Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Brown Bag Lunch #6 Thai Chicken Peanut Noodle Salad

Pregnancy vitamins don't contain protein. I think the medical establishment figures women in the Western world have no problem getting enough protein in their diets. In fact, most Americans get too much. I don't think I can count myself among them, though. I love starch, sugar and vegetables in that order. Meat is good but I don't really crave it, so here is a working woman's brown bag lunch which is also packed with protein for a growing baby.

Ingredients for 2 big or 3 small lunches:

1 full chicken breast (both sides) PROTEIN SOURCE #1
1 med clove garlic, minced
a 1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
2 stalks of lemongrass, bulbous part only, minced very fine
1 tbsp vegetable oil

sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy, as you like it)PROTEIN SOURCE #2
1/4 cup soy sauce
juice of 1 juicy lime (or 2 not-so-juicy limes)
1 tbsp fish sauce
hot pepper to taste*
water for thinning (optional)

1 medium cucumber, peeled, quartred lengthwise and sliced thinly
2 green onions thinly sliced into rounds
1lb (450grams) package of very thin Asian rice, wheat or buckwheat vermicelli


*Use cayenne, use Thai red pepper-garlic paste, even use Harissa like I did. It was not terribly hot so I ended up adding 3 tsps and could have even added more.

Put the chicken breast in the freezer until it has become half frozen. This helps you to cut it into the small, 1/2 inch dice that you need. Place the oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken, garlic, ginger and lemongrass all together and sautee until the chicken is cooked through and beginning to turn golden. Take off heat and let cool.

Whisk all sauce ingredients together you will probably want to add a couple teaspoons of water to thin out the consistency. It should be as thick as stirred yogurt.

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Once done strain in a collander and do something no self-respecting Italian would ever do: pour cold water over noodles until they are cold. If taking to work, put a portion of noodles in one container and drizzle with a bit of vegetable oil to keep the noodles from sticking. Place all other ingredients in a different container and mix at lunchtime. If eating at home, spread the noodles on a plate, pour sauce over them and arrange chicken and vegetables on top. Music to eat Thai Chicken Peanut Noodle Salad or anything else by: punk band, Fugazi and the greatest You Tube video of all time: Waiting Room. Enjoy!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Anti-Morning Sickness Papaya Smoothie

During my first trimester, I found that this smoothie calmed my nausea down. Don't know how it worked but I wasn't about to question a good thing. Even if you don't have morning sickness, this smoothie will kill your ice cream cravings while giving you a whollop of calcium and vitamins A and C without all the fat. By freezing the papaya in chunks, you don't have to add ice cubes which water down the smoothie. The result is thick and rich, sweet and creamy.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups frozen papaya chunks
1-6 oz container plain yogurt
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 tsp rose water
sugar to taste (I put in about 2 tbsps)

In a very large glass - you need to allow extra room for the blending), place all the ingredients in descending order. With an immersion blender, mix until you have a smooth, frothy, semi-frozen texture. Music to blend your smoothie by: Pete Rock and CL Smooth "Take You There". Enjoy with a straw of with a spoon.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bun in the Oven

Hello? Anybody there?

Boy has time flown by! Long time no see, huh? One day, I'm cooking up a storm and the next, I'm suddenly all preoccupied with so many other things to think about, plan, negotiate and imagine. Like a good former academic, I've been staring at my belly button for the last few months. You see, my innie is turning into an outie.

Seriously.

I'm pregnant!! and that fact has taken up a lot of my creative energy over the last few months, not that I haven't been cooking. One of these days, I'll give you a fabulous recipe for papaya-yogurt-rose water smoothie that's guaranteed (well, maybe not guaranteed) to make you forget your morning sickness. Then there's the tips on delicious and lysteria-free cheeses. I swear that French goat cheese made with pasteurized milk when eaten with "Cruscarelli" bran bread sticks tastes like the best Cheetos ever without the post-apocalyptic bright orange stains on your fingertips.

Anyway, I'll be back soon!


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