Recipe Box: Thai Red Curry

Shortly after our wedding, Clay and I decided that we wanted to change our diet. Again. Not entirely surprising, if you know us at all (I write about food a lot)… but this shift was definitely bigger than any we’d done before.

We’d been watching Food Inc., which we’d both previously seen, and it reignited our concerns about factory farms and agribuiness’ negative impact on the environment. Since ultimately we vote with our dollar, we decided to try being vegetarian – choosing not to buy meat, and really looking into where our food comes from.

This shift has been really eye opening all around. Since we also pay pretty close attention to our macronutrients to ensure that we are still getting the appropriate amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates, we’ve had to really consider carefully the types of vegetarian food we depend on. Turns out it isn’t as difficult as you might think to get plenty of protein with vegetarian food sources. We end up eating a lot of tempeh, tofu, and tofurky sausages to help us hit our numbers – and truth be told, everything is super versatile and very tasty.

We still try to eat pretty clean: no added sugars, lots of vegetables, very little processed food. While now we eat a lot more carbohydrates than previously, I’ve found – and I think Clay would say the same – that my body appreciates a more carb-heavy diet. I find myself with more energy, which is vital to fueling my workouts. I also find myself feeling lighter. Figuratively, if not literally. Being vegetarian has allowed me to eat much more intuitively, which has allowed me to feel significantly less stressed about food. I still track everything in My Fitness Pal and eat clean, but I also allow myself to enjoy cookies or Halo Top or pancakes. Consequently, my body feels good and so does my mind. This works for me – and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly fulfills my desire to have a positive impact on the planet as well as a healthy lifestyle.

Three cheers for finding peace with food.

One of our favorite go-to recipes while on this vegetarian venture has been Thai Red Curry from Cookie and Kate.

This recipe is super easy (we modify it a bit to cut out the sugar and the rice (sometimes we make it and sometimes we don’t). To make the prep easier, we’ll often split up the tasks: Clay will cut all the veggies beforehand so when it’s time to make dinner, all I have to do is assemble the pieces. We also add tofu to bump up the protein content, and it’s super delicious.

Give it a try!


  • 1 ¼ cups brown jasmine rice or long-grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • Pinch of salt, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (about a 1-inch nub of ginger)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
  • 1 yellow, orange or green bell pepper, sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick rounds (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 can (14 ounces) regular coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups packed thinly sliced kale (tough ribs removed first), preferably the Tuscan/lacinato/dinosaur variety
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coconut sugar or turbinado (raw) sugar or brown sugar (we don’t do this)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce (we use coconut aminos)
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or fresh lime juice
  • Garnishes/sides: handful of chopped fresh basil or cilantro, optional red pepper flakes, optional sriracha or chili garlic sauce


  1. To cook the rice, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rinsed rice and continue boiling for 30 minutes, reducing heat as necessary to prevent overflow. Remove from heat, drain the rice and return the rice to pot. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes or longer, until you’re ready to serve. Just before serving, season the rice to taste with salt and fluff it with a fork.
  2. To make the curry, warm a large skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, while stirring continuously.
  3. Add the bell peppers and carrots. Cook until the bell peppers are fork-tender, 3 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the curry paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, water, kale and sugar, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the peppers, carrots and kale have softened to your liking, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and season with tamari and rice vinegar. Add salt (I added ¼ teaspoon for optimal flavor), to taste. If the curry needs a little more punch, add ½ teaspoon more tamari, or for more acidity, add ½ teaspoon more rice vinegar. Divide rice and curry into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if you’d like. If you love spicy curries, serve with sriracha or chili garlic sauce on the side.

Recipe Box: Festive Black Bean Chili

This vegan recipe is a long-time love and even a fan favorite of my meat-eating friends. It was also among the first “real meals” I learned to make in my post-college life, back before Y2K.

Umpteen years ago I moved to Ithaca, a stunning and liberal college town nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes. Back then, I was a 22-year-old college grad, a vegetarian and working my first job at the local newspaper, The Ithaca Journal.

Not two blocks away from my office, I came across a great vegetarian eatery that quickly became my go-to lunchtime haunt. The Moosewood Restaurant, known for its veggie and vegan fare, was widely known. I quickly fell in love with the food and in turn started acquiring Moosewood cookbooks. (Um, I confess I have more than a half dozen of them.)

This recipe, which I’ve adapted a bit over the years, was among the first I tried and remains one of my favorites. I hadn’t made it in years, but the other day, inspiration struck.

