minutes later.

At this point, you can be done, but I like to add just a little splash of soy milk to make it silky smooth and creamy. Yum!

I buy fresh noodles typically at an Asian market, and freeze whatever I have leftover in single portions which makes things a lot easier!

*All optional, but I highly recommend as the recipe won’t taste the same without them.

Please let me know what you think of the recipe, pics, everything in the comments, so I can work on making Panda Eats Food better! Thanks!

Egg Curry

Alright, Egg curry is South Indian comfort food, and is similar to the Thai red curry. But egg curry is a bit different and requires less thought and time for me. It is a melding of flavors in a simple yet strong way with some spice, of course. Egg curry is a staple in my home, as it requires few vegetables and ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, boiled/steamed and peeled or tofu
  • 1/2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 to 1 c water
  • 2-3 tbsp evaporated milk*

Recipe

Boil or steam your eggs until they boil, turn the heat off, and let sit for about 10 minutes. Then remove, cool them, and try pealing them successfully unlike me.

While your eggs are cooking, slice your onions, and chop your tomatoes into small cubes.

Heat some oil or ghee in a pan, add the cumin seeds, and let them splatter/pop. Now add your onions before the cumin burns. Add some salt to taste, and it will help the onions cook faster. Cook onions for about 5 minutes.

Onions with ginger garlic paste

Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for around 2 minutes before throwing in the tomatoes. When cooking your tomatoes, you want them to become mushy and break down; you can help expedite this process by adding water while you cook them.

Onions, ginger garlic, tomatoes, and spices.

Now add your spices and combine. Cook for another 2 minutes or so; then add the water to make everything into a gravy of sorts.

With the water.

Now I add in my eggs that demonstrate my inability to peel. You can also fry the eggs in a skillet before you throw them in, and that makes them even tastier. But, that doesn’t work well with messed up eggs like how I did them this time.

And the eggs.

Ok, you can be done completely at this point or like me, if you added to much chili powder, you can add some milk/cream/tahini to make your curry creamier and less spicy!

Serve by itself, with rice, or like I did with some yummy parathas (kind of a croissant tortilla) that I’ve been meaning to eat. Enjoy!

*Milk is totally optional, and if you want to substitute some spice you can, but it will definitely change the flavor. As always though, use what you have!

Thai Red Curry

Thai red curry is one of those easy meals. Plus, you use whatever is in your fridge, so it’s a perfect end-of-the-week meal. Unfortunately, I haven’t made red curry paste myself yet, but a tub you by at an Asian market lasts me months, MONTHS. Not only will the tub last me months, but this curry will last you days possibly if you’re cooking for yourself, or maybe a couple nights for several people.

Ingredients for Tofu

  • 1 block tofu
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp sambal olek*
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp agave*
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for Curry

  • 1 onion*
  • 1/2 16 oz carton of mushrooms*
  • 1 zucchini*
  • 1 bell pepper*
  • 1/3 c red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk*
  • 1/4 c frozen corn*
  • 1/4 c frozen peas*
  • 1 c frozen broccoli*
  • 1/2 lime

Recipe for Tofu

Preheat oven to 400 F, and combine all of the ingredients (except tofu) on a lined baking pan. Mix all the sauces together. Cut tofu into chunks, throw in the pan, and coat in the sauce. Place in oven for duration of cooking time for curry (approximately 30 minutes or until brown and crispy).

Recipe for Curry

Oil a skillet or wok and heat on high. Slice the onions and mushrooms, and add them to the pan. Let cook for 5 minutes while chopping the rest of the fresh vegetables. Add the fresh vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes.

Now add your red curry paste in the side of the pan and smash it into the side of the pan. Begin adding a little coconut milk at a time to the curry paste and mix the two until smooth. Incorporate the rest of the coconut milk if you haven’t already.

Cook for 3-5 minutes and chuck in the frozen veggies. If the curry appears too thick (mine did), add a little water until it reaches your desired consistency. Cook for around 3 minutes.

Retrieve your tofu from the oven, throw it in the curry, and squeeze the lime over everything. You’re done with a yummy and warm Thai red curry, so enjoy!

Red curry paste I found at a local Asian grocery store – ON SALE! Winning!

*Almost all the items here are optional. Substitute for vegetable or meat you find delicious!

**You can devour this curry as is, with rice, quinoa, or whatever you desire.

Banana Oat Pancakes

Banana oat pancakes are my go-to recipe whenever I feel like having pancakes. Why are they my go-to? They’re delicious, fairly healthy, simple, and hey, you can use that banana on your counter that’s about to rot! This recipe is pretty basic, but it has my specialty quirks.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1 egg or flax egg (2tbsp ground flax and 4 tbsp hot water)
  • baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds*
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon*
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract*
  • salt to taste*
  • maple syrup/honey/agave/berry compote/nutella*

Recipe

So this is pretty easy; blend everything together just until it’s combined. Now let the batter sit for 10-15 minutes, and then you’re ready to cook some delicious pancakes! If your batter appears too thin, it will thicken while you wait; if your batter looks too thick, add some milk or water until its slightly thinner.

When cooking the pancakes, you can use a non-stick skillet or use a bit of oil or butter, so they don’t stick. They should only need to be cooked a few minutes on each side until they’re ready. I will say if you make them smaller, they’ll cook through better and faster. The tell-tale sign for flipping them is when bubbles start to appear around the edges and throughout the pancake.

Top with whatever you want and enjoy!

*All completely optional.