International Store Finds, and Awesome Panang Curry!

What a great weekend it was!  Saturday was great because we got to see our WSU Men's Basketball team beat California in a game that came down to the final seconds, then we went to a local pub to have some beer and played some games like Apples to Apples and Jenga.  Sunday was spent watching football, then cooking with some exciting purchases I made earlier this weekend from an International Store in downtown Pullman.  I have seen in blogs that I read that these types of stores can have great inexpensive and interesting food finds, and this one definitely did.  Here are my finds:

Coconut Milk
Panang Curry Paste
Spring Roll Paper

I was most excited about the curry paste, which was a bit pricier ($3.50), but for the amount that came in the jar, it did not seem so bad.  I only used a small amount of the paste for this recipe, which will stretch pretty far on its own.  As I was cooking a meal with these ingredients, I just about flipped a b**** when I saw the nutrition labels. The Panang Curry Paste, is mostly spices so it has very little calories, but has an insane amount of sodium, so beware next time you buy curry paste!  Also, the coconut milk is very high in fat.  I don't know what I was expecting, but coconut milk is not a diet food!  I used it this time, with quite a bit of added water to dilute it, but next time I think I will use coconut water with some almond milk (a much healthier option in my opinion).  

Panang Curry Spring Rolls
brown rice
black rice
1 can coconut milk
1 c water
1/4 c panang curry paste (or equivalent of curry powder)
1 t cumin
1 t dried basil
1 fresh jalapeno (optional)
2 t minced ginger
6 cloves garlic
8 grape tomatoes (~1/2 c)
3 c garbanzo beans, cooked
1 onion, sliced
1 head broccoli, chopped
several mushrooms, quartered
shredded carrots
green onions, sliced
spring roll paper

Directions:  In two saucepans, prepare the brown rice and black rice.  In a large saucepan, heat the coconut milk and water with the curry paste, cumin, and basil over low-medium heat.  Whisk until well combined.  In a food processor, process the jalapeno, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes (***the jalapeno made my curry super spicy, so maybe go for half a jalapeno, or omit it if you don't like hot foods***).  Continue to process until it is a paste and combine it with the curry sauce.   In a large skillet, water saute the onion, broccoli, and mushrooms until the broccoli is tender.  Add the garbonzo beans and sauteed vegetables into the currry saucepan.  Heat the curry to a simmer, and simmer for 5 minutes, covered.  
In a small bowl, combined the desired amounts of brown rice, black rice, and curry and mix to prepare for the spring rolls.  I used these instructions for preparing the rice paper.  Place a good amount of the curry rice and veggies in the center of the wrap, add shredded carrots and green onion as desired.  Wrap like a burrito.  Drizzle the curry liquid sauce over the wraps and sprinkle with more green onions.  Enjoy!
 Amy's notes:  I used brown rice and black rice, but for this recipe you can you either or.  As I said earlier, omit the jalapeno from the recipe if you do not like hot foods, or if your curry paste or powder already has enough spice to it already.  Some alternatives to rice paper might be tortilla wraps, butter lettuce, collard greens, etc. if you can't find or don't want to use rice paper.  Next time I make this recipe I will be using the following replacements:  coconut water and almond milk instead of coconut milk and water, no jalapeno, and steamed collard greens for wraps.
I don't often make exotic foods at home, but I have to say that I really enjoyed making something new.  Cooking for me is all about trial and error, and learning your likes and dislikes.  Every time I make something for the blog I am constantly making notes for myself on what I should do differently next time.  Unfortunately, I am only cooking for one and have a limited food budget, so you guys get to see my first try on most recipes.  I hope everyone enjoys my experiments as much as I do, and I hope to hear from anyone that has tried a variation of any of my recipes.

As a side note, I have started reading The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn.  I think I know most of the information that is given in the book, but I'm just looking for another book to help keep me motivated.  I do have a Vegas trip for Spring Break to kick my butt into shape for now; Kevin and I just booked our stay earlier last week!  I keep chanting to myself "you are not allowed to bring extra fat to Vegas" and "think of that sexy short dress you want to wear dancing!"

What do you find yourself chanting to stay motivated to eat well and exercise?


  1. I go with "Treasure yourself, you're worth it".... sometimes you just need a little reminder!
    & about the coconut milk, you could always use coconut essence and tofu/soy milk if you wanted it creamy but coconut water sounds good to me.

  2. I like your motivational words much better than mine! I'll use your suggestion tomorrow at the gym for sure ;) -ANK