Friday, September 30, 2016

Underwood Pinot Noir in a can, Oregon - $6 per can

I think this is weirder than rosé in a can. But thanks to a friend who says it's really good, I decided to go out on a limb and try it.

Sassy Wine Belly - Underwood Pinot Noir     Sassy Wine Belly - Underwood Pinot Noir

I like that it's only 13% alcohol and not super acidic (or sour, as the hubby likes to say). It's actually fairly light and bright in color, but a little darker in flavor - red fruit ending in chocolate, which is surprising for a Pinot Noir.

I like this wine, and I think hubby might like it, too! Just can't tell him it's a PN until after he tries it!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Charles & Charles Rosé 2015, Columbia Valley, Washington - $11

Yet another rosé I found at Trader Joes! This Charles & Charles Rosé 2015 from Washington state is $11 per bottle.

Sassy Wine Belly - Charles & Charles Rosé 2015     Sassy Wine Belly - Charles & Charles Rosé 2015

I picked up this wine because the winemakers are well-known for making good wine outside the box, and because it's this beautiful shade of pink at a really nice price point.

The wine is light and dry with just a hint of pink fruit, no bitterness, and nice acidity. It is food friendly - I had it with leftover sausage and pepper pasta.

So happy to find this, another fabulous option for rosé!

Hai Ky - Restaurant Review

We loved Saigon Cafe and were sad to see it go a few years back. Enter Hai Ky, which several friends have tried and liked. I finally got a chance to try their lunch today.

The restaurant looks about the same, although everything looks a bit worn. The waiters are a little bit scruffy for my tastes (some of the men had uncombed hair and stubble), but they did their jobs just fine (not super friendly, but not unfriendly - no smiles).

Sassy Wine Belly - Hai Ky Vermicelli Bowl with Chopped Eggrolls

I ordered the Vermicelli Bowl with Chopped Eggrolls (all Vermicelli Bowls are $8.50 for lunch). It tasted good and was very filling. The ingredients seemed fresh and the eggrolls were warm and crispy. The fish sauce it came with tasted more like vinegar than fish sauce, but that's fine - each restaurant has their own recipe for the sauce.

Be aware that if you order the grilled chicken with your vermicelli as the hubby did, it's mostly dark meat.

This was a decent experience. They also have phở, which I'll try next time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mr. Natural - Restaurant Review

Mr. Natural has been an Austin staple for at least 20 years! I remember visiting this wonderful vegetarian restaurant with my first yoga teacher in the mid-90s.

It looks exactly the same today! I'm actually not sure if that's good or bad. The restaurant always could have used a little updating, but it's always been clean and the food has always been delicious.

Sassy Wine Belly - Mr. Natural Burger with Fries

For lunch, I ordered a Mr. Natural Burger with fries for $7. The burger was tasty, but on the dry side. My friend ordered the Burger Boss ($8.50), which included onions, mushrooms, and avocado - I'm sure it was a bit moister than my burger. I'll definitely be back to try other items on the menu!

I also ordered a cream horn for dessert because it looked just as delicious as the ones I used to have here 20 years ago. I had to get one for old time's sake. They are vegan, so no problems with dairy! We were so full from our burgers, though, that I had to take this home (after we each had a tiny bite for dessert, as you can see). I just had it for dessert after dinner at home, and it was absolutely perfect and delicious with a rich, creamy (how is this possibly vegan?!) filling!

Sausage and Pepper Pasta - Recipe

Sassy Wine Belly - Sausage and Peppers Pasta Sauce

Makes 6 servings.

  • 1 T organic EEVO
  • 12 oz sausage links, preferably Italian
  • 2 organic bell peppers, any color, thinly sliced (I prefer green, orange, and yellow as the tomatoes provide the red in the sauce)
  • 1 medium organic onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 28 oz organic diced or crushed tomatoes, or a combination of both
  • ½ T organic dried basil (or 12 leaves fresh basil, washed and torn into small pieces)
  • ½ T organic dried oregano
  • ¼ t organic crushed red pepper
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 lb penne pasta (or any shape you prefer)

  • Add the vegetable oil and unsliced sausage links to a large pan and cook over medium heat until the sausage is browned and firm enough to slice. It doesn't have to be cooked through at this point. If the sausage is pre-cooked, omit this step.
  • While the sausage is cooking, slice the bell peppers and onions, and mince the garlic. 
  • Once the sausage is browned, remove it from the pot and add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Let them cook while you slice the sausage into thin medallions.
  • After the peppers and onions have softened, return the sliced sausage to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine and continue to cook over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta for 6 minutes less than the instructions on the package. Slightly undercooking the pasta allows it to continue to cook and soak up liquid once added to the pot with the sausage and peppers.
  • Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it in a colander and then add it to the pot with the sausage and peppers. 
  • Stir to combine, place a lid on top, and allow the pasta to cook in the pepper sauce for about 5 more minutes, or until it has absorbed most of the liquid in the pot. Add about a half teaspoon of salt, taste, and add more if needed.

