Tag Archives: food az

Mae Ploy Curry Paste – Item of the Day

UPDATE – Since I first posted this review I have removed the small cans and sampler from it along with any recommendation that you buy the cans.  I specifically selected Mae Ploy curry paste because it was made with nothing but herbs and peppers, NO MSG!  Apparently the small cans have MSG. I can’t think of any reason a manufacturer would change the ingredients with package size but apparently they do.  Curry doesn’t require MSG, I recommend only the larger tubs now.  If you are okay with MSG fine, then you can buy the cans but I don’t formally recommend them at this time.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Mae Ploy Curry Paste and there are quite a few different options.  They include

I have had a lot of people tell me “I don’t like curry” and it usually means they have had at one time a heavy Indian curry and have decided that is curry.  I will say one thing most curries have in common is spice, so if you don’t like spice you may not find one you like or may have to use less than most people would in a recipe.

The thing is though, in Asia, the term “curry” is sorta kinda like saying BBQ Sauce in America.  Odds are you have had BBQ sauce you like, are okay with and frankly hate with bloody vengeance on who ever made it.  Why?  There are many versions of this, some are regional, some are family secrets, some are nothing but souped up Heinz ketchup, etc.

Curry is the same way, there are some common components and there are some regional adaptations but in say Thailand, every Thai mom thinks her curry is the best and likely has a secret thing or two she will never tell you about her version.  Translation is if you don’t like curry perhaps you have not tried enough variety yet.

I love cooking with curry paste, huge flavors and super easy and Mae Ploy Curry Paste is by far my absolute favorite brand.   Here is a dish I made last night.  As is typical there was no hard recipe it was just something I did on the fly.

Green Thai Curry Fish Soup.
(you can honestly use any fish or seafood you want in this)

What Went in it?

  • Pacific Rockfish (about 6 ounces)
  • Shrimp (4 split lengthwise)
  • Scallops (4 cut into fourths)
  • Peppers (sweet and jalapeño from my aquaponics system)
  • Sweet Potato Greens (from my aquaponics system)
  • Thai Water Spinach Stem and Leaf (from the timber frame pond system)
  • Swiss Chard Stem and Leave (from my aquaponics system)
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic
  • Coconut Milk
  • Lemon Grass
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Curry Paste
  • Better Than Bouillon Fish Base
  • Saki.
  • Garnished with Basil, Watercress and more Green Onion (all from my aquaponics system)

Long list of ingredients but dead simple technique.  I cut the fish into bite size chucks and cut the scallops and shrimp as described.  Sliced up the peppers and set them aside with sliced water spinach stems.  Cut up all the greens and set them aside separately.  Also thin sliced up a full bunch of green onion and set it aside separately.

Added about 1/4 can of coconut milk to a pot and cooked it down by about 50% which is getting down to being more coconut oil than milk.  Added three heaping tablespoons of Green Curry Paste (next time it will be one) and cooked the curry paste down into the milk.  Then added a bunch of green onion, some ginger, garlic and lemon grass.  Cooked it down a bit more and added a bit of Saki.

Dumped in the rest of the coconut milk and a few cans of water bring up to hot and stir in a few teaspoons fish base to taste.  Add peppers and water spinach stems and simmer until tender.  Add all sea food and poach it till almost done, now throw in all the greens and more of the green onion.  Stir till greens wilt but are still bright green and kill heat.

Garnish each bowl with some thin sliced basil, green onion, red chili and water cress.  Man oh man this was good and it is just one way to use curry paste.  So consider trying one or several of these options and expanding your culinary horizon a bit. Again here are some of the options…

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Unopened this stuff stores really well and even when open it has a very long life in the fridge, so as  prepper, I’m just sayin…..

However a 14oz tub of this stuff is a LOT of curry paste, it will make a LOT of food.  Most times you only need a spoon or two to make a whole meal.  Oh and if I had to pick my personal favorite curry paste, it would be the green.

Matiz Gallego Sardines – Item of the Day

sardines

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Matiz Gallego Sardines and you can get them in either a 5 count pack or a 25 count pack.  Oh dear friends the reasons these items are being featured are many, let us take a look at a few.

First I try to feature items not just of good quality but stuff I use, and I eat these a few times a week.  Due to the fact that I like them and that they are a good source of Omega 3 fats, which the average person is largely deficient in.  I eat them strait from the can, wrapped in lettuce with yogurt cheese, on Flax Crackers or as part of a lunch time salad.

