Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cupboard Carrot and Rice Noodle Soup

I made this on the day of a snowstorm because I really didn't feel like going grocery shopping. So I looked at what I had and gave it a try!

2 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
1 rib of celery chopped
2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of water
a handful of fresh parsley chopped
half bag of rice noodles
kosher salt and pepper to taste
dash of coriander (optional)
juice of half a lemon
olive oil
clove of garlic peeled
2 slices of sandwich bread

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until softened about 15 minutes. Add broth, water, salt, pepper, and coriander. Bring to a simmer, add rice noodles and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the bread. When toasted and hot, rub the bread with the clove of garlic. Chop into crouton sized pieces.

When noodles are done, remove from heat and stir in the handful of fresh parsley and squeeze in your lemon juice. Top with your toasty garlic croutons.

This made 3 bowls of soup for me, but you can downsize or make more if you need to. Soup is extremely versatile and easy to make.
You could also add chicken if you have some left over. I did that the next day for lunch!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Peanut Noodle Salad

This recipe is inspired by my favorite dish at The Fresh Side in Amherst, MA, which I never seem to get to anymore. I always got it with their amazing bean curd, but since I have no idea how to make that, I used leftover chicken I made in the crock pot yesterday.

This is a good one for using up veggies you bought on a whim, or frozen veg that never seems to get finished. You can use whatever you want, the following is what I had in the house.....

Peanut Noodle Salad is also my first attempt at a gluten free meal. As far as I know, there is no gluten in this dish.

package of vermicelli rice noodles
a head of lettuce, washed and chopped
juice of a lime
a couple glugs of soy sauce to taste (just bought a gluten free variety to be sure)
a big spoonful of peanut butter
roasted red pepper sliced
3 scallions chopped and whites separated from green tops
a large carrot sliced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
a big handful of fresh parsley chopped
a handful of peanuts roughly chopped
a cup of leftover chicken, cut up as desired

Start by cooking the noodles according to package directions. Mine only needed to be boiled for 3 minutes. Save a mug of the noodle water for loosening later.

While the water is coming to a boil, prepare your peanut sauce by adding peanut butter, juice of half the lime, garlic, and soy sauce to a small sauce pan on low heat. Add a little water to thin out the sauce. Once combined and warmed through, you can turn off the heat.

Heat a large pan or wok over medium high heat and add some vegetable oil to cook the whites of scallions and carrots. When they soften after a couple minutes, add roasted red pepper to heat through. Remove from heat and add drained noodles and peanut sauce and mix to combine everything together. You will probably have to add some of your reserved noodle water to get everything combined. The rice noodles tend to be sticky otherwise.

To finish, put a bed of lettuce in a big bowl and top with noodle mixture and the chicken. Garnish with parsley, greens of scallions, and peanuts. Squeeze juice of the other half of lime over the top.



This is a recipe from Rachael Ray that I have been making for years. I have always made it with regular bacon because I was too cheap to buy pancetta, but I finally broke down and bought a chunk of it. It was $10! I would not normally buy food that's so expensive, but I cut it into four chunks and froze three for future use. Totally worth it.

This dish is basically like eating bacon, egg, and cheese with pasta for dinner. It satisfies every craving, I promise. My only advice is to go easy on added salt, because the meat and cheese are already high in salt. In fact, I wouldn't add any, especially if you are using pancetta. Also, I browned the pancetta much longer than two minutes because I like my bacon well done. It was more like 15 minutes on medium heat.

A couple other tips:

*Add the garlic with only a couple minutes to go, because burnt garlic ruins a dish.
*Reserve a mug of pasta cooking liquid to loosen dish if necessary.
*Be prepared to work quickly when putting it together at the end.



  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti or rigatoni

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)

  • 1/4 pound pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • Freshly grated Romano cheese

  • Handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
    1. Put a large saucepot of water on to boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all the pan drippings.
    3. In a separate bowl, beat yolks, then add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup) of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta.
    4. Drain pasta well and add it directly to the skillet with pancetta and oil. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg. Remove pan from heat and add a big handful of cheese, lots of pepper, and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn the pasta until it soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and extra grated Romano.

  • Read more: Rachael Ray Recipes - Carbonara Recipe by Rachel Ray - Good Housekeeping