Peanut Noodles with Pork

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. Chinese chow mein noodles or spaghetti (we used whole wheat spaghetti)
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 carrots, shredded (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat) (we didn’t remove the seeds)
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. ground pork
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Get a large pot out and fill it up with water, bringing the water to a boil. Salt the water until it tastes like sea water. Put the noodles in the water and cook it based off the directions you find on the box that the noodles came in. Once the noodles are done, take ½ cup of the pasta water out and leave it off to the side while you drain the rest of the water out, leaving the noodles off to the side just for now. Take a large mixing bowl out and add the following ingredients to it, stirring to combine: peanut butter, vinegar, two tablespoons water, two tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the toasted sesame oil, shredded carrots, and half of that finely chopped jalapeño. Now you can add the noodles to the bowl, stirring the noodles around so they get coated in the sauce.
  2. Take a large skillet out and pour what’s left of the sesame oil into it. Turn the heat up to medium-high and wait for the oil to get hot. Now that the oil’s hot, throw the ginger, garlic, and white sections of the scallions into the skillet, stirring constantly for roughly 2 minutes or until the garlic looks golden. Now place the ground pork in the skillet, breaking it up into bite-size pieces and stir everything around until the meat’s browned and fully cooked, which should take about 5 minutes. At this point, stir what’s left of the soy sauce into the skillet and take it off the heat afterwards.
  3. Place the skillet mixture in the large mixing bowl with the noodles, throwing half of the scallion greens as well as half of the cilantro into the bowl as well. Toss everything together, adding some of that pasta water in if you think the sauce is too thick for your liking. Split into 4 bowls and if you like, add some additional jalapeño, scallion greens, and cilantro to your own individual bowl.

This is a favorite of ours now. You can taste the ginger, peanut butter, the heat from the jalapeños, and a great freshness from the green onion and cilantro. You also get a nice sized portion which is great since the dish is so tasty !

This recipe came an issue of Food Network Magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Food Network Magazine.

Take care everybody !

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Shrimp & Shiitake Stir-Fry with Crispy Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ cup chicken broth (used Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth)
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 small head bok choy
  • 1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (used 31-40 count)
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced (used 2)
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (we used 1 tsp.*)
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced (we used a yellow onion)
  • 2 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chow mein noodles (we didn’t measure out how many we used)
  • Hot cooked brown rice, optional (we used it)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, add the cornstarch, broth and soy sauce to it, stirring to combine until it’s smooth. Leave the bowl off to the side for now.
  2. Take the bok choy and cut off the root end, leaving the stalks with their leaves. Now slice off the leaves so you’ve got leaves in one pile and the stalks in another. Slice the leaves and stalks, leaving them off to the side in their separate piles.
  3. Take a large skillet or wok out (we used a skillet) and pour one tablespoon of canola oil into it. Set the heat to medium and once the oil’s hot, toss the shrimp in to cook until it turns pink. Take it out immediately and put it on a plate, covering it afterwards to help keep the shrimp warm.
  4. Pour the rest of the canola oil into the skillet. Now add the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet, stirring it around for one minute. Now place the onion, mushrooms, and bok choy stalk slices into the skillet, continuing to cook and stir constantly for 4 minutes. Add the bok choy leaves in and cook for 2-4 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender (2 minutes did the job for us).
  5. Take the cornstarch mixture you stirred together in step one and pour it into the skillet. Wait for a boil to occur and then stir for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened (2 minutes worked well for us). Toss the shrimp back into the skillet, cooking just long enough for the shrimp to warm up (should only take mere seconds to occur). Spread the chow mein noodles over the dish. Serve the skillet mixture over the rice if you want to.

Serves 4.

*The first time we had this, we didn’t feel like it had enough heat so we decided to double it. We got the heat we wanted but it did result in some coughing, sneezing, and runny noses.

This is such a scrumptious dish ! The bok choy stalk has a crunch to it which is a nice contrast against some of the softer things in the dish. The bok choy also provides a nice level of bitterness that isn’t overpowering at all. The sauce has a little bit of sweetness to it. The shrimp was juicy and tender and the flavor of the shrimp still came through at the end. There’s definitely a spicy component to this dish now ! Eating this with brown rice does cut down on the heat some and the rice will make you feel fuller with less of the skillet mixture. The chow mein noodles don’t have any flavor really but they add a really nice crunch to the dish ! We did decide it was better to just add the noodles onto our portions so we could have as little or as much as we wanted per plate.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Swanson.

