Asian Noodle Salad

Okay. I am suggesting...no strongly urging...no really I'm telling you to run, don't walk, to your nearest Farmer's Market (or Whole Foods, local grocer, or wherever you get your fresh vegetables) this weekend so you can make this absolutely AMAZING salad. It is full of fresh vegetables and lots of greens, so it's clearly healthy for you, but it is also just so good.

I first saw this recipe over at
this blog (you can see why she is one of my food blog idols) and was inspired to make it from the pictures there. The pictures highlighted all the bright and colorful ingredients (and did I mention how healthy it is...with all the fresh vegetables). I just couldn't resist trying it for myself.

I made it Sunday evening for our lunch the next day and was pleasantly surprised on Monday when I received a text message from Mr. Foodie telling me how much he enjoyed the salad. I mean Mr. Foodie was really feigning for this salad days later, hoping there were more leftovers. Because according to him, he doesn't "really like to eat salads like that". Mind you this is news to me because I often make salads for our lunch.

This is the second time I've made this salad and I made a few simple changes from the original (no changes made to the accompanying salad dressing). I'm not a fan of bean sprouts or nuts in my salad so I left them out. And the original recipe calls for linguine pasta noodles, which I used the first time. But this time I use Asian rice noodles, which I enjoyed much better. The noodles weren't as thick and they gave the salad a more authentic Asian flare. Whatever your personal preference is, it was still just as tasty.

So I am going to stop singing this salad's praises so you can get busy. I am confident you will enjoy it. Just get out your cutting board, sharpen that knife and be armed with a little patience because you will have a teeny, tiny bit of chopping and slicing to do. I promise you it will all be worth it once you insert fork into mouth ;)

Asian Noodle Salad
*this recipe makes a lot of servings (I got 8 large servings)
Printable Recipe
1 package rice noodles, cooked, rinsed, dried and cooled (prepare according to directions on package)
½ head nappa cabbage, sliced
½ head red cabbage, sliced
½ bag baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 scallions, sliced
2 peeled cucumbers, diced
2 handfuls cilantro, chopped

Mix together the salad ingredients. Whisk together the dressing (recipe below) ingredients and pour over salad just before serving. Mix salad with tongs. Serve and enjoy.

*I sliced and chopped all my ingredients ahead of time and stored them in separate, individual storage bags and containers. I then would mix the ingredients just before serving so the vegetables wouldn’t get soggy.

Asian Style Dressing
Juice of 1 lime
8 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons sesame oil
8 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 hot peppers (small, thin, red peppers) or jalapenos, chopped
Chopped cilantro

If serving the dressing immediately, whisk all the ingredients together. If reserving some dressing for later, mix all the ingredients excluding the cilantro. The dressing will last up to 3 days without the addition of the cilantro. Add cilantro to the reserved dressing just before serving.

adapted by pioneerwoman.com


Spicy Chicken w/ Peppers & Basil

When I first started watching the food channel, Rachael Ray was one of the biggest food personalities and you know she is the queen of "30 minute meals". This recipe was featured on one episode and it definitely doesn't disappoint.

This is one of the first recipes I added to my collection a few years ago, when I first started "cooking". It quickly became a household favorite as Mr. Foodie frequently requested this dish. It is a great weeknight dinner, when time is short and energy is low. Simple to make, intensely flavorful and takes only 15-20 minutes. The cook time even includes the jasmine rice to serve along side the chicken and peppers. You can't ask for a better combination to make this a must have meal.

And after you read the recipe, you'll see the ingredient list also includes the use of fish sauce. For those of you (JPA & TCW) following along and who have made Take-Out Chicken, you now have another use for the ingredient I suggested you purchase and add to your pantry... ;)

Spicy Chicken w/ Peppers and Basil
4 servings
Printable Recipe

2 cups jasmine rice, prepared to directions on the package
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon hot chile oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
10-15 fresh sweet basil, torn

Cook rice on stovetop according to directions on package
Rinse chicken and cut breasts into thin strips. Again cut chicken strips into bite sized pieces. Season chicken with season salt and pepper (I am s really big fan of Lawrys seasoning salt and using it on chicken before cooking it). Set aside

When the rice is half-way done, begin stir fry

Heat wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. When the pan begins to smoke, add the canola and hot chile oil. Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes. Add the chicken and stir fry for 5 minutes, until the chicken is almost cooked through. Add the onions, red bell peppers and garlic and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, until the onions and bell pepper begin to wilt. Add the fish sauce and stir together. Remove the pan from heat and add basil. Toss the dish until the basil wilts.