Sassy Wine Belly - Sausage and Peppers Pasta

  • If you prefer more veggies, add more! If you want more sausage, add more! If you prefer vegetarian sausage, use it instead of Italian sausage. Modify freely!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Seven Hills Dry Rosé 2015, Columbia Valley, Washington - $14

Sassy Wine Belly - Seven Hills Dry Rosé 2015     Sassy Wine Belly - Seven Hills Dry Rosé 2015

I purchased this Seven Hills Dry Rosé 2015 from Costco for $14 a bottle.

It is delightful! Light and dry, just slightly bitter, not too fruity (although I do love fruity) - it's just fun! I would buy this again.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Château Lestage 2010, Listrac-Médoc, France - $17

Sassy Wine Belly - Château Lestage 2010     Sassy Wine Belly - Château Lestage 2010

According to the documentary Red Obsession (2013), 2010 was one of the best years in history for Bordeaux. Since seeing the film, I've been purchasing 2010 Bordeaux wines to taste them for myself. Of course, most of the bottles I've purchased are under $30, such as this one from Costco for $17 a bottle.

Château Lestage 2010 is higher in alcohol than I usually prefer at 14%. However, it doesn't drink like an extremely hot wine, and most of the other Bordeaux in the lower price ranges are at 14%+ in alcohol.

This wine is like drinking a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa. Yum! It's really a pleasure - smooth with firm tannins, but not too mouth-puckering. I really like it, and go back to it time after time even after trying other 2010 Bordeaux wines.

Costco has been carrying this wine for at least a couple of years now, so if you try it and like it you might want to purchase a few before they run out.

Jinya Ramen - Restaurant Review

Jinya is a chain ramen restaurant with numerous locations around the US. The restaurant looks nice - hubby thought it had better decor than Kanji Ramen. I thought that it was okay, but nothing special.

Sassy Wine Belly - Jinya Ramen

The first thing we noticed was that the restaurant was about half full, with easily more than 20 empty seats, but the hostess told us that there would be a 15 minute wait. Really?

After a few minutes it was clear why there was such a long wait in a restaurant with so many empty seats. The restaurant was understaffed for dinner on a Sunday night in a very vibrant restaurant area, and the poor hostess was left to bus most of the tables herself. 

She finally cleaned a section of the bar near the door and seated us there. This seemed fine at first, but quickly it became clear that it wouldn't be a nice, quiet date night for us. Every time the hostess sat another party, she yelled an unintelligible greeting next to my right ear, which was then repeated by the kitchen (thankfully nowhere close to my ear).

The wine list was paltry - a Merlot, a Chardonnay, and a Pinot Grigio, all for $7 a glass. I didn't order any wine.

Being seated at the bar, the bartender doubled as our server. She was professional.

Sassy Wine Belly - Jinya Ramen

I searched the menu for a basic, traditional pork-based ramen, but couldn't find one. I settled for the Chicken Ramen ($10.50) with a side of bean sprouts ($1) and a poached egg ($1.50). Hubby ordered the Spicy Chicken Ramen ($11.75) and extra ground chicken ($2), as well as a glass of Austin Amber on tap ($5).

I was a little surprised when my ramen arrived. The basic ramen with chicken, broth, wood ear mushrooms, greens, green onions, and noodles was underwhelming for almost $11. For an extra dollar, I expected at lest a generous handful of bean sprouts, but as you can see there was just a pinch of them included, and they were very cold, as if they were just pulled out of the fridge. The poached egg wasn't what I was expecting, as I had asked the bartender/waitress for the type of soft-boiled egg with a runny yolk. This egg was also cold, as if it was pre-made and put in the fridge to keep. If they choose to do prep ahead of time, they should at least warm the refrigerated items up before serving. The cold ingredients brought down the temperature of my ramen very quickly, as did the extremely cold stream of air conditioning that was blowing straight towards my seat.

