Vietnamese-Style Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded if desired, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or mint (used mint)
  • 8 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles, broken in half
  • 1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil (used canola oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cups vegetables, such as sliced sweet pepper, snow pea pods, and/or julienned carrots (used 1 cup each of snow pea pods, julienned carrots, thinly sliced yellow onion, thinly sliced cremini mushrooms, and sliced water chestnuts)
  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil and/or mint leaves (used mint leaves)
  • Salted peanuts and lime wedges

Directions

  1. Take a small mixing bowl out and add the following ingredients to it, stirring to combine: fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, finely chopped ginger, jalapeño, green onion and chopped mint.
  2. Get a pot of water boiling and immediately take it off the heat. Stir the noodles in, letting the stand for 5 minutes or however long the package they came in recommends until the noodles feel softened. Drain the noodles, rinsing them under cold water until they’ve cooled down and drain them one more time.
  3. Take a wok or large heavy skillet and pour the oil into it (I used a large cast-iron skillet), setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss the chopped ginger in, stirring constantly for 10 seconds. Mix the vegetables in now, continuing to stir for another 2 minutes or until the vegetables become crisp-tender.
  4. Divide the noodles, vegetables and romaine between 6 bowls, spreading the dressing over them. Top with the basil and/or mint leaves and serve with the peanuts and lime wedges.

There are a lot of things that go into this dish but they all work together to create a tasty dish ! That sauce really brings the major flavors, the vegetables help bulk up the dish and bring a variety of textures, the mint leaves bring a freshness, the peanuts add a crunchy texture and squeezing that lime wedge over the entire dish just helps brighten the whole thing, making it even tastier !

This recipe came from Better Homes & Gardens.

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote Better Homes & Gardens.

Take care everybody !

Fall Vegetable Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
  • 1 cup small cauliflower florets
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2 tsp. Madras curry powder
  • ½ cup organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson)
  • ½ tsp. salt, divided (we used table salt)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained (we used regular chickpeas)
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained (we used a regular can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 (8.8-oz.) pkg. precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben’s) (we cooked up a pot of brown rice)
  • ½ cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt (we used whole-fat Greek yogurt)
  • ¼ cup unsalted cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Pour the oil into a large nonstick skillet, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add in the sweet potato, stirring now and then for 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the cauliflower into the skillet as well as the onion and curry powder. Stir the mixture continuously for one minute before stirring in the broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, chickpeas and tomatoes, waiting for the dish to come to a boil afterwards. Once boiling, put a lid on the skillet and turn the heat down low enough for it to just simmer. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring now and then during that time.
  2. While the curry is simmering, cook the rice according to the directions on the package they’re in. Take the cooked rice and place it in a mixing bowl, adding in the last ¼ teaspoon of salt, stirring to combine. Once the vegetables are tender, split the rice evenly between 4 bowls, topping it with the curry vegetable mixture, yogurt, cashews, and the cilantro.
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This is a wonderful comforting dish to enjoy ! This curry stands on its own but you can choose to add on the toppings and have another layer of flavor and textures. The yogurt does add a creamy texture to the dish but the curry is great without it and omitting the yogurt makes this a vegan curry !

We got this recipe from Cooking Light.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Swanson, Uncle Ben’s, or Cooking Light.

Take care everybody !

Veggie Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • ¾ pound zucchini, trimmed and diced
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (we used table salt)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 can (14 ½ ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (8 ¾ ounces) corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • ¾ cup salsa verde (we used our Roasted Tomatillo Salsa)
  • 1 package (4.6 ounces) hard taco shells or 12 soft corn tortillas (we used hard taco shells)
  • 2/3 cup crumbled farmer cheese or queso blanco (we used queso fresco)
  • Lime wedges

