Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rice Noodle Bowls!

This is the second part in the series I like to call "Cleaning Out My Kitchen" in which, instead of going to the grocery store, I simply use whatever happens to be in my fridge, freezer or pantry. Really, you should try it. It is amazing the creativity that ensues.

Final Product:

For this particular installment, I found each of the following ingredients in my kitchen:
  • 1/4 a package of rice noodles (left over from salad rolls)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (you may also know them as chick peas)
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 tsp curry spices
  • 1 tsp chipotle seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs Braggs
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (I buy them pre-shredded at Trade Joe's)
  • 3/4 cup frozen petite peas
  • 1 Tbs peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce/braggs (I don't remember the exact measured combo)
  • 1/4 can light coconut milk
  • 8 vegetable gyoza (Also Trade Joe's)
I put Trader Joe's in parentheses all the time, but realistically most everything we buy is from Trader Joe's so you can just assume that the ingredients you see listed can be purchased at Trader Joe's. Now if I could just get them to start carrying Sriracha, it really would be a one stop shop.

Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Throw in the rice noodles. Let them cook for maybe 4 minutes and then, using a wooden spoon, hold the noodles in the pan while you drain the water. This works fairly well and is easier than using a colander because the noodles will either a) slip through the holes or b) get smushed together so that you have to scrape them off the bottom. No bueno.

Place the pan back on the warm burner and turn it to simmer. Add in your peanut butter, soy sauce and coconut milk as well as the carrots and peas and stir them all together until the sauce is evenly mixed and distributed and the veggies warmed. They don't need to be fully cooked, especially the carrots which add great texture, but the main thing is that you don't want your peas to be frozen in the middle.

While you are doing this (not LITERALLY at the same time, but all these steps should be staggered and you should have all three pans going at once), toss your chick peas with the spices and throw them in a warmed fry pan drizzled with olive oil. Saute them for about 5-7 minutes.

While you are doing that, coat the bottom of another, larger fry pan with some Bragg's or soy sauce and toss in your gyoza on medium heat. I never ever fry my gyoza in oil. It's no necessary, they turn out crisp and delicious if you just sear them in a pan with a little bit of liquid. Just put a lid on the pan (very important! you want your gyoza to cook through evenly and if you don't keep the heat trapped you will end up with crispy gyoza on the outside and frozen on the inside). Keep an eye on them as you do your other cooking, making sure to rotate them periodically so that each side is cooked evenly.

When everything is cooked and ready, get your bowl out, throw your noddles in it, top it with your gyoza and chickpeas and munch! We even started the meal with some edamame that I also found in the freezer (and that is also from Trader Joe's) topped with salt!

This meal is so great and easy, I kind of surprised myself with how well it turned out. Full of fiber and protein from the chickpeas, it fills you up and the noodles, gyoza and veggies are low cal so it's relatively guilt free. The coconut milk and peanut butter also have good omega fatty acids in them so it's a great dish if you are working to cut out meat and dairy.

If I had summarize this dish in one word it would be: Fulfilling.

Live long and prosper. And clean out your fridge!

1 comment:

  1. This dish looks delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us!