Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thai Noodles

I wish I could come to your house and cook this for you.

I wish I could serve it up on pretty plates with vegan egg rolls and dipping sauce, with an Asian salad. I wish I could give you the night off so you could sit with your feet up and read to your kids, or just watch a movie after a long day at work.

I love to feed people, especially the people I love. And I wish I could make this for you and watch you be happy.

Alas. Distance keeps me far away from most of you. *Sigh.* And time is always ticking.

I am a human, when I wish I could be super-woman.

So I am trying, with pictures, to show you how to make it. As if I were in your kitchen with you. As if we were making this together. And it is so yummy.

Here are some crazy vegan, health-obsessed, carb-lover thoughts:

Dr. Joel Furhman says something like this, "A low-carb diet may help you lose weight but then so does cigarette smoking." (FROM HIS BOOK, SUPER IMMUNITY).

Yeah for high-carb diet!

Read, "The China Study," you won't regret it.

It even goes into detail about healing and balancing women's hormones. The healthy, life-long way. I know a lot of women, including myself, who need help with balancing hormones.

Okay, onto the recipe!

This Thai recipe really helps out with going dairy free. It is flavorful, and delicious.

This is Essie's most favorite pasta dish. Samuel likes it, and I should mention that Samuel rarely loves anything that doesn't contain loads of sugar and other refined stuff. Well, I guess he does love salad and fruit...and Megan will pretty much eat anything.

So this recipe, along with being a part of our GO DAIRY FREE series, is also a part of our PROJECT VEGAN KIDS.

There are 5 basic steps:

1.) Cut up the veggies and pre-baked tofu
2.) Saute veggies, ginger and garlic
3.) Make a sauce
4.) Cook and drain pasta
5.) Throw it all together

All the veg you will need:
(From left to right: green cabbage, Bok Choy, carrots, green onions, zucchini, bean sprouts, and then ginger and garlic.)

"Process" your carrots, zucchini, and green cabbage and then set aside. I have a food processor so this step takes very little time for me. If you don't have a food processor, I highly recommend buying your carrots and green cabbage pre-cut. Trader Joe's sells the cabbage pre-shredded, and pre-cut matchstick carrots.

"Process" your Bok Choy by removing the greens and the base (like celery) and wash the stalks. The Bok Choy greens (the top) can be saved and put into green smoothies, or you can also wash, and chop them up and add to this pasta dish toward the end if you are super-green.

Cut it into slices as if it were celery, and set it aside with your mung bean sprouts (I buy mine at Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's doesn't carry sprouts).

Prepare your green onions, ginger, and garlic.

I use my kitchen scissors to cut my green onions.

Use it all, even down to the white parts.

And now I want to show you a trick I learned on how to remove the skins from garlic.

Place a single garlic clove on your cutting board, or other flat surface. Put your large chef's knife on it, broadside. Hold the knife steady with one hand, while bringing your other hand down with force as if your are punching the flat side of the knife.

Don't worry about hitting it too hard. Your goal is to actually smash the garlic. The skins should slip off pretty easily after doing this.

Then you can chop the garlic very fine with your chef's knife, or you can push it through a garlic press. I love my $14 garlic press; a great investment for me because I am not the world's most patient or skilled veg chopper!

Peel and shred the ginger (peel all the brown skin off as if it were a peach, with a paring knife).

I shred my ginger with the fine holes on the side of my box grater. I now own a zester, and that is an option, too, although I do find it easier to use my box grater.

Put your green onions, pressed garlic, and grated ginger in a non-stick fry pan (I use my cast iron skillet) and water-saute until garlic and onions are fragrant and reduced (water has been cooked out).

Now to make the sauce.

(From Left to Right: Soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, natural peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, organic blue agave nectar, and rice vinegar.)

Measure out all the ingredients and stir them together in a bowl using a kitchen fork.

Add the shredded carrots, zucchini, and green cabbage to the fry pan and stir (Do NOT add the sprouts! They are tender and should be added almost right before you serve the dish). Then add the sauce. Stir the sauce as you pour it so that the agave nectar or peanut butter doesn't settle to the bottom. Stir all the veg and sauce together and continue to saute.

Stir and saute the veg until it has been reduced, and the zucchini is see-through. At this point the brown rice fettuccine or spaghetti noodles need to be cooking, according to their package directions.

Add the cut bok choy, and the bean sprouts, stir, and saute.

While the remainder of your veg and noodles are cooking, cut up your tofu. I use pre-baked and marinated, teriyaki flavor tofu. It is organic, and yummy!

Slice it width-wise first, and then stack the slices on top of each other. I like to slice them diagonally for a more authentic look, but you may choose to slice them into cubes or whatever shape you like your protein to be in.

And then throw it all together! Your pasta, veg, and tofu.

Serve warm with egg rolls, or garden rolls. (I hope to have a post soon on rice paper garden rolls with raw veggies, and a Passion Peanut sauce.)

Thai Noodles
From Mary McDougall's Recipe Index, or from The Starch Solution by John McDougall.

Note from Ashlee: Sometimes I will use an entire 16 ounce bag of pasta (I use brown rice pasta). Because I added more veggies than Mary originally calls for, you may need to double the sauce. I recommend you add the original amount called for in the recipe, and then after you have put your entire dish together, add more sauce to suit your individual tastes. Keep in mind that the longer you simmer the added sauce, the more flavors will blend with the veggies. AND the spices (chili sauce) will also get hotter and have more kick. Saute everything with these thoughts in mind.

Note from Mary: This is a wonderful meal for hot summer nights because it requires minimal cooking and it may be made completely ahead of time and served cold or at room temperature. It also keeps well in a cooler so it is a great picnic food.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


12-16 ounces linguini or spaghetti noodles, I use brown rice noodles (broken in half)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup natural peanut butter, creamy
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1-2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce (see hints)(Mary McDougall usually uses sambal oelek)
¼ teaspoon sesame oil (optional-see hints)
3 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 ½ cups mung bean sprouts
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
And I add these additional veggies:
1 1/2 cups cut and coined zucchini
1 whole bok choy, washed, cut, and greens removed
1 cup shredded green cabbage
7-14 ounces baked seasoned tofu, thinly sliced
chopped cilantro
chopped peanuts (optional)


Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine the agave nectar, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili-garlic sauce and the sesame oil in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside. Place the broth in a non-stick frying pan with the onions, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes. Add the sauce, mix well and heat through. Add carrots, zucchini, and shredded cabbage, mix well to incorporate, and saute until tender-crisp. Add the bean sprouts, bok choy and tofu and toss again to mix. Serve warm or at room temperature. Let each person add chopped cilantro and/or chopped peanuts, if desired.

Hints: Rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce may be found in most supermarkets in the oriental section. One brand of chili-garlic sauce is made by Huy Fong Foods. It is quite spicy, so you may need to adjust the amount used according to your tastes. I use a small amount of sesame oil in this recipe for the unique taste it adds to foods. It may be omitted, if desired. This dish keeps well in the refrigerator and may also be served cold. This is great to fix on those busy evenings when everyone is eating at different times because it tastes best at room temperature.

I hope you try it, and I hope you love!!


What is your favorite dairy-free pasta dish?

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