Secondly lets talk about those Omega 3s.  Sardines and herring are about the best source of them on the planet.  Because these small fish are very low in the food chain.  So while fish like mackerel, tuna and salmon are great for Omega 3, they also carry a fair load of mercury and other toxins.   Not enough to never eat, you body can deal with some exposure to toxins, it it couldn’t’ we would all be dead.  But you need to eat something like this about 3-4 times a week for a good omega 3 vs 6 balance and you should not rely on large ocean predator fish that often.

Third is quality.  I am a sardine connoisseur, I love the little guys!  So I scoured the net for others reviewing sardines and one name constantly was at the top of most lists, Matiz.  When I tried them I found out why.  These are not your cheapo sardines that would be better as cat food.  There are only 3 to a can, because they are beautiful plump little guys!  Yes gutted and deheaded but skin and bones on as good sardines have.  Mild smelling compared to other sardines, caught in the waters off norther Spain and Portugal, where the best of the best come from.

Fourth, no junk!  No extra preservatives, no garbage, Here is the entire list of ingredients, sardines, olive oil, sea salt.  Fantastic.  Never and I mean never buy sardines with mustard sauce, soy bean oil, etc.  Packed in their own oils and olive oil is best, just like these guys.

Fifth this is a perfect prepper storage product!  Think about where preppers struggle to keep a good storage up.  That would be high quality fats and meats, with nutrient dense caloric yield.  Well the ones that just came in have an expiration date of 2022!  You know I say eat what you store and store what you eat, well with this even if you only eat them a few times a month, that is no problem.  In each can you get 228 calories, 130 in high quality fats and 98 from one of the best sources of protein on the planet.

So why not give Matiz Gallego Sardines a shot and whether you pick up a 5 count pack or a 25 count pack is up to you.  Do let me caution, these are the best sardines I have ever eaten but they are still canned sardines.  They are not magical, they don’t taste like chicken, they taste like small ocean fish.  So if you in general do not like sardines, you likely will not like these either.  However if you “sort of like them”, this may change your entire sardine world.  Far less fishy tasting, more clean smelling, nice firm flesh and man they go good with a bit of avocado.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

 

Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base.  Specifically the link I provide today goes to a 3 pack of 8 ounce jars.  Now you can get a single 8 ounce jar to try it out, or you can get a 16 ounce jar.  However, if you do the math you will find the three pack almost amounts to getting 8 ounces for free compared to the other options.   And I like saving money!

So there is a lot to love about this stuff.  First and foremost it tastes great as do many other versions of the product, they even make a Fish Base, a Clam Base and a Lobster Base.  I mean if a food product doesn’t taste good you can’t really say much good about it after that right.  I am featuring chicken today because it is the most versatile, people use chicken stock in everything but all of them are wonderful.

One thing I love about the Chicken Base is the organic option.  I know organic isn’t perfect but it means a lot of things that are great like no GMO feed and no added artificial crap.  And there is almost no real extra cost for the organic version especially if you buy the three pack.

The other is the raw storage factor (RSF).  To me RSF is how much space does something concentrated take up compared to what it represented when reconstituted.  Each 8 ouch jar makes 9.5 quarts of broth.  So 3 jars at just under 20 bucks will make you 28.5 quarts of chicken stock.   That is 114 cups, but it only takes up the space of 1.5 cups in your pantry!  That is a 76-1 return on space!

Not to mention if you value organic chicken broth at say 2.50 a quart you have a 3.5 to one return on your money to go along with a 76-1 return on your space.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love home made stock, right now I have some amazing deep brown venison bone stock simmering on the stove, but there is a place for saving space, money and time and products like this do that in spades.

By keeping a few jars of a few varieties in your pantry you can literally store say 100 quarts worth of stock with no real effort for not much money.   Again with the chicken stock it is something you can use often so rotation is pretty simple.

Stated shelf life by the company is 2 years from date of manufacturer but I personally feel that it would last longer than that.  You do need to refrigerate them after opening though, so consider that with your planning.

Here is one way we use this stuff all the time.  About the only “grains” we eat with any regularity are quinoa and amaranth and alone they quite bland.  Basic directions for both are, put once cup of grain to two cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, simmer covered for 12-15 minutes stirring occasionally, remove from heat and let stand for about 5 more minutes covered.

Our slight modification is put two cups of water into the pot and heat until hot enough to dissolve one heaping teaspoon of Better Than Bullion.  Once dissolved add grain and cook as above.  The difference is night and day with flavor.

Lastly read the ingredients one of them is turmeric, now that is surely to give a great golden flavor, but more organic turmeric in your diet is never a bad thing.  So give Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base a shot today.   Your pantry, your wallet, you family and your taste buds will all thank you for it.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. If you worry about salt, there are low sodium versions of most of their products available.

