The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Shrimp Pad Thai

PadThaiTST There’s so much to love about Thailand’s most famous noodle dish — the variety of fresh ingredients, the ribbons of rice noodles, and the flavorful sauce just to name a few. This version of pad thai gets a mouth-watering tangy-sweet deliciousness from tamarind paste and lime, and lots of vibrant freshness from cilantro and mint. You could easily saute some chicken if you prefer, but I’ve used little sweet shrimp here. Some lightly scrambled egg, chopped peanuts, scallions and chives round out the balance of flavors and textures. With all the protein and fresh ingredients in this, you can enjoy a bowlful or two guilt-free.

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Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Avocado, Mango Salsa & Sambal-Lime Mayo

FishTacosTST2Our family doesn’t have a regular taco night, but we’re thinking of starting one after having these. Just look at all those colors and textures on the plate — the slightly spicy and zesty mayo drizzled over pan-seared mahi mahi, a bright mango-cilantro salsa, some crisp red onion and raddichio and soft slices of avocado. Playful, flavorful and healthful, these make a great quick meal for a summer evening with family.

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Refresh: Watermelon, Blackberry & Lime Sparklers

RefreshTST3What’s not to love about a refreshing drink that’s bubbly, fruity, deep red and zesty? I love these sparklers for their flavor, but the health benefits give them even more appeal. With watermelon, blackberries, lime and mint, you’re getting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that support a healthy cardiovascular and digestive system, plus loads of nutrients, including Vitamins A and C. Continue reading


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Aromatic Beef Noodles with Cucumber & Mint

BeefNoodleTST6I have a growing collection of international food staples bought online. It started with spices and teas, then expanded to various grains and flours, and then bloomed with an assortment of oils and pastes. My husband barely raises an eyebrow now when he lugs home a 3-lb. jar of coconut oil or a pallet of rice flour and I gleefully add them to my stash. I’ll say, Just wait til you see what I make with this!

This bowl of noodles started with a little jar of tamarind paste that I ordered online. I had just read The Spice Merchant’s Daughter, Christina Arokiasamy‘s tantalizing account (and recipes) of growing up working in her family’s spice stall and kitchen in Malaysia. Her recipes are rich with exotic and aromatic spices and ingredients, including some unfamiliar ones to me, such as tamarind. Then Bon Appétit featured this mouth-watering spicy tamarind skirt steak, and Steve at Oui, Chef followed suit with this deliciousness; I knew I had to give tamarind a try. Continue reading


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Thai Red Curry with Shrimp & Sweet Peppers

RedThaiCurrywShrimp&PeppersIn the time between winter and spring, I crave warm & hearty food one moment, and bright & zesty flavors the next moment. This Thai-style red curry satisfies both those cravings, with enough heft to be filling and enough heat to chase away the evening chill, yet with vibrant lime, ginger and cilantro to keep the flavors fresh. This can easily be adapted for chicken, scallops, or a vegetarian version; here I use shrimp and sweet red bell peppers.

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Hibiscus Tea and Clementine Granita

HibiscusGranitaIn August, I posted the recipe for my favorite iced tea, a citrusy hibiscus tea with mint. It might seem strange that in the midst of winter I’m posting another hibiscus tea recipe, this time for a frozen dish. But even in winter, I enjoy an occasional frozen treat. It can be the perfect antidote to a rich, heavy meal — either as a frozen dessert or as a little palate cleanser between courses to refresh the tastebuds. Here I’ve combined the deep red, somewhat berry-like and floral hibiscus tea with some bright clementine and a little lime juice. It’s just a smidgen sweet, it’s refreshing, and it’s oh-so-pretty!

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Monsoon Curry

MonsoonCurry

An old acquaintance of mine once treated me to a homemade curry dinner. He had lived and worked in rural India and recounted how he learned about spices and herbs from the locals as he traveled from village to village. During monsoon season, he said, there was nothing to do but wait out the rains inside the villagers’ houses, and it was then and there he learned to cook curry. Since his time in India, he continued traveling the world, bringing along stashes of his prized Indian spices everywhere he went.

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Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce

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We were supposed to be in Thailand now, lounging on a beautiful beach, listening to the palm trees sway and rustle, dipping our toes into warm blue waters. Instead, our family was hit with Flumageddon and then our little one was hospitalized with pneumonia over the holidays. Alas, we decided we had to cancel the trip and focus on a healthy recovery at home.

As I hear news about protests and roadblocks in Bangkok, I wonder if it’s a good thing after all that we didn’t travel there now. Still, the allure of Thailand’s beauty, warmth, and delicious cuisine remains. For now, we’re enjoying a modest little taste of Thailand at home, in the form of chicken satay skewers with a tasty sweet peanut sauce. Here’s a toast to health and family, and the promise of Thailand another day. Continue reading


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Ginger, Lime & Cilantro Shrimp Noodle Bowls

IMG_6400This  holiday season, amidst all the shopping, the snow shoveling, the gift wrapping, and the party-going, why not sit down to a warm bowl of rice noodles with shrimp for a quick energy boost? This one contains lots of vibrant zesty flavors of fresh ginger, lime, cilantro & scallions. You can keep it basic or add in a mix of your favorite veggies (bell peppers and shiitake mushrooms would be great). Best of all, it’s ready in about 15 minutes. Continue reading