Spring Peanut Pad Thai

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I LOVE Thai food. It's perhaps my favorite cuisine and almost always sounds delicious. While thumbing through my Food and Nutrition Magazine I came across a Spring-inspired homemade version of Pad Thai. As my readers know, I don't like to spend loads of time in the kitchen. But this recipe sounded easy enough plus it looked yummy and like it would make enough for leftovers.

Photo Source  // Photo by Scott Payne // Food Styling by Susan Skoog

Holy crap. It was AWESOME. Like, lick the plate kind of awesome. It was developed by a fellow dietitian Alexandra Caspero. You can check out her website Delicious Knowledge for super yummy recipes. She has a really beautiful website packed with easy to follow recipes that are brimming with flavor and nutrition. Her recipes are all vegetarian and vegan which to be honest, isn't my typical go-to. But something to bear in mind if you browse her site.

So here is my latest and favorite spring time recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. If cooking up Pad Thai from scratch just feels a bit overwhelming, try ordering your favorite take-out version and add some roasted asparagus and Spring peas!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces flat rice noodles (brown rice preferred)
  • ¼ cup low-sodium creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup (60 milliliters) hot water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) canola oil
  • ⅓ cup scallions, chopped, including white and green parts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces trimmed asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 large lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons / 30 milliliters juice)
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, lightly salted, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

  • Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions. Pour noodles into a colander and let drain.
  • Meanwhile, make sauce by whisking peanut butter, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium bowl.
  • Slowly whisk in hot water and stir until sauce is blended. Set aside.
  • In a large wok, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in eggs and stir to scramble for about 2 minutes or until soft. Add asparagus and peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until asparagus is tender.
  • Add drained noodles and sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in lime juice.
  • Transfer cooked noodles and vegetables to a large platter or bowl and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

 

 

 

Cooking Note

This dish comes together quickly, so be sure to chop and prep all ingredients before cooking.


It's Winter & Soup's On!

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Picture Source

Soup is one of the best parts of winter. It's warm, it's comforting, and one pot meals are super easy. Plus the varieties are endless. And as I discovered last year, January is National Soup Month. So I had to share with you a couple of my tried and true favorite soups to keep you nourished and healthy through the winter months. I hope you enjoy them. I'd also love to hear about your favorite soup recipes, so please share!

Bean & Chicken Sausage Stew

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 12-ounce package fully cooked chicken sausage links, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

**Marci's suggestion: I'd also throw in crushed red pepper and a dash of your favorite Italian seasoning blend. I love seasoning blends and blogged about them here Spices are my all-time favorite for blends.

1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed

1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
**Marci's suggestion: if you like heat, get fire-roasted for added flavor 1 bunch kale leaves, torn into 2-inch pieces
**Marci's suggestion: save time and buy the super convenient bag of pre-chopped kale kosher salt and black pepper

1 loaf country bread (optional)

Directions:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring once, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic (and any additional spices you want to add) and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the beans, broth, and tomatoes and their liquid and bring to a boil.
Add the kale and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with the bread, if using.

 

Red Lentil Soup With Lemon
Time: 45 minutes
 
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils (I used yellow lentils, don't think it mattered)
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste (all I had was a lime, worked great)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (didn't have on hand, didn't miss it)
 
Directions:
1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.

3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.

4. Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.

5. Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Lazy Girls Week of Healthy Eating (a la Trader Joe's)

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Sunday, November 08, 2015


In this vlog I give you a tour of my grocery cart for the week. I show you how to assemble super simple, super yummy, and super nutritious meals for the busy week ahead. Enjoy my lazy girls week of healthy eating and be sure to share with me your go-to weekly meals when you don't have time or desire to spend hours in the kitchen!

 

My Favorite Fall Breakfast

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Wednesday, October 14, 2015


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As the weather gets a bit cooler I get excited for warm foods (and let's be honest cute scarves and boots). And most recently I've fallen in love with oatmeal. Wait- please keep reading! I know this sounds boring. An oatmeal love story. Hang with me...

Historically I didn't like oatmeal. As a dietitian it always felt like one of those foods I was "supposed" to like because it's so nutritious. But I just couldn't get behind it. But now I've figured out my version of oatmeal that is delicious and packed with nutrition so I don't feel hungry an hour later. 

Marci's Yummiest Oatmeal

1-2 packages of instant oatmeal cooked with milk

(Check out this old product showcase about a Trader Joe's oatmeal product I think is pretty great) 

1/2 chopped apple

1-2 Tb. peanut butter

Cinnamon

Put your oatmeal in the bowl, add the milk (good source of protein and good for the bones), add the apple and microwave for 90 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds so the apples get a little soft. Note: I don't peel the apples because I can't be bothered and because they are a great source of vitamins and fiber. Next, add the peanut butter and stir until smooth. Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon. The result- creamy oatmeal that is delicious and also packed with whole grains for energy, fiber for healthy gut function, protein and fat for satiety. A perfect combination and ready in 3 minutes flat!

What's your favorite fall breakfast? I'd love to hear your spin on oatmeal or another favorite morning dish.

Remember, eating breakfast stimulates your metabolism and is a super important start to your day. It also sets the stage for your eating the rest of the day. So if you think you don't have time for breakfast, I'd say you don't have time to not feel your best! We are far more productive when our brains and bodies are taken care of.  

 

TBT: Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salad

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I originally posted this recipe last summer so I'm calling this Throwback Tuesday. This is one of my favorite and easiest recipes. It's Spring (although admittedly feels like late Fall here in Boston) and this salmon dish is perfect for grilling! But if you aren't ready to fire up the grill quite yet, it's a cinch to prep this indoors. Enjoy!

You have probably already heard but the omega-3s in salmon are fantastic for brain health and mood regulation. Around 4-6 ounces of salmon per week is a super boost to your health!

Salmon Ingredients

1 lb salmon, cut into 2 pieces
Garlic salt, ground cumin, paprika powder, chili powder, cayenne (if you like spice)- lightly sprinkle on top of the salmon, no need to measure it out. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Avocado Salsa
1 avocado, sliced
½ small red onion, diced
Juice from 2 limes
1-2 tbs finely chopped cilantro (depending on how big of a cilantro lover you are)
Salt to taste (I used garlic salt)

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil for easy clean up and place your salmon on top. Sprinkle with seasoning and bake for 15-20 min depending on how well you like your salmon cooked.

While the salmon is baking, mix the salsa ingredients together. The marinating of flavors does all the work for you.

Serve the salmon topped with a hearty portion of the avocado salsa and any sides you like. I strongly recommend adding some mango to the mix. It's the perfect blend of flavors and unbelievably delicious.