Monday, January 28, 2013

Spicy Thai-Inspired Man-Noodles

Spicy Thai-Inspired Man-Noodles

Sometimes I cook in a kitchen other than my own...with only the ingredients I have on hand...with scant equipment. This recipe originated in one such kitchen owned by 4 men thus the playful name Spicy Thai-Inspired  Man-Noodles. No men were harmed in the making of this dish.

Be forewarned, in traditional man-kitchen style, I did not measure anything for this recipe. Everything is an estimate and all ingredients are based on things I had on hand. Feel free to take liberty with this dish. This is how I cook 90% of the time.

Spicy Thai-Inspired Man-Noodles 

1 package whole wheat linguini noodles
1 large handful of snow peas
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of green onions/scallions
1/2C Peanut butter
1/2C Water
6T Hot Sauce
1t Soy Sauce
1T oil

Boil noodles according instructions on package.

Dice the bunch of green onions, and cop the cilantro. I added about this much cilantro which was slightly less than a bunch.
 In a saucepan, add 1T oil, snow peas, and green onions. Saute over high heat for about 5 minutes until the snow peas are tender crisp.

Why a sauce pan? It's what I had on hand. You can be all un-man-like and use a skillet if you prefer.
 Since I only had 2 pots, I scooped the snow pea and onion mixture into a bowl and re-used the same pot to make the sauce.

Next, the sauce: Add approximately 1/2C peanut butter, 1t soy sauce, and 1/2C water to saucepan over medium heat. Next, I added about 6T of hot sauce. This is the part where you should add hot sauce to taste. Stir until your sauce begins to bubble and looks about like this:
Mmmmm. Sauce.
 Add veggies and sauce to noodles, stir, top with cilantro and chow down!

What brands did I use?
Kroger creamy peanut butter, Frank's RedHot Wings Sauce, and a packet of soy sauce swiped from the grocery store sushi counter.

Why didn't I measure anything? 
This was the one and only measuring device in the man-kitchen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Meatless Mon...erm...Tuesday

It's Tuesday. I completely missed Meatless Monday. Last week turned out to be such an all consuming disaster of a week that I didn't have time to compose yesterday's post let alone write a recipe, cook, and photograph something delicious. I'm going to post food pR0n instead so haters will be forced to hate.

Susan V is pretty much my hero. Not only is she an excellent photographer, but everything on her blog is absolutely flavorful and nutritious. This "chicken" salad being no exception. I highly recommend her blog to veg*ns and omnis alike. There really is something for everyone.

Meanwhile in the Radical Cabbage kitchen, the busted faucet o' doom has been replaced by this resplendent masterpiece which perfectly matches the light fixture, door hardware, and shelf brackets already in place in my kitchen.

 Here's an un-edited picture of the fabulous replacement faucet for your viewing pleasure:
Nice faucet, huh?
Did I think to photograph the light fixture, door hardware, and shelf  brackets? 'Course not.Oh well.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If Indoor Plumbing Doesn't Make You Happy: The Sink Saga

So...I said I would update more regularly this year...Yeah, about that...

My kitchen looks like this:
Note the epic levels of counter top clutter
The faucet broke. One minute we were rinsing off dishes and the next we were being showered with blast of freezing water spurting out of the side of the sink. After a quick look, it was decided that I needed a new faucet. Cool. I've never liked that faucet, but it came with the house and, being frugal, I haven't invested in a replacement.

Exhibit A: Big ol' hole in the side of the faucet that hosed down everything within a 3' radius of the sink:

Faucets are easy to replace, so I picked up a faucet on lunch hour figuring I'd spend something like 30 minutes digging everything out from under the cabinet and replacing the offending faucet.

Exhibit B: New faucet. It will look better when it's installed. Promise.

Meanwhile, the faucet started to leak slowly, this time without being turned on, soaking everything in the cabinet below and puddling in the basement. Yay. (That's sarcasm, btw.)

I've owned a home for years. I'm a weekend warrior. I literally fix things all the time. I am also cursed in all things related to plumbing. The faucet replacement project turned into 2hrs of lying on my back with the top half of my torso awkwardly crammed into one side of the cabinet, trying in vain to loosen the nuts holding the faucet to the sink with a pile of wet slimy wrenches at my side while water dripped from the supply line and onto my face.

The valve that *should* shut off the cold water broke. (I'm cursed, I say.) Angry, drenched, and spewing profanity,  I called a friend to help me seal off the pipe avoid further water damage to the cabinet, floor, and basement. He temporarily patched the leaking valve with water proof tape.

Everything looks so clean and dry in this photo. In reality, it was the home repair equivalent of spiders: dark, wet, cold, and fairly disgusting.
Meanwhile, the cats supervised from the dining room.

Right to left: Giant Storm Kitty and Yeowy

Moral of the story: If indoor plumbing doesn't make you happy, what can?  (Also: It's hard to cook without a functional sink.)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Yummy Yogurt Ranch Dip

Kids love ranch dressing. That might be the under statement of the century because I've met kids who like to have a few vegetables with their ranch dressing.  Recently I was tasked with throwing a child's birthday party and, being the veg*n health conscious type, vegetables had to be included amongst the orange colored munchies and decadent vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. After watching numerous Youtube videos on baking and frosting cakes, and consulting The Joy of Vegan Baking, I felt slightly more confident in my cake baking abilities and made this cake at the request of my favorite 8yr old. It had been about 10yrs since I last baked a cake, so I'm unnaturally proud of the unimpressive looking cake pictured below.

Then, I moved on to making Yummy Yogurt Ranch Dip featuring fat free Greek yogurt and natural ingredients. My dear sweet friend Hanna asked me to post this recipe about a year ago but then 2012 happened and the recipe didn't get posted. After I set the table for the party I had an "aha" moment: I could snap a picture of the yogurt dip and post the recipe! Much to my surprise, the veggies with yogurt ranch disappeared faster than the orange munchies.

Yummy Yogurt Ranch Dip

6oz Greek Yogurt (I used a fat free store brand single serving container)
1tsp diced dried onion
1tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp salt (or salt to taste if you're cutting back on salt)

Add spices to Greek yogurt and mix well. Store in an airtight container in the fridge over night, or for at least 1hr if you're making it on the spot,  so flavors can mingle.

Serve with bite size veggies for dipping (I recommend grape tomatoes), spread on crackers, or use as a dipping sauce for falafels.

Mmm! Tasty. And so much more nutritious than your average store-bought ranch dressing too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Starting 2013 with a bang...and a potluck or two

Back in the day (which was about 2 years ago) I met some cool vegetarians at a Vegan and Veg Curious Meetup hosted on The leader of the group stepped down and that Meetup group has since been removed. Thankfully, I woke up this morning thinking that I should create another meetup group for Roanoke area vegetarians. :-)

If you're in the Roanoke, VA area you can join here: 

Roanoke Vegetarians Meetup Group 

Happy 2013 everyone!

<3 Courtney