The ramen tasted okay for a chain restaurant. The broth was just average, but I was glad it wasn't too salty. The noodles under the chicken were actually still in a clump; however, those noodles not in the clump had a nice texture. The chicken was tender and tasty. Everything did taste fresh and not too salty, which is good.

Taking into consideration the less than great atmosphere and wine list, the average ramen with fewer than expected ingredients, and the fairly high cost for a less than satisfactory meal and experience ($35 before tip for 2 bowls of ramen and a beer), we won't go out of our way to return. We might stop in if we're already in the area and don't have any better choices. I'm extremely surprised that Eater Austin has named Jinya one of the hottest Austin restaurants for September 2016.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pico Maccario Lavignone Barbera d'Asti 2013, Italy

Sassy Wine Belly - Pico Maccario Lavignone Barbera d'Asti 2013     Sassy Wine Belly - Pico Maccario Lavignone Barbera d'Asti 2013

Wish I could remember how much this Pico Maccario Lavignone Barbera d'Asti costs. I believe I purchased it at Costco for around $12 - $15 per bottle.

It's been open a few days so it's had some time to breathe. It smells and tastes slightly acidic and light, dry on the end with a dark cocoa finish and smooth tannins. It seems pretty food friendly - just had it with a sweet dessert and it was good.

I'll definitely be purchasing it again!

Cauliflower Fried Rice - Recipe

Cauliflower "rice" is the new kale. I have to admit, it's pretty amazing! I made this recipe with it today and it was wonderful! Of course I modified the original recipe, which you can find here.

Sassy Wine Belly - Cauliflower Fried Rice

Makes 4-6 servings.

  • 2 T EVOO or avacado oil
  • 1 lb cubed organic extra firm tofu
  • 2 large organic carrots, cubed
  • 6 organic green onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 1 lb organic frozen peas
  • 1 lb organic baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 lbs "riced" cauliflower
  • Soyaki sauce to taste (around 4 T)
  • 2 organic brown eggs, beaten and scrambled

  1. Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium-high heat. 
  2. Cook tofu and carrots in oil until lightly browned on all sides and cooked through, 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the green onions and garlic and stir until just softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add peas and mushrooms and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add cauliflower; cook and stir until cauliflower is tender but firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Stir Soyaki sauce into cauliflower mixture and stir-fry until mixture is hot and slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add scrambled eggs and stir.
  8. Serve hot.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Vegetarian Bolognese - Recipe

I made this Veggie Bolognese recipe a few weeks back and forgot to document it. Here it is.

I modified the Food Network/Giada De Laurentiis recipe to come up with this one. Look here for the original. (I also borrowed her photo until I can make this again and take one of my own!)

Serves 6.


  • 2 T EVOO
  • 2 organic onions, finely chopped (or use food processor)
  • 6 organic carrots, finely chopped (or use food processor)
  • 6 stalks organic celery, finely chopped (or use food processor)
  • 1 lb organic mushrooms, finely chopped (or use food processor)
  • 2 T organic tomato paste
  • 4 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t organic dried thyme
  • 1/4 t organic dried oregano 
  • 1/2 C lentils (washed and sorted)
  • 2 C water
  • 28 oz can of crushed organic tomatoes
  • 1 C dry red wine
  • 2 2-inch square Parmesan rinds
  • 1/4 C freshly-grated Parmesan
  • 1 lb organic rigatoni pasta

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pre-heated pot (medium).
  2. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the celery and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato paste and stir until incorporated.
  6. Add the garlic, thyme, and oregano and stir until fragrant.
  7. Add the lentils, water, crushed tomatoes, and wine. Stir to incorporate. Increase the heat to bring the pot to a boil for 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
  8. Add the rinds. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 3 hours. Add water when necessary.
  9. After 3 hours, prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.
  10. Serve the bolognese over the pasta.

Domaine Dupeuble Père et Fils Beaujolais Rosé 2015, France

Domaine Dupeuble Père et Fils Beaujolais Rosé 2015     Domaine Dupeuble Père et Fils Beaujolais Rosé 2015

Really enjoying this Domaine Dupeuble Père et Fils Beaujolais Rosé 2015 tonight! I love the vibrant pink color, and the light strawberry flavor with a dry but not bitter finish.

I wish I could remember where I purchased this wine. I'll have to make some inquiries - it would have been at Austin Wine Merchant, Whole Foods, Central Market, or Costco. It was between $15 and $20 a bottle.

