Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Noodle Toss (A Spirited #RecipeRedux)

Since my mom is the sole cook for the majority of the family (I'm the exception, since my own meals necessarily have to be separate), she's occasionally hard pressed to think of ways to jazz up the nighttime meal for her palate while catering to the whims of my picky selective stepfamily. Even though she's retired, she's often pressed for time too - not only does she volunteer during the school year (with spot fill-ins during the Summer), but she golfs, gardens, takes care of the dog and sees to the individual needs and wants of my sister and I. My stepfamily works during the week, sometimes with late hours or unpredictable schedules, which can mean we're 4 for dinner or 2, unless my soon-to-be stepsister-in-law or grandma (or both) is over.

One of the "happy mediums" the family has managed to achieve regarding dinner routine is the stir-fry. Obviously, it's a quick method, but it's also incredibly versatile and over the Summer months is a fabulous use for the squash, carrots, onions, beans, peas and tomatoes growing in the garden. Thanks to the incredibly kind gifts that the folks at San-J sent to me last Christmas as well as a few months ago, we've been spoiled for choice flavour wise. My personal favourites are the Mongolian and Sweet & Tangy varieties, while my mom favours the spicy Thai Peanut and Szechuan sauces, especially when mixed up with a pinch of brown sugar or a dash of honey. One rare night I was given the task of helping create dinner for the family and soon took over, combining sweet, spicy and savoury in a veggie-laden, gluten free medley of fresh produce, brown rice vermicelli and crumbled "soy burger" (don't tell the stepfamily!). For kicks, I punched up the saute with Szechuan peppercorns, Chinese five spice, ginger and garlic - you can't go wrong with that combo! The merest splash of sherry helped deglaze the pan along the way, making sure all the decadent flavour stayed with the noodles and veggies and not sent to the sink.

Sweet and Spicy Noodle Bowl

This month's #RecipeRedux is featuring spirits of all kinds - be they liquor, wine, beer or extracts. Be sure to check out the rest of the gang's offerings and say hi! We'll bring the booze!

Sweet and Spicy Noodle Toss
Serves 6
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
4 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1 head Egyptian onion bulbs, minced (you can use 2 large scallions)
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 bag (approx 400g / 14 oz) gluten free, vegan burger crumbles (I used Gardein)
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
¼ tsp cayenne
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp dry sherry
2 carrots, julienned (I used a julienne peeler for “noodle” strips)
100g (3.5 oz) dried brown rice vermicelli, soaked in hot water and drained
¼ cup tamari
¼ cup Mongolian Sauce
1 tbsp Szechuan Sauce
  1. Heat sesame oil in a deep pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring, until softened.
  3. Stir in celery and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add Egyptian onion, garlic, ginger, burger crumbles, Szechuan peppercorns, cayenne, and five spice. Cook 2 minutes, stirring to coat everything with the spices.
  5. Add sherry and stir well, then add carrots, noodles, tamari and sauces.
  6. Toss to combine thoroughly and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 243.1
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1,334.1 mg
Total Carbs: 33.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.1 g
Protein: 18.1 g