Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Another hot day in Yucatan and time for a cold dinner of salads. Previously I shared 10 Minute Canned Salmon Salad (May 31,2020) and also Chilled Asparagus Salad (last week). Here I am adding an easy Vietnamese Noodle Salad with garnishes of jicama, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and black olives. The “noodles” are actually rice vermicelli which is readily available in most grocery stores where pasta or Asian foods are displayed. It made a great looking salad bowl! (I took this photo before I added the tomatoes) LOL.

The “salads” can easily be made ahead and assembled as shown when lunch or dinner calls.

Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces thin Asian vermicelli noodles
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 2 cucumbers seeded and shredded
  • 4 green onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts OPTIONAL
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Lime

1. Soften the vermicelli noodles in a large bowl by covering with boiling water and soaking for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold water, drain, and add to a large bowl. Add the shredded carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts and chopped cilantro to the noodles.

2. In a glass jar fitted with a lid or a bowl, mix together the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic and crushed red pepper. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the noodles and toss to coat. Add more dressing if desired. Sprinkle with more cilantro and green onion and a squeeze of lime if desired. Salad can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight, however if making ahead, add the cilantro just before serving.

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.

15 Minute Thai Basil Chicken

When life gives you lemons…oops…a great Thai basil plant, one makes more Thai food, right? This 15 minute recipe was incredible. You do not have to use Thai basil, but the taste will be a little different. In place of the Thai chilies, I used a few drops of Sriracha sauce.

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15 MINUTE THAI BASIL CHICKEN

Prep Time: 6 mins Cook Time: 9 mins Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces green beans
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, coarsely chopped
  • 4 sliced shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 minced Thai chilies, or to taste
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced fresh Thai basil leaves
  • Jasmine rice, to serve

Heat the oil in a wok or heavy, high-walled skillet over high heat. As the wok is heating up, whisk together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar until well-combined. Set aside.

Add the bell pepper and green beans to the hot wok. Stir-fry for one minute. Add in the chicken and stir-fry, breaking apart as you go, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the shallots, garlic, and Thai chilies. Cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Then, pour in the prepared sauce. Continue to cook until the sauce begins to glaze onto the meat, about 1-2 more minutes.

Stir in the Thai basil leaves and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, the basil is wilted, and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Serve warm with rice.

Keto Salad Dressings – 5 Minute Caesar & Keto Garlic Dressing

Needing a great salad for a change? Both of these dressings are incredible and cheaper than the bottled stuff! Sorry, no photos today…

Keto 5 Minute Caesar Dressing

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste (I substitute equal amount of fish oil when anchovy paste is not available)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Nutrition  per 2 Tablespoon – Calories 140, Fat 15g, Carbs 0.8 Protein0.1g.

Keto Garlic Dressing

Servings 16 (of 2 tbsp)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-6 Cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup olive oil
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Pinch Black Pepper To taste
  • (Optional) Fresh herbs (I used parsley)

INSTRUCTIONS

Making the Keto Garlic Salad Dressing is really simple! – Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until it’s creamy and smooth. You can start with 4 cloves of garlic and add more after you taste the dressing, if you feel like it’s not strong enough.

Nutrition – Calories 123, Fat 13.5g, Carbs 0.5g, Protein 0.1g

 

Green Mango Salad

Our neighbours introduced us to Green Papaya Salad, a favourite Thai salad with crisp vegetables. Alas, no green papayas to be found. Why not Green Mango Salad? The green refers to the unripeness, not the outside colour. Stefano Faita, one of my fav Canadian chefs and CBC personality had published this recipe…great colour! FYI…you could use firm nectarines in place of the mango.

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As always, my changes are shown in red.

Green Mango Salad

INGREDIENTS

2 large to 3 small green or under ripe mangoes, julienned

1 carrot, julienned (substitute 3 red radishes)

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup each mint leaves and Thai basil

1 tbsp. sweet spicy chili sauce

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. fish sauce, or to taste

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

Mint or Thai Basil, for garnish (optional)

PREPARATION

Add green mangoes, carrot or radishes, red onion, red pepper, mint, Thai basil and chili sauce to bowl. Toss to combine.

Combine lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce and vegetable oil in small bowl. Stir to combine. Toss with salad. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

 

Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Thought I could Thai one on since it is now summer…LOL. Sorry that there is no photo, but we were travelling and no camera available.

Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Yield: about 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice or long-grain white rice for serving
  • 1 lb. flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, diced into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chop larger leaves), plus more for garnish
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Sambal Oleek, or more to taste (optional)

Directions

  • Cook rice according to directions listed on package.
  • For the sauce:
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and Sambal Oleek if using, set aside.
  • For the beef and veggies:
  • Toss beef with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp cornstarch. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over moderately high heat. Add beef and cook until browned on both sides but still slightly under-cooked in the center. Transfer beef to a plate while leaving oil in skillet. Reduce heat slightly, add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté until crisp tender, about 2 – 3 minutes (if needed you can add another 1 tsp of oil to the skillet). Add carrots, whisk sauce mixture once more then pour into skillet and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to skillet along with basil leaves, toss until basil has just wilted. Serve immediately over cooked rice garnished with small basil leaves and sesame seeds if desired.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Spicy Shrimp Pho

First had this Vietnamese noodle soup in San Francisco, The portions they served were a little large, but awesome.

