Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Peanut-Coconut Rice Noodles with Edamame and Green Veggies

Hey everybody! I'm a vegetarian now! Well... not forever; the two week vegetarian challenge started yesterday. Isaac, Isabel, Annika and I are participating, and the rest of the team members are going to share recipes with us here and there. For the next two weeks, you'll be seeing vegetarian recipes and updates from everyone participating in the challenge. We've all been filling out meal logs every day to track our protein intake, progress and feelings, and we'll be sharing a few of those meal logs with you so you have a sense for how we're doing.

Today's recipe is an Asian-inspired rice noodle dish. I have wanted rice noodles with peanut sauce for such a long time, but unfortunately, my mom is pretty sensitive to peanuts, so I didn't have the chance to make it until yesterday. This dish actually has a decent amount of protein per serving (I estimate about 13g, but that wasn't too carefully calculated). That's not as much as 4 oz of meat, but if you eat other sources of protein during the day, you can get the amount you need. 46g for women and 56g for men are the recommended amounts of protein that you need each day. If you added tofu to this, the amount of protein would drastically increase. Enjoy this recipe!

Peanut-Coconut Rice Noodles with Edamame and Green Veggies
Serves 4 

1 (14 oz) pack of 5mm dry rice noodles 
1 pack of frozen edamame beans (with shells) 
1 tbsp sesame oil 
3 or 4 green onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
The zest of 1 lime 
1 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos (substitute soy sauce, hot sauce, or any other favorite Asian condiments) 
2 cups snap peas
3 cups pre-washed baby spinach  
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges 
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped 
Salt and pepper, to taste 

For peanut sauce: 
3/4 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter
4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce 
1 tsp Braggs liquid aminos (optional) 
1 tsp sesame oil 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
3/4 cup - 1 cup lowfat coconut milk (from a can - not a dairy milk substitute!) 

1. Put the noodles in a large bowl. Try to not to snap them in half if you can. Boil about 4 - 6 cups of water and pour the water over the noodles. Stir every 2 minutes or so to ensure that the noodles don't stick to each other. Soak for about 10 - 15 minutes, testing the noodles frequently until they are tender and cooked through. Be careful about the noodles - if they sit for too long, they'll get mushy. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

2. While the noodles are soaking, combine all the peanut sauce ingredients. Use a whisk to ensure a smooth texture. The consistency should be very thin - not quite watery, but still very thin. Add more coconut milk or water if you want it thinner. If the sauce seems thinner than what you prefer, go with it! It will thicken when you stir it into the veggies later, and once it thickens, its consistency is perfect. 

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the frozen edamame. Wait for reboil and boil for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Pop the edamame out of their shells by pushing down the bean. Discard the shells and set the beans aside. 

4. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or 13-inch diameter non-stick pan. Any type of pan will do as long as its walls are fairly tall. Add the green onions, garlic, lime zest, and liquid aminos. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the snap peas and edamame, sauteing for about 3 minutes. Add the peanut sauce, spinach, salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes, until the spinach is slightly wilted. Note: you probably won't need much salt because the sauce has soy sauce in it. Give it a taste and determine whether you need any salt at all. 

5. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the noodles and stir until completely coated in sauce and veggies. Serve in individual bowls. Top each serving with peanuts and cilantro, along with a lime wedge on the side so each person can squirt lime juice on their noodles. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed that recipe! Please share your recreations with me using #teenscancooktoo, and share all other vegetarian recipes that you love with me on Instagram and Twitter too! 

As I said before, the team has been updating each other with meal logs. I won't be sharing them all, but I'll be sharing the ones that are most interesting. Some will also be shared on Instagram and Facebook, so make sure you're staying up to date! This week, I'm sharing Isaac's meal log from day 1. Isaac has a really good idea of how to keep his meals balanced and healthy, and he has been most successful with getting enough protein. His dad has also experimented with lots of ways to eat (vegetarian, vegan, and more!), so he has a lot of knowledge about how a person makes a lifestyle change like this. Enjoy what he had to say!

Day 1:
Breakfast: Cheerios/oats with chocolate hemp milk
Lunch: Qdoba (Rice, beans, chips, salsa)
Dinner: Beans/Lentils with salad dressing, grilled zucchini and asparagus, quinoa
Snacks: Apple, banana, orange juice, vegan protein powder after waking up and before bed
Estimated Protein: 85g
Did you get enough fruits and vegetables today? yep!
What were some challenges you faced today? Trying to get enough protein in comparison to usual diet is difficult, I will need to take advantage of nuts, and maintain protein shake regiment.
Do you feel physically different? More tired, more energized, etc.? Nothing so far, a little hungry.
What is something that has been going really well for you? support from my family, Dad in specific because he is vegetarian/vegan, I don’t really miss eating meat so far
How can you make tomorrow better? We made a big batch of quinoa and beans/lentils tonight so I could use them as snacks for the rest of the week, which is good because they are high protein, and good substantial carbs.

Other Comments: My dad says the first “changes” happen within the first 3 days with a new diet, mentally and physically, which I have noticed when he has dabbled with new diets can drastically affect someone's mood/energy etc… I'm interested to see how or if I develop similar symptoms, especially during finals week, yay, we will certainly see.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to follow us at all the social media sites below: 

Stay healthy!
- Madeline, Isaac, Annika and Isabel

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