Yesterday after an exciting trip to 99 Ranch Market, Andrew and I made another version of the spicy noodle soup that I made for him last week. Andrew felt that the soup should be heartier so he suggested we add potatoes. Well, I love potatoes so how could I resist? I forgot that potatoes add a lot of extra starch to broth and can change the entire consistency of a dish.
Everything was going really well. The carrots and potatoes were looking delicious. I added the vegetable broth and seasonings. The broth tasted amazing. It wasn’t as spicy as last time, but had a certain depth of flavor. While the carrots and potatoes were cooking I chopped the brocolli and the baby bok choy. After about twenty minutes the potatoes and carrots were pretty much done cooking. I can’t believe how the potatoes absorbed the flavor. They tasted so good!
Here is where things went wrong. My soup wasn’t quite simmering when I added the brocolli, baby bok choy, and somen noodles. I increased the heat, but something was still off and the noodles weren’t cooking right. I think in the end, I had not accounted for the fact that the potatoes would absorb a lot of the cooking liquid and my liquid was not simmering hard enough to add the noodles. The noodles turned out gummy and clumped together. They had a raw flour taste that turned my stomach and I think in the end is what caused some serious indigestion for me.
The whole soup was off. Andrew ate it but I could tell he didn’t enjoy it that much and he felt the noodles tasted strange too. The potatoes made the broth thick and starchy. It was lacking the clarity of the broth from the other day.
In the end, I majorly messed up on when I added the noodles. Next time if I want something heartier I will skip the potatoes, add tofu or tempeh instead or maybe some cashews. I added cashews to my soup and they tasted very good with the broth.
Posted in lunch
Tagged Asian, baby bok choy, brocolli, carrots, cashew, garlic, potato, shallot, somen, soup, vegan
Yesterday Andrew and I joined Peter, Susannah, and Matt for a BBQ. The main dish of the night was the BBQ chicken with pineapple, which I did not eat, but I’m sure was delicious. I made a pasta salad with seitan as well as two kinds of salsa. Andrew made tortilla chips baked in the oven. Peter and Susannah provided the chicken, wine, and sourdough bread.
Peanut Pasta Salad
Ingredients for Salad
- 1 pkg. rainbow rotini rice pasta
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- seitan sliced and marinated
- baby salad greens
Ingredients for Peanut Sauce
- 1/4 cup Better Than Peanut Butter (Trader Joe’s peanut butter made with peanut flour instead of peanuts)
- soy sauce
- teriyaki sauce
- red chili paste
- lemon juice
- sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp. garlic
1. Boil water for pasta. Add pasta once water is boiling. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water immediately. Rinsing is very important for rice pasta since it tends to get gummy and mushy very quickly.
2. Once the pasta has cooled mix together pasta, brocolli, baby salad greens, and carrots.
3. Whisk together ingredients for peanut sauce. Slice seitan into very small pieces. Put half the sauce in one bowl and add seitan. Let marinate for about five minutes. Heat a small frying pan with some sunflower oil. Add seitan and cook until heated through.
4. Add seitan to pasta and vegetable mixture. Add the remaining sauce and stir until coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Fresh Tomato Salsa
- three small tomatoes chopped roughly
- 1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped with seeds
- 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1. Add ingredients to food processor. Pulse until desirable size. I like mine very small so I let it go for a while.
Fresh Tomato Salsa with Pineapple
- 3 small tomatoes chopped roughly
- 1/2 yellow onion chopped roughly
- 1 poblano pepper chopped roughly with seeds
- 1 tbsp. garlic
- pineapple chunks
1. Add ingredients to food processor. Pulse until desired size.
Posted in Party
Tagged Asian, BBQ, brocolli, carrots, chicken, chili peppers, garlic, peanut, peanut butter, peppers, pineapple, rice pasta, salsa, tomato, vegan
I first encountered Israeli couscous (a.k.a. pearl couscous) my freshman year at UC Santa Cruz. It was used instead of bulghur in a tabouleh dish. I loved it! I’m not a fan of regular couscous, something about the texture bothers me, but I really love Israeli couscous. It has a great texture and cooks very quickly.
Israeli Couscous Salad
- Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous
- low sodium vegetable broth
- broccoli slaw (a mixture of broccoli stems and carrots)
- 9 chicken”less” strips (Trader Joe’s brand)
- balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 sun dried tomato and habañero tortilla (Trader Joe’s brand)
1. Put vegetable broth onto boil. Once the broth is boiling add couscous. It takes about five minutes to cook. Strain with a lid on top.
2. Microwave chicken”less” strips according to directions. You could also do this on the stove top, but I was hungry and wanted something quick.
3. Mix together couscous, chicken”less” strips, and broccoli slaw. Add salt, pepper, and balsamic vinaigrette. Eat with tortilla.
Andrew and I made chicken stir-fry for dinner yesterday. We bought one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Whole Foods. I sliced these into about one-half inch thick pieces and trimmed the fat. I made a sauce with “cock sauce” (its an Asian red pepper sauce), salt, pepper, rice wine vinegar, teriyaki, minced garlic, brown sugar, and soy sauce. I put the chicken in the sauce. Then I put water onto boil for the soba noodles. I added oil to a non-stick skillet and poured the chicken with sauce into that pan on about medium-low heat. In another pan, I added minced garlic, one small head of savoy cabbage (sliced into small pieces), brocolli, carrots, and pineapple. I added water, salt, and pepper to the vegetables. Once the water was boiling, I added the soba noodles. It took about fifteen minutes for the chicken to poach in the sauce. The noodles are very quick cooking and make sure not to overcook them since they will go gummy if you let them cook too long. If you’re not familiar with soba, they are a Japanese buckwheat noodle that are a little thicker than angel hair, but not as thick as spaghetti.
I mixed all three components together. It turned out nice, if a little saucy. I added a lot more “cock sauce” to mine. It made for yummy leftovers today.
Now I hated sloppy joes as a kid. I have never been the biggest fan of ground beef. There is something about the texture that I’m not the biggest fan of. However, I’ve learned to like it because it is fast to cook, easy to prepare, and very cheap. Another thing I hated was the squishy texture of the sloppy joe mixture mixed with crunchy onions. Today I wanted to try to create a sloppy joe that I would like.
I used about a 1/4 lb of 90% lean ground organic beef (the same as I used in my hamburger yesterday), a teaspoon of chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and about a tablespoon of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce (that was what we had in the fridge, not my first choice). I put this all in a pan at about medium heat. I also added about an 1/8 cup already chopped raw carrots. While this was cooking, I diced some pineapple and added this to the pan. I cooked this for about ten to fifteen minutes. I toasted a whole hamburger bun, sliced half of a Bacon avocado, and added a couple pieces of brocolli to the pan.
What came out was absolutely delicious. It was salt, sweet, tangy, and a bit spicy. I think it would have been great on top of rice or with rice noodles.