Spicy Thai Peanut Vegetable & Tempeh Noodles

Recently, I’ve been in a food rut. Meaning, I’ve fallen into the routine of NOT meal prepping and just cooking easy fast options over and over again (i.e. lots of salmon burgers, eggs and roasted veggies). Although I love these options, they become boring and unsatisfying after ohhhh the third week or so.

In order to remedy this, I perused the Internet for fresh, different, and more “exotic” if you will, recipes to try. I found one for Thai peanut noodles and I decided to take a stab at my own version with one of my girlfriends one night. I’m glad we did, because this recipe turned out AMAZING. It came together fast, is packed with veggies and utilizes a somewhat new-to-me vegetarian source of protein, tempeh!

Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans. However, it is fermented during processing and is much firmer than it’s tofu cousin. I actually prefer cooking with tempeh because 1.) I like the nutty flavor and 2.) the firmer texture is easier to cook with and also makes it more satisfying to me. Tempeh is also CHEAP! About $4 for an 8oz block, making it a great substitute for meat every once and awhile.

The key to cooking tempeh is marinating it in some sort of sauce before cooking so it soaks of all the flavors. Another note, I like spice. A lot. If you are not much of a spice lover, simply omit or decrease the amount of Sriracha you use. Finally, I’ve enjoyed adding a fried egg on top of my noodles for extra protein every once and awhile so give that a go if that sounds good to you!

 

Spicy Thai Vegetable & Tempeh Noodles

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

1 10 oz. package spaghetti noodles

1/4 cup + 2 Tbs warm water

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup + 2 Tbs peanut butter

3 tsp sesame oil

3 tsp rice vinegar (can sub white wine vinegar)

1 Tbs Sriracha (more or less to taste depending on how spicy you like it)

2 Tbs honey or brown sugar

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 head broccoli crowns

2 green onions, chopped

½ cup cilantro, chopped

8 oz. tempeh, crumbled

Olive oil

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to package. Meanwhile, make sauce by combining warm water, soy sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, vinegar Sriracha, honey and garlic. Place half of the sauce in a separate bowl and add tempeh, coating well. Soak tempeh in the sauce for 5-7 minutes.

Place a medium-large skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil (enough to coat pan and prevent sticking), pepper, carrots and broccoli and sauté for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are slightly softened. Add tempeh and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat.

Drain pasta and add to vegetable/tempeh skillet. Add additional sauce and toss to coat. Mix in cilantro and green onions. Plate (or bowl) up and eat!

Advertisements

What is Healthy Eating Really?

Our society has a pretty messed up version of what constitutes “healthy”. In a country notorious for obesity and unhealthy eating habits, there seems to be a lot of information (or better put, misinformation) of what we should and should not be eating.

Here is what healthy eating really means:

 

Healthy eating is…

Eating the foods you LOVE

Whether it be chocolate cake, craft beer or pizza or kale smoothies, salmon burgers or oatmeal. You need to eat your favorite foods in order to have a truly healthy lifestyle and relationship with food.

Eating what you want when you want and listening to your body’s cravings

Sometimes I truly crave a hearty spinach salad topped with a perfectly grilled salmon filet with a dabble of goat cheese. Other times, all my body desires is a large piece of my favorite cheesecake for dinner. Yes, FOR dinner. Healthy eating means ignoring those silly “food rules” that our society has created, and doing what is best for YOU.

IMG_2151

Enjoying food and drinks without guilt

One of the things that makes me happiest, is trying out new restaurants or spending the day at a winery with friends. This wouldn’t be the case if I obsessed over how much butter was used to prepare my pasta dish or how many calories was in that bottle of wine. When you stop trying to analyze everything, food really is more enjoyable.

Overindulging sometimes

I’m not talking binge eating or stuffing your face without reason here. No, I am talking about sometimes enjoying more than you usually would because you don’t deny yourself. This may mean enjoying three to four extra alcoholic beverages because you’re out celebrating your best friends bachelorette party. Or, it may mean trying all the local street food while traveling to a new city or country.

IMG_0782

 

Healthy eating is NOT…

Eating based on a number

Don’t be a slave to a specific calorie count or macronutrient level.

*Side rant- when I see people who follow “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) on my Facebook, insta or twitter feed I immediately un-follow them. This is such a diet mentality and is so restrictive and unhealthy. I don’t see how depriving yourself by only eating egg whites and protein powder during the day, then bingeing on Oreos smothered in peanut butter at night because they have “leftover macros” is viewed as healthy. Ok, rant over, moving on!

Anyways, your body needs different things and amounts everyday based on a variety of factors, so it’s silly to try to hit a certain number everyday. Some days you may need more calories because you are extra hungry (which is your bodies way of telling you it needs more fuel!) and other days you are naturally less hungry. The body is so smart and balances itself, so there’s no need for your brain to worry about the numbers.

Completely eliminating certain foods/food groups

Eliminating an entire food group is JUST NOT HEALTHY for the body. Carbs do not make you fat. Fat does not make you fat. Protein does not make you skinny. You need a balance of all these things, not an excess or restriction of one or the other.

IMG_1124

Restricting yourself

Don’t deny yourself something just because it’s “unhealthy”. This sets you up for failure and a life of misery. What’s life without your favorite ice cream sundae every now and then? Food provides us with joy, don’t take that away from yourself.

 Following a radical “fast fix” or fad diet

The word “diet” actually means: the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group. This is in opposition to today’s perception of the word, which is usually correlated to restriction, elimination and deprivation. A diet is a lifestyle that you can sustain throughout your entire life and I don’t know anyone who could do this by following one of those drastic, fad diet plans (hence why most people gain the weight back right when they go off them).

IMG_1657

In sum, healthy eating is different for everyone as we all have unique needs, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds. However, one commonality exists: healthy eating means enjoying the foods you love, while respecting and listening to your body. It is not about abusing your body through restriction and deprivation or fearing food. Now go eat something delicious tonight <3.

IMG_1302

Lean Mean Bison Burgers

Hi there! Long time no talk, er blog. Truthfully, the thought of writing up a coherent, engaging, and educational post after a long day of work has just sounded like, well, more hard work. But, tonight I made a recipe that I just HAD to share with you guys. I’m in the process of moving so I am getting creative with cleaning out the food in my freezer. I had a pound of ground bison in there along with a package of mushrooms in my fridge (that I had high hopes of using in another recipe but never did).

Ironically, I developed a flyer at work yesterday titled “10 Creative Ways to Get More Fruits & Vegetables”. One of my tips was to add chopped mushrooms to your ground beef recipes. This not only sneaks in an extra serving of veggies (which you won’t taste, I swear!), but also saves you money! Adding mushrooms doubles the amount you get from this recipe. So, instead of getting 4 burgers from 1 lb. of meat, you get 8! This trick can not only be used for burgers, but any recipe calling from ground beef like tacos, sloppy joes, etc.

I want to end by once again emphasizing that YOU WILL NOT TASTE THE MUSHROOMS AT ALL! Seriously, even the die-hard meat eater won’t notice. Just don’t tell them, or they’ll swear they will because they’re stubborn ;).

 

Lean Mean Bison Burgers

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground bison OR lean ground beef/turkey*

8 oz. mushrooms

2 Tbs. favorite burger seasoning (I like Canadian steak seasoning)

Directions:

Preheat a large skillet or grill, lightly greasing with non-stick spray to prevent the burgers from sticking if necessary. Place mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until they become fine, little pieces. Combine mushrooms with bison and seasoning. Place onto heat and cook until desired doneness is reached. Serve with your favorite toppings.

*”Lean” meat is classified as 92% or higher

FullSizeRender-5