I love Pad Thai. Absolutely love it. It is one of those dishes that I crave (kind of like sushi, taco time hot sauce, jalapeno chips, etc). Sadly, it is also one of those dishes that every time I eat, I feel guilty as I know it isn’t good for me (especially since I have no portion control when I eat it).
Thankfully, a while back I stumbled on a lightened up, “healthier” version of Pad Thai in one of my Cooking Light magazines. After making it the first time, I was sold. And now, any time I get that craving, I add this recipe to my weekly meal plan. I have also used this recipe when we have had company and it has always been a hit! Highly recommend giving it a try.
- 8 ounces uncooked flat rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup green onion pieces
- 8 ounces peeled and deveined large shrimp (I used the tail off already cooked kind)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts (note: my local grocery stores have stopped carrying so I used canned this last time. not quite the same but it worked.)
- 1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1 package extra firm tofu
Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. While water comes to a boil, combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tofu pieces and cook until lightly brown. Add onion pieces, shrimp, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost done (or warmed if you use the pre-cooked kind). Add cooked noodles; toss to combine. Stir in sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to combine. Arrange about 1 cup noodle mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1/4 cup bean sprouts, 1 tablespoon peanuts, and 2 teaspoons basil. Enjoy!
So glad it is the weekend! Much needed. Very much looking forward to the BBQ we have tonight at my best friend Katie’s house. Now that Ash and her family have moved back from Oregon, it will be the first time in a long time that my group of girlfriends from growing up will all get together (with families) and spend some quality time together 🙂 Rest of the weekend is cleaning, errands, relaxing, etc. We also have tickets to the Symphony tomorrow night and on Sunday afternoon we are celebrating my mom’s birthday!
Have a great Friday and weekend!
I know I have said it before, but life is never slow or quiet in our house! There is always something going on. Needless to say, I haven’t been cooking much. Although I love being busy, there are definitely two downsides to this (well in terms of this blog – my house would also argue that I don’t clean it nearly enough): 1) I don’t cook (unless it is to quickly toss together a salad or something) and 2) I don’t meal plan 😦 And based on what is going on in life right now, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. At least not until August comes and goes! Hopefully I can find a little more time however, to get in the kitchen these next few weeks. I did however, experiment a few weeks ago. I had a ton of tofu that needed to be used up so I made a BBQ Tofu Pizza. Sounds a little strange, but trust me, it is delicious!
1 store-bought pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1 package extra firm tofu
1/3 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Press tofu in order to remove excess moisture by lining a plate with several paper towels and placing tofu on top of the paper towels and topping with additional paper towels. Place pan or plates on top of the tofu and drain for 15 minutes. Next, remove tofu and cut into approx. 1 inch squares/rectangles. Add tofu and a teaspoon of olive oil to a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until slightly browned and crispy. Remove from heat and toss tofu with 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, set aside.
While Tofu is cooking, roll out pizza dough to around 12-14 inches in diameter. Place dough on preheated pizza stone (or baking sheet brushed with olive oil). Spread 1/2 cup BBQ sauce on dough, leaving a little space around edges. Top with mozzarella cheese, then tofu and sliced red onions.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is slightly brown. Top with cilantro.
This recipe totally took me by surprise! I mean, based on the picture in Fitness magazine it looked good and all, however, I wasn’t prepared for exactly how delicious it was! Even if you are not an eggplant fan, please give this recipe a try…it won’t disappoint!
Turkish Eggplant and Farro Gratin (slightly adapted from Fitness Magazine)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup farro
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium eggplant, diced
- 1/2 pound lean ground chicken
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and coat baking dish with cooking spray. Cook farro according to package instructions (mine said to rinse farro then bring water & farro to a boil and let cook for approx. 20 minutes) then set aside in large bowl. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and eggplant; saute for 12 minutes. Stir mixture into farro.
Add chicken to skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring to break up meat. Stir in tomatoes, raisins, garlic, cinnamon and oregano. Cook approximately 3 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk egg and egg white in a small bowl. Stir into farro mixture, then stir in chicken & tomato mixture. Spoon into prepared dish. Sprinkle top with feta. Bake 20 minutes then let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Note: The original recipe called for brown rice instead of farro. I didn’t have any on hand so I went with the farro instead.
With this meal I served a simple salad of arugula, beets and feta. I drizzled a little olive oil on it and a touch of salt and pepper and called it good 🙂
BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad (slightly adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 can sweet corn, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 – 1 1/2 cup chicken breast, shredded and tossed in BBQ sauce (amount up to you!)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- BBQ sauce for drizzling on top
- 2 – 3 scallions, chopped
In a large bowl, toss chicken and BBQ sauce. Then add quinoa, corn, black beans, tomato, black olives, scallions and avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture into serving bowls and drizzle BBQ sauce over top. Then top with shredded cheese (it also recommends cilantro which I totally forgot to do but would definitely be a good addition). Serve warm or at room temperature.
