Vegan Pad Thai

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Some of my favorite meals are those that consist of 10 ingredients or less. Today’s recipe is a simple fresh pad thai dish that features wide rice noodles in a light, creamy peanut sauce. In all this dish takes about 30 minutes to prepare and is best served family style.

VEGAN PAD THAI
15 oz can light coconut milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Juice of 1 lime
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1 package wide rice noodles
1 head napa cabbage, diced
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1 bunch green onions, diced
1 cup shredded or julienned carrots

Add coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce and ketchup in a medium bowl and mix well for creamy peanut sauce. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions, typically boiled around 10 minutes then rinse under cold water to prevent noodles from overcooking. Mix noodles with peanut sauce in a large serving bowl, then top with heaping pile of diced napa cabbage, cilantro, green onions and chopped peanuts. I also added a package of baked tofu for some added protein. It really is that simple! Add spicy thai sauce if desired. Thanks to our special guest Frank Villella for this week’s cooking party!

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Asian Quinoa Salad

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Today’s recipe is one of the BEST things I have eaten in a long time. I found it on the popular blog www.twopeasandtheirpod.com and thought it tied in nicely with this months Real Simple magazine feature about “health bowls” – combining fresh salad ingredients with unexpected flavors and grains. This Asian Quinoa Salad features some of my favorite ingredients, the only thing missing is potato chips. Because potato chips are amazing. I diverted from the original recipe and added some roasted unsalted peanuts for some extra crunch, and used my nifty food processor on the grater setting for the cabbage and carrots instead of chopping by hand. This delightful recipe tastes amazing for several days in the fridge and would be a popular potluck dish. And need I say VEGAN. And that is worth celebrating!

ASIAN QUINOA SALAD
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup shredder red cabbage
1 cup shelled and cooked edamame
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 diced cucumber
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

DRESSING
1/4 cup lite soy sauce or tamari sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Boil 2 cups of water then add 1 cup quinoa, cover and turn down to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Place the quinoa in a large bowl and add the cabbage, edamame, red pepper, peanuts, carrots, and cucumber. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and stir to combine.