Friday, March 3, 2017

Getting Started

Pad Thai


Oh! Ack! I started this blog a week ago. Why am I just now getting to the point of publishing it??Sorry for the delay, but here we go with another blog and a new recipe (finally).

Many of you have stated that you would like easy, quick, and healthy meal ideas, but before I get into my first meal idea I would like to recommend you to approach your meal-planning with an open mind. Try new ingredients and cook with different spices. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut, believe me when I tell you I fight this all the time.  New ingredients and different spices are a great way to shake things up a bit.
This first recipe, for Pad Thai, is actually what my family is having for dinner tonight. Since I don't get off work until after 9:00 tonight I am putting most of it together ahead of time and leaving instructions for the kids to finish the rest of it this evening.
 If you have never had Pad Thai, please don't let the sound of something foreign to you keep you from trying it. My family really likes it, and they love this recipe. And one nice thing about it is you aren't confined to specific ingredients - use whatever vegetables and protein you and your family love. For good measure, try throwing in a little bit of a vegetable you have never tried before.
 When you make this, please let me know how it turned out and if your family liked it!

Ingredients

1-2 Tbs canola or olive oil

lb lean protein of your choice, cut into bite-size pieces (chicken, shrimp, tofu, etc)

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

2 large carrots, sliced in 1/4" slices (or there about)

2 cups cubed butternut squash

6 large white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced fairly thickly
 
1/2 head broccoli, small florets only

1 box of rice noodles


Sauce Ingredients*
1/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock (or water would even work in a pinch)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce (I use 2 Tbs soy sauce, as I have a vegetarian in the house)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (if you don't have this use white vinegar or 2 tablespoons lime juice and omit rice wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Sriracha or Thai chili sauce (depending on your spice tolerance...if you know you're not into spicy, go with only 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger (you can omit or use 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger if you don't have this)
1 teaspoon minced garlic

*The sauce for this recipe makes all the difference, and this is not my recipe! This is a recipe I found on Jen Eddings blog, Peanut Butter Runner, and it is far and away what makes this recipe so delicious. 

Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Heat oil in non-stick skillet. Add the protein and cook until browned then set aside.  Add onions, sauteĆ© until transparent, then add garlic, carrots, and squash. Cook until carrots and squash are crisp-tender then add mushrooms and broccoli. Cook until broccoli is bright green then add sauce and cook 5-8 minutes until sauce has thickened and broccoli is tender, but not mushy. 

This makes 4 servings at 533 calories per serving(if using chicken breast), and with all those vegetables make these very large servings!