To spice things up in the kitchen lately, I had been looking around for some easy to cook vegan pre-made foods. But to no avail…
In all honesty, after being away from the kitchen for so long, I have lost my drive and spirit in the kitchen. Especially when it comes to whipping up a big fancy (complicated) meal. Meals have just been mostly the same thing everyday; anything quick and easy, salads, oats or potatoes. On the other hand, despite the very boring meals, I still find myself eating at home most of the time. (Partly because I am just too lazy to dress up and go out.)
However, my quest and lazy man’s way out to spice things up led to a dead end. I could not find anything with a decent ingredient list. Almost everything pre-made is loaded with junk – oils, fats, salts, flavourings and preservatives So I passed on the whole idea and decided to settle with my plain boring meals… well, at least until my cooking mojo comes back.
Or so I thought… until I came across Mekhala Living, a wholesome, Thai based company that sells vegan, all natural sauces and marinades!
And yes, it has met all of my unbelievably pretentious criteria for all things food and cosmetics: It is vegan, 100% natural and contains no weird chemicals or preservatives. I have to say… as a vegan health freak, this might just be the highest point of my plant based journey… I am sure that doesn’t make me look as pathetic as I think it does… right?
They company itself is pretty amazing. Based in Chang Mai, Thailand, Mekhala started off as a retreat centre, serving all natural, wholesome food to their guests. The kind people of Mekhala had good sense to bottle the delicious goodness they were serving and start selling them as well.
I have tried 3 of their sauces and dressing: Pad Thai sauce, Red Curry Paste and Black Pepper Pumpkin Dressing. I made a low fat vegan Sweet Potato Red Curry (recipe below) that is completely oil-free and it was probably the most guilt-free curry I have ever made. And that pumpkin dressing! It is so good, I swear I was drinking it by the spoonful.
Oh! This is such a delight to all us health nuts, vegan freaks and lazy bums out there!
vegan, oil-free, low fat
This red curry made with Mekhala Living’s Red Curry paste might just be the most guilt-free curry ever. It has no coconut milk so the fat content is minimal. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes marries perfectly with the spiciness of the curry, and the zesty lemon juice at the end brings everything together.
2 medium sweet potatoes, in 1″ cubes
1 large thumb sized ginger, finely chopped
1 small red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
20 – 25 fresh curry leaves
1/2 – 1 bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
400g cooked chickpeas
2 – 2 1/2 tbsp Mekhala Living Red Curry Paste
600 ml water
1/2 – 1 lemon
salt, to taste
coconut milk, to drizzle (optional)
1. In a heated non-stick pan, dry sauté the sweet potatoes, garlic and onions. Brown the sweet potatoes on all sides. When the onions turn transparent, add the curry leaves and fry until aromatic.
2. Mix the curry paste to the pan, starting with 2 tbsp or add another 1/2 tbsp if you like the heat (it is spicy!). Add water to the mixture, stirring thoroughly. Then throw in the chickpeas. Let the mixture simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Add 1/2 the coriander leaves and the juice of 1/2 a lemon to the mixture. Taste and season with salt, add more lemon juice if required. To serve, dish onto a bowl and drizzle with coconut milk (if desired, to bring down the spiciness) and topped off with the remaining coriander.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Save with Jamie
If you live in Singapore, you can drop by their shop at Pasarbella:
200 Turf Club Road
Pasarbella@The Grandstand #02-k57