I forgot how damn good it was. So for you, my adapted version of Festive Black Bean Chili from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites.

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1 diced onion

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. coriander

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 15-oz can black beans

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 cup salsa

salt and pepper to taste.

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In a large pot, brown the onion with garlic in 1/2 cup of water for about five minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and stir on high heat for about a minute. Add salsa and bell peppers, lower the heat and cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the black beans and tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add corn and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Stir every now and again and salt and pepper to taste. I typically pair this with either cornbread or tortilla chips (hint of lime flavor hits the spot!) Sometimes I top it with avocado before serving.

Serves 4 people. Reheats well. Each 11 ounce serving has 222 calories and 10 grams of protein (that’s without the bread, chips or avocado!) Enjoy!

Happy birthday Meri (and Jay!) I used this because these two lovelies share a birthday!

Happy birthday Meri (and Jay!) I used this because these two lovelies share a birthday!

On a completely unrelated note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERI! Today is our chick’s 30-somethingth birthday and we love her to bits! Make sure to wish her a happy day via Scoot’s social media or in the comments below!

Throwing Down

You guys, I’ve been struggling. A lot.

Just over a month ago, I posted about my potential attempt at a (mostly) vegan lifestyle.  I gave up meat and dairy, and within a couple weeks, I was feeling amazing. My weight was dropping, my eczema cleared up and things were… regular (sorry).

And then cheese. Because it’s cheese. Actually, it was a cheese factory. Or, The Cheesecake Factory, to be more specific.

I went out for a girl’s night with my bffl and thought ‘I can relax for one night and get back on tomorrow.’

Tomorrow didn’t come. Well, it came, but it came with ALL THE DAIRY.

And with all the dairy (and meat and overeating and slacking and CHEESE – hello, vicious cycle), came the weight right back on and the general feeling of grossness.


So, as of today, I threw down the gauntlet with myself. 30 days. Full accountability to diet, exercise, tracking my food and making healthy choices for thirty days. No bullpuckey. (Look Mer, no cursing!)

Here are the rules:

No Dairy – That means no cheese, no ice cream, no Pinkberry, no cheese, no butter, no yogurt, no CHEESE.

No ‘meat’ – Eliminating beef, pork and poultry. Still eating fish and eggs. Let’s not even talk about bacon.

No heavily processed foods – I say heavily processed because some of my staples, like almond milk, tofu and whole grain pasta are definitely ‘processed’. Basically, cutting out things with ingredients that sound like things from a 10th grade chemistry textbook.  And keeping things like pre-made veggie burgers/meat replacement products limited. No take out/fast food/convenience food. Note, this doesn’t mean no going out to eat. Just not at any place that only serves crap.

Water – 8 cups a day BARE MINIMUM.

Exercise – 5 times a week, 3 of them being good, fast walks. Not focusing on running right now. I know I have a half marathon to train for, and I have a plan for that. But for now, in the ridiculous heat, I’m going to work on bringing up my walking pace so that when I do start running again, I’ll be ready for it (as opposed to now where I just sort of jog slowly and wheeze). The other two workouts are for strength training or Zumba classes. Or swimming. Or whatever way I feel like moving my body. Just moving it. Period.

Tracking on My Fitness Pal – Every day. Every bite. Every lick.

No alcohol – I know. I KNOW.

No excuses – None. At all. These are the rules, and they will be followed. For 30 days. Because while all of that is a lot, none of it has to be forever. Once I complete this personal challenge, I’ll see where I am and decide what I want to do from there.

Because it’s only 30 days. (Please remind me of this when you see me in the cheese aisle at Trader Joe’s).

So, tell me folks, what could you commit to for 30 days? What is that one thing that you let get in your way? What’s your weakness, and would you be willing to hold yourself accountable to turning it into a strength for a month?

If you think you can do it, and you want to join me in this 30 day throwdown, DO IT. And if you think you can’t do it… well, then, you’re right.

Keep Bec company?  Challenge yourself? Please, tell her in the comments below that you want to join her crazy train. She really likes company. And, apparently, cheese. 

For The Love of Bacon – A post by a non preachy, aspiring, maybe, vegan

As my fellow Scooters Jess and Meri can attest to, my love affair with bacon has been a deep and complex and downright torrid at times (Maple Bacon Donuts).

Maple Bacon Donut

There were mixed reviews on the Maple Bacon Donuts, but I was a huge fan.

