Spicy Asian Eggplant with Tofu and Red Pepper

I have been an avid reader of Self Magazine for about 4 years now, soaking in all their advice. One thing I haven’t done yet, which surprises me upon thinking about it, is make one of their healthy recipes.

I did some extensive research on their website, and decided to make their Spicy Asian Eggplant with Tofu and Red Pepper. Sadly, after making my trek to the grocery store, I found that they did not have red chillies. Or oyster sauce. But that is why I love cooking so much – there’s no have-to formula to create something delicious. In fact, I think improvising should be more encouraged {baking, however, is an entirely different story}. Improvising demands that you use your right-brain powers, a side that people often allow to gather dust over time.

So, what to do, what to do? There was a plethora of peppers, but not much of a choice when it came to chillies, which turned out to be in my favor.

I grabbed a handful of Thai Chillies and fish sauce to substitute for the things that were missing.

Thai Chilli Stir Fry3

Oyster sauce really is quite similar to fish sauce, so there were no problems there. However, when you cook with chillies, it is a little important to try not to stray too much with the amounts, because usually the recipe’s author has a good gauge of the spiciness. And comparing the heat between two different chillies is even harder. Luckily, I found this website, which has the heat range according to each peppers Capsaicin rate.

Thai Chilli Stir Fry7

I used 4 little chillies {and by little, I mean smaller than your pinky. I may have even only needed 3}, and cooked the rest as the recipe called.

This dish was absolutely delicious, and I was elated when I read the stats:166 calories per serving, 7.9 g fat (0.7 g saturated), 16.1 g carbs, 6.3 g fiber, 8.7 g protein

The recipe serves 4 good sized servings, but because the calories are so low, I had two.

Thai Chilli Stir Fry11



Thai Basil {Noodle Cafe}

Remember when I said I would be talking about this place? Yeah, that’s happening right now.

I’m kind of finicky about Asian food – I frequently find it either too heavy or not filling enough {hard to please?}, but this place has it right, let me tell you. It’s just a little hole-in-wall sort of joint, and not too impressive upon walking in, but if you cut it some slack, it will be worth it {plus, you’ll find the price to be surprisingly agreeable}.

My parents got the same lunch {oh, how cute} of Thai Spring Rolls {a rice wrap stuffed with shrimp, veggies & served with Thai peanut sauce} and Thai Spicy Soup {which included shrimp, onions, tomatoes & mushrooms, and had a delicious spicy broth – I will be trying to recreate it soon}.


I ordered their Grilled Beef Salad, which is pretty much strips of lean beef atop baby spring mix – it’s MUCH more flavorful than it sounds, and the perfect amount for a light lunch, including tons of protein to keep you going until dinner. Very important for a day of shopping.

Grilled Beef Salad

Next time I go there, I would like to try the Thai Curry Lime Beef. If you’ve ever been, menu recommendations would be welcomed gladly!