Shirataki Noodle Stir Fry with Over Easy Egg

Dinner last night was easy, fast, cheap and delicious. My favorite kind of meal! This dish is extremely versatile and only requires one key ingredient – Shirataki noodles! Never heard of them? Me either, until I started following the Trim Healthy Mama Plan a few years ago.

Shirataki noodles are pretty much miracle noodles!

  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free
  • Grain free
  • Zero carbs
  • Zero fat
  • Zero everything

Sounds to good to be true. Shirataki noodles (also known as Konjac/Yam/Glucomannan noodles) are traditional Japanese noodles made primarily from glucumannan, which is a water soluble fiber. Water soluble fiber =  I know what you’re thinking – zero everything means zero flavor too, right? That is true, but it also means they will take on any flavor you choose to give them!

I see a lot of recipes that recommend using Shirataki noodles in Italian style dishes. I prefer to use them primarily in Asian style dishes, since that’s where they originated. So, dinner last night was an Asian noodle stir fry with an over-easy egg on top! I didn’t have any meat in the fridge and I had very few vegetables – so I improvised! Zucchini, onion, dried seaweed, Shirataki noodles, a few sauces, and an egg. Together – a very cheap and satisfying meal.

The key to enjoying these noodles depends on how you cook them.

  1. Rinse
  2. Boil
  3. Dry roast

These three steps are important. When you open a package of Shirataki noodles, they have a strong fishy smell. This smell will disappear in the rinsing/boiling process.

Nearly any kind of meat or vegetable can be added to this dish. Be creative! Just cut everything small and consider cooking the meat separately and adding it at the end. I think a fried egg is a nice addition (and it was my only protein), but you can choose to use a different protein source instead.

As written – this recipe is an S if you are following the THM plan.

*Shameless advertisement warning* I used my boyfriend’s Chili Garlic Lime Hot Sauce for this recipe!

Here’s my recipe for Asian noodle stir fry – Enjoy!konjacnoodleswithfriedegg

Shirataki Noodle Stir Fry with Over Easy Egg

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15-20 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients

  • 1(70z) package Shirataki Noodles
  • 1 medium zucchini – diced small
  • 1/2 onion – diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger – minced
  • Braggs Aminos or soy sauce
  • butter or coconut oil for frying
  • toasted sesame oil
  • Asian style hot sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (optional) 1 Tbsp dried seaweed – soaked

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
  2. Rinse Shirataki noodles in a colander under cold water for at least 1 full minute.
  3. Add noodles to boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. While noodles are boiling, preheat a nonstick frying pan over medium high heat (do not add any oil or fat).
  5. Drain noodles well and add to frying pan. Dry roast for several minutes  until noodles are visibly dry and “squeak” when  stirred.
  6. Move noodles aside so there is space in the middle of the pan. Add a few tablespoons of butter or coconut oil to the center of the pan.
  7. Add diced onions and ginger and saute for a few minutes, until the color starts to change.
  8. Add a few more teaspoons of oil if needed and add the diced zucchini. Continue to saute and then stir to combine all ingredients.
  9. Add several splashes of Braggs Aminos and hot sauce and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  10. Drain seaweed and add to pan. Stir to combine and remove pan from heat.

To fry an over easy egg:

  1. Preheat a small frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add a small amount of butter or coconut oil and melt.
  3. Crack an egg gently into the pan and cook until the egg whites are opaque and the egg moves freely in the pan.
  4. Carefully flip the egg over and remove from the heat.

Serve stir fry with a drizzle of sesame oil and a few extra drops of hot sauce. Top with the fried egg. Enjoy!

 

Taste The World – Afghanistan

Here begins the grand adventure we have undertaken. Cook a meal from every country in the world. I know this isn’t a new idea, but we are very excited! Let me introduce a special guy…my boyfriend Dan! He is the owner of Black Market Hot Sauce Company as well as a top-notch cook at a cool little local restaurant. We obviously both love food. We’re also both pretty bad at geography. The solution? Cook a meal from every country and learn a little about each country, and hopefully it’s location, in the process! (Don’t tell anyone but, we’re mostly just excited about the whole trying-new-food thing.)