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Spicy Shrimp Pho (http://chefsavvy.com/spicy-shrimp-pho/)

Prep time 10 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 30 mins  Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces whole wheat thin spaghetti (I substituted rice noodles for a less heavy Pho)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, sliced thin
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces large shrimp, uncooked
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook spaghetti until al dente (or prepare rice noodles according to package)
  2. Meanwhile add oil to a large pot or dutch oven.
  3. Add garlic, jalapeno and green onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in chicken stock, fish sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Stir in mushrooms and shrimp. Simmer until the mushrooms are tender and the shrimp is fully cooked.
  6. Take off of the heat and stir in pepper, lime juice, and cilantro.
  7. Divide the noodles among the 4 bowls and pour the soup on top.
  8. Garnish with extra lime wedges and cilantro if desired.

 

Mediterranean Caesar Salad

Thanks to all of you who follow and view my blog. As of today I have reached 13000 VIEWS and over 5400 Visitors!!!  Hope you will continue to spread the word…hope you still have time to try this wonderful salad…

Today’s Caesar salad is tomorrows Mediterranean Caesar Salad if you have left over homemade dressing…which I always do. I just substituted the Parmesan and sliced mushrooms for feta cheese and black olives. You could even add a few garbanzo beans for added protein and texture. We actually liked it better tha the original Caesar!

Mediterranean Caesar Salad

The Dressing –

  • 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce or use the traditional anchovy paste (TIP)
  • 3 or 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. lemon or lime juice
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup oil (NOT olive oil) vegetable oil

Blend all ingredients in a shaker,. Shake and refrigerate until needed…

The Salad –

  •  Romaine lettuce torn in pieces
  • 2 or 3 sliced green onions
  • 3 or 4 strips crisp bacon crumbled
  • Black olives halved (to taste)
  • Feta cheese (to taste…I like lots)
  • Caesar bread crouton
  • mushrooms sliced

*For more protein throw in a few canned garbanzo beans

Thai Salmon in Foil

Since I had already prepared my Thai Jicama Salad, I needed something to go with the salmon I had thawed. Pinterest to the rescue again!

Thai Salmon in Foil

Prep Time: 10 minutes            Cook Time: 20 minutes           Total Time: 30 minutes

The flavors are sealed right into a foil packet with no clean up! The salmon comes out so tender/juicy. Sure to be a family favorite!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, optional if you want more heat
  • 2 pounds salmon
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. To make the sauce, whisk together chili sauce, soy sauce, garlic, fish sauce, ginger, lime juice and Sriracha in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Place salmon onto prepared baking sheet and fold up all 4 sides of the foil. Spoon the chili sauce mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon, covering completely and sealing the packet closed.
  4. Place into oven and bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with peanuts and cilantro, if desired.

*Baking time may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of the salmon.

This delicious recipe brought to you by Damn Delicious
http://damndelicious.net/

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Thai is undoubtedly one of my favourite foods and this soup is no exception. Hope you will try it and let me know what you think. And..its from Michael Smith, one of my heroes…LOL. (My apologies to Michael for altering the original as shown)

Thai Coconut Curry Soup from Michael Smith
Meat
• 2 Chicken breasts (Good old Costco – I used their chicken strips in a bag – two handfuls partially thawed)
Produce
• 1 handful Bean sprouts (I substituted frozen broccoli pieces)
• 1 Carrot, shredded
• 1 bunch Cilantro, roots
• 1 bunch Cilantro, leaves
• 1 small knob Ginger, frozen
• 2 Green onions
• 2 stalks Lemon grass or 1 Tablespoon lemongrass paste
• 4 Lime, leaves
• 2 Limes, zest and juice
Canned Goods
• 2 cups Chicken broth
• 2 14 ounce cans Premium coconut milk
• 1 heaping tbsp Thai curry paste
Condiments
• 2 tbsp Fish sauce or less as you prefer
• 1 Sprinkle or two salt or soy sauce
Pasta & Grains
• 1 8 ounce package Rice noodles (Or skip either of these if you don’t want the starch)

Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle.

Add the cilantro roots and chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, carrot, lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce and lime zest and juice. Grate the frozen ginger into the broth with a Microplane grater or standard box grater. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.

OPTIONAL – Stir in the bean sprouts. Add the rice noodles, gently pushing them beneath the surface of the broth. Turn off the heat and let stand until the noodles soften, about 5 minutes. Rice noodles don’t need to simmer like pasta to cook; they simply need to rehydrate in the hot liquid.

Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and remaining cilantro leaves.