Tag Archives: garlic

Noodle Soup Failure

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.

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Spicy Noodle Soup

Now there are dishes that I am poor at cooking and there are dishes that I am very good at. I am great at cooking chicken, baking, and soups. I love a nice spicy soup with lots of vegetables and noodles in it. I like it so spicy that I start to sweat and my nose gets runny.

The other day Andrew wasn’t feeling well and I had the day off so I drove up to Santa Clara to visit him and make soup. He was just planning on making the chicken and rice soup that I had made him before, but I wanted something spicy and spicy things are good for your health (well, at least they feel good to me!). This is my perfect sick people soup: it is hot, spicy, filled with veggies, and filling. I love spicy food when I’m congested: I can actually taste it!

Ingredients

  • somen noodles (angel hair pasta will also work if you can’t somen)
  • one large head of broccoli, chopped
  • one head of baby bok choy, chopped
  • two large carrots, chopped
  • 1 shallot minced
  • one can of vegetable broth + 3 cans of water
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lite soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. hot chili oil
  • 3 tbsp. spicy black bean paste
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • olive oil

1. In a large heavy bottomed soup pot heat oil on medium. Add shallot and garlic. Cook until shallot is clear. Add chopped carrots and stir until carrots are coated with shallot, garlic, and oil mixture. Add black pepper.

2. Add 1 can of vegetable broth (any brand will work, this time I used Swanson’s since this is what they carry at Lucky’s grocery store). Add three cans of water. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to let the carrots simmer. Add soy sauce, more black pepper, chili oil and black bean paste. Cook for fifteen minutes or until carrots are cooked.

3. Add baby bok choy, broccoli, and somen noodles. These will be done cooking in a very short amount of time, about two to three minutes.

Andrew said my soup was amazing and he ate it for lunch and dinner that day and the next. The only thing he said that it was missing was meat. ūüôā

BBQ, Pasta Salad, and Salsa

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
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 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

Ingredients

  • three small tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 1 jalape√Īo pepper, chopped with seeds
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • salt
  • pepper

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

Ingredients

  • 3 small tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped roughly
  • 1 poblano pepper chopped roughly with seeds
  • 1 tbsp. garlic
  • pineapple chunks
  • salt
  • pepper

1. Add ingredients to food processor. Pulse until desired size.

Thrown Together

Sometimes when I get off work I want a burrito or french fries or something else that I can’t make at home,¬† then I remember that¬† I have to eat what I have in the cupboard because it’s already paid for. It was freezing today so I wanted to make something warm and with substance. I threw together a tasty, simple stew of carbohydrates, veggies, and protein.

Ingredients

  • one russet potato, washed and cubed
  • one can of green peas (no salt added)
  • one can of chickpeas
  • one tablespoon of garlic
  • two baby carrots, washed and diced
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • sprinkling of nutritional
  • salt and pepper
  • water

1. Boil water on high. Add nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, garlic, potato, carrot, and brown rice. Reduce heat to medium and put a lid on it.

2. After about twenty minutes add the canned goods. Ladle into a serving bowl and add mustard.

The mustard really made it for me. Otherwise it was kind of a bland dish. You could always make this into a curry or serve it with bread. I just didn’t have either of those.

Two Kinds of Pizza

Andrew wanted to make pizza today, so we made two different kinds of pizza: one with sausage, pineapple, kalamata olives, garlic, and mozzarella rice cheese and the other with bbq “chicken”, pineapple, garlic, and mozzarella rice cheese¬† (seitan marinated in bbq sauce). I really liked the way the whole wheat crust turned out. I have to get used to the texture of the seitan, but it actually worked very well on the pizza with the cheese.¬† The rice cheese melted very well. It was missing that nice, greasy cheese component that is what makes pizza so divine, but at least it wasn’t clogging my arteries. Andrew said he really liked the way his came out, but he wouldn’t use olives the next time.

