The idea of a creamy Chinese noodle dish with a tofu sauce sounded intriguing. And the picture in the New York Times looked tasty. I liked the idea of getting my protein in a noodle dish via the sauce. Since silken tofu isn’t low fodmap, I was excited to try making a sauce with firm tofu, which the recipe calls for. Only after I made the dish did I realize that this isn’t an authentic Chinese noodle dish, but an essentially vegan invention with Chinese flavors. By then it was too late.
The dish was edible, but just barely. I had to force myself to eat it, and about halfway through the week my will gave out. The flavors of the dish, 5 spice and creamed firm tofu, were strange and unappetizing. The texture of the sauce was much to heavy for the noodles. The best part of the dish was the topping, but it was much too spicy for me. I used 2/3 of the chili oil called for, which was a mistake. I should have used 1/4. I had to add a bunch more of the other ingredients to balance it out.
A few weeks ago I was prescribed an antibiotic. I react really badly to antibiotics; I usually get nauseous and lose my appetite while I’m on them. While I was taking the medicine, I could only get myself to eat pasta and oatmeal. The week after, I started to regain my appetite, but was still only eating light soups etc. I found this recipe on New York Times when I was looking for something soothing to help me transition back to regular food. It was pretty easy. I think it would make a great weeknight recipe.
I added about 1.5 cups of broccoli along with the other veggies in the recipe, which seemed like the exact right amount. Because the noodles and gravy are made separately, you can keep them separate in the fridge and eat this as leftovers without the noodles going mushy. I used the wrong type of noodles though. The recipe calls for thick rice noodles. I used medium rice sticks. (the kind used for pad thai) They formed a mass when fried and were hard to pull apart immediately after cooking. As leftovers they were impossible to pull apart and I just had to chop them up. Next time I’d use a much wider noodle like shahe fen, chow fun, hor fun, or sen yai. You have to do a lot of stirring and scraping while frying the noodles to prevent them from sticking to the pan, but the flavor is great. I really liked the flavor of this dish. I thought it was just a tad too sweet. Next time I’d use 3/4 tsp sugar instead of 1 tsp. Make sure to be very careful to pour the egg very slowly. It’s easy to mess that part up. As you can see in the photo, I didn’t pour slowly enough and ended up with clumps of egg instead of strands.
I had bought some pappardelle at the store and came up with this recipe to use it with some items I had in the fridge. It came out so tasty I had to record the recipe. If you aren’t eating low fodmap, you can chop the garlic and leave it in the sauce.
1 lb pappardelle
1-3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp butter
1.5 tbsp lemon juice
1-3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 medium zucchini
2 medium eggs
4 oz arugula
Boil the water for the past
While the water is heating, melt the butter in a skillet on low heat. Add the garlic cloves whole. Leave the butter and garlic to cook on low.
Slice the zucchini lengthwise into very thin strips, halve the strips horizontally, then cut the strips lengthwise into thin ribbons.
Add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the garlic cloves.
Add the zucchini and salt to the pan. Let cook for 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat on the pan. Let cool for a couple minutes.
Add the lemon juice and eggs to the pan, whisk together.
Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Drain the pasta. Let sit for 30 seconds
Returns the pasta to the pot and immediately stir in the sauce.
I’ve been sick a lot lately, so last week I decided just to make some simple carb dishes that would be easy on my digestion. The weather has been so weird this fall that I still had tomatoes ripening into mid October. I found this recipe for a raw tomato sauce on page 86 of Nonna’s Italian Kitchen. This was a really interesting concept and super easy. You just put all the ingredients in the blender and then add the sauce to the still hot pasta.
In order to make this low fodmap, I use wild garlic instead of fresh garlic, so the taste was definitely different than it would have been otherwise. But it wasn’t bad. The main issue with the sauce was that it was too liquidy. But after I refrigerated the dish, the issue was resolved. So this was much better the second day. I liked this but didn’t love it. Might try making it again once (if) I can eat garlic again.
Finding a recipe that both Ian and I can eat right now is nearly impossible, since we are both dealing with very restrictive medically prescribed diets. Add my vegetarian diet, his gluten free diet, plus both of our lactose intolerance, and there’s nearly nothing we can both eat. I was intrigued by this dish since it uses rice noodles instead of flour noodles, but incorporates Italian flavors rather than the usual Asian flavors I associate with rice noodles.
