This week, I tried two new recipes, both came with recommendations. For the first one, a friend introduced me to the New York Times’ cooking website and I was instantly obsessed. There are thousands upon thousands of recipes on the site and I was drawn to the “Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles” for a couple of reasons. The first and foremost, I love noodles. Second, the recipe was versatile – simple enough that I had most ingredients in my pantry and I could add my own twist to dish as per the comments section. There is a very engaged readership and most comments are helpful or bring some insight into what makes the dish. For my version, I added a lot of vegetables, tofu and did my own version of the sesame sauce. It added a lot more colour and texture to the dish.
For my second recipe, a co-worker had stuffed portabello mushrooms with spinach and feta for lunch last week and it looked very delicious that I had to try it for myself. The recipe had it paired with a lemon rice, which I opted out with and went with roasted vegetables instead, since I had leftovers from last week. I also omitted some ingredients such as the golden raisins and slivered almonds, since I didn’t have either.
Also, due to some health concerns, I’ve been trying to cut back on eating a lot of red meat so I’ve gone with making the noodles vegetarian. I may add from shrimp or salmon to it but will add that later on in the week.
Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles (recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking)
- 400g pre-cooked Miki Noodles (Chinese egg noodles)
- 1 package firm tofu, diced
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 1/2 mini cucumbers, seeded and sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 small head of broccoli
- 1 red pepper
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 stalks green onion, sliced
- 1 handful cilantro, sliced (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil, plus a splash
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
- 2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 5 red Thai chilis, finely sliced
- Wash and chop up all vegetables.
- Put some canola oil into a frying pan and add onions. Cook until translucent, add garlic, carrot, broccoli and red pepper. Sauté until vegetables have softened but still firm.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and follow cooking instructions (mine only needed to be in for 30-40 seconds because it was already pre-cooked). Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and toss with a splash of sesame oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons sesame oil, the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame paste, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, garlic and Thai chilis. Set aside.
- Drain the water from the tofu container and dice into cubes. Pat dry with paper towel.
- In a second frying pan, heat up some canola oil and place diced tofu into the pan. Do not over crowd the pan – do multiple batches if need be. Turn and fry all sides and drain excess oil on paper towel.
- Once all the noodles, vegetables and tofu are prepared, assemble the ingredient all together and toss with dressing.
Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms (adapted from Canadian Living)
- 4 portobello mushrooms, trimmed
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 package frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tablespoon shreddded old cheddar cheese
- Arrange mushrooms, stem side up, on lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 450 F (230 C) oven until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, tip mushrooms to discard any liquid; pat dry with paper towels.
- In a frying pan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion and garlic until garlic is fragrant, 1 minute. Add spinach; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. When no liquid remains, remove from heat. Stir in feta cheese. Spoon into mushrooms. Sprinkle with old cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese is melted.
If you have any favourite vegetarian recipes, post them below because I’d love to try them out! Happy cooking 🙂