Results: AMAZING…definitely making this one again 🙂
What a wonderful Saturday so far. Much needed after my Friday. I can’t say Friday was horrible as I had a good tough workout in the morning and after work the Mr. and I had a great, relaxing dinner out together (even the pup got to join us!). My work day just didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to. All is well though…everything works out and happens for a reason. I just have to stay positive!
Anyhow, back to this morning. After being woken up way to early by the pup (or possibly I just couldn’t sleep), as usual, I made my 7am call to chat with my mom. Like my parents, I am an early riser so I always know when the rest of the world is still sleeping on a Saturday morning I can always call and catch up with my mom 🙂 While talking, she mentioned she wanted to do something before heading in to work today (it’s tax season so she is working 6-7 days a week…yuck!) and mentioned she might walk Greenlake. Hearing that, I quickly invited myself and the pup to join her 🙂 So, by 8:15 this morning we were both grabbing our Starbucks and heading out for a good walk around the lake! So nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air, catch up and get a little exercise in. Thanks mom!
Looking forward to the rest of the day. Right now, the Mr. is off playing in a golf tournament while I enjoy relaxing at home. Later this afternoon, we are planning to meet a group of friends at a new bar on Capitol Hill called Von Trapp’s. Afterwards, we are all heading to the Sounders game!
While I have some downtime at home, I figured I should share this amazing dish I made last week. I absolutely loved it so I hope several of you will give it a try. I found the recipe in the March 2013 issue of Fitness Magazine. The flavors in this dish were awesome. Although it took a little time, it was well worth it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Have a great Saturday…I know I am looking forward to the rest of my day!
Chicken Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash (slightly adapted from Fitness Magazine – March 2013)
- 2 medium acorn squash (~1 pound each)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 links fresh chicken sausage, casings removed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 ounces mozzarella, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 375°. Cut squash in half horizontally and remove seeds; place cut side down in a baking dish filled with about 1 inch of water. Bake 45 minutes, or until a knife or fork easily pierces the squash. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa and simmer, partially covered, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and cover pot. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add sausage, cumin and salt. Sauté, breaking up meat with a spoon (5-10 minutes). Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook 4 minutes then stir in quinoa and a tablespoon or two of the shredded mozzarella.
Transfer squash halves to a dry baking dish, cut side up. Pack each with an even amount of filling and bake 20 minutes. Press shredded cheese into each half and bake 5 minutes more, or until cheese has melted.
This week has been absolutely exhausting! Thank goodness it is the weekend! I was good this week and followed through on all the planned meals. Guess as it was only three, it wasn’t hard 🙂 All three recipes were a big success. I absolutely LOVED the BBQ Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad. It was so easy and so, so, so tasty. Even worked great for lunch the next day! This one is definitely a keeper to use again! Will share this one soon. Too good not too. The crock-pot jambalaya turned out amazing and was perfect for a Saturday night in. It made a ton and will work great for a day or two of lunches! The Mr. highly approved of this one!
On Thursday night I made the spaghetti squash boats with chicken and they turned out delicious. Both the Mr. and I enjoyed them. They did take a little longer than expected (wonder if my squash wasn’t quite ripe enough) but once we were able to eat them, the wait totally seemed worth it! Based on the ingredients I had, I did change the recipe up a little bit, but overall, I followed it fairly closely. Highly recommend trying this one out! Only changes I would make are: 1) add a little extra marinara sauce, 2) add fresh basil at the end, and 3) not forget to add garlic.
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken (adapted from Skinnytaste)
- 1 small/medium spaghetti squash
- salt and fresh pepper, to taste
- 1 chicken breast (boneless & skinless)
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 3 artichoke hearts, canned & chopped
- 3 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons reduced fat ricotta cheese
- Garlic (fresh or powder)
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and fibers with a spoon. Place on a baking sheet, cut side up and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast about an hour to hour and a half. Meanwhile, boil chicken breast for approximately 15 minutes (or until cooked through). Once cooked, shred chicken and set aside.
Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and carefully “fluff” the spaghetti-like strands on each half with a fork, leaving the squash in the shell. Season with salt and pepper. Top each half with the artichoke hearts and ricotta, followed by the shredded chicken. Then spoon about 1/2 cup marinara (with added garlic) in each boat. Lastly, top each with cheese and place back into the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is hot, 10-12 minutes.
To go with our dinner I made a simple arugula salad. I used about 3 cups arugula (2 good handfuls), a cup of sliced cherry tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese (probably 1/8th of a cup) and 2 tablespoons or so of chopped pecans. I then added a teaspoon of good olive oil and topped it all by a tablespoon or so of balsamic glaze. Such a simple salad but super tasty!
Hope you all have a great your weekend!