I feel the need to apologize here for the photo quality. Hopefully it will slowly start improving. I learned today that my man has a knack for getting a decent picture in horrible lighting!

Why start with Afghanistan? Uh…’cause we’re so creative that we decided to start alphabetically. Next up – Albania.

The food we made today was amazing! Afghanistan was the perfect country to start with (how convenient). Even after researching recipes, I didn’t really have a good idea of the unique flavors and dishes contained in Afghan cuisine. I know the two dishes we made did not even begin to scratch the surface.

20160105_152331Dumplings, mint, meaty tomato sauce, yogurt, cilantro, sour dried plums, turmeric, spiced chicken, onions, ginger, garlic. On and on. So many flavors contained in two dishes; and everything tasted fantastic together!

It was a little challenging to find good recipes for Afghan dishes. Some were impossible to follow, some were overly vague, others sounded like they could have originated from any middle eastern or Asian country. In the end we decided to take several recipes for one dish and combine them. I’m hoping we didn’t step on any toes in the process. Regardless, the final dish was delicious!

We made chicken korma and mantu (dumplings) as well as attempted to make naan. I say attempted to make naan because ours turned out less like a soft flat bread and more like a crusty round loaf.

Word to the wise – if you decide to make these recipes, you will be dicing a lot of onions.20160105_152635The combination of yogurt, spices, lime juice, plums, and ginger in the korma was unexpected and completely different from any other curry dish I’ve had before. It was slightly spicy as well as tangy, savory, and sweet. This dish was great with our naan bread and it would have been perfect served with a rice dish. You can find our recipe for chicken korma at the bottom of the post.IMG_20160105_185320695The mantu were surprising simple and well worth the extra time it took to put them together. The filling was simply onions and spiced meat. They were served with a meaty tomato sauce and a garlicky yogurt sauce and garnished with mint. The flavor combination of mint, yogurt, tomato and onions was my favorite part of the whole meal! Mantu are generally made for special occasions in Afghanistan because of the extra time they require. We followed this recipe from Lucky Peach. We used a combination rice cooker/slow cooker to steam our dumplings but other cooking methods (including boiling) would work just fine.IMG_20160105_185305570No Afghan meal would be complete without tea. I’m sure I made it incorrectly but I made a simple chai tea with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and green tea. It was very light and aromatic. All in all, our first meal in this experiment was a huge success!

Chicken Korma

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Ingredients

  • 10 dried sour plums
  • 1 whole chicken or 3-4 chicken leg quarters, cut into smaller pieces
  • 2-3 T oil or fat, for frying
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1-2 T fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 T fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs mint, chopped
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 Anaheim chilies, thinly sliced
  • 3-5 red jalapenos, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Soak dried plums in water for about 1 hour.
  2. Heat oil to medium high in a deep frying pan or stock pot.
  3. Brown chicken pieces in hot oil.
  4. Remove chicken when browned and add onions, garlic and ginger.
  5. Saute onion mixture for a few minutes until the color starts to change.
  6. Drain plums and add all remaining ingredients to frying pan, stir to combine.
  7. Return chicken to pan. If needed, add enough water or cream to prevent burning.
  8. Cook on low heat for about an hour or until chicken comes off the bone easily.
  9. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Serve family style with a garnish of cilantro and lime wedges.

 

I would love to hear from anyone with experience in Afghan cooking and food!

2016 Reading Challenge

This is my 2016 Reading Challenge. I’d love for you to join me this year as I work on reading a book from each category! Feel free to follow my rules or come up with your own. My personal rules for this challenge are simple. 1) I have to already own or borrow each book I read. 2) I can’t use one book to complete multiple categories. 3) I can’t cheat and make SciFi/fantasy books fit every category. *I’ll be updating this post regularly with the books I’ve read, so check back!

