Monday, June 5, 2017

Peanut Noodles with Snow Peas and Broccoli

My plating could use some work!

Well folks, I did it. I made my first recipe from The American Cancer Society's New Healthy Eating Cookbook tonight. I decided to start at the very beginning of the book for this one with the peanut noodles with snow peas and broccoli. Now if you've read my shopping post, you know that I didn't actually find snow peas, but I'm pretty sure the sugar snap pea substitution I made didn't really make much of a difference in this recipe. It should also be noted that this recipe is one that I was most worried about making.

For starters, the ingredient list makes this recipe seem daunting. It uses several ingredients I've basically never cooked with before, one that I wasn't even really sure where to find at the store in the first place (and that's not counting the snow peas that I couldn't find at all.) But in spite of using a lot of ingredients, the recipe is pretty simple. You basically need to know how to boil pasta, operate a food processor, and measure ingredients. If you can do those three things, you can follow this recipe.

Look at all that sauce. My kids thought it looked like vomit. 
The other reason I was worried about this recipe, though, is because I've never successfully made an Asian inspired dish that was edible before. And after tonight, I sadly don't feel like I entirely broke that streak. Neither of my kids ate more than a bite of this, and I was only able to eat half a serving before I just couldn't choke any more of it down. My husband went back for seconds though.

However, I am not going to totally discount this recipe, because my main issue with it is that the sauce just felt like it was too much, and I think that's because there was literally too much sauce for the amount of noodles the recipe calls for. I feel like doubling the amount of noodles I use for the recipe would eliminate this problem and make the recipe more palatable to me, and I'm definitely willing to give it a try because the sauce tasted good, there was just too dang much of it.

After minimal deliberation, I am giving this recipe, as it's written a C because it was super easy and fairly quick to make, but some adjustments need to be made to ingredient quantities I think.

And if you want to make this dish yourself, you'll need the following ingredients: linguini noodles, broccoli florets, snow peas (or sugar snap peas), carrots, garlic, fresh ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce, dark sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, and chili garlic sauce. And if you want to know the correct quantities, you're gonna' have to buy the book because me sharing the recipe here would be copyright infringement. But if you click the book title above, it'll take you to an Amazon affiliate link* for the book.

If you enjoyed this review and would like to read more, please be sure to subscribe to my blog. - Katie

*Using my affiliate link to buy this product will result in me receiving a small percentage of the price of the product at not additional cost to you.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Shopping

Hey y'all. So last night after scanning through the recipes in The American Cancer Society's New Healthy Eating Cookbook by Jeanne Besser, I picked out five of them to try out on my family this week. Which meant I needed to write a shopping list. The recipes I chose were Peanut Noodles with Snow Peas and Broccoli, Fusilli with Broccoli and Deconstructed Pesto, Honey-Lime Pork Tenderloin, Spinach and Mushroom Risotto, and Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Thyme. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little worried about the peanut noodles because I've never been able to successfully cook edible asian inspired food before, and the risotto scares me because I've watched Masterchef and Joe Bastianich said risotto is hard and I believe him. But I also LOVE rice, and that's the main ingredient in risotto so... 

Anyway, I got my shopping list together and headed to the store, where I got to try and find the ingredients I needed. I failed to find snow peas (and I'm not exactly sure what they're called in German, so I don't trust in my ability to find them on the economy here), so I'm hoping that baby sugar snap peas will work for that recipe. I also almost failed to find pine nuts for the deconstructed pesto, because it didn't initially occur to me that they would be located in the baking aisle with all the other unsalted nuts. I've never used pine nuts in a recipe before, so this should be interesting. 

I also bought mushrooms today, and for those of you who don't know me, I have a mental hangup about mushrooms. I have no problem eating them as long as I don't see them, even if I know they are in a dish I'm eating, but once I see them, I have to pick them out. So I've never cooked with mushrooms before, but I don't want to start changing recipes right off the bat if I can keep from it, so I'm going to try to ignore the fact that my risotto has mushrooms in it, while actively putting mushrooms in it. 

But back to the shopping trip. Aside from the snow peas, I managed to find everything I needed eventually. A few of the items took some searching, but they made their way into my cart nonetheless. I even managed to do a pretty good job of sticking to my list for a change. There were a couple extra things I picked up (quinoa because they had larger bags of it right at the front of the store and I know it's an ingredient in a few other recipes from this book, a watermelon because I have children and it's a healthy snack, and some English muffins which this book lists as a healthy snacking option as well). What I found disappointing is that the ingredients for three meals, two side dishes, and a few snacks cost me $100. Granted I didn't do any shopping around to find the best bargain in town because the commissary on base is my only shopping option where I can shop in English, and I would need to do the translations before heading to a grocery store on the economy here in Germany to make sure I was getting what I needed (and I just wasn't up to that today), and it is more expensive to shop over here in general (because of shipping costs on base, and VAT taxes on the economy). Also, some of the ingredients will last for more than just these three meals, I may have even gone overboard with several of the ingredients in an effort to make sure I got enough of them to make the meals in the first place. So some of that cost does fall on my shoulders. Obviously I'm going to have to find a balance between healthy eating and our budget (and I may just have to do some translating and hit up the Lidl that is just up the street from my house, I hear they have really good prices on produce.) 

So that's where I stand for now. I won't be testing out my first recipe until Friday because I have plans tomorrow evening to help out a friend with some last minute pre-PCS errands because they no longer have a car here. So check back Friday night for my first recipe review, and be sure to subscribe to my blog if you have even the slightest bit of interest in keeping up with what I post. - Katie