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Posts Tagged ‘Rice Noodles’

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

There is a lot to be excited about this week.  First, my kids come home from spending a few days in North Dakota with my Mom and Dad.  This is the second summer that they have spent time away without Radd and me.  It’s hard for me to be away from them, but to be honest, I think it’s important for kids to get to know their grandparents without parents (i.e. me)  interfering all the time.  They get to be properly spoiled and make their own memories and that’s wonderful.  There is nothing quite like the love of a grandparent.  I’m excited to see my little ones– I’ve missed them.  But, my gosh!  It’s amazing what I can accomplish with an entire day without distractions!  There’s just so much…time to get things done.

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

Healthy Brow Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

The other super exciting event this week is that our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) starts delivery this week.  And I am thrilled!  It’s been a crazy June here in Minnesota– we’ve had record rainfalls and lots of flooding.  In fact, the farm that our CSA, Bossy Acres, resides on received almost 7-inches already this month.  Joining a CSA this year has had me feeling like a farm-girl all over again– stressing about the weather.  It’s exhilarating and terrifying.  At any rate– we’ll get our box of goodies on Thursday and I’m more that a little excited to create some meals with it.

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

Speaking of meals, today I’m sharing a quick one that you can put on your (hopefully outdoor) table in no time flat.  I know, two noodle salads in two weeks?!  I can’t help it– I’m addicted.  This one is cold, refreshing, and basically tastes like a giant spring roll, without the fuss of that rice paper.  I loaded it with cucumbers and radishes.  I would have added grated carrots, but we were out.  The cilantro and mint make the dish in my opinion, as do the peanuts–so load it up!  Mint is one of my favorite summertime additions to cold salads.  I’ve been fortunate enough to find delicious fresh bean sprouts at our farmers market and they are brilliant in this dish.  What a refreshing crunch!  The meal can be served without a meat, of course.  If you want to make it a bit more filling– chicken, shrimp, and especially grilled pork work extremely well.  The dressing is simple and subtle.  It’s not at all “saucy”, in that it pretty much disappears into the noodles leaving you with its subtle influence.  Feel free to make a tad more if you like a bolder flavor.  I hope you are enjoying many outdoor meals this summer and that this dish finds it’s way onto your table.  Enjoy!

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

The Recipe: Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad

(serves 4)

For the Sauce:

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 cucumber, thinly sliced (preferably with a mandolin)

5-6 radishes, thinly sliced (using a mandolin, as well)

2 red scallions, thinly sliced

large handful of fresh bean sprouts

about 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

about 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

about 2/3 cup chopped salted peanuts

8 ounces brown rice noodles

serrano peppers, thinly sliced, optional

lime wedges, for serving

grilled chicken, shrimp, or pork– optional

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce.  Stir and set aside.

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions (they will only take about 3-4 minutes).  Rinse immediately with cold water.  Reserve a bit of the cooking liquid to loosen pasta, if necessary.  Separate the rice noodles with your fingers, so they are loose and airy– this is a fun process.  Get your kids involved to help!

On a large platter or bowl, add the rice noodles, vegetables, herbs, and bean sprouts.  Pour the sauce over and toss with tongs.  Top with grilled meat, if using, peanuts, and a bit more cilantro, mint, and a squeeze of lime.  I used simple grilled chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Sliced serrano peppers would be lovely here, alas my son doesn’t love the heat from them.  This dish is best eaten on the day it is made.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

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Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) | Relishing It

When we moved to the Twin Cities from North Dakota in 1999, we were stunned by all of the wonderful restaurants.  More specifically, the ethnic food choices were mind boggling.  We simply did not have access to these types of food where we grew up. One of the very first places we tried was a small Vietnamese restaurant on the Midway in St. Paul.  It had recently been in the paper for having one of the best bowls of pho in town and the photograph that accompanied the article made my mouth water.  I didn’t know what pho was, but I knew I had to try it– and it. was. wonderful.   We still go to that restaurant occasionally during the Winter months, though now it’s more likely that you’ll find me making this dish at home.

Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) | Relishing It

It’s quite simple to make a delicious bowl of pho ga that can come together quickly so long as you have the homemade chicken broth ready.  And again, here you’ll want to use the homemade broth– it’ll make the difference.  I generally pull a couple of jars of broth and some shredded, cooked chicken from the freezer just a little while before we want to sit down for dinner.  Pho is all about a simple, flavorful base– some chicken, some rice noodles, and then load the top with fresh ingredients.  No two bowls of pho are identical, at least not in our house, because we all add our own little additions.  I love fish sauce and sriracha mixed into my broth– my kids, not so much.  I also load mine up with jalapeños, basil, sprouts, and a healthy squeeze of lime.  It’s sublime.

Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) | Relishing It

This soup will warm your body and if it were possible to do– I believe that it may actually warm your soul.  Think of a snowy, cold night tucked in at home.  Light a candle or two and nuzzle in.  Slurp on a bowl of this soup with your family or friends.  It makes the Winter months that much more enjoyable.

Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Pho Ga | Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

(Serves 4)

2 quarts homemade chicken broth (imperative for this recipe)

3- inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled

5 whole cloves

2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

2 whole star anise

5 whole allspice berries

1 package (about 14 ounces) thin dried rice noodles

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed

1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced

About 4 cups shredded chicken,  (save from when making broth OR boil or bake chicken breasts/thighs)

1 bunch of fresh basil, regular or Thai, for garnish

fresh bean sprouts, for garnish

2 fresh jalapeños, for garnish

1-2 fresh limes, quartered, for garnish

Serve with the following condiments: fish sauce, sriracha sauce, hoisin sauce, red chili paste, and soy sauce

For this recipe, I’m assuming you have homemade chicken broth at the ready.  If you don’t– make some immediately.  If you don’t have time to wait the full 24 hours for it to simmer, that’s fine.  Three hours or so,  will work.  Follow these instructions and add the pho ga broth spices (fresh ginger, cloves, allspice berries, coriander seeds, and star anise) right into the pot.  Note:  You will have much more broth than the recipe calls for, but that’s not entirely a bad thing.  You may want to up the amount of spices, as well. 

Begin by adding two quarts of homemade chicken broth to a large saucepan or kettle.  Place the ginger into the pot along with a spice sachet or cheesecloth tied with string filled with the cloves, allspice berries, coriander seeds, and star anise.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium simmer and let cook for about 45 minutes, so that the flavors can infuse.

Meanwhile, when the broth is nearly finished,  cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions (I generally cook them for less time than suggested)– they don’t take very long to cook, so keep a watchful eye.  You do not want the noodles to become mush.  Fill your individual bowls with the rice noodles,  shredded chicken, some sliced white onion, a bit of cilantro, and sliced scallions.

Remove the ginger and spice sachet from the broth.  Ladle the hot broth into the noodle filled bowls.  Serve with accompaniments– fresh basil, bean sprouts, fresh jalapeño, and lime.  Along with the condiments– fish sauce, sriracha sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and red chili paste.  Enjoy!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far.  Take Care!

Laurie

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