Salt For Flavor 2016 Reading Challenge

Read a book that was published the year you were born

Read a book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with

Read a book that has been translated from another language into English

Read a book about a culture you are unfamiliar with

Read a book you should have read in high school

Read a book recommended by a family member

Read a book that intimidates you

Read a book set in your home state

Read a book of short stories

Read a book recommended by your significant other or best friend

Read a book from a best sellers list

Read a book that is at least 100 years older than you

Read a book published this year

Read a memoir

Read a food science book

Read a play

Read a book that you started but never finished

Read a book recommended by someone you just met

Read a book that you already love

Read a trilogy

(The Darwath Trilogy by Barbara Hambly)

Read an autobiography

Read a book about ancient history

Read a book from the Harvard Classics

Read a book that has been turned into a movie

Challenge Yourself In 2016

2015 was a year of many changes and bumps in the road. I am very thankful for my family this new year. A family that has grown closer and closer as we lean on each other through trouble and heartache as well as joy and laughter. It will be interesting to see what 2016 brings our way. As my mom says, “It’s going to be a good year!”

This year I want to challenge myself in a different way. It’s time to set some goals and have some fun. I might be getting overly ambitious here but, along with some personal goals, I am joining the Reddit 52 Week Cooking Challenge, creating my own reading challenge, and starting to cook my way around the world! (Monday is Afghanistan.)

Today I completed Week 1 of the 52 Week Cooking Challenge by making Lentil Sweet Potato Soup for lunch. I also put together my own reading challenge book list. My personal rules for this challenge are simple. 1) I have to already own or borrow each book I read. 2) I can’t use one book to complete multiple categories. 3) I can’t cheat and make SciFi/fantasy books fit every category. I’d love for you to join me this year as I work on reading a book from each category! Feel free to follow my rules or come up with your own.

Salt For Flavor 2016 Reading Challenge

Read a book that was published the year you were born

Read a book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with

Read a book that has been translated from another language into English

Read a book about a culture you are unfamiliar with

Read a book you should have read in high school

Read a book recommended by a family member

Read a book that intimidates you

Read a book set in your home state

Read a book of short stories

Read a book recommended by your significant other or best friend

Read a book from a best sellers list

Read a book that is at least 100 years older than you

Read a book published this year

Read a memoir

Read a food science book

Read a play

Read a book that you started but never finished

Read a book recommended by someone you just met

Read a book that you already love

Read a trilogy

Read an autobiography

Read a book about ancient history

Read a book from the Harvard Classics

Read a book that has been turned into a movie

*I’ve posted this list separately and will be updating it regularly with the books that I read.

I’m excited to expand my literary and culinary horizons with these challenges. I’m also hoping to post as many of the recipes as I can (pictures may not be included), so check back in!

There are many more great reading challenges available online. Here are three I especially like:

Tim Challies 2016 Reading Challenge

Read more women and writers of color

BBC Book List Challenge

 

What are you doing this year to challenge yourself?

To Help Or Not To Help

There is some controversy over whether or not we should give handouts to homeless people. Scammers ARE out there. My boss used to watch people park up the road and then walk down to the corner to stand holding a sign day after day, almost like a regular 9-5 job. Supposedly you can average at or above minimum wage if you’re willing to hold a cardboard sign and look sufficiently destitute. I once had a woman ask me for help to feed her hungry grandchildren and then refuse to let me buy her whatever groceries they might want. She only wanted money.

I am unwilling to let the fear of giving to a hustler deter me from trying to help someone who is actually in need.

There are many legitimate reasons for someone to be homeless. It’s easy enough to look at a seemingly healthy adult and think, “Why doesn’t that guy just go get a job? Flip some burgers. Do SOMETHING besides beg on the corner”. We don’t know everything they may be dealing with. It’s not up to me to judge. It’s up to me to treat everyone like the human being that they are. If all I can do is smile at someone as I walk by them on the street and make eye contact instead of looking away then I need to DO that! I’m being very hypocritical as I write this. I don’t always smile. I don’t always make eye contact. I’m really good at pretending to be busy on my phone. But I want to change that! I know that it can be necessary at times to “play dead” in order to avoid a potentially dangerous situation, but 95% of the time that isn’t the case. Everyone just wants to be noticed, to be treated like a normal person, to be seen as an individual instead of one of many, to be treated with respect. Think about it. We all know the difference. Imagine a time when you went out to eat or through the coffee shop drive-through and the person who served you acted like they actually saw YOU instead of just another customer. Try it sometime. Pick a stranger, smile, and say hi like you mean it.

