Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pork with Rice Noodles, Scallions, and Chile

This is a new hit in our house. It uses favorite ingredients in new ways, to give some delicious variety to our weeknight. It comes together in about 30-40 minutes, depending on your skill level at multi-tasking. Pork with rice noodles, scallions, and chile

Pork with Rice Noodles, Scallions, and Chile

from fine cooking
total time 30 minutes || serves 4


8 oz. wide rice (pad thai) noodles
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
3 Tbs. fish sauce
1-1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground pork
Kosher salt
1 large red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 2-1/2 cups) Pork with rice noodles, scallions, and chile1 bunch scallions (both white and green parts), trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths (about 1 cup)
1/2 to 1 small fresh green chile, such as Thai or serrano, thinly sliced**
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 Tbs. chopped peanuts


Boil water in a large pot. Cook your pad thai noodles to al dente following package directions (4-6 minutes typically). Drain and shock with cold water to stop the cooking. 

While that's going, mix lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar disolves. 

Heat half of the oil (1tbsp) in a wok or large (12-inch) skillet over medium high heat. Really heat it... shimmering hot. Crumble the pork in and cook like you're making ground beef tacos. That is to say, making sure it doesn't form one huge block, breaking it up into small pieces. Cook until starting to brown and no longer pink. Season with salt if you want. Put it in a bowl to rest while you do the onions. 
Heat the other half of the oil (1tbsp). Same wok or skillet is perfect. Add the onion, scallions, and chile. (WEAR GLOVES TO HANDLE THE CHILI. If you have sensitive skin, like aparently I do.)  Cook until onions and scallions are softened, stirring regularly, 4-5 minutes. If you can tell if the pepper is getting soft, you cut it too big or used too much, and ohh boy are you in for a shock.

Put the pork back in, toss well to mix. Add the noodles back in, toss gently to mix... you don't want to shred the noodles. Remove from heat, add lime mix, herbs, and toss yet again. Garnish with peanuts and dig in while its still hot! Pork with rice noodles, scallions, and chile
**This dish is pretty mild with half a serrano pepper. If you're looking for spicy, kick in the whole pepper, consider half a second one. Remember, all peppers have different Scoville scale ratings, even on a single plant. If you're spice shy, err on the side of caution so you can taste all of the other wonderful flavors here! We used 2/3 of a pepper and felt it could have used just a little more. 

Related post: Hot Fingers!! How to get your hands to stop burning if you forgot the gloves when cutting up your peppers. 

Your turn! What's your favorite food with just a little bite to it? 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

This Week's Menu - June 9, 2014

With summer here, we've been spending lots of time watering our garden and watching our veggies bloom. This was our first week at the farmer's market, and I am so excited for the upcoming menu. We've got the produce thing down pat, so this week we were focusing on getting our meat locally. This means we're having grass-fed beef and wild caught shrimp. Super happy to know our cows lived well!

Most of the menus I've posted so far were during the school year. You'll notice this reflects more of a summer schedule, since the hubs is done with classes for now, and I'm wrapping up this week.

June 9 - June 15, 2014
Joyful Foodie Menu June 9, 2014

Monday: Oatmeal with berries
Tuesday: Fruit smoothie (made with plain yogurt, frozen peaches and berries, milk, and some spinach) and whole grain toast with butter
Wednesday: Homemade granola with milk and berries
Thursday: breakfast "pizza" - eggs, cheese, and tomato slices on top of whole grain toast
Friday: leftover waffles from Sunday (I freeze extras)

Monday: peanut butter and banana wrap in homemade tortilla
Tuesday: tomato, cucumber, basil, mozzarella salad, hummus and crackers
Wednesday: farmer's market roast beef sandwich  
Thursday: leftover fried rice
Friday: luncheon at school

Monday: Farmer's market stir fry
Tuesday: Fried rice (chop up leftover stir fry, mix in with rice, heat, add an egg or two depending on size of dish!)
Wednesday: Burgers using farmer's market grass-fed beef with salad with feta, pears, and pecans
Thursday: pretzel dogs and sautéed kale
Friday: leftovers or meal out of the freezer
Saturday and Sunday: up in the air depending on if I throw a "school's done, hooray!" party ;)

Your turn!
How is the coming summer changing your meal routines?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Last Week's Menu

A few weeks ago I finally started the clean eating challenge that's been on my 29 by 29 goal list all year. Its been really quite epic. Doing weight watchers last year I had already made a lot of positive changes in the way more produce department, so this was a focus on reading food labels for the ingredients, not the calories. So far I feel a lot more satisfied by the real foods, and I'm not missing anything! That is of course helped by my "flexetarian" attitude about it all. I have had regular chocolate and frozen yogurt and not stressed about it. Overall, my long term goal is to have a really healthy relationship with food, and not stress about every single bite. This fits the bill for me!

June 2 - June 8, 2014
New menu layout! I'm planning for breakfast, lunch, and dinner these days. Makes the clean eating thing much easier. :)
Monday: Bacon, eggs, sautéed zucchini 
Tuesday: Egg heavy french toast with sliced apples
Wednesday: fruit smoothie and muffin
Thursday: breakfast "pizza" - eggs, cheese, and tomato on whole grain toast with a side of bacon (its a testing day!)
Friday: granola with mixed berries
Saturday: bagels, coffee, and a crossword puzzle on the patio
Sunday: waffles and sliced oranges

Monday: roast beef sandwich 
Tuesday: leftover shrimp
Wednesday: lunch date with Brian... his treat :)
Thursday: leftover chicken enchilada pasta
Friday: peanut butter and jelly
Saturday: grilled cheese and trader joe's soup
Sunday: leftover vegetable hash

Thursday: baked loaded sweet potatoes
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: leftovers

Your turn!
What goals have you accomplished this week?


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