As we move into this heat wave, I am grateful for air conditioning, I know it may seem shallow, but cool air and a good night’s sleep go hand in hand with having great energy for the day. I remember times when I couldn’t afford air conditioning and the sleepless nights made me cranky and unmotivated.
The key things I find that give me energy are; whole plant based foods, water, sleep, exercise and meditation. I find it I am not getting one of those I start to feel tired and somewhat unmotivated and disconnected.
I love to BBQ in the summer and plant based foods BBQ great, my go to faves are Portobello mushrooms, peppers, zucchini and corn. One of the things I love about these foods is the great colours and the fact that I can plan an easy meal around them or just have them on their own. For example; I grilled veggies today at lunch and had them with hummus on a bun, it was a fantastic restaurant quality sandwich. For Tom I threw a burger on the grill and we both were happy. He is a confirmed carnivore and I’m a happy plant person and we can live together in peace if we both respect each other’s choices. I make lots of veggies when I am grilling them as I love left over’s and will find other uses for them.
There is something so spiritual about cooking, the colours, the smells the flavours, and then enjoying it with people you love. Cooking is part of my love language I cook to bring family, friends together in community.
This afternoon while Tom was putting in a new front door (I love a handy man as you save a ton of money), I found another recipe that looked interesting called Thai Peanut Empowered Noodle Bowl. It was easy to make and is delicious. It’s another one from the Oh She Glows cookbook. I love that it is light tasting and will act as a side dish for Tom; I am making him his favourite dish tonight which is shrimp in lemon and garlic, a special meal to thank him for his hard work. If you buy one cook book this year buy the Oh She Glows cookbook it has become my go to cook book.
I know a lot of vegans and vegetarians won’t cook meat for their partners, but I am always of the belief that my choices are mine and if I am going to live with someone who eats meat I must respect them. My way is not better but it’s the best for me. I quit smoking 17 years ago and have never judged someone for smoking. You might think comparing food to smoking a bit extreme but more people die from diseases of affluence (cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease) than die from smoking. In my life I have had major shifts where making a decision to give up something has opened a new path to greater freedom both spiritually and physically, and giving up cigarettes and meat/processed foods were some of my the most powerful decisions I made.
Food is energy so the better the energy in the better the energy out, it’s that simple. Potato salad, laden with mayonnaise may taste good going in, but will leave you feeling heavy and tired.
I didn’t use Soba noodles in this recipe; as I live in an area that doesn’t have health food stores, or the type of grocery stores that carry health or exotic foods. There are 3 grocery stores within a few kilometers of me and all are discount chains. I had some GoGo Quinoa noodles in the cupboard and used them instead so the recipe is gluten free.
Below this recipe I have included the marinade I use for portebllo mushrooms, it’s the best I have tried, I’ve sent it out before but there are always new people joining my mailing list. It too is an Oh She Glows recipe. I love the name of this recipe, eating well really does empower you.
Thai peanut empowered noodle bowl
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
A big bowl of veggies and noodles topped with a tangy Thai Peanut Sauce from The Oh She Glows Cookbook.
For the Thai Peanut Sauce:
- 1 large clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) natural smooth peanut butter or almond butter
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) grated fresh ginger (optional)
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (37 mL) low-sodium tamari
- 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 mL) granulated sugar
For the Salad:
- 4 ounces (115 g) gluten-free soba (buckwheat) noodles
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for the noodles
- 1 (16-ounce/454-g) bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 seedless (English) cucumber, diced
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 4 green onions, chopped, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- Sesame seeds, for serving
Make the Thai Peanut Sauce:
- In a mini or regular food processor, combine the garlic, sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger (if using), lime juice, tamari, sugar (if using), and 2 to 3 tablespoons (30–45 mL) water. Process until combined.
Make the Salad:
- Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package. Be sure not to overcook them—they should only take 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the brand. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and toss them with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (this prevents the noodles from sticking together).
- Add the edamame, bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, green onions, and cilantro to the bowl with the noodles and toss until well combined.
- Pour your desired amount of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. (Any leftover dressing will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
- Portion the salad into 4 bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and some green onions. Serve any leftover dressing on the side.
Grilled Portobello Burgers
2 medium Portobello mushrooms
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons plus plus 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon fine-grain seal salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms by twisting the stem until it pops off. Rub the cap with damp dishcloth to clean. In a large bowl, whisk toughie the vinegar, lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and paper. Add the Portobello caps and toss to coat them in the marinade. Marinate the mushrooms for 30 to 60 minutes, tossing them every 15 minutes (you can also marinade them over night).