Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Some of our favorite Asian dishes

Here at the Clouse house, we love Asian inspired meals! Tim could probably eat at an Asian buffet several times a week if it was his choice. While I am not the biggest fan of buffets (not usually very healthy and too many preservatives!), we have incorporated several really yummy Asian meals into our dinner and lunch rotations at home. I try to make them somewhat healthy by adding veggies, making my own sauces and using brown rice or brown rice noodles, or even spaghetti squash! I have also found our that the boys really really like these meals too (especially the ones with peanut butter on the sauce), which is an added bonus!

Asian Peanut Noodles
Original recipe

For the Peanut Sauce:
14.5 oz fat free chicken broth
5 tbsp peanut butter or PB2 (mix with water as directed on packaging)
1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger, - (I don't like a strong ginger taste, so I use minimal ginger in the sauce)
2 cloves garlic, minced
For the Chicken:
16 oz chicken breast, cut into thin strips
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce (more or less to taste)
juice of 1/2 lime
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
Veggies & Noodles:
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
8 oz rice noodles
3/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
1 1/4 cups cup shredded broccoli slaw 
2 tbsp chopped peanuts 
1 lime, sliced
cilantro chopped

For the peanut sauce: Combine and whisk 1 cup chicken broth, peanut butter, sriracha, honey, 2 tbsp soy sauce, ginger, and 2-3 cloves crushed garlic in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until sauce becomes smooth and well blended, about 5-10 minutes. Cook it until it is the desired consistency, I like it a little thicker, but if it gets too thick you can add more broth to thin it out. Set aside.
For Noodles: Boil water for the noodles cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. They may stick together or be sticky, but will loosen up once peanut sauce is added below. 
For Chicken: Season chicken with salt and pepper, sriracha, lime, garlic, ginger and soy sauce; marinate the chicken for a 30 minutes to a few hours prior to cooking. Heat a large skillet or wok until hot. Add seasme oil and sauté chicken on high heat until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.
For Veggies: Add 2 cloves crushed garlic, scallions, carrots, broccoli slaw, chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts and salt, sauté until tender crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. (I turn the heat up kinda high to get a little char on a few of the veggies)

Pull it all together: Toss noodles with peanut sauce and additional chicken broth if needed to loosen the sauce. When chicken is cooked, toss with noodles. Divide noodles and chicken between 6 bowls, top with sauteed vegetables, bean sprouts, chopped peanuts (or you can toss everything together to hide the vegetables so your family members don't push them aside!) and garnish with additional cilantro and peantus.

Veggie/Chicken Fried Rice


  • 1 cup instant brown rice
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil/canola oil
  • Chopped veggies, can include any or all of the following: 
  •      onion, diced
  •      asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1/2 bunch)
  •      red and/or green bell pepper, thinly sliced into 1-inch pieces
  •      celery chopped into small pieces
  •      carrots sliced thinly or grated
  •      4 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos 
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Hot red pepper sauce (sriracha), to taste

    1. Combine rice and broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes. Spread the rice out on a large plate and let stand for 5 minutes. You can also cook the rice the day before or earlier in the day, the recipe turns out better if the rice is a little dry, not soggy

  • 2. While the rice is cooling, coat a large nonstick wok or skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Pour in eggs and cook, stirring gently, until just set, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl.
  • 3. Heat canola oil or sesame oil in the pan over medium-high; add  onions, carrots, celery, asparagus, bell pepper, and cook for a few minutes to start to soften, but not all the way cooked; then add in the scallions, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just tender, about another 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice, soy sauce and vinegar to the pan; cook until the liquid is absorbed, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Fold in the cooked eggs. Remove from the heat; stir in sesame oil and hot sauce. 
**Note - you can add in more protein by cooking some chicken or shrimp and adding in at the end as well.

Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl + Lime Peanut Sance
Original recipeSquash ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise + seeds scooped out
4-5 kale stalks (7-8 if you’re using lacinato), stems removed
1 shallot, peeled (onion can be substituted)
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts of your preference (I used peanuts)
3 tbsp sesame seeds (toasted, raw, etc)
chopped leafy herb if you feel it (cilantro, mint, thai basil etc - I love cilantro in my asian dishes)
1 cup of broccoli slaw (or broccoli florets if you prefer)
grated carrots (optional)
salt + pepper
Lime peanut sauce ingredients:
1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled + rough chopped - you can also substitute the ginger dried spice)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled + rough chopped
1-2 tsp sriracha (or other hot sauce you like)
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp rice vinegar 
2 tsp agave or honey 
1.5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Amino
little scoop of extra virgin coconut oil (optional)
tiny splash of toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup grapeseed oil or canola, whatever on-hand that is light
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the squash halves, cut side down, onto a piece of parchment paper on the sheet. Bake for about an hour or until the flesh pulls away in easy strands. 
While the squash is baking, slice the kale leaves into 1/3 inch-ish ribbons and place in a large bowl. Cut the shallot in half lengthwise, slice the halves into thin half-moons and set aside. Chop up the herbs and toasted nuts as well, set them aside with the shallows. If you're using broccoli, you can steam it, or if using broccoli slaw place the slaw, carrots, kale, herbs, peanuts and shallots into a skillet and stir-fry for several minutes until they are cooked to desired softness - I like mine a little seared and softer. 
For the sauce, place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and bend until fully incorporated. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the spaghetti strands out with a fork into the large bowl. Separate the squash into bowls and top each portion of squash with the veggie mixture, sauce and sesame seeds. Enjoy!!

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