Chorizo with Pasta - Recipe

I drastically modified a recipe for a creamy chorizo sauce to make a tomato-based one. You can see the original, cream-based recipe here.

Sassy Wine Belly - Chorizo with Pasta
Makes 3-4 servings.

  • 1 cup crumbled chorizo, pre-cooked (I made my own using ground turkey - see the recipe here)
  • 4 T organic extra virgin olive oil, more if needed
  • 1 organic onion, chopped
  • 1 organic green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 lb organic baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 14.5 oz can of organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • salt (~1 t) and pepper (50 quick grinds of a peppermill) to taste
  • 1 lb penne pasta (I used bucatini this time because I had it on hand)

  1. Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. 
  2. Add onions and bell peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the chorizo and red pepper flakes and cook about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  6. If using, whisk in the Parmesan cheese until melted. 
  7. Keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  8. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  9. Combine the pasta with the sauce and serve.
Sassy Wine Belly - Chorizo with Pasta


Sunday, September 18, 2016

French Toast - Recipe

I love this very basic, quick, light recipe for French Toast!

Sassy Wine Belly - French Toast

Makes 2-3 servings.

  • 2 organic brown eggs
  • 2/3 C almond milk
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • salt to taste (just a dash)
  • 8 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, or 6 thick slices other bread
  • 2 T organic coconut oil per batch
  • maple syrup


  1. Beat together egg, almond milk, spices, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Drizzle coconut oil in large pan or griddle over medium-high heat.
  3. Dunk each slice of bread in egg mixture, soaking both sides. 
  4. Place in pan and cook on both sides until golden, about 2 minutes per side. 
  5. Serve hot with maple syrup.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Château Fontainebleau Rosé 2015, Côtes de Provence, France

Sassy Wine Belly - Château Fontainebleau Rosé 2015     Sassy Wine Belly - Château Fontainebleau Rosé 2015

If you've been following my blog, you know that I'm determined to try every rosé from Côtes de Provence to find the perfect one.

Tonight, I enjoyed the Château Fontainbleau Rosé 2015. It's light and dry, and slightly bitter on the end. A maybe for me, since I don't prefer bitter rosé.

I can't remember where I purchased this. It was probably between $15 and $20 per bottle.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Granaro Chiarieri Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013, Italy - $14 a bottle

Sassy Wine Belly - Granaro Chiarieri Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013     Sassy Wine Belly - Granaro Chiarieri Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013

I bought this very affordable Granaro Chiarieri Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013 at Central Market for $14 a bottle. It is a dry, food friendly wine on the lighter side of reds, but without the tart acidity that is prevalent in Pinot Noir. Will definitely purchase it again!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Underwood Rosé Wine (in a can!), Oregon - $6 per can

Sassy Wine Belly - Underwood Rosé Wine     Sassy Wine Belly - Underwood Rosé Wine

I can't believe it either. I've purchased wine in a can. And I LOVE IT!

I found this Underwood Rosé Wine at Trader Joe's for around $6 per can, which is equivalent to a half bottle. It was intriguing, and at only 12% alcohol, it's pretty mild and I thought it might be palatable.

I was wrong. This is downright delicious! Dry, light, fruity, so good! I love it and am going back for more!

This isn't my first dalliance with canned wine, but Sofia Coppola's Blanc de Blanc (sparkling white) in a can has had a faithful following for years - I've often brought it to places that don't allow glass. But a rosé in a can? I should never have doubted.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Kanji Ramen - Restaurant Review

I've been looking for a new ramen place in Austin. I know, everyone says that Ramen Tatsu-Ya is so good, but it's just too salty for me and I've never had good service there! I've tried both locations and I just can't enjoy it when I feel that my veins are being coated with sodium as I ingest the broth. Yep, gross. Also, I can't stand being rushed out because there's a line outside. Even if they didn't make it explicit that they want you to eat as fast as humanly possible, I would feel bad making others wait outside while I lingered over a bowl of noodles. No, it's just not the right fit for me.

Michi Ramen started out great, but over the past year the quality of the ramen has gone downhill and I can't bring myself to go back. It doesn't taste freshly-made anymore. I've had sub-par ramen there twice since last October, so I'm done. I'm so sad, too, as this was our go-to place for my favorite comfort food.

Enter Kanji Ramen. It's not nearly as hip or cool as the other two, but there's a lot to like about this new little place on Research and Jollyville Road.

Sassy Wine Belly - Kanji Ramen

First, the good! Extremely friendly service, very clean with cute decor, and delicious ramen!