Serve chicken and peppers with prepared rice.

adapted by Rachael Ray


Low Country Shrimp & Crab Boil

Now this is the picture of summer....

a low country shrimp boil, to which I also added snow crab clusters. Aaaaahhhhhh......I'm having major cravings just looking at this picture.

I visited Savannah, GA a few years ago and this was the typical dish at many of the restaurants. So naturally, I had to indulge. This is a true, down home, get your fingers dirty meal (if you notice there are no utensils on the table). When I ate this at the restaurant, I sat outside at a table covered with newspapers. The food was served in a large pot with a bucket for scraps (the shrimp and crab shells and the cobs from the corn) and a lot of extra napkins. And boy was this some good eatin' (in your best southern accent, mine perfected from listening to my mom's side of the family).

Although I haven't had a shrimp boil since then, recently, this dish was all I could think about. The weather here has been so warm and I just pictured sitting outside on the deck, throwing all the ingredients on the table and digging in.

And this weekend, I did just that. I did my usual Internet research to get an idea for a recipe and started planning. Mr. Foodie had never had a shrimp boil but hearing the combination of shrimp and crab made him quite excited. I also decided to invite one of my girlfriends over and together, we all enjoyed the low country boil.

This is the perfect dish for entertaining this summer or even a mid-week workday summer meal (that was a bit of a tongue twister). It is so quick and simple to make, there would be minimal prep work for either occasion. You really just put it all in a pot full of seasoned water, let it all cook, toss is it a bowl (or on the table) and eat. The clean up is even more simple. Especially if you eat off the table. Just roll up the newspaper, toss in the trash and you're done. Simple, country eatin' done right.

Low Country Shrimp & Crab Boil
serves 6 (this recipes can be doubled or halved for more or less people)
Printable Recipe

1 crab and shrimp boil seasoning bag (I use the one by Zatarans)
6 medium red potatoes, quartered
4 ears corn, cut in thirds
1 pound kielbasa or smoked sausage
2 pounds snow crab clusters
1 pound of shrimp, deveined, peel on
2 tablespoons old bay seasoning

Using a large stock pot, boil approximately 6 qt. of water. Add a lot of salt to the water, like you are seasoning the water to boil pasta. You will be adding all the ingredients to this pot so you want the water to be well seasoned. At this time, also add the seasoning bag.

When the water is rapidly boiling, add the red potatoes, cook for 10 minutes. Then add the corn and sausage. Cook for 6-8 minutes. As the water returns to a boil, add the crab, shrimp and old bay seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes, until shrimp is opaque.

When done, drain the ingredients in the colander. Be careful, the steam from the water will be very hot.

Sprinkle with salt and serve in a large bowl or as it is traditionally served, a table covered in newspaper. As you see from the pictures above, I did a mixture of both. Serve with melted butter, cocktail sauce or hot sauce.

**just as we were finishing our beautiful summer meal outside, the heavens opened up and it started to pour.

We quickly had to move the feast inside but hey...what is summer weather in the south without scattered afternoon thunderstorms. Enjoy!!


New Stuff...New Stuff!!!

Hey Everybody! Just wanted to let you know I have now added Printable Recipes to the blog (YAY!!) That means all you have to do is click on the link under the title of the recipe and it will redirect you to another site where you can print the recipe. All courtesy of Kevin his tutorial (thanks Kevin, it was super helpful). This way you can start building or adding to your recipe files. I thought this would be easier than you having to write down the recipe or do some cut and paste stuff. Hey, anything to thank you for visiting my little blog and to get you in the kitchen cooking. Like I said before, if I can do it, you can do. FYI...I also added recipes to the older posts I've done so go check those out too. Now get printing.

Also, you'll notice a new widget (I believe that is the official term) on the right hand side of the page entitled food blog search. I have found this little search engine to be very helpful and thought you might as well. All you have to do is enter an ingredient or a dish and it will search recipes from over 3000 food blogs to match what you are looking for. I have gained countless inspiration from this search engine and hope to be included in there in the near future as well. Until then, do a quick search and you will be introduced to the lovely and large community of food bloggers.

I hope you enjoy the "new stuff" and keep coming back. I've got some great dishes coming in the next couple of weeks. By the way, I would love to hear how some of the dishes turned out for you.
Comments and suggestions as always welcome.