Zucchini Noodle (Zoodles) Pad Thai

Affirming that all of our followers in USA had a thankful Thanksgiving! For us Canadians, we celebrated Thanksgiving way back in October. Anyways, this is a great recipe using “zoodles” in a slightly more exotic way. Think you Asian food fans might enjoy it. I have included the nutrition info at the end of the recipe.

Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil (divided)
  • 1 pound (454 g) chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 1 small red bell pepper seeded and sliced thin (I used yellow as I had no red)
  • 3-4 green onions sliced in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups (480 ml) bean sprouts
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) roasted peanuts
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • lime wedges optional

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar (I used Sukrin Gold substitute)
  • ½ teaspoon (3 ml) cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili garlic sauce or more to taste

1. Cut zucchini into spirals or noodle strands using the vegetable spiralizer or julienne peeler. Set aside noodles.

2. Make the Sauce: in a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients (rice vinegar, fish sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and chili garlic sauce), set aside. If you want to use sriracha hot sauce, add as much as you like or you can add it afterwards.

3. Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil (reserve the other half for later). Then add zucchini noodles and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are tender. Don’t overcook the noodles. The zucchini noodles should be slightly crunchy with a tender bite.

4. Let the noodles rest for about 3 minutes to allow all the moisture to release. Remove the noodles from the pan and drain the excess water.

5. Carefully wipe the same pan remove the excess water, and then re-heat the pan on medium-high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic until soft and translucent, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through.

Add the bell peppers and green onions. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until tender. Add the egg and stir in with the vegetables until the egg is cooked.

6. Add the zucchini noodles back into the same pan, and then add the sauce. Cook for about 1 more minute or until the zucchini noodles are heated through. Then stir in the bean sprouts.

7. Serve with roasted peanuts and cilantro. If you want to add lime wedges, squeeze some fresh lime juice on the noodles right before serving.

Calories: 624kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 238mg | Sodium: 2149mg | Potassium: 1312mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1865IU | Vitamin C: 54.3mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2.5mg

https://bestrecipebox.com/zucchini-noodle-pad-thai-chicken/ 2/2

Oven Baked Dry Rub Ribs

Time certainly brings out the essence of these ribs, even if you do not follow up with the BBQ sauce. I actually prefer them without the sauce, but that is a personal choice. If you follow the recipe to a T, you cannot go wrong one way or the other. FYI…they were so tasty we ate them all before I remembered a photo. Serve with a great coleslaw…

Oven Baked Dry Rub Ribs

For the dry rub

  • 1/2 a cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

Instructions

Take your ribs and trim off any excess fat, then place them in a baking dish or you could use the disposable foil baking dish.

Preheat your oven to 130°C/266°F

Take your rub mixture and rub it on the pork ribs one by one ensuring that you coat every piece of meat.

Once you have finished rubbing each and every rib, place them in your baking tray and cover it up with aluminium foil and place it into the oven.

OPTIONAL After 2 and 1/2 hours, remove them from the oven, apply your fav BBQ sauce. Coat each rib with the sauce using a spoon or brush then put them back in the oven but this time don’t cover them.

Let them continue cooking for the last 30 minutes brushing them frequently with the sauce.

A Blast from the Past

So many of you have joined this blog since it was begun back since 10 years ago, that I thought you might enjoy a flashback from the past, more or less the recipe that started it all! Hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as myself and many others have turned to so many times… Thanks for hanging in there my friends! Originally posted March 19, 2011

Rose and Thistle Salad Dressing

Technically, this recipe was stolen from a little restaurant in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada. The restaurant is/was The Rose and Thistle.  As a special request was made, I decided to post this one early…let me know how it turns out Bev…

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup salad oil (NOT Olive)
  • crushed garlic to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T honey
  • Dash Worcestershire
  • Dash pepper

Put into a blender for 1 to 2 minutes. I cheat and pout it in a shaker and shake hard.

Make it ahead as it keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks. It is great on almost any salad, including spinach!

Beef and Broccoli

I have always enjoyed this dish in an oriental restaurant, and having found myself with too much broccoli, I searched for how to easily use it up. The ingredients list seems long, but actually it does not take much time as there is no marinating the sliced beef! It gets the flavour from the sauce ingredients. You will obviously notice that there is NO rice. We are trying to cut back on rice these days…

Better-Than-Takeout Beef with Broccoli

  • 1 to 1.25 pounds flank steak, sliced into thin strips, no more than 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or nicely minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ginger, or to taste (fresh or dried is okay, use less dried than you would fresh)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (light may be substituted)
  • 4 to 6 cups broccoli florets (dependent on preference for broccoli)
  • 2 to 3 green onions, sliced into 1/4-inch-long segments
  • red pepper flakes, optional and to taste
  • sesame seeds, optional for garnishing

To a large zip top bag, add the steak, cornstarch, seal, and toss to coat. Set aside while preparing the sauce.

1 To a medium saucepan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and heat over medium-high for about 1 minute, or just until garlic is fragrant, taking care not to scorch it.

2 Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and allow it to boil for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened and reduced. While it simmers, sear the steak.