Take care everybody !

Spicy Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. fresh or frozen medium shrimp in shells, peeled and deveined (we used frozen shrimp)
  • 1 (1 ¾- to 2-lb.) head cauliflower, broken into florets (5 cups) (our cauliflower was in that weight range but we only got 3 cups)
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped napa cabbage
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded carrots
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Directions

  1. If you’re using frozen shrimp like us then thaw the shrimp first by running it under cold water, patting it dry afterwards. Doing it in multiple batches, add some of the cauliflower into a food processor, pulsing until it’s broken into rice-size pieces.
  2. Take an extra-large wok or skillet out (we used a skillet) and pour the sesame oil in, setting the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, add in the eggs, stirring them around gently until the eggs are cooked. Take the eggs out of the skillet and let them cool down a bit before cutting them into strips.
  3. Using the same skillet you just cooked the eggs in, pour the olive oil in, turning the heat up to medium-high. Toss the ginger and garlic in, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add cabbage and carrots in next, stirring for 2 minutes or until the vegetables have started to soften (2 minutes worked for us). Add the cauliflower rice in, continuing to stir for another 4 minutes or until the cauliflower starts to soften (the rice was so small, it was hard to tell when it started to soften so we just cooked it for the 4 minutes). Now stir in the shrimp, salt, and crushed red pepper, stirring until the shrimp’s fully cooked. Toss in the egg strips and green onions, stirring just long enough for them to get heated.
  4. Take the skillet off the heat and sprinkle the cilantro over the shrimp mixture, serving it with lime wedges on the side.

Serves 4 (1 ½ cups each)

This was the first time we’d ever made cauliflower rice so maybe it’s something we did but there’s just no mistaking this as actual rice, it was too soft. With all that being said though, the flavors of this dish were on point ! Adding some raw green onion slices to this gives it a nice crunch component that’d  be missing from the dish otherwise. Squeezing some lime juice over your serving makes the dish that much tastier. There’s also some heat to this but it’s not so strong that it’s all you can taste.

This recipe came from a Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Better Homes & Gardens.

Take care everybody !

Seared Baby Bok Choy with Tofu and Shiitakes

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. extra-firm tofu (we used 14 oz.)
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. minced jarred pickled jalapeño slices
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil (we used toasted sesame oil)
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • ½ lb. baby bok choy (about 2), split in half lengthwise (make sure you clean the bok choy ‘cause dirt can build up between the folds of the bok choy)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 Tbsp.) (because ginger can vary in size, it’s best to go by the 2 tablespoons rather than the length of the ginger)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (about 1 Tbsp.) (cloves vary in size so we sliced up enough garlic to equal a tablespoon)
  • 3 ½ ounces fresh shiitakes, stemmed

Directions

  1. Drain the tofu (we also pressed ours so that we could get as much water out as possible) and afterwards cut the tofu into ¾-inch-thick slices. Now cut those slices crosswise into ½-inch-wide sticks (you should end up with fat, rectangular sticks). Rest the tofu on paper towels and leave them off to the side for now. Take a small bowl out and add the broth, jalapeño, sesame oil, and sugar to it, stirring to combine.
  2. Take a 12-inch skillet out and pour 1 ½ tablespoons of the canola oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, place the bok choy in the skillet, cut side down. Take half of the salt and sprinkle it over the bok choy and oil. Let the bok choy cook without moving it until it’s browned, which takes 2 minutes. Flip the bok choy over and continue to cook it for another 2 minutes or until the stems start to soften and wilt, tossing the bok choy every now and then. Put the bok choy on a plate for the time being.
  3. Pour what’s left of the canola oil into the skillet and toss the ginger in, stirring continuously until it looks golden, which could take around a minute (maybe less). Toss the garlic in and let it sizzle for 10 seconds* (the original recipe doesn’t say to do this but trust us, you need to take the garlic and ginger out before moving on to the next part**) Toss the tofu and shiitake into the skillet, followed by the remaining salt and cook, stirring now and then until the mushrooms are browned and softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the bok choy, garlic, ginger, and the broth mixture to the skillet, tossing to coat everything in the broth mixture and continue to cook until the bok choy is tender (takes about 2 minutes). Eat right away.