 

Kirkland Signature Walnuts – Item of the Day

walnutsEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day Kirkland Signature Walnuts.  One of the great things about the paleo life is nuts are on the menu, especially nuts like walnuts.  But have you looked at the price of shelled walnuts in the store?

When I found these I knew I was on to something, a three pound bag is only about 17 bucks and it ships free to your house on Amazon prime.  Now three pounds is a lot and these are raw nuts so this is what I do.  I put a half pound a piece into small vacuum seal bags, seal them up and keep them in the freezer and take them out as I need them.

I use these a variety of ways.  First is just plain snacking, you have to go easy on nuts while on a paleo eating plan because even though they are low carb they are very calorically dense.  So when I snack on them I will take out about a handful (2 ounces) and put the rest away.  They go great with some beef jerky and add a great crunch with say some yogurt cheese and pepper sticks.

Do you miss croutons on your salad or just want even more crunch.  Okay take a few handfuls of these, get a dry no stick skillet nice and warm and toss these in, toast them until they just begin to brown.  Let them cool and toss them on any salad of your choosing and man they are great.  My favorite is a spinach salad, with crumbled blue cheese, some sliced green apple, bacon, some boiled eggs (quail eggs split sideways are nice) and these walnuts.  My take on a Waldorf.

Want to take something extremely simple and make it over the top?  Okay again start by toasting some walnuts, this time give them a slight rough chop so they are all about 1/4 sized.  Once they start to toast add bacon grease to the pan and trimmed green beans, saute the green beans until just done, that means bright green and still a little crisp in the center.  Remove from the pan, top with some bacon crumbles and a bit of real Parmesan cheese.

The entire thing takes perhaps 10 minutes to do at most.  It is simple you season it with some salt an pepper other than that there are only 4 ingredients but it is blow you away good.  Oh and it is healthy and 100% paleo/low carb.

I am sure there are other things you can come up to do with walnuts.  The next thing I want to try is Turkish Walnut Soup.  In any event if you want to put some high quality crunch into your life, check out, Kirkland Signature Walnuts today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

Galil Organic Whole Roasted Chestnuts – Item of the Day

chesnutsEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Galil Organic Whole Roasted Chestnuts.  The holidays are here, and soon we will be singing “chestnuts roasted on an open fire”.  And man fresh roasted chestnuts are great, I do some every year, but the truth is shelling and peeling chestnuts is a pain in the ass.

Hence for many years I picked up a few pounds for novelty at Christmas but never really cooked with them, which is a shame as they are really an amazing ingredient.

Of course they are on the moderation list for me, as I am living la vita low carb and loving it.  Still I am not a low carb Nazi and if there is a time to splurge it is Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

My favorite thing to make with Galil Organic Whole Roasted Chestnuts is my signature Jacks Special Stuffing.  It is a combination of bread, chestnut and sausage stuffing with lots of sage flavor to really make it sing next to your turkey.  Here is how you make it,

Jack’s Special Chestnut Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 3-6 cups dried stuffing cubes or your own dried bread (based on how much you want as a binder)
  • Chicken/Turkey stock sufficient for the above bread stuffing
  • Butter for the above stuffing mix plus two table spoons
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced white or yellow onions
  • 1-2 20-oz bags of Galil Pre Cooked Chestnuts  (use as much as you want but at least one bag)
  • 2 lbs of sausage, (breakfast, mild Italian, Jacks Special, it is your choice, but something with either a good sage and/or fennel flavor is best)
  • 4-6 Slices of Good Thick Sliced Bacon
  • 1 Handful Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 4-6 Fresh Sage Leaves finely sliced
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  1. Make up 2-4 cups (dry measure) of traditional bread stuffing (as per your method or instructions on the package).  When you do be sure to use broth vs. water.    Set aside.
    ~
  2. Make sausage into large thin patties, fry like ham burgers until cooked though.  Set aside on towel to drain, leave sausage grease and stuck on bits in pan.
    ~
  3. Fry your bacon until fat is well rendered out of it but the bacon itself is not fully crisp yet, reserve to side with sausage to drain.
    ~
  4. Once bacon and sausage has cooled, cut into small pieces, cut the sausage into cubes about the size of bread cubes in pre-made stuffing mix.
    ~
  5. Coarsely chop your chestnuts, put celery and onions into pan and sauté until onions begin to turn clear.
    ~
  6. Add chestnuts to pan along with the additional 2 tablespoons of butter, gently toss to coat with pan leavings, fold back in sausage and bacon.
    ~
  7. In an oven safe pan, (for this I just use the toss away aluminum ones) combine the sausage and chestnuts with the bread stuffing, mixing lightly until mixture is uniform.  Sprinkle bacon on top, if you are prone to “stealing bacon” cook a few extra pieces to account for this.
    ~
  8. At this point, everything is basically done and you could eat it.  I prefer to bake it covered with foil at 375 for about 25 minutes, then uncovered until the top is just brown.  To brown to a nice top crisp turn on the broiler for a few moments to finish it, but if you do this do not take your eyes off it.

