Friday, April 13, 2012

Healthy Enough for Target and Thai

These last few days I have been a little "sicky babe," as Eric calls me.  Eric had a nasty cold last week and since we share's been nothing but tissues, NyQuil, DayQuil, and countless sneezes for me! Somehow though, I mustered up the strength to make a "Tar-Zhay" trip and get my favorite favorite $1.99 popcorn combo.                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                     It's the best. Target has always been one of my favorite places to shop. It's just a classy joint. I didn't even know I could love it more until Eric wanted to get popcorn and a drink while we were registering for our wedding gifts.  If you know his mom Jill at all, you'll know where this tradition started. I was definitely meant to be a Rea! I didn't need a thing but that's when it's most beneficial to go to Target, you find things you just forgot you needed!
Thankfully, my little cold hasn't kept me out of the kitchen either! I don't think anything really could. I just  absolutely love cooking. I love looking up recipes, planning out meals, and having people over for dinner. I still get super nervous/stressed when trying a new recipe and usually say "uh oh" once or twice from idiotic minor mistakes, but I figure the more I practice the better I'll get.  I just want to be one of those women who can walk into a kitchen and 20 minutes later have homemade cinnamon rolls coming out of the oven. One who says, "oh, I just whipped something up" and it tastes like it took them all day.  I pretty much just described my mother, who we fondly call Mama Pen Pen. She is an incredible cook, and comes from a long line of women who are all amazing cooks.  So my passion for cooking partly comes from not wanting to screw up my family tradition.

Mama Pen Pen teaching us cooking classes a while back

We've recently jumped on the quinoa bandwagon thanks to our friends Beth and Strater.  It's great from a healthy standpoint and also tastes so good that now we prefer it over pasta and rice. We also love Thai food, so when I found this recipe, I went straight to the store after work to pick up the ingredients I was lacking.  It is so simple and easy and took no more than 30 minutes.


Coconut milk-infused quinoa is stir fried with ginger, garlic, pineapple and peas (shaved carrots if you're me), then drizzled with a lime-soy sauce, and topped with chopped peanuts (or just mix in a spoonful of peanut butter if you're me). So delicious!!

Since I had already used half a can of coconut milk I figured I might as well make coconut sticky rice for dessert with the other half. We didn't have any mango so I improvised and used strawberries instead. We both agreed, it's not a bad trade! I might have even liked it more. 

Pen Pen would make sticky rice and I would beg her to make it all the time, but the process looked too complex and time consuming for me. So, I found a faster, cheaper, and of course easier method since I'm still in "training". I halved this recipe for the two of us but this is a good amount for 4+ people.

Strawberry Sticky Rice:

1. Go to an Asian market (you'll pay tripple at the grocery store). Tripple. No Joke. While you're there pick up 1 can coconut milk, and some Glutenous (sweet) Rice. Hopefully you have sugar at home :)

2. Pour 2 cups of the sweet rice in a small microwave safe mixing bowl and soak in water for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours...depending on how patient or hungry you are.

3. Pour out all but 1/4 inch of water and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in the microwave for 8 minutes, mix, then continue microwaving for a couple more minutes until the rice is all cooked and the water is gone. 

4. Mix 1/2 can coconut milk with 1 cup of sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour this sauce over the rice and coat completely. Pour rice into a shallow serving dish and let sit for 15 minutes. Slice strawberries (or mango) into bite size pieces and decorate as you wish. 

5. For an extra kick you can make a little sauce to drizzle over top: In a saucepan mix 1 Tablespoon sugar and remaining 1/2 can coconut milk until sugar dissolves. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp cornstarch.  Cook over low heat and stir constantly until just boiling, remove from heat and let cool.

The sesame seeds are mostly for looks, but they are only a dollar at the Asian go for looks!


  1. Great post! Yummy food and awesome pictures! I'm going to try this recipe.:)

  2. Well how cute are you?? I'm glad you are feeling better and I'm also glad to know you enjoy cooking -- Cody and I will hire you as our personal chef. :) Done and done.

  3. haha diet coke and target popcorn! it's a great tradition.
    okay that dinner you made looks so good!!! WOW! talented.

  4. 1. I just found your blog.
    2. I love it.
    3. WE LOVE QUINOA! (We've been eating it for about a year now)
    4. Try this recipe:
    It's amazing.
    5. I'm sorry you're sick.
    6. I love Target (I go there AT LEAST once a week)
    7. I'm the same way about cooking and hosting.
    8. I'm going to try both of those recipes! :) Eek!
    9. We need to stay in touch better.
    10. I love you!