Pizza Crust Recipe

Ingredients (Crust)

Adapted from The Martha Stewar Living Cookbook

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sunflower oil

1. Pour the warm water into a small bowl. Note: It’s very important your water is the right temperature. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast; if it is too cold the yeast will not be activated. Add the sugar, and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir the mixture until the yeast is dissolved and water has turned tan. Let yeast stand until foamy, about ten minutes. In a bowl, combine flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and oil. Stir until dough comes together, adding more flour as needed until dough is smooth, not tacky, when squeezed. Transfer to clean surface; knead four or five until it turns into a ball.

2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, smooth side up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about forty minutes. Note: Our dough did not rise. I think our water was too hot or we kneaded it too much. It did not make that much difference. Our crust was a little thin and chewy. Remove the plastic wrap, and place your fist in the center of the dough to punch it down. Fold the dough back onto itself four or five times. Turn the dough over, folded side down, cover with the plastic wrap, and let rise again in a warm place until the dough ahs doubed in size, about thirty minutes. Top with whatever you like and cook in a 400¬ļ F. oven for 17 minutes.

Pizza Sauce Recipe

Adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 14 oz. can peeled, stewed tomatoes
  • dried oregano (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato paste

1. Pour peeled, stewed tomatoes into food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add tomato paste and sunflower oil. Pulse until mixed. Pour into bowl. Add spices.

Andrew’s Pizza

Ingredients

  • one whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1/2 recipe of tomato sauce
  • pineapple slices
  • mozzarella rice cheese
  • 1/4 pound of bulk pork sausage
  • kalamata olives
  • garlic cloves

1. Assemble pizza then cook in oven for seventeen minutes at 400¬ļ F.

Hayley’s Pizza

Ingredients

  • nuggets of pre-cooked seitan marinated for an hour in homemade bbq sauce
  • rice mozzarella cheese
  • tomato sauce
  • sliced pineapple
  • garlic

1. Heat nuggets of pre-cooked seitan on low heat until heated through. Cut into smaller, bite sized pieces.

2. Assemble pizza: sauce, cheese, seitan, sliced garlic, and sliced pineapple. Cook in oven for seventeen minutes at 400¬ļ F.

Grandmother’s Garden

My grandmother has the most amazing garden. Over the years she has grown a variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Due to age, she has scaled down on the amount of produce she grows and now she grows more flowers. She currently grows kale, arugala, figs, walnuts, green lettuce, tomatoes, chard, garlic, rosemary, and dill. In the past she grew corn, oranges, lemons, tangerines, and sunflowers. I remember summers when we would shuck corn and harvest sunflower seeds. I think this time spent in the garden really helped in my development and appreciation for fresh produce. At my own house growing up we grew all sorts of our own produce. If I remember correctly the fruit we grew lemons, oranges, tangelos, tangerines, kumquats, grapefruits,¬†apricots, nectarines, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, grapes (green and red), watermelon,¬†strawberries, apples, crabapples, and plums. This allowed us to¬†have fresh fruit¬†through most of the year.¬†We also¬†grew a number of vegetables¬†and tubers: cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, onions, garlic,¬†and lettuce. Despite growing up with all these¬†vegetables, I disliked most vegetables growing up and still don’t like a lot of them. I¬†don’t eat tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, or zucchini among others. I’ve¬†retried these vegetables over the year knowing¬†that your palate changes as you get older. I still don’t like¬†them, especially tomatoes. Tomatoes have an high acid content and this doesn’t mix well with my digestive system. I will eat tomato sauce sometimes, but¬†it still bothers my stomach. ¬†We spent many weekends having to garden, weeding, thinning out, picking out bugs, picking fruit and vegetables.¬† Another great thing about my grandmother’s garden is that she doesn’t use any pesticides or chemicals, so you can pick a piece of arugala and just eat it straight. She does get bugs so she washes her vegetables and greens in water and vinegar. The pictures here are green leaf lettuce, rosemary, unripe fig, kale, arugala, and chard.

Chicken Stir-Fry with Soba Noodles

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.