3 To a large skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and the steak. Cook over medium-high or high heat until steak is cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes, flipping the pieces intermittently to ensure even cooking.

4 Add the broccoli.

5 Evenly drizzle in the soy sauce mixture, noting it will bubble up dramatically. Toss the beef and broccoli to coat evenly with the sauce. Simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes at medium-high, or until the broccoli is as crisp tender as desired.

6 Optional — If your sauce hasn’t thickened up as much as you’d like and your broccoli is done or nearly done, and you want a sauce that clings better and isn’t as thin, simply dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water (called a slurry), add it to the skillet, stir for about 1 minute, or until your sauce has thickened to your desired level. Since I used 6 cups broccoli, the natural water and juices that escaped from it thinned out my sauce, so I needed to use a slurry.

8 Turn off the heat, add the green onions, and stir to incorporate.

Optionally, evenly sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Hot and Sour Soup

Recently bought 2 fresh leeks for potato and leek soup, but had too many leftover from the recipe. They were just sitting in the fridge ready to use up. Coincidentally, I had leftover cooked pork loin. “Alexa, what can I do with leeks and pork?” NOT REALLY…you know by now I am a big fan of Pinterest in these situations. She/he never fails me. This recipe looks long, but only because of the seasonings. It called for sweet corn (unusual for hot and sour soup); I substituted a small can of corn, but I would omit next time…As you can see in the photo, I omitted the Ramen noodles to cut carbs.

P.S. If you have never used fresh leeks they MUST be sliced down the middle first and thoroughly washed as they contain sand or dirt from where they were grown.

Hot and Sour Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 leek roughly sliced (after thorough washing)
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet corn (OPTIONAL)
  • 2 mushrooms sliced
  • 4 cups chicken Stock
  • 1/8 Teaspoon nutmeg grated
  • 1/8 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped pork loin cooked
  • 2.65 ounces Ramen noodles (OPTIONAL)*
  •  Juice of 1 lime
  • Cilantro garnish

1. Heat up a shallow pan, add the oil.

2. Throw in the sliced leeks and fry soft for 2 minutes.

3. Add the sweet corn and mushroom. Stir and mix well.

4. Pour in the broth mixed with water.

5. Season with nutmeg, black pepper, chili flakes, brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar. Add in the chopped cooked pork loin.

6. Mix the whole content well and let it cook covered until the sweet corn is getting soft. This might take 10 minutes.

7. At the end add the noodles and cook those soft for another 5 minutes uncovered.*

8. Remove from heat and pour in the lime juice. Mix the soup well and serve hot.

German Style Kielbasa and Sauerkraut

This fast approaching traditional Oktoberfest in many German communities, I searched Pinterest for a great Oktoberfest recipe to go with great German beer. Usually I just fry up some kielbasa, throw in the sauerkraut and red wine vinegar and serve. I needed to up my game. This recipe fits the bill! Sorry, no pics as we ate it all up! Indeed, it turned out perfect. (Too bad we dont usually drink beer…LOL)

German Style Kielbasa and Sauerkraut

Ingredients

  • 1-pound Kielbasa, Sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 1 whole Large Apple, Cored and Diced
  • 1-quart Sauerkraut, Rinsed and Drained
  • 1 cup Apple Juice
  • ½ cups Brown Sugar OPTIONAL (as the juice adds enough sweetness for us)

Preparation

Brown kielbasa in oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.

Add chopped onion and sauté until onion is translucent.

Add apples and sauté for a minute until they start to soften.

Add rinsed and drained sauerkraut, apple juice and brown sugar, stir to combine.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Brown Sugar Carnitas

Carnitas, literally meaning “little meats”, is a dish of Mexican cuisine that originated in the state of Michoacán. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender. The process takes three to four hours, and the result is very tender and juicy meat, which is then typically served with chopped coriander leaves (cilantro), diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and refried beans (frijoles refritos).

Pork carnitas are traditionally made using the heavily marbled, rich boston butt or picnic ham cuts of pork. The 6–16 lb (3–7 kg) sections are usually cut down to a workable (6–10 lb) size and seasoned heavily before slow braising or deep frying.

The traditional way to cook carnitas is in a copper pot (or any thick-bottomed pot), which disperses the heat evenly in a process similar to confit. Lard is used to cover the dish in proportion to the amount of meat being cooked. Once the lard has melted, pork and flavorings are added (usually salt, chili, cumin, oregano or Mexican oregano, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, and crushed garlic cloves). Traditional carnitas are then made by a process of simmering the meat in the lard until tender over a very low heat. Once appropriate tenderness is achieved, the heat is turned up and the outside of the pork begins to crisp. At this stage, the collagen in the meat has broken down sufficiently to allow it to be pulled apart by hand or fork or chopped with a cleaver. (WIKIPEDIA)

Having read that, you are probably thinking TOO MUCH WORK! Indeed, my spouse made carnitas the traditional way, complete with the copper pan we bought in Quiroga when we visited that area of Mexico. It took hours and was incredible BUT….too time consuming and messy!