Directions

  1. Take a large nonstick skillet out and pour the oil in, setting the heat to somewhere between medium to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the zucchini and scallions, cooking for 5 minutes. Add in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, stirring constantly for one minute.
  2. Add the beans, corn, spinach and salsa to the skillet, stirring to combine. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until the spinach has wilted (ours took less than 3 minutes)
  3. While the spinach is getting wilted, heat up your taco shells or tortillas in the microwave for 45 seconds or however long the package they came in says to. Spoon roughly 1/3 cup of the vegetable mixture into each taco shell, sprinkling the cheese on afterwards and squeezing the lime wedge over the taco. Only thing left to do now is to eat it !
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We did have to season this with some kosher salt to bring out the maximum flavor in the dish. This really does taste the best once you have the cheese and lime juice with the taco filling. Choosing to go with the hard tacos shells gave the dish a crunch that’d be missing otherwise.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Veggie Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely chopped zucchini (about 1 large) (we went with the 2 cup measurement)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced baby portobello mushrooms (We bought an 8 oz. pkg. of whole baby bella, cleaned them and removed the stems before slicing them about ¼-inch thick.)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (we used yellow onion)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach, stems removed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained (we used Rotel Hot Diced Tomatoes with Habaneros)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened (we used the original kind instead of reduced-fat)
  • 1 (7-ounce) package shredded reduced-fat Mexican 4-cheese blend, divided
  • 1 ½ tablespoons taco seasoning mix (we used Lawry’s)
  • 1 (17.5-ounce) package soft taco flour tortillas (We couldn’t find any packages weighing 17.5-ounces but we did end up using 18 soft taco flour tortillas.)
  • 1 (10-ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce (we used Old El Paso)
  • Kosher salt to taste (recipe doesn’t call for it but it helps a lot*)
  • Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a 13 x 9-inch baking dish** out and spray the inside of it with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Take a large nonstick skillet out and spray the inside of it with nonstick cooking spray (we chose instead to use about 2 teaspoons of canola oil to coat the inside with). Heat the skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the zucchini, mushroom, onion and garlic, stirring frequently for 8 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add in the spinach and continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until the spinach is wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated (ours took less time than that). Add in the beans, corn, diced tomatoes and chiles, and the cream cheese, stirring long enough for the cream cheese to melt.
  3. Stir 1 cup of the shredded cheese into the skillet as well as the taco seasoning. Once everything’s combined, take the skillet off the heat. Take a tortilla and spread about 1/3 cup of the skillet mixture down the middle. Roll the tortilla up to enclose the filling and place it seam side down in the baking dish (we had to tear off the ends of the tortillas to make them fit). Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas, sticking the dish in the oven to let the enchiladas cook for 30 minutes. Pull the dish out just long enough to sprinkle the remaining ¾ cup of cheese over the top of the enchiladas and then stick it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until it looks hot and bubbly***. Garnish with the cilantro and enjoy !

*When we first tasted this, it tasted “meh” enough that initially we weren’t going to post this but after sprinkling some salt over the enchiladas, it brought out the flavors enough that we changed our minds and decided it was worth posting.

**When we first started making this, we had no idea how many tortillas it would take to use up all the filling. We could only fit 12 though in our 13 x 9-inch baking dish so we had to get another dish out in order to get them all in the oven.

***Maybe our oven runs hotter than theirs did but by the 10 minute mark, our enchiladas were starting to look like they got cooked longer than they should have so next time we make this, we’re going to leave them in for less time.

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While this is tasty, had we known how many enchiladas this was going to yield, we would’ve bought more enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.

We got this recipe from a Paula Deen magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Rotel, Lawry’s, Old El Paso or the Paula Deen magazine.

Take care everybody !

