Monday, January 23, 2012

Pad Thai

I can't say that this Pad Thai recipe is completely authentic, but it hits all right flavor points for me and meets my family's dietary needs.  In this photo, I served it with Coconut Lime Chicken, but my recipe below calls for stirring in shredded rotisserie chicken into the Pad Thai.  I like it both ways, but stirring in some store-bought rotisserie chicken is a much easier option for a quick weeknight meal.

1 lb Brown Rice Noodles
1/4 c. Fish Sauce
3 Tb Tamarind Juice
1/4 c. Brown Rice Syrup
3 Tb Olive Oil
2 Shallots, sliced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Red Chile, sliced
8 oz Shiitake Mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 c. Sliced Napa Cabbage
1/2 Rotisserie Chicken, deboned and shredded
1/4 c. Cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 Lime, wedged

Cook noodles as directed on the box.

In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, tamarind juice, and brown rice syrup; stir well to combine. Taste and adjust flavors to the desired combination of salty, sour, and sweet. 

Heat oil in a wok over medium-high until it is smoking hot and toss in the shallots, garlic, and chile; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cabbage and stir-fry until tender.  Add the chicken and drained noodles to the wok, stirring and tossing quickly with 2 spatulas to separate the strands. Pour in the fish sauce mixture, tossing well to coat the noodles and keep them from sticking (if the noodles are still too firm, drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to help them cook.)

Garnish with cilantro and serve with the lime wedges to squeeze over before eating.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

What a terrifically successful dish this was earlier this week!  My 4 year old helped make the dish and then said he loooooooved it!  He had a great time helping me wash all the veggies and then rub all the herbs and spices onto them.  It was also a great opportunity for me to talk to him about healthy eating.  I hope you and your family enjoy this as much as we do!

2 Zucchini, cut into half-moons
1 Red Pepper, 1-inch diced
2 Carrot, chopped
1 lg Onion, 1-inch diced
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 stem Fresh Oregano, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. Fresh Parsley, coarsely chopped
Olive Oil, to coat
Sea Salt, to taste
1 c. Quinoa
2 c. Water
Lemon Wedges, to serve

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine vegetables, oregano, parsley, olive oil, and salt.  Spread chopped vegetables on a baking sheet and put in the oven.  Roast  until tender, about 40 minutes, and set aside.

Rinse quinoa in  a strainer.  Then simmer in the water, at low heat and covered, until fluffy and water is absorbed.

Toss vegetables and quinoa together and serve warm with the lemon wedges. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pan Seared Salmon with Kimchee Vegetables and Black Bean Noodles

It's the beginning of the third week of our detox and I must say, I feel amazing! I have so much more energy; not to mention the weight I've lost!  Here's another dish from our "clean" diet.

I adjusted an old recipe of mine to make it "clean", so I will include the original recipe and mark the ingredients that I did not use this time around as "optional". I will also mark ingredients that my son is allergic to as "optional" also.  Obviously, the more of the "optional" ingredients you include, the more flavorful it will be.

While on this "clean" diet, I discovered a new food…black bean noodles! They are amazing!!  They are thin, black, and a little more stretchy than the typical semolina pasta, but it contains more protein than carbs!!  I think it works amazingly well with this dish! (Ok, this paragraph has a lot of exclamation points…can you tell I'm really excited about the black bean noodles?)

Pan Seared Salmon with Black Bean Noodles

1/2 c. Low Sodium Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
1/2 c. Mirin (optional)
1/2 c. Sake (optional)
1/4 c. Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 c. Water
1 in Ginger, sliced
4 cloves Garlic, smashed
2 Tb Sriracha Chili Paste (optional)
1 Tb Sesame Oil (optional)
1 Tb Sesame Seeds (optional)
3 Scallions, sliced thin
1 lb Salmon Filet
1/2 lb Black Bean Noodles
Lemon Wedges, for serving

Mix all ingredients except the salmon and noodles in a casserole dish.  Place the salmon in the dish with the skin side up.  Let marinate while you prepare the vegetables and noodles.

Cook noodles to package directions.

When vegetables and noodles are prepared, heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat and place the salmon with the skin side up.  After about 6 minutes, flip it over, turn down the heat to medium-low and fry until cooked through, being careful that it does not burn.  Add some of the marinating sauce if it begins to burn, but it not cooked through the center.

Serve with noodles, Kimchee Mixed Vegetables, and lemon wedges. 

Kimchee Mixed Vegetables

2 Tb Olive Oil
1 inch Ginger, grated
2 tsp. Pickled Chopped Hot Peppers (optional)
1 bunch Scallions, chopped with whites and greens separated
1/2 lb Carrots, sliced thin
1/4 lb Green Beans, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 Baby Bok Choy, chopped with whites and greens separated
6-8 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tb Low Sodium Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
1 Tb Rice Wine Vinegar
Sesame Seeds, to garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a wok and stir in ginger, hot peppers, and scallion whites.  Fry, stirring often, for about a minute, then add carrots, green beans, bok choy whites, garlic, and salt.  When vegetables are tender, add the scallion greens and bok choy greens.  Once the greens are wilted, add the soy and vinegar.  Let simmer for a couple more minutes.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Balsamic Chicken Wild Rice Pilaf

Last week my husband and I started a cleanse program to detox our bodies and help us kickstart a healthier lifestyle.  There are many dietary do's and don'ts on the program so I've been learning a whole new style of eating.  And so far the "clean" diet has been great!  This is one of my favorite recipes of what we've tried so far.  It is my adaptation of a recipe from the program.  And for my vegetarian/vegan friends out there, I think this would be great with tofu and vegetable stock (or water)!

1 c. Wild and Brown Rice Blend (like Lundberg Wild Rice Blend)
2 1/4 c. Chicken Stock
4 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tb Minced Rosemary
3 Chicken Breasts
3 Tb Olive Oil, divided
1 tsp. Sea Salt
8 oz Cremini Mushrooms, halved or quartered
3 Scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. Cilantro, chopped
1/4 c. Fresh Mint, chopped

Preheat oven to 425º F.

Simmer wild rice in chicken stock in a covered pot until liquid has evaporated.

In a small saucepan reduce the balsamic vinegar by simmering and stirring occasionally until it becomes the consistency of a syrup.  Add the garlic and rosemary and simmer for 2 minutes more. Set aside.

Brush the chicken breasts with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt.  Place on a baking tray and roast in oven for 10 minutes.  Brush with generous amounts of balsamic mixture.  Turn the oven down to 375º F and roast for a further 10 minutes.  Brush again with balsamic mixture and cook 2 minutes more.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Slice into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms in remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until cooked through.

To make the pilaf, mix together all ingredients in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.