Serves 2

*You have to keep such a close eye on the garlic, it may be burnt by the 10 second mark so just pull the skillet off the heat as soon as the garlic looks golden.

**We tried to make this dish following the original instructions and the garlic and ginger were both burnt (the garlic more so). Scooping the ginger and garlic out after the garlic looks golden allows it to simply get warmed up and maybe get cooked just a tiny bit more before it’s ready to be served. The only tiny downside to this is that the ginger can be a little bit chewy but we’d rather have chewy ginger compared to burnt ginger.

This was a fantastic vegan-like dish ! The chicken broth is the only thing keeping it from truly being a vegan dish. The bok choy may look soft but it has a pleasant crunch to it when you take a bite. All the main components really pick up the flavor of the broth mixture and the dish has a nice spiciness to it !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, cut in half*
  • 4 Tbsp. peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided (we used peanut oil) (accidentally used 4 Tbsp. for tossing the Brussels sprouts with but still used another tablespoon later on)
  • Salt and pepper (we used kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger**
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2-3 tsp. red chile paste (used 3 teaspoons) (used Thai Kitchen red curry paste)
  • 8-10 dried chiles de arbol*** (used 8 chiles)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp., plus 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts

Directions

  1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil (makes cleanup a breeze later at the end).
  2. Now you’re supposed to toss the Brussels sprouts in 3 (used 4) tablespoons of oil before placing them on the lined baking sheet but we just put the sprouts on the lined baking sheet and tossed them in the oil there (saves you from cleaning up an additional item). Lightly season the Brussels sprouts with the salt and pepper.
  3. Stick the baking sheet in the oven to cook the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 25 minutes (20 minutes worked for us), stirring halfway through the cooking time.
  4. Take a saucepan out during the last 5-10 minutes of cook time on the sprouts and pour a tablespoon of oil into the saucepan. Set the heat to medium and wait for the oil to get hot. Toss in the ginger, garlic and green onion, cooking for one minute.
  5. Add the red chile paste, chiles de arbol, soy sauce, 3 Tbsp. sugar, rice vinegar, and 1/2 cup water to the saucepan, stirring to combine. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water together, adding it into the saucepan afterwards. Bring the saucepan mixture to a simmer and let it cook long enough for the sauce to thicken. Try a little of the sauce and if you think it tastes salty but not very sweet, just mix in that last teaspoon of sugar (we didn’t have to).
  6. Drizzle the sauce over the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with peanuts afterwards.

*This is what a Brussels sprout looks like after it’s been halved and a small cut’s been made into the core (don’t they look like little baby cabbages?)

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**We wanted to show what ginger looks like and how we peel ginger. Using a spoon to peel makes it so much easier to get the skin off the ginger:

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***There are so many peppers out there, dried or fresh. We wanted to show you this picture of our chiles de arbol so you’d know what to look for:

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This is the finished product:

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This was actually the first recipe we ever fixed involving Brussels sprouts and it was scrumptious ! This recipe has made us excited to see Brussels sprouts in any recipe. The Brussels sprouts were tender but still had texture and the sauce was sweet with just a tiny bit of heat. You take a bite of the chiles de arbol though and you’ll have your heat ! That pepper is really spicy so just take a small bite of it the first time you try it to guage how much you can handle in one bite. The peanuts don’t actually add any flavor as far as we could tell but it did add another texture to the dish which is really nice.

We think we got this recipe from Spicy Southern Kitchen.

We weren’t paid in any way to mention Thai Kitchen or Spicy Southern Kitchen.

Take care everybody !

Spicy Cauliflower Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil (we used 1 Tbsp. salted butter)
  • 1 cauliflower head, broken into very small florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (mommy bias-cut an additional green onion for garnish)
  • 1 Tbsp. sriracha or other hot sauce, or to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the oil (butter) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and garlic and stir them around. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, until there are some very dark brown areas on the cauliflower.
  2. Turn the heat down to LOW and add the soy sauce. Squeeze in the juice of the whole lime. Add the green onions NOT meant for garnish. Stir everything around for another minute.
  3. Add the sriracha and stir the cauliflower until it’s all combined. Then serve it up with lime wedges and a sprinkling of the green onions meant for garnish.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

We were able to squeeze so much juice from our lime that it overwhelmed the other flavors. So we added more of the soy sauce and sriracha.

We got this recipe from a Ree Drummond cookbook, we just changed the directions some.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Ree Drummond.