For meals like Thanksgiving I make this up, first thing in the morning, then cover and set aside, 40 minutes before serving time (bird is out of the over by then) pop it in and finish it off.  You can even make it up the day before, if you do though leave more time to reheat it as you must refrigerate it overnight.

Note – this makes a LOT of food, if you have a smaller gathering cut all ingredients in half.   Or just use 3 cups vs. 6 cups of bread mix, you can even omit the bread all together and it will be really good but not what most people expect in a “stuffing”.

So why not shake it up for Turkey day and do up some chestnut stuffing.  If some people are not open to it make a smaller batch and it only takes a few minutes to whip up some plain old bread stuffing anyway for the non adventurous.    Frankly this stuff is so good it could be a meal in of itself.  So stock up on some Galil Organic Whole Roasted Chestnuts today and make the holiday meals something special this year.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Say you just want good old “roasted chestnuts”.  Okay well a pre prepped item like this won’t ever be quite as good as a fresh roasted one, but they are a lot easier.  To make them as a roasted chestnut…

Heat oven to 425 and then shut it off.  Put chestnuts on a baking sheet and VERY lightly salt them, (you can always add more but can’t take it off), then leave in oven for 10-20 minutes.  Remember turn the oven off when you put them in, you use residual heat only.

The way they are stored they are sort of damp, so you want to roast them till they are warm though and the outside begins to dry up.  Please note that even fresh chestnuts are never crunchy like a pecan or walnut.

P.P.S. – Chestnuts do not store for long fresh.  However they freeze just fine, so be sure to freeze any you won’t use by the expiration date.

 

 

Flackers Flax Crackers – Item of the day

flackEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is something I am very excited about.  It is Flackers Flax Crackers.  As I said recently on the air I let my paleo diet go over the past few years, got to lax and put a lot of weight back on.  No where near all of it but too much.  This 4th of July was my last indiscretion and I have gone back to Protein Power as the core of my Paleo Diet.

The results, July 5th to August 2nd, total lost weight 21 pounds!  Well 21 and a half but who is counting.  One thing I always hated giving up was a crunchy cracker.  With Flackers I have found my low carb crunchy muse.  You will notice in my link, I go to an exact match search for flackers, with a setting to pull up free shipping options.

These are being sold by a few vendors, pricing for volume is all over the map, so I leave it to you to pick and choose what works best for you.  Many are “add on items” meaning your total order has to be over 25 bucks but then shipping is free, so combine them with another item if you just want to try a bag or three.

I am going to suggest though that your first purchase be a just two or three packs, because not everyone will like them.  I LOVE them.  We got Rosemary and Savory to try them out.  Dorothy hated the Rosemary (funny because she like the herb) and said she could, “get used to the Savory ones”.  She is not in love with the texture though.

Me I am happy as a pig with a bowl of corn soaked in beer!  I did some of these with sardines, very nice.  I also did some up with yogurt cheese (mixed with cracked pepper, garlic and jalapeno) topped wtih some good quality sliced ham.  To quote Emeril Lagasse BAM!

Here are the stats, a serving has the following…

  • Carbs 8 grams
  • Fiber 7 grams
  • Net Carbs 1 (yes, fing one, woo hoo)
  • Protein 5 grams
  • Fat 8 grams (but zero Saturated or Trans fats and about 5 Grams of it is Omega 3s, most of the rest is ALA which many take as a supplement)
  • Calories 110 (but unless you get stupid you don’t count calories on low carb)
  • Seven grams of fiber

Okay so you have a crunchy snack, with one net carb a serving, a good amount of protein, loaded with Omega 3s, ALA and fiber.  This can’t get better can it?  Oh yea, these things are sprouted and raw.  If you read the write up on the makers website, they are soaked until just sprouted, then seasoned, pressed and dried to a crisp.  Yes sprouted!

Again my only caution is you may not like them, or you might, a whole lot.  But if you are low carb give Flackers a try and see if they work for you.  Frankly this is a super food, something you can eat a bit of every day and never feel bad about it, ever.   Below is a short video to give you an idea of what they look like.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.