I’ve made it twice now. The first time I did quite a bit of tweaking based on what we had in the house and Ian’s restrictions. The second time I stuck to the recipe. I liked my first version much better. Both Ian and I really loved it and had multiple additional helpings. I think the original recipe is too low on veggies and I like a basil/mint mixture better than mint alone. I’ve also found it’s much better with cherry tomatoes than with large tomatoes or canned. Whatever version you make, this is a simple, quick, weeknight dish. I made simple pan fried tofu for a protein on the side and Ian ate it with chicken. Here’s my adjusted version:
2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2garlic cloves (to taste), minced (optional)
1.5 pound zucchini, cut in ¼-inch dice
1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt to taste (I use about 1.5 tsp)
freshly ground pepper to taste
7 to 8ounces thin rice sticks
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, torn
I follow the instructions from the original recipe. If I leave out the garlic for Ian, I just skip that step. I honestly didn’t notice a big flavor difference between having the garlic and not having it. I think the key to the flavor of this recipe is really high quality ingredients, since it’s so simple. Great olive oil and sweet cherry tomatoes really make the dish. I also like spaghetti style rice noodles better than the fettuccine ones for this dish because they have more bite.
It’s cherry tomato season in my garden. So when I saw this recipe in the New York times for a cold noodle soup with oodles of cherry tomatoes, I was intrigued. I added marinated Asian tofu from Veganomicon to add some protein.
The soup was very easy to make, but underwhelming. I didn’t like the flavor of the broth, though I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with it. I won’t make this again.
One of my neighbors was giving away a bunch of vegetarian cookbooks. In the pile, I noticed Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermot, which is my mother’s favorite thai cookbook. This recipe from page 164 was the first one I tried. It was described as a quick weeknight alternative to pad thai. If you don’t have si-yu Nancy offers an alternative combo of soy sauce and sugar, which I used. I’d like to try it with the actual si-yu next time. So far I’ve made this twice, once for myself and once for my sister’s family while in Germany. It was a hit both times. Easy, tasty, filling, and indulgent. A very good weeknight dish indeed. The only issue we had with the dish was the ratio of pasta to broccoli. Everyone, including my seven-year-old niece, agreed it needed more broccoli. Although I think I messed up the proportions when I made it for my sister’s family, so it probably was more that than the recipe. Still, I’d do 4 cups of broccoli instead of 3 and probably 7 ounces of pasta instead of 8 and see how that went. The other issue I had both times was volume. Flipping this recipe without a big wok is really hard. Next time I’m going to try making it in my cast iron dutch oven and see how that goes instead.
Recently, one of my neighbors was giving away a bunch of vegetarian cookbooks. In the pile was Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott, a cookbook I know my mother owns and likes.
The first recipe I tried was this rice noodle dish from page 164. Nancie describes the dish as easy to prepare and indeed it was. I could see myself making this on a weeknight when I want something comforting and indulgent as an alternative to ordering take out.
The recipe calls for a dark sweet soy sauce called si-yu but offers an alternative combo of regular soy sauce and brown sugar. I used this option since I didn’t have si-yu. But next time I go to the asian market I’ll be looking for si-yu so I can try making this again. The other change I made was reducing the oil. Nancie calls for 3 tbsp. I only used 4 tsp. Next time I think I’d try cutting it to 1 tbsp since the dish was still pretty high calorie.
I followed the timing of the dish carefully and the veggies came out crisp, just like I like them. The flavor of the dish was peppery and savory. And the eggs add a creamy aspect. Very yummy. Nancie calls for offering chili vinegar as a condiment, but I didn’t have any. So instead I used about a teaspoon of rice vinegar on each bowl, which added to the flavor. I’d like to pick up chili vinegar for the next time I make this.
Update: So far I’ve made this twice, once for myself and once for my sister’s family while in Germany. It was a hit both times. Easy, tasty, filling, and indulgent. A very good weeknight dish indeed. The only issue we had with the dish was the ratio of pasta to broccoli. Everyone, including my seven-year-old niece, agreed it needed more broccoli. Although I think I messed up the proportions when I made it for my sister’s family, so it probably was more that than the recipe. Still, I’d do 4 cups of broccoli instead of 3 and probably 7 ounces of pasta instead of 8 and see how that went. The other issue I had both times was volume. Flipping this recipe without a big wok is really hard. Next time I’m going to try making it in my cast iron dutch oven and see how that goes instead.
I’ve had Veganomicon for years, but have never made any of the soup recipes in the coobook. However, recently I’ve had luck with the soup recipes in my new Isa Chandra Moskowitz cookbook Isa Does It. So I thought I’d go back to Veganomicon and pick out some soup recipes to try. I started with this recipe for a Japanese-style broth with squash, udon noodles, and tofu because the picture in the book makes it look so appealing.
I used butternut squash instead of kabocha, since I had trouble finding kabocha. Isa says to cook the squash for an extra 15 minutes. But I think this was too long. The squash ended up a little overly soft. I think I would recommend reducing this to an extra 5 minutes.
The broth in the soup was pretty good. My main problem with the recipe was textural. Everything in it was mushy. The only thing chewy was the mushrooms, and there were only a few. The recipe says to cook the noodle as instructed on the package, but this was a mistake because they ended up overdone in the soup. If I made this again I’d undercook the noodles by 3ish minutes to maintain some texture. I’d also double the mushrooms. But I doubt I’d make this again. It just wasn’t good enough.