Tofu Curry With Lemongrass And Chile

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-oz.) block extra-firm tofu, drained (we drained and pressed our tofu)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 to 2 Thai chiles, finely chopped (we used 3 Thai chiles)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • 12 green beans, cut diagonally into 2-in. pieces
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into ¼-in. pieces (After seeding & trimming the bell pepper, we decided to use the whole bell pepper. It was a smaller one so we didn’t mind using the whole bell pepper.)
  • 2 tsp. Madras curry powder (we used Hot Madras curry powder)
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. fish sauce
  • 3 to 4 fresh cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped (we just used the leaves and left them whole)

Directions

  1. Take the drained tofu and halve it lengthwise, cutting each half crosswise into 4 pieces afterwards.
  2. Pour 1 tablespoon of canola oil into a large nonstick skillet, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add in the tofu and don’t move it at all for 4 to 5 minutes or until it looks light browned (ours looked browned at 4 minutes). Flip the tofu over and let it cook for 2 minutes (we cooked ours for 1 minute). Carefully pour the soy sauce into the skillet, letting it cook for 2 minutes (we moved on earlier than that because the soy sauce had almost all been cooked off). Flip the tofu and cook it for one more minute. Take the tofu out of the skillet to let it cool down. Cut each piece diagonally so you yield triangular pieces.
  3. Mix the water and milk together in a mixing bowl, leaving off the side for now. Pour the remaining canola oil into the skillet, setting the heat to high. Once the oil’s hot but not smoking, toss in the shallots, chiles, and lemongrass, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the salt, green beans, and bell peppers in, continuing to stir for 2 minutes or until the vegetables have softened a little. Add the tofu back into the skillet as well as pouring in the coconut milk mixture and the fish sauce, cooking for 2 minutes (we tossed everything together so that all components were coated in the sauce) or until everything is heated through. Take the tofu mixture out of the skillet and top with cilantro, serving immediately.

Serves 4.

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First of all, this does not serve 4 ! Maybe if you were serving it as an appetizer, but not as an entree. It was just enough to just serve mommy and me as an entree. We thought the tofu was going to be so tiny getting cut into triangles but it was actually a good size. When we tried a piece of the Thai chiles raw, it packed a lot of heat but by the end there wasn’t nearly as much heat as we thought there’d be. I was afraid that our tofu was a little too browned but we never tasted anything burnt. The vegetables add a nice contrasting texture to the dish. The cilantro also added a nice complementary flavor to the dish. Overall we really enjoyed eating this dish !

We got this recipe from Cooking Light.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cooking Light.

Take care everybody !

Vegetable Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (12 oz.) whole wheat fettuccine
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce or additional reduced-sodium soy sauce (we used fish sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • Dash Louisiana-style hot sauce (we used Tabasco)
  • 1 pkg. (12 oz.) extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into ½-in. cubes
  • 3 tsp. canola oil, divided
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 cups fresh snow peas, halved (we accidentally measured out 2 cups of halved snow peas)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups bean sprouts (we used an 8 oz. package of bean sprouts)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped (we used roasted peanuts)

Directions

  1. Cook the fettuccine based on the directions you find on the box they’re in. Drain the pasta and keep it in a sealed container until it’s needed. While the pasta’s cooking, take a small mixing bowl out and stir together in it the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and hot sauce until smooth. Leave the vinegar mixture off to the side for now.
  2. Pour two teaspoons of the oil into a large skillet or wok (we used a large skillet). Once the oil’s hot, add in the tofu, stirring it around occasionally until it turns golden brown. Take the tofu out of the skillet and leave it off to the side, keeping it warm (we lined our plate with a few paper towels to absorb any potential grease from the tofu). Pour the remaining oil into the skillet and once it’s hot, add in the carrots and snow peas, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the garlic, stirring constantly  for another minute or until the vegetables have a crisp-tender texture. Pour in the eggs, stirring until they’re fully cooked. Add in the pasta followed by the vinegar mixture (the directions didn’t say to but we tossed everything together). Wait for the sauce to come to a boil. Once boiling, add in the tofu, bean sprouts and green onions, tossing to combine. Once everything’s heated through, take it off the heat and sprinkle with the cilantro and chopped peanuts.
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While this may not be an authentic pad Thai, it is delicious ! There’s a variety of textures from the different vegetables and a little bit of crunch from the peanuts as well. The flavor of the fish sauce and lime juice also comes through.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Tabasco.

Take care everybody !