Monday, April 11, 2011

Vegan Challenge: Day 1

I have prepared a meal plan for the week.
I have done the grocery shopping
I have said my goodbyes to all things meat and dairy.  Bye-bye milk for tea in the morning. Bye-bye brie.  Bye-bye spicy tuna rolls (I'll miss you most of all).
And so it begins...

My Day 1 Menu:

Breakfast:  Kashi Puffs with my roommate's soy milk
Snack: My own mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds  (if you like trail mix, its cheaper to buy the nuts in bulk and make your own!)
Lunch:  Salad, lots of chick peas.
Dinner:  Pho (see recipe below!)

I love pho. I mean, I really love it. And THIS is a great recipe. I spent some time in South East Asia, and I'm not saying that qualifies me as a "connoisseur" or an "expert with a perfectly refined palate" but I mean, I spent 3 months in Cambodia.  And that's right next to Vietnam, where pho is from. So yah, I know what I'm talking about.

**I like to give credit where credit is due, but I have no idea where I got this recipe from.

The Best Pho You'll Ever Make

Serves 4


6 oz. rice noodles
1 1/2 cups snow peas, ends trimmed
1 cup shredded carrots
1 piece ginger (1/2 inch thick) peeled and chopped
1 star anise
3 whole cloves
8 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you are trying this vegan!)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4 inch strips (obviously discount this ingredient if you're trying it vegan)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 cups chopped scallions
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
4 sprigs basil
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges


1. Boil noodles in salted water for approx. 3 minutes. 
2. Place prepared snow peas and carrots in a colander; Drain noodles over snow peas and carrots; Rinse; and divide among 4 bowls
4. Tie a sachet of ginger, star anise, and cloves in cheesecloth or loose leaf tea bag; Place sachet in a large pot with chicken/vegetable broth; boil 5 minutes.
5.  Reduce heat to medium  (if you're making without chicken, skip step 6 and move onto 7).
6.  Add chicken
7.  Simmer 5 minutes 
8.  Add bell pepper and lime juice and season with salt
9. Remove sachet; ladle into bowls; top with remaining ingredients

Nutritional Info:  (with chicken and chicken broth)
395 Calories per serving
5 g. fat (1.3 g saturated)
51 g carbs, 3.7 g. fiber, 38 g. protein.

The first time I made it it took me around half an hour, but since then have gotten much faster :) Try it out and let me know your thoughts!!

My Changes:
I have tried this good pho recipe a variety of different ways.  With shrimp/prawns instead of chicken, with different kinds of peas/shoots.  In this photo I've added some bean sprouts.  Its great every time.

So far, eating vegan ain't so bad!  (I feel like this is like one of those times in the movies when the lead says something positive, and the audience cringes because they know that shortly its all going to go completely the opposite way...)

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