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During the whole Team Lean Challenge I did with my friend, Rachel, I cut out a ton of bad food. I realized if it was in my house, I would eat it. I’m looking at you bread, pb and chocolate chips. I may not have cookies in the house but combined, you make an amazing 9pm snack.

At the top of my list was pasta. It’s just so easy! I mean, I could roast a ton of veggies which takes forever… or I could just heat up some noodles and dump some sauce on it/cook up roman noodles/pour boxed mac and cheese into a pot.

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See. Pasta had to go.

But the week of the bombings in Boston, a friend of mine was planning a potluck for Sunday as a way to end what had been a very stressful week on a positive note. It was a great idea! I brought this and all the non-vegans ate it up. I had no leftovers!

Of course, it was so delicious, I was dying to make it again, fitness challenge or not! When I made it for just me, I pumped up the veggies significantly and added some tofu for an extra kick of protein. The result was a super creamy, veggy-packed noodle fest. So delicious!

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Peanutty Noodles and Veggies
adapted from Chloe Coscarelli’s Peanutty Noodles recipe found in Chloe’s Kitchen and on line at KATU.com
s
erves 4 to 6

  • 1 pound brown rice noodles
  • 1 block of tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup peanut butter, chunky or creamy
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup of edamame (no shells, thawed if using frozen, which I did)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup peanuts, roughly chopped, for garnish

Instructions:
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add brown rice noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Return noodles to pot.

Heat some sesame oil in a skillet. Saute tofu in the pan until golden. (if you prefer your veggies cooked, you can also throw them in with the tofu at this time. I sauteed my edamame with the tofu but left my peppers and carrots raw). Set aside.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining coconut milk, water, maple syrup, soy sauce, peanut butter, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, and garlic in a medium saucepan. (this will look so gross when it’s all going into the pan and you will definitely be thinking “eeew! this is going to taste weird.” It won’t. Trust me.) Let cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until sauce comes together and thickens.

Remove from heat and mix in lime juice and sesame oil.

Toss hot noodles with the sauce, tofu and veggies.

Garnish with peanuts and scallions and serve. Any leftovers can be served warm or cold the next day for a delicious lunch.

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I had fro-yo three times last week and may or may not be planning to share some Game of Thrones-themed cupcakes with you later in the week. Yeeeah…clearly, the fitness thing is over. Good thing I haven’t given up on the exercise!

PS. This would be great for a memorial day cook out. It tastes good hot or cold and it doesn’t scream, LOOK AT ME I’M VEGAN! well…maybe leave out the tofu if your hanging with all carnivores…

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Before I begin, I want to apologize for the SUPER crappy quality of these images. 1. they were taken on my cell phone. I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe but it received such rave reviews from my Mom and Grandma that I changed my mind. The only camera I had on me was my phone though and 2. My free on-line photo editor, Picmonkey, isn’t working. It keeps crashing Safari every time I try and load a photo onto it. If you have a good program you use or may know why my computer is doing this, help and guidance would be welcome!

And now on with the post!

So, as I mentioned yesterday, for November I am cleaning up my finances and my life! I’m participating in No Spend November with my friend, Rachel. I’ll update you on how that is going tomorrow.

On top of that, I will also be cleaning up my eating. I have, unfortunately, been treating halloween candy like it’s a major food group and pretty much eating it with everything. Now, we all know that halloween sized candies have no calories on halloween BUT what about days when you are stuck in the house cause of a hurricane and you lose track of what you’ve eaten. Or, a week after halloween cause it’s still hanging around.

yeah…that’s not a good thing.

I’ve been feeling pretty crappy with all the sugar I’ve been consuming so I decided to crack down on some better eating. Then, Leanne over at Healthful Pursuit posted a cleanse that she would be doing for two weeks and I really liked the idea! It’s all fruits, veggies and nuts/seeds for the first week and that’s what I needed. No sugar!  You can check out the guidelines here if you want to join us!

The best part though, salads, pureed soups and smoothies are all in, which means I get to keep trying and posting new recipes!

As I mentioned above, I actually made this recipe on Saturday for my Mom and Grandma and they completely loved it! We all went back for second and thirds. It’s all vegetables so if you omit the sugar in the sauce, I believe it will meet Healthful Pursuits cleanse guidelines.

It was, literally, bigger then my head. And that’s pretty impressive since I inherited my Dad’s huge head. Thanks Dad…

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
from Peas and Thank you
makes about  entree size servings

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (should yield about 8 c. of “noodles”)
  • 2 c. mushrooms
  • 1 c. carrots, peeled and cut into coins
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar snap peas

For the sauce:

  • 3 T. hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 c. reduced-sodium soy sauce, tamari or aminos
  • 1/3 c. organic ketchup
  • 1/3 c. fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 c. warm water
  • 3 T. organic sugar

Garinshes: lime wedges, cilantro and peanuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the squash ends off your spaghetti squash and then cut in have length-wise. Scoop out the seeds. Spray with some cooking oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie tray, cut side down, and bake for 30-50 minute depending on the size. You want it fork tender, soft enough to easily pierce with a fork. (Mine was ginormous so required 50 minutes but my usual medium sized squashes take about 30 minutes). Once your squash is cooked through, remove and let cool. Using a fork, scrape out the squash into strands and fluff.  Set aside.

Spray a large skillet or wok with cooking spray or a light mist of oil and place over medium-high heat.  Sauté mushroom, carrots and snap peas until tender crisp, about 4-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by whisking together hoisin, soy sauce, tamari or aminos, ketchup, lime juice water and sweetener.

Add the spaghetti squash “noodles” to the pan with the vegetables and heat thoroughly.  Serve the veggie and squash mix and pour sauce over individual servings, to taste, and toss. ( I had left over sauce)  Serve immediately, passing lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and peanuts at the table for garnish, if desired.

This recipe was super yummy, though I was a little sad it wasn’t more peanutty. I’ve recently heard of powdered peanut butter that has significantly less calories then regular peanut butter and taste best when mixed with things. I’m sort of dying to try it in this recipe! We ate this with Szechuan Green Beans, by the way, which is definitely one of my favorite recipes

Ok everyone, today is day 1 of my two week cleanse! I’m not sure if I’ll make it that long but I’m excited to try. I’ll update you on it tomorrow as well as how my No Spend November is going. Stay tuned!

PS. Grandma, Mom and I also played scrabble and I may have won. Not braggin’ or nothin’ but Quotha for 40+ points for the win! But, you know, I’m not braggin’…

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