Sassy Wine Belly - Kanji Ramen

I ordered the Kanji Ramen for $11 a bowl. It was a substantially-sized serving, although not as large as Michi used to make theirs. I was pretty full after finishing it.

The broth was delicious without being too salty, the egg was nicely cooked, and I loved the mix of all of the ingredients. The pork was a little dry, which means that they pre-sliced it then reheated it, but they do the same at Michi. It tasted okay, but I've had better. The noodles are not made in-house, but they are fresh and taste great!

Water is self-serve out of a water dispenser, which is just fine.

Now for the things that need improvement (and I would love to see improvement because I want this place to stay!). 

First of all, the restaurant smells too strongly of plug-in air freshener when you first enter. No restaurant should ever smell like an artificial vanilla Glade Plug-In - makes me think that they are trying to cover up a foul smell from the trash or sewer. Restaurants should smell like good food, period. After checking out the bathroom, though, this place looks very clean.

Second of all, the ceiling fans running on high cool the ramen too quickly. My steaming-but-not-scalding bowl should retain its heat so that I'm still enjoying a very warm mouthful of broth and noodles towards the end. With the ceiling fans on high, the bowl was downright cold just halfway through.

Lastly,  the music choice could be better to help with the ambience. When we visited, the restaurant was playing what sounded like Asian pop with Asian rap and Asian ballads mixed in. Better to exclude the latter two and keep the upbeat tunes.

That being said, I'm interested in going back to Kanji for another excellent bowl of ramen!

Uova al Purgatorio - Recipe

I love Uove al Forno (Eggs al Forno, or Baked Eggs), but it just takes too long to make on a weekend morning when you're trying to get out the door for yoga. However, I found this great stovetop recipe called Uova al Purgatorio (Eggs in Purgatory) that is so yummy and similar enough for my purposes.

Sassy Wine Belly - Uova al Purgatorio

Serves 2

  • ½ C marinara sauce, made with fresh or canned tomatoes
  • a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 or 3 basil leaves, slivered
  • 2 eggs
  • Fleur de Sel, to taste
  • freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 t freshly-grated Parmesan
  • 2 to 4 slices ciabatta bread, toasted and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic

  1. Bring the marinara sauce to a simmer in a medium saucepan or an 8-inch omelet pan and turn the heat to low. Add the cayenne or red pepper flakes, if desired, and the basil.
  2. Break the eggs gently into the tomato sauce. 
  3. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tops of the whites are set but the yellow yolk shows through. It’s important that the yolk be runny. Turn off the heat. 
  4. Season the eggs with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle on the Parmesan.
  5. Serve in a wide soup bowl, with the toast on the side.
You can find the original New York Times recipe here.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Apple Crisp - Recipe

I'm not usually a Pinterest person, but this recipe for an Apple Crisp appeared one day and it looked so delicious I thought I would try it out for a dinner I was hosting tonight. It was a hit!

Sassy Wine Belly - Apple Crisp
Serves 6


For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 C flour 
  • 1/2 C old fashioned oats 
  • 1/2 C brown sugar 
  • 1/2 C baking powder 
  • 1/4 C ground cinnamon 
  • dash of salt 
  • 1/3 C unsalted butter, diced into small chunks 
For the Apple filling:
  • 3-4 large apples, peeled and sliced thin (Granny Smith preferred, but can use any variety)
  • 3 T butter, melted 
  • 2 T flour 
  • 1 T lemon juice 
  • 3 T almond milk (or cow's milk if you prefer) 
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 C brown sugar 
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon 
  • dash of salt 
  • Vanilla Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.
  3. For the Apple Filling: In a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Then, peel and slice apples. Pour butter mixture over apples and toss to coat. Pour apple mixture into an 8x8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and top is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt (optional)

To make this recipe ahead of time: Make the apple filling, adding a tiny bit more lemon juice so the apples don't brown. Store the apple filling in an air-tight container, in the fridge, for up to one day. Make the crumble topping and put it in a separate ziplock bag, in the fridge. When ready to bake, remove from the fridge, and sprinkle the topping on top. Bake as directed.

See the original recipe here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Thai Red Curry - Recipe

Another recipe I learned during a cooking class at Thai Fresh!

