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Avocado Pasta

6 Mar

I think this would end up as a good after-Thanksgiving meal, actually. When we go to our favorite barbecue place, we order a little extra smoked turkey to chop up and throw in with whatever we’re cooking, and it goes VERY nicely in this pasta. I think it would also be good with a little crumbled bacon, or maybe use bacon grease in place of the olive oil, or maybe top it with a fried egg. As written, it’s an extremely light meal and totally vegan. Personally, I found it a little too light, but then again, I’m currently breastfeeding two children, so I don’t exactly have a normal appetite.

Any type of pasta works well. We’ve done spaghetti and chunky pasta, and even some of the higher quality ramen noodles. I think with toddlers, chunky pastas are the easiest for little forks.

You can also swap the lime juice for lemon, depending on what you have on hand. And if you have fresh lemons or limes, some zest would not be amiss!

The Recipe

Start a pot of water boiling on the stove. Add:

  • 1 box/bag of pasta

While it cooks, scoop into a food processor or blender:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1-2 tsps lime juice (to taste) or juice of one lime plus 1/2 tsp zest
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Pulse until smooth. When pasta is cooked, mix the sauce with the pasta and throw in any desired toppings (smoked turkey, crispy egg, bacon crumbles, etc).

Pad Thai

13 Mar

I wish I could tell you where I found this recipe. My notes, sadly, do not include that information. I found it somewhere on the Internet, so if someone knows where this recipe originally came from, I’d be more than happy to credit it properly.

It’s become a regular weeknight dinner around here. It comes together fast and is tasty and filling.

The Recipe:

8 oz. Pad Thai noodles
3 tbsp. canola oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
¼ cup peanuts, chopped
2-4 eggs, whisked
¼ cup chicken stock
½ lime
Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1-2 tsp dried garlic granules)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. tamarind paste (optional)

Place noodles in a large bowl and pour 6 cups of boiling water over the noodles. Stir the noodles, and then let them sit in the hot water for about 5 to 8 minutes until softened. Drain and set aside.

While waiting for the noodles, prep the other ingredients. Chop green onions, keeping green and white parts separate; mince garlic; chop peanuts, and whisk eggs.

Heat pan to medium-high heat and add remaining tbsp. of oil. Add in the chopped white parts of the green onion with a dash of salt.

Pour in whisked eggs and scramble lightly for about 30 seconds.

Push eggs to the side of the wok and then add noodles. Pour in remainder of the sauce and toss your noodles with tongs and get them completely coated in your sauce.

Once the noodles have absorbed all the sauce, add your topping (see note below) the green parts of the green onions and juice from half a lime.

Toss everything together and then taste. If it needs more sweetness, add more brown sugar; if it needs more salt, add fish or soy sauce; if it needs more tanginess, add more tamarind paste. Once you get it exactly to your liking, serve piping hot with chopped peanuts and extra lime wedges.

Toppings:

We’ve done this both with shrimp and tofu.

For shrimp: Marinate shrimp in 2 tbsp or so of sauce. Before you cook the onion and egg, saute the shrimp in the pan for 2-3 minutes or until cooked and nicely caramelized. Add back in at the end.

For tofu: Pat your tofu very dry, then slice into smaller shapes. We like half-inch cubes. Dry these again, then place in a hot pan with a thin layer of oil. If I’m doing a lot of tofu, I’ll just use our cast iron griddle. Cook on high till they start to get nicely golden brown, rotating every now and then so all sides get cooked evenly. Add to the pad thai at the end. If you’re ambitious and plan ahead well, you can marinate the tofu in your pad thai sauce the night before.