One of my favorite Mexican TV cooks is Pati Jinich, who has a program on PBS and on YouTube (Pati’s Mexican Table). The following recipe is her version and done on the stovetop in a Dutch oven. It was PERFECT and a lot less onerous.

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Brown Sugar Carnitas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lard, vegetable shortening, or oil (I used oil)
  • 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt, fat on, cut into 3” chunks
  • 4 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or brown sugar substitute.

Heat the lard in a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Season the meat with 2 teaspoons of the salt and the black pepper. Once the lard has melted, add the meat, brown on all sides, stirring and flipping as it does, for about 10 to 12 minutes.

In the jar of a blender, pour 1 ½ cups of the milk and add the garlic, onion and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Puree until smooth. Pour over the meat and let it come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, drop in the bay leaves, and cover. Cook covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes, flipping the chunks of meat a couple times in between.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup milk with the sugar. Pour over the carnitas, stir, and let them continue to cook, uncovered, for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat.

With a slotted spoon, remove the meat and place in a bowl. Shred with a couple forks, add a couple tablespoons of the seasoned fat remaining in the casserole and toss.

This is normally eaten in  tacos with toppings like sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo salsa, etc. As you can see we skipped the tacos/tortillas and simply plated it with some rice and green beans.

Peanut Butter Cookies

We are back! Sorry for being a little late, but we were in Mexico City for a short visit last week. We stayed in the Condesa area which had been damaged by the earthquake. The B and B was not damaged, but two buildings nearby collapsed and others sustained major damage. Restaurant and museums were closed until this past Sunday, including the world famous Ballet Folklorico at the magnificent Bellas Artes theater. Yellow tape prevailed on many streets with red tape where buildings were unable to be lived in. Everywhere though, the neighbors were pitching in to help each other. It was wonderful to see so many young people pitching in!!! So now I am back in Progreso. My husband is in Canada and I am free to bake (normally he does it all). So here goes one of my favourites. LOL…I believe this was one of his grandmother’s favourite plates…

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World’s Greatest Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I only use JIFF crunchy)
  • 1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar (i would recommend cutting back)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lightly coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  • Mix flour and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
  • With a spoon, mix butter, peanut butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.
  • Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  • Add flour mixture and stir until combined.
  • Cover dough and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  • Roll dough into 1-inch balls and bake for 8-10 minutes. (8 was adequate in our oven)
  • Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes; allow to cool in the refrigerator for another 20-30 minutes.

Chinese Pork Meatballs/Chinese Fried Rice

You just can’t have one without the other, as the old song used to say! Oh, that was love and marriage….for those old enough to remember. I had purchased ground pork and ground beef to make Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie. Since I did not use all of the pork I had fresh ground pork to use up. Pinterest again! There was also some leftover chicken breast from the rotisserie chicken I had purchased. Clean out the fridge!!! Today you are getting both recipes…..

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Chinese Pork Meatballs

Ingredients

∙ Makes 20 meatballs

  • 1 lb. Ground pork
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 2 tsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Five-spice powder
  • 2 pinches White pepper, ground
  • 3 tbsp Peanut oil

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the pork, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, five-spice powder, and pepper, and mix well.

Roll 1 heaping tablespoon of pork mixture into a ball and continue until all the pork mixture is used.

In a wok over medium heat, heat the peanut oil. Using a wok spatula, spread the oil to coat enough of the wok surface to fry about 10 meatballs at a time. Lower the meatballs into the wok in batches.

 Cook without moving for about 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are cooked through. Use the spatula to carefully rotate the meatballs to cook on the other sides.

Keep rotating the meatballs gently until cooked through.

Serving Tip

For a heavenly dipping sauce, combine equal parts low-sodium soy sauce and honey.

Chinese Fried Rice  Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas and diced carrots
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 3 green onions, diced

Instructions

  1. Add veggies and oil to a large pan or skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Scoot all of the veggies to one half of the pan. Add egg and allow to cook for 1 minute, then scramble it with a spoon or spatula and stir in with veggies.
  2. Add rice to pan. Add soy sauce and stir over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until browned. Sprinkle remaining seasonings over the rice and stir another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in green onions.

 

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

I know it sounds a little odd, but this is a very good dish served with rice or maybe Costco Ancient Grains. As usual my slow cooker had it ready in three hours on HIGH, contrary to what the recipe says. It seems every time I use my SC I have the same problem. What do the rest of you find? Mine is a Hamilton Beach with setting – High, Low and Warm. I can never go away and leave it even on LOW…grrr. Be aware…

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Mongolian Beef

  • 1.5 lb. trimmed flank steak
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 T. quick cooking Tapioca, crushed
  • 1 T. grated fresh ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced (whites and greens separated)
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice (or Ancient Grains)
  1. Cut meat into 6 portions. In a 3.5 cup slow cooker combine meat and sliced onions.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the next 6 ingredients (through garlic). Pour over the meat. Sprinkle with WHITE portions of the green onions
  3. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours…or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. (3 in my case!)
  4. Remove meat, reserving cooking liquid.
  5. Slice meat across the grain or coarsely shred and return to the cooker.
  6. Serve over rice and sprinkle with the GREEN portions of the green onions.

Makes 6 servings.