It’s also coming to a close. *cue sad violin music*

I know. I KNOW. No more bacon? Why would I do such a thing? What is this world coming to? This world, or at least my world, is coming to some realizations regarding my relationship with food.

I’m going vegan, baby. Maybe.

Yeah, I said vegan. And no matter what people tell you, vegan bacon, or any bacon that isn’t actual bacon, ain’t bacon at all.

I’ve toyed with vegetarianism before, both in high school and about a year ago. But my previous attempts at vegetarianism (or pescatarianism… or flexetarianism… or veganism) were also specifically geared toward weight loss. I didn’t want to hear about the cute and fluffy animals and their feelings (and if you don’t, I don’t judge you and I promise, I’m not going to go there, so you can keep reading) and I didn’t care about the health benefits of plant based eating. I just wanted to be skinny. So, I would start eliminating foods that I thought were making me fat (meat) while continuing to eat foods that were actually making me fat (Little Debbie).

While I found that a vegetarian diet could be both satisfying and (sometimes) healthy, there was always some part of my brain saying ‘but we NEED meat!’.

Okay, technically, what my brain was saying was ‘Get thee to Five Guys, wench!’ My brain is kind of a jerk.

But, a few weeks ago, my brain and I sat down and watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix. Hungry for Change was enlightening with regard to the food and diet industries, but very fact based. The information isn’t Earth-shattering but there is a lot of it. It was a good documentary, and worth watching, but don’t expect to be blown away. Still, there was a lot of data so my brain was plenty busy processing the idea of eating a plant based diet, when I turned on the next one.

Vegucated, for me, was much more captivating. A documentary by a vegan, asking three non vegans to go vegan for six weeks and see how it goes (that’s a loose summary, at best). I won’t go into detail. If you want to watch it, it’s on Netflix instant. And maybe not everyone will take from it what I did, which is totally cool. But since my brain was so busy processing the previous facts and figures, that just left me to watch Vegucated. Well, me and my heart.

While being rather moderate in terms of footage and facts about factory farming, the part that I’ve always avoided looking at was there, and by the middle of the film, I was bawling my eyes out about baby chickens while my teenage daughter gave me the ‘seriously, Mom’ side eye.  (She cried too, she’s more like me than she cares to admit).

Vegucated = InstaVegan!

Okay, no. Not exactly. I didn’t go to the kitchen after watching the flick and immediately start flinging cheese and salami into the trash. Heck, I might have even flung some into my mouth.

But I did start thinking. And over the next few weeks, I kept thinking.

Could I be vegan, if I wanted to? Did I want to be? Was this yet another ‘diet’ idea that I would obsess on for a few minutes and then shove to the back of the pile with the rest?

I talked to people, both pro-vegan and pro-bacon, and tried to decide if this was something I wanted to pursue.

And I talked to Meri, who knows me well, and knows my propensity to jump into things without thinking. (Chick Mer is very wise, yo).

So, am I vegan? No. Not yet. And maybe not ever. I’m not sure yet.

What am I? Right now, I’m just a person trying to do my best at eating what I feel is healthy for me and working at making my body its strongest. Oh, and I’m a pescatarian.

I’ve completely eliminated cow’s milk dairy from my diet. This has been a long time coming since dairy exacerbates a medical condition that I have (I pretended it didn’t because I really like cheese). And I’ve eliminated meat (beef, pork, chicken, etc). I’m still eating eggs (which we’re starting to get from local folks that are nice to their chickens) and fish (which I don’t have a lot of warm squishy feelings about).

So what do I eat? Just about everything else I can fit in my face. Lots of nuts and seeds, almond  and coconut milk, grains, soy (not a lot). Oh and a lot of these…


Organic fruits and veggies, which I get through a local delivery service.

And I may have had an Oreo, which is totally vegan. Don’t judge.

I’m still learning. I’m learning what I love (vegan chocolate peanut butter bars from Whole Foods – shut up, nutritional yeast) and what I don’t love (beets, it doesn’t matter what color or what I do with them, they taste like dirt). I’m paying attention to my body and how it feels (today, it feels amazing). And I’m taking my time to decide if this is the lifestyle I want, one that I can sustain.

So for now, I’m a non-preachy, aspiring, maybe someday vegan. Who kind of misses bacon.

<3 Bec

P.S. C25K is not dead, I swear. I just haven’t run in a couple weeks. But I’ve been doing plenty of walking and I’ll get back to it.

What is your diet mentality? Tell us about it! And feel free to spam us with recipes!