Saturday, May 19, 2012

Nutritious Recipes: Pad Thai & More

When we look into eating healthier meals, we can start by cutting out cooking or frying with oil.  I steam or lightly boil vegetables and other foods, and then add a little olive oil or better yet flax seed oil, afterward.  Flax seed oil is delicious on cooked pasta and baked potatoes.  Some quick, nutritious tasty foods include: Amy’s quarter pound veggie burger(s), Gardenburger original veggie burger, Amy’s spinach pizza---add your own veggies including more spinach, mushrooms, onions, artichoke hearts, and some of Kashi pizzas.  Read labels on veggie burgers and pizzas as well. 
Quick and easy recipes:  Try spaghetti squash with or without Parmesan cheese (could use semi-hard goat cheese grated) with marinara sauce (low or no salt/sugar).  Try an eggplant “parmesan” with sliced wet (or dipped in rice or almond milk) eggplant coated lightly with unbleached or whole grain flour in frying pan (no oil but water to lightly steam briefly to soften or simply put straight in roasting pan at 350 degrees for 5 minutes each side), then in roasting pan cover eggplant with low/no salt & low/no sugar/no fake sugar marinara sauce, top final layer with a combination of shredded rice “cheese” or veggie “cheese”, sliced/shredded almond mozzarella-style “cheese”, and maybe some goat cheese.  Season it with spices like basil, oregano, and garlic; then bake approximately 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees, keeping an eye on the cheese.  For dinner or lunch, try boiling rice pasta, linguine or spaghetti, or veggie pasta, or a mix or both, add onion or onion family, mushrooms (boiled part of the time), sliced garlic cloves, and some other small cut up vegetables like bok choy or zucchini, if adding broccoli steam for 4-6 minutes, throw in 5-6 shrimp or cooked (not fried) 4 ounces white meat chicken or fish, add flax oil (maybe a little olive oil) and season with garlic or other spices.  Or try steamed vegetables with a baked or sweet potato or brown rice with 5-6 shrimp or 4 ounces of fish or white meat chicken later adding flax seed oil to potato instead of rich fixings.  Or you could add chives and soy or coconut yogurt or maybe rarely a little low-fat/fat-free organic plain yogurt. 

Try modifying a pad thai or Chinese meal but skip the oil and frying.  Try this variation on pad thai recipe on with 8 oz. pad thai noodles or rice linguine, ½ cup soft tofu (add with last of sauce), 4 green onions separating white and green parts and slice, 4 cloves minced garlic fresh, 1 tsp. sliced/grated ginger, optional 1 fresh chili sliced, 3-4 small baby bok choy or Chinese cabbage chopped, 2-3 cups bean sprouts, optional 1/3 cup fresh coriander/cilantro, ½ cup chopped cashews.  For sauce ¾ -1 & ½ Tbsp. tamarind paste (Asian store), ¼ cup veggie stock or fake chicken (can use low salt veggie/fake chicken bouillon), 3 & ½ Tbsp. soy sauce or wheat free version, ½-3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, either 2 Tbsp. Agave sweetener syrup or equivalent Stevia sweetener to taste, ½ tsp. ground white pepper, and other: 2-7 Tbsp. veggie or fake chicken stock or bouillon with water.  Preparation:

1.        Bring a pot of water to a boil and switch off heat. Soak noodles for 4-6 minutes until limp but too firm to eat. Drain and rinse with cold water. Noodles must be under-cooked in order to come out right as cook more later.
2.        Combine 'pad Thai sauce' ingredients in a cup, stirring well to dissolve the paste and sweetener (note that if your tamarind paste is thick, only add 1 Tbsp. If thin/runny, add 1.5 Tbsp.). Note that sauce should have a STRONG-tasting flavor that tastes sour-sweet first, followed by salty and spicy. Set aside.
3.        Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp. water or bouillon/stock plus the white parts of the green onion (reserve the rest for serving), garlic, ginger, and optional chili. Stir-fry without oil 1 minute.
4.        Add the bok choy plus more stock. Stir-fry 2 minutes, or until bok choy is bright green and slightly softened.
5.        Put ingredients aside and add 1/2 Tbsp. more water or stock/bouillon to the center of the wok/pan. Add the tofu and “stir-fry/steam” briefly to scramble.
6.        If pan is dry, push ingredients aside and add a little more stock, water or bouillon with water to the middle. Add the drained noodles and 1/3 of the sauce. Stir/steam-fry everything together 1-2 minutes using 2 utensils and a gently tossing motion (like tossing a salad). Keep heat between medium-high and high, reducing if noodles begin to stick or burn. Keep adding sauce and continue stir-frying in this way 3-6 more minutes, or until sauce is gone and noodles are soft but still chewy ('al dente') and a little sticky.
7.        Switch off heat and add the bean sprouts, folding them into the hot noodles. Taste-test, adding more soy sauce for more salt/flavor. If too salty or sweet, add a squeeze of lime juice. If too sour, sprinkle over a little more sweetener.
8.        Put noodles onto a large dish. Sprinkle with sliced green onion, coriander, and ground nuts. Serve.
Stay tuned for more ideas, recipes, education,….  If have any questions, feel free to contact 
Dr. Stephen B. Asquith of Chiropractic Works Fort Collins at 1-970-229-9993.