Monday, March 31, 2014

Aloe Vera potted

Potting my Aloe Vera plants

How cute are these pots! I purchased them for $20 each. They were the perfect size. It was recommended to get more wide pot as opposed to deep pots. The big ones tend to drop babies, so you want space for them to do that. They don't need the pots to be very deep either, you just need good drainage. 
 I purchased my plants online from Rancho Charanda Citrus Ranch. The 14" cost me $24.95, which was a great price for it being that size, organic and free shipping, best price I could find.    
 I was very happy with the size and condition of the plants. They even threw in a bonus baby aloe vera plant with a cute note.
 To plant Aloe Vera you want a fairly wide pot, and need to use a well drained soil, like for cactus plants.  To fertilize you need a lot nitrogen fertilizer, and use half the amount as directed on most packages. I used an all purpose organic veggie fertilizer which recommends using 8 sticks, but I only used 2, and broke them in half to surround the plant. They are slow release, so I only need to feed it a couple times a year.

Aloe vera plans need very good drainage. So I picked up this lighweight pot filler that works even better than rock. It's about an inch thick. I only needed one, because the base of both pots were fairly small in diameter I just used a paper cut out to get the right size.
And here is my beautiful potted baby Aloe Vera plant in the 8 inch diameter purple lotus flower pot:)
I then used scraps to fill in the bottom of the 2nd pot, the one rounded pot filler was perfect size to use for both with some remaining.
 And here is the gorgeous mama Aloe Vera plant all potted up in the 10 inch diameter tea cup pot...reminds me of Alice in Wonderland ^_^ 
They need lots of sunlight, but not direct sunlight or they will start to turn brown The plants aren't in this location to stay, I will keep them away from the direct light near the window.  As for watering, you don't want to over water them either, the tips will start to brown. Once a week or every two weeks is efficient. Varied depending on if you keep them indoors, the humidity, and season. Wait until the surface is dry, about and inch or two deep. 

Symptoms Of Poor Care:
  • Leaves lie flat instead of upright: usually because of insufficient light.
  • Leaves are thin and curled: it’s not being watered enough and is using up its own liquid.
  • Leaves are brown: too much direct sunlight.
  • Very slow growth: High alkaline soil or water; too damp for too long; not enough light; too much fertilizer.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai - Gluten-Free (with Tamarin)
I added a whole lot more Sriracha sauce than this on mine ^_-
Very similar to the first Pad Thai recipe
Noodles hiding under all the toppings!
Differences include the added tamarind, added red onion, Ojio organic soy sauce alternative instead of tamari, coconut sugar instead of brown sugar, added shrimp and the measurements of ingredients differ.  


Pad Thai sauce:
3 Tbsp Ojio organic soy sauce alternative (made from the aminos derived from organic coconut sap) or coconut aminos,
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup tamarind juice concentrate (or dilute 1 tsp of tamarind paste in 1/8 cup water)
1/2 cup palm sugar (use less if using other sugars like white or brown)
1 tbs fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp coconut oil (most people prefer vegetable oil, I like to use Ghee too)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger
1 red chili
1 red onion, thinly sliced
8 green onions (separate white and green parts)
1/2 a head of cabbage, shredded thin
8 ounces dried rice stick noodles (Pad Thai noodles)
2-3 eggs
sprinkle of fresh black pepper
2 cups mung bean sprouts
Splash of peanut oil

cucumber sliced thin
mung bean sprouts
toasted peanuts chopped to sprinkle on top
Lime wedge


1.       To make pad thai sauce, add fish sauce, palm sugar, Ojio organic soy sauce alternative and tamarind concentrate in a small bowl. Heat sauce until palm sugar has completely dissolve  if needed (should only warm, not boil).

2.       Bring a large pot of water to a near boil, cook for about 3-4 minutes, slightly less time that box instructions. Keep an eye on them: you will be cooking the noodles longer when adding the sauce, so you don't want to over-soften them now. Once they are softened, drain immediately rinsing with cold water for a few seconds. Noodles should be slightly firmer than Al dente. But don’t worry, they will continue to soften and cook later when stir frying.

3.       Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or cooking oil of your preference such as olive oil or Ghee) in a wok or large frying pan on medium/high and add garlic, ginger and chilly. Cook for a minute then add red onions and the white part of the green onions and stir fry for a couple of minutes stirring frequently so it will not burn. Add cabbage and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add about 3 tbs of the sauce and stir.

4.       If noodles are sticky by this time rinse briefly with water to loosen up and/or drizzle a small amount of peanut oil to unstick the noodles. Add the noodles to pan with the cabbage. Add 1/4 cup of the Pad Thai sauce we put together and continually flip noodles with tongs until noodles are well coated with sauce. 

5.       Move the noodle to the sides of the pan and place the eggs in the middle of the pan.  Turn the heat up a little higher and sprinkle a little bit of pepper on eggs. Scramble the egg with a wooden spoon and cook for 30 seconds or so (til they start to clump). Add a few sprouts and cook for one more minute frying everything together. Test the firmness of the noodle. If the noodle is too firm, fry for an additional minute. If your noodles need more flavor, add another tablespoon of sauce and fry another half minute (and continue until flavor is enough to your preference.

6.       I cut my large shrimp in half and cooked it in a couple teaspoons of the Pad Thai sauce. Add on top of served Pad Thai noodles.  

7.       Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with remaining spouts, cilantro, toasted crushed peanuts, cucumber, and a squeeze a wedge of lime. If you want it spicier add some Sriracha sauce. Enjoy!

All ingredients
 Prepared ingredients
 Mixed and headed sauce until coconut sugar melts
First heat coconut oil and add finely chopped up ginger, garlic and red chili 
 Stir in red onion and the white part of the green onions and cook for a few minutes, while continuously stirring
 Stir in cabbage and cook for a few minutes while continuously stirring
Throw in noodles (rinse noodles with water, or a splash of peanut oil for extra nutty flavor, if too sticky)
 Toss with tongs as you add a few tablespoons of mixed sauce to noodles. Keep slowly adding sauce until flavor is to your preference
 Move noodles to the sides of the pan and pour in the eggs.
 Sprinkle some pepper on the eggs and scramble the eggs with a wooden spoon. 
Add mung bean sprouts
Cook shrimp in a little a couple tsps of the Pad Thai sauce (I like to drain out any access liquid that comes off from cooking the shrimp)
 The condiments:)
 Add lots of Sriracha sauce if you're like me and like it spicy^_^
Enjoy! Delicious hot or cold!
I personally find it more delicious than any Pad Thai I've had at a restaurant, all fresh organic ingredients, gluten-free, not too anything, tweaked to perfection for my taste buds!