As a rule, I won’t give strangers money. There have been a few rare occasions where I’ve given someone the spare change at the bottom of my purse. Normally I say I don’t have any cash. I figure at least that way I can avoid contributing to someone’s drug habit.

I will offer someone food if they approach me and ask for help. That’s really the least we can do, right?? Feed the hungry. I mean…who wouldn’t give someone else food if they were asked and were able to. It’s kind of the basis of humanity, isn’t it? It’s definitely the basis of the Christian “Do unto others” mantra. And then there’s this. Matthew 25:35  “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…”

Why stop with food? Why not do more to help? While it isn’t always a wise idea to just hand a stranger money, you CAN give money to organizations that work to help the homeless. Don’t want to give money? Give time! Years ago I volunteered once a week at our local homeless shelter. Let me tell you, that experience changed my life. There is nothing quite like dishing up food for a long line of people who have NOTHING to put your own problems in perspective.

I saw a video today that brought tears to my eyes and made me incredibly happy at the same time. These ladies volunteered their time and talent to give homeless men, women, and children a little bit of dignity. So awesome!

I want to encourage you to consider the ways that you could help the homeless in your area. You might be surprised at how much you gain from giving to those who are truly, desperately in need. At the very least, make eye contact and smile the next time you are tempted to look away.

Eden: a sex slave’s story

Investik8

Image

Wearing just their underwear, the girls line up with their backs to the wall, arms by their side, heads down, frozen to the spot. They dare not move.

Their captors walk up and down the line – picking them seemingly at random and tapping them on the shoulder – ‘You, you, you and you… come with me’.

In the back of a warehouse truck, they are driven for miles across the scorching Nevada desert until they reach a hotel. There, they are forced to have sex with up to 25 men one after the other.

This was life for Korean-born American Chong Kim who, at 19 years old, was sold as a domestic sex slave in 1994 to Russian gangsters and held captive for more than two years.

“The clients never came to the warehouse,” she recalled “That was just where we slept. There was nothing there but bed mats…

View original post 1,754 more words

Slavery in Today’s World

It’s here, it’s real, and it will only get worse if we don’t start fighting!

Human Trafficking

I had several interesting conversations today about this horror that plagues our world…our nation…even our own neighborhoods.

It even showed up in a TV episode that I was watching while trying to write this post.

Human trafficking is everywhere and we can NOT ignore it any longer! It’s not just something that happens in other countries, or in big cities. People are pressed into slavery in, and trafficked through, the most innocent looking places.

“”Because of Interstate 5 going through [Whatcom] county between Vancouver B.C. and then Seattle and Portland, we are a corridor for trafficking that we don’t necessarily see or hear about, but it’s traveling right through us,” Sue Ann Heutink””

WWFSlide3New

“Every year, over 100,000 American children are trafficked for sex: stalked by pimps in their schools and neighborhoods,brutally exploited in a $9.8 billion a year industry. Children. Their average age is 13. They are lured away with promises, and coerced with threats. They are starved, drugged, imprisoned, beaten, tortured, gang raped. They are sold—filmed and photographed; rented by the hour for sex; sometimes killed. And it’s happening in the Pacific Northwest.” (Read more here.)

What is human trafficking?

WWFSlide1New

From the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website: “Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

WWFSlide2New

How is it possible that this is happening right under our noses? How can we be so blind to the plight of those around us?

What can we do to put an end to human trafficking? We need to spread the word and tell people the facts.

Educate yourself. Do a search. Read the data. Learn what you can and share the information you find!

Here are a couple of great documentaries that I highly recommend watching.

Nefarious: Merchant of Souls

Volviendo

Get involved. Find out what others are doing in your area. I’m running a 5K in May to raise money and awareness in the fight to end this injustice.

There are organizations and groups out there that need our help.We all have to fight before any kind of major change will take place.

Here are a few links to help you get started in your search:

Abolition International

Shared Hope International

Washington Engage

Let’s stop being naive and take a real look at what we can do to put an end to human trafficking. It’s up to us.

(Pictured statistics taken from Abolition International)