Sassy Wine Belly - Thai Red Curry

Serves 6 to 8

  • 2 cans coconut milk, unshaken (13.5 oz)
  • 8 T red curry paste made in Thailand (or 4 oz can of Mae Sri if possible)
  • 1/2 cup water, stock, or almond milk
  • 1 lb protein (meat or tofu), diced
  • 2 organic Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 1" pieces
  • 2 organic sweet potatoes, diced into 1" pieces
  • 3 organic carrots, diced into 1" pieces
  • 1 head and stalk of broccoli, sliced into 2" pieces
  • Asian fish sauce to taste (optional - if red curry paste already contains fish or shrimp, you may not need to add this ingredient)
  • 1 T organic brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 C almond milk
  • 1 cup basil, stems removed (Thai basil if possible)
  • juice from 1/2 a lime, with extra lime wedges for serving (or 4 kaffir lime leaves if possible)

  1. Heat the coconut cream (on top of an unshaken can of coconut milk) over medium in a large pan.
  2. Stir in the curry paste and turn down the heat.
  3. Simmer until fragrant and the coconut cream starts to "crack some oil" (you see oil emerging from the cream).
  4. Add the rest of the coconut milk and water/stock/almond milk and bring back to a boil.
  5. Add protein.
  6. When your protein is cooked, add all veggies.
  7. Simmer until potatoes are fork-tender.
  8. If your red curry doesn't already contain fish sauce, add fish sauce slowly 1 T at a time.
  9. Add sugar and taste.
  10. Add almond milk until the curry is of your preferred consistency and spiciness.
  11. Add basil and lime (or lime leaves) and turn off the heat after 10 seconds.
  12. Serve over organic brown rice.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Thyme - Recipe

No real measurements for this recipe - just add everything to taste!

Sassy Wine Belly - Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Thyme

  • 8 organic sweet potatoes, washed and chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • a drizzle of EVOO
  • sea salt
  • freshly-ground pepper
  • dried thyme (or one bunch fresh thyme)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
  3. Place the chopped sweet potatoes in a single layer on the pan.
  4. Drizzle with EVOO, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  6. Serve with or without ketchup.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Shrimp Pad Thai and Thai Basil Eggplant - Recipe

Thai night! Made Shrimp Pad Thai (a Thai Fresh recipe) and Thai Basil Eggplant.

Sassy Wine Belly - Shrimp Pad Thai and Thai Basil Eggplant

Shrimp Pad Thai
4 servings


  • 3 T organic sugar (the original recipe called for 2 T palm sugar and 1 T white sugar)
  • 1 T tamarind concentrate
  • 1 T water
  • 2 T Asian fish sauce

  • 2 bunches of dried thin rice sticks (soak in cold water between 1 and 12 hours)
  • 2 t EVOO
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 6 shrimp, or 2 oz diced chicken, or 4 oz extra firm tofu
  • 2 organic brown eggs
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper (or Thai chili flakes if available)
  • 2 t salted radish
  • 2 small bunches of Chinese chives, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 handfuls of washed bean sprouts
  • 2 T roasted peanuts, crushed
  • lime wedges

  1. Soak the rice noodles in cold water for at least an hour but no longer than 12.
  2. Prepare the sauce by simmering all ingredients until they are dissolved. I usually double or triple the batch and freeze the extra sauce for the future.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  4. Fry the shallots until fragrant and colored.
  5. Crack in eggs and stir.
  6. Mix in protein (shrimp/chicken/tofu), crushed chili, and radish. Stir fry until the protein is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Add the noodles and turn up the heat; stir fry until the noodles are soft and transparent.
  8. Add the sauce and mix thoroughly.
  9. Add the chives and bean sprouts and cook for 30 seconds.
  10. Top with crushed peanuts and serve with lime wedges.

Thai Basil Eggplant
4 servings

  • 1 T EVOO
  • 2 Thai chili peppers, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggplants, peeled and chopped into irregular pieces
  • 1 c water
  • 2 T Asian fish sauce
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 bunch basil leaves with stems removed (Thai basil if possible)

  1. Heat a pan or wok over medium high heat. 
  2. Add oil, chili peppers and garlic. Stir until the garlic turn golden brown. 
  3. Add eggplant and stir. 
  4. Add a cup of water and cover the pan or wok with a lid. 
  5. Keep the lid close until the eggplant is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Almost all of the water should have been evaporated at this point. If the eggplant is still not cooked, add a little bit more water and keep lid closed until the eggplant is ready. 
  6. Add fish sauce and sugar and stir. 
  7. Add the basil and quickly stir to heat it so that it retains it color. 
  8. Turn off heat immediately and serve with rice or noodles.