Randy and I developed a love for Vietnamese noodle bowls (rice vermicelli) back when Don Phuang was open on Henderson. When they closed, we started shopping at Dobond Asian market on South Dale Marbry Hwy and learned to make them. They are cheap, easy, and versatile (use shrimp, chicken, or pork), but the best part is they are very low cal. Now that we're in West Monroe, LA we haven't had to give up a thing! We have an Asian market called Bao Bao that has everything we need for noodle bowls, spring rolls, sushi, Pho and more. Other than sodium issues in some of the sauces and soup bases, it's a very healthy cuisine and it's helping me lose weight. I thought I'd include the recipe in this post in case anyone is feeling like a light, fresh change of pace.
Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (Serves 4)
Rice vermicelli (you can use rice sticks) - you want about 1/2 cup per bowl
1 cucumber cut into matchsticks
1 carrot shredded
1/2 cup of diakon radish (if you can find it)
1 to 2 cups of salad greens - any kind that you like
a few sprigs of Thai basil, mint, and cilantro
1 lb of boneless chicken breasts or thighs, pork loin, or shrimp
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
sweet rice wine vinegar, Siracha (Asian chili sauce), hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce for toppings
1. Boil water for noodles and put diakon radish matchsticks and diced carrots in rice wine vinegar to marinate.
2. Prepared meat using your favorite method and brush on hoison sauce the last few minutes as you would BBQ sauce. I bake boneless chicken for 20 - 30 minutes, cook a small pork loin for approx. 30 minutes, or saute shrimp with a tsp or two of canola oil.
3. Boil vermicelli for 4 - 6 minutes, then rinse thoroughly - it's very starchy!
4. Place rice noodles in bowls. Top with salad greens, drained carrots and daikon, cukes, and herbs. Place 1/4 of the meat atop each bowl and sprinkle peanuts on top.
5. Garnish with sauces as you desire. Randy prefers heavy Siracha and hoison. I prefer hoison and sweet chili sauce. Some of our kids eat it with peanuts, others don't. Pour approx. 1/4 cup of sweet rice wine vinegar over all to mix and mingle the flavors.
I'm no cookbook writer so you'll have to play with the measurements and ingredients. We can't get daikon up here all the time, so we skip it a lot. We couldn't find Thai basil in the store so we grow it now. You get the idea. Play and make it your own.
For a fun twist, take the same ingredients (on a much smaller scale) and wrap them up in spring roll wrappers. You just dip the wrappers into warm water to soften then wrap everything up like an eggroll. They aren't friend. You just each them as they are dipped in peanut sauce and Siracha. Delicious and very healthy!!
Stats for Today:
Still at 184. Must say, I haven't walked or gotten in the pool for a week, but I haven't been pigging out either. My sister is visiting and she brought her walking shoes, so we're going to walk together while she's here for the next week. I think that'll help budge the scale. We'll be walking all over Natchez on Sunday and Monday, too, so we'll get some exercise, but we'll also eat some local meals so I'm thinking I won't see weight loss. Ha!
I'm still thinking about that protein powder. I was going to do it to push me on, but my sister reminded me that once I go off the expensive powder, I'll go back to being hungrier at dinner again, so I'm better off doing it slowly and learning new habits. Good advice.