2.29.2012

checking in

Have you given up on your new years resolutions yet?! I'm kinda just getting started. I TRY to be healthy - key word being try. I have a hard time because I love food SO MUCH. After the 90 day detox I was feeling rebellious. I over indulged and I've realized that I'm heading down a path I don't really want to go. The past few months have been tasty and glutinous. So I'm back on track - for now. I got back into my Barre Method classes and it has me wanting to eat healthier and make better choices (you know, minus those paddy's day themed cupcakes I'll share with you next week). All about moderation, right?! 

I came across the idea for this dish back in July when a blogger I follow posted this recipe. I love asian food but I'm not a fan of peanut sauce. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of peanut sauce... creamy, salty, and oh that texture!!! BUT I HATE peanut, absolutely can't stand it. So when I saw that she made the dish with cashew butter instead of peanut butter, I immediately thought, GENIUS! I of course had to put my own spin on the recipe and I have to say, it rocks! A little bit of tang from greek yogurt and fresh lime juice really make the dish. I add in some siracha for a subtle kick and a pinch of brown sugar to balance it out. This was my go-to recipe while we were on the detox (minus a few ingredients that weren't permitted) but I have to say I prefer it MUCH better with the dairy and citrus. I hope you give this easy asian dish a try! 

Side note - don't be turned off by some of the ingredients if you've never heard of them. Edamame is a tasty vegetable that's actually an immature soybean. That might sound a little scary but it's not. It's a very mild flavored bean with a creamy texture. Siracha is that red sauce you see at most asian restaurants. It's just a hot sauce so it's easily substituted if you don't have any. See all the improv suggestions below! Also, this is great cold the next day for lunch as leftovers!




asian noodles with edamame + tangy cashew lime sauce
adapted from very culinary inspired
yields 4 - 6 servings (depending on your appetite)

ingredients:
for the sauce:
½ c. cashew butter
¼ c. greek yogurt
1 t. grated fresh ginger
2 scallions (white + green parts)
2 T. lite soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
1 T. Siracha
2 limes
1 T. brown sugar

for the dish:
8 oz - 1 package soba noodles
¼ c. pasta water
¼ c. cashew pieces
½ c. frozen shelled edamame
2 T. chopped scallions
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
2 T. basil thinly sliced
lime wedge (optional)

In a food processor, dump your sauce ingredients and blend the heck out of it. If you don't have a food processor, that's ok. You can finely chop your ingredients and mix by hand, use a blender, or even egg beaters. Just make sure if you do the latter that you chop your scallions and ginger as small as you can first. Once mixture is smooth and creamy, set it aside.

In a large pot, bring your water to a boil. Dump your noodles in (make sure you remove the paper wrappers around them... I didn't see them, doh). While your noodles are cooking, slice up your red bell pepper. I like mine nice and thin so they're easy to eat. Dice 'em, chop 'em, whatever you want! In a small pan, place your cashew pieces and toast them up. Make sure you don't let them go too long. They'll start to turn golden brown in places and you'll smell them. That's how you know they're done. Right before the noodles are done cooking, drop in your frozen edamame. Cook for one minute more (or whenever the noodles are done to your liking).

Grab a bit of that pasta water before you drain the noodles. Dump the noodles and edamame back in the pot after you've drained them. Pour the sauce over and give it a good toss. Add in the reserved pasta water a little at a time until you've got a nice creamy sauce. Remember, you can always add more so go slowly! 

Top with scallions, bell pepper, basil, cashews, and a lime wedge! Ta-da! Easy asian noodles. So easy in fact, you can make the sauce a few days ahead and assemble the rest later. I make a batch on the weekend for a quick weeknight meal. Once the sauce is made it literally comes together in 15 minutes. Talk about convenient! 

improv style:
soba noodle?! who keeps that on hand? not to worry, you can use your favorite noodle... even spaghetti noodles will be just fine! if you're gluten free try it with a rice noodle and tamari instead of the soy. rice noodles are little more delicate but it still works just fine! cashew butter is spendy. if you like peanut butter, use that instead! you could also try this with any other nut butter (almond?!). if you do, let me know how it turns out! if you don't have greek yogurt you can use plain non-fat yogurt or even sour cream (light, fat free, full fat) whatever you want. if you're dairy free you can leave it out. that's what i did on the detox. i really like the tang and consistency that the yogurt gives the dish though. no fresh ginger?! i think this is a pretty important ingredient. i buy a big hunk of it and keep it in the freezer so it doesn't go bad. if you don't have any you could try dried ginger but i really recommend you go out and get yourself a hunk of the fresh stuff! same goes with the rice vinegar. you could use another type but rice vinegar has a nice subtlety to it. in a pinch i would use white wine vinegar. if you don't have siracha you can use dried pepper flakes, your favorite hot sauce, cayenne, or if you're not into spicy, leave it out. you can adjust the heat to your liking. this version is VERY subtle on the spicy front. if you don't like scallions, leave them out. you can put your favorite veggies into the dish. it's really flexible. 






3 comments:

  1. Hi Morgan, I work with Matt and he told me to check your blog out. I did and made this and the raspberry lemon bars for Ravina this weekend and they were both HUGE hits. I had leftover sauce from this, I saved it and threw it on some chicken last night..AMAZING!

    Thank you and am a big fan of this site... can't wait to make more!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I'm so glad you like the blog and the recipes! Means so much when people stop by to leave comments :)

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