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Entries in gluten-free (9)

Saturday
Feb282015

Creamy Peanut Noodles with Tofu

One of my Mom's favorite Chinese appetizers is peanut sesame noodles served cold. I always thought it a strange combination but it's really just nuts and starch, the Asian equivalent to an American peanut butter sandwich or peanut butter swirled into breakfast oatmeal. Really a fantastic duo! So as my Mom is now recovering from major shoulder surgery and to celebrate a belated Chinese New Year, I recreated this recipe for her. 

It's super easy...just mix up the sauce ingredients in one bowl or a blender, then toss with cooked noodles. The sauce is a creamy blend of rich, salty, sweet and tart (and spice if you like). There may be some scallions or vegetables added but traditionally not much else.

My twist on this classic recipe was to use Pasta Zero shirataki spaghetti from Nasoya, and add baked tofu and spinach. Nasoya sent over samples of their new, improved Pasta Zero noodles. I had worked with Nasoya a few years ago when I first tested their shirataki noodles, a very low carb and low calorie blend of potato starch, konjac flour, and chickpea flour (just 30 calories per 8 oz. serving!). There's no cooking needed; after removing the noodles from the package and rinsing, they're ready to eat. My recipe then was very similar to this one, except this recipe is much creamier and richer tasting because of the peanut butter. 

These revamped Pasta Zero noodles do taste better! Once I added the peanut sauce, the shirataki noodles became soft and velvety—heaven! So dreamy delicious, the perfect comfort food. What I love about this recipe is that though it's not a low calorie dish with the peanut butter, you drastically lower the calories by substituting the shirataki spaghetti, without sacrificing any flavor whatsoever.

Creamy Peanut Noodles with Tofu (makes 2 servings)

Ingredients

8 oz. package Nasoya Pasta Zero Shirataki Spaghetti

Generous 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (or smooth if preferred)

2 T soy sauce

2 T rice wine vinegar

1 T canola oil

2 T honey or agave nectar

1 tsp sesame oil (if desired)

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup baked tofu (I used Nasoya Sesame Ginger Baked Tofu), diced into cubes

1/2 cup baby spinach

Directions

  1. Remove and rinse well the shirataki noodles under cool water. Drain well and set aside. 
  2. Microwave peanut butter in microwave-safe bowl for about 15-30 seconds until slightly melted. Add the next seven ingredients and stir well to combine.  
  3. Add diced tofu and baby spinach and mix again until well incorporated (note that I microwaved the spinach for 20 seconds to soften it).
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Per serving: 400 calories, 30 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams protein 

Disclosure: I received free samples of Pasta Zero Shirataki Spaghetti to help facilitate this post. The recipe, thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday
Nov082014

Roasted Beet and Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

This fall the temperatures have been pretty mild. Usually I'm in full swing with baking and simmering by the end of October but so far I've used the crock pot only once and baked twice. When I saw a recipe on MyFitnessPal (who knew this site featured some great recipes?) for a Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad, I knew it would fit well for a mellow autumn day. Warm, roasted seasonal vegetables and a fall fruit atop refreshing salad greens. I've never roasted beets beforewow they were so delicious (just a little messy dealing with all the red beet juice when chopping it up). My only changes to the recipe were leaving out the raisins and orange zest, and changing the pecans to walnuts. I also used regular black chia seeds instead of white (the nutritional value is the same by the way).

Honestly, I wasn't expecting the salad to taste as amazing as it was. 

The crunch of the walnuts and chia seeds contrasted the soft roasted rich vegetables, and the maple cinnamon dressing was suprisingly light and not too sweet. The crispy pear complemented the flavors of the entire salad. Yum!

It was such a refreshing, satisfying salad with so many memorable flavors that I actually closed my eyes to better focus on them. Try out this salad if you're practicing mindful eating strategies: chewing slowly and thoroughly, noticing how the flavors blend and evolve the more you chew each bite, and feeling gratitude for such a wonderful meal.

Sunday
Apr062014

Dukkah-Encrusted Tofu

Dried tofu. Photo credit: Vegan Good EatsI grew up eating tofu since I come from an Asian family but it was never served to me plain and white, like you see in the supermarket. Some of my clients who aren't familiar with tofu don't realize that you're not supposed to eat fresh tofu straight out of the carton! It is meant to be seasoned and cooked. My favorite ways to eat it are pan-fried or dried (you can find this in Asian grocery stores near the fresh tofu), which are more flavorful. I don't prefer to fry foods because of the mess afterwards, so I usually enjoy this type of tofu from a Chinese restaurant (or at my parent's house, if they'll cook it for me!). For my meals, I add plain, diced extra firm tofu to salads and soups, where it picks up the flavor of the salad dressing or broth. This week I noticed a jar of dukkah, given to me by a friend, sitting in my cabinet and thought why not try it on tofu? Dukkah, originally from Egypt but now becoming popular here, is a spice blend incorporating toasted nuts, seeds, herbs and a little salt. You can sprinkle it on meats, fish, pasta, and even salads.

I used Nasoya's Extra Firm Tofu Plus that is high in protein, calcium, vitamin D and B vitamins. I pressed the tofu to drain out extra water and make it even firmer (place the whole block of tofu between two paper towels on a plate and rest a heavy book or pan on top for about 10 minutes), and then cut the tofu into triangles and squares. I brushed all sides of the tofu with a sauce mixture of 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. I sprinkled the dukkah over the top and baked in a 350 F oven for 35 minutes.

The result was a flavorful tofu with a nice crunch from the dukkah's almonds and various seeds. It went well on top of a salad, though I equally enjoyed the leftover tofu the next day warmed with brown rice and vegetables. Actually I preferred the flavor of the tofu after it had been refrigerated and reheated, as the seeds had softened and the sauce had soaked deeper into the tofu.

 It's an easy recipe and a great way to get more whole soy into your diet!