Misoba Salad

I love creating my own salads and right now with the holidays right around the corner, salads for lunch are a must, especially with all the sweet treats and delicious food that will be going around.  I’ve been able to shed and keep off all but 5 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.  YAY me!  I need to work out to shed the other pounds but it’s been a bit hectic at work and home these past few weeks so I haven’t been able to go to the gym.  AHEMEXCUSESAHEM.  HA!  And while they are excuses, I’m not in a complete rush to bounce back to the gym.  While I cringe at my clothes may fit a bit snugger than usual, they fit again (not at the places I’d like to) and I will eventually get the weight off.  Really, I cherish my sleep (which can be a hit or miss depending on Eva’s mood) so I try to catch up on that because when I don’t I feel miserable and could potentially get sick, especially with the weird weather changes going on.  Anyhow, I always find that salads for lunch help me when watching my weight (maintaining or losing).  It can get tiring and boring to eat salads everyday, so I always try to switch up the ingredients.  One day I’ll have a bad salad with fried chicken strips but load up on the veggies, the next day I’ll do something more simple, the next day I’ll add a fun ingredient like pasta.  And sometimes cafes and restaurants are where I find inspiration to try out new salads.  Oh and Trader Joe’s (you know I couldn’t forget about TJ’s)!

About a month ago, I shared a picture on Instagram of my take of Sweet Green’s Misoba salad.  My sister tried out this salad at their DC location and after she told me about how delicious it was, I knew I had to try to recreate it.  I’m hoping to stop by there (we’re planning to go to DC one day to take Eva and perhaps see the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse) when I go home for the holidays because their salads look delicious.  Anyhow this salad has everything I love about a salad:  greens, noodles, asian flavors, and a spicy kick.  This is my spin so you know I had to add more veggies than the recipe called for because I’m always trying to get those veggies in.  It was quite tasty.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Ingredients:

Note:  Items in bold are ingredients in Sweet Green’s Misoba salad.  Anything not bolded is an addition I made.

Salad

Soba Noodles (These can usually be purchased dry at an Asian Market)
BokChoy, Chopped
Spinach or Salad Mix (I just had spinach on hand)
Broccoli Florets
Carrots, Thinly Sliced
Avocados, Chopped
Corn
Bell Peppers, Chopped
Green Onions, Chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Sesame Seeds (The original recipe says seed mix, but I’m not quite sure what’s included in that, but am positive Sesame Seeds are included)
Sriracha

Dressing

Note:  The dressing is labeled as Miso Sesame Vinaigrette, so I came up with something that would hopefully have the same flavors.

1 1/2 Tbsp Miso Paste
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
1/4 c Warm Water
1/4 c Grapeseed oil (don’t use Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Olive Oil because you don’t want it to overpower the Sesame Oil.  Use a light flavored oil like Grapeseed or Canola)
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Soy Sauce

Directions

Toss salad ingredients together in a bowl minus the Sriracha.  In a mason jar, place all the dressing ingredients in and shake until well incorporated.  Pour dressing ingredients over salad bowl.  Top off the salad with as much Sriracha you’d like.

Heaven on Earth

is what this dish is.  SO SO BAD for you but OH ME OH MY SO SO GOOD.  I really need to find a way to make this recipe healthier but for now, the bad stuff will do (at least in moderation right?).  This is one of hubs’ fave dishes.  Peas.  Parm.  Bacon.  His Our faves.

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara by Anne Burrell

modifications by me in red

Ingredients

Salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (or bacon if you don’t have any)
1 pound spaghetti
8 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup grated pecorino
Freshly ground black pepper
4 scallions, cut on a severe bias
2 grilled chicken breasts
1/4 cup of thawed green peas

Directions

Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over medium heat.

Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta a medium heat and cook until it starts to color and become crisp. Turn off the heat and reserve.

Drop the pasta into the salted boiling water and cook it 1 minute less than it says on the package, usually about 6 to 7 minutes. Bite the pasta to check the consistency.

While the pasta is cooking, crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the grated cheeses and season with salt. Whisk vigorously until it becomes a homogenous. Season generously with black pepper.

When the pasta is just about done, return the pan with the pancettato medium heat. Remove the pasta from the cooking water. Toss or stir the pasta into the pancetta to coat the pasta with the remaining fat in the skillet.  Add peas and chicken and coat some more with fat. Immediately vigorously stir the egg mixture into the pasta. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly until the egg mixture looks like a cream sauce.

Serve immediately garnished with sliced scallions.

SO SO SO YUMMY.

i can make that!

The only Vietnamese food I would ever eat before was just Pho until some friends introduced me to Bun Thit and Banh Mi sandwiches.  It’s not so much I didn’t know but that was the only thing I was introduced to like everyone else at first.  But after my friends introduced me to anything else, I’ve been hooked.  I had leftover cilantro that I decided to use to make a vietnamese dish.  With the internet at my disposal, I looked for recipes.  The constant ingredient in both dishes is pickled carrots and daikon (asian radish) and cilatro.  I didn’t have daikon, so I just pickled carrots.  I think I like both recipes so much because of the use of cilantro.  I LOVE cilantro and it’s a hit or miss for most people.  You either love it or you don’t.  I do.  Something about that limey herb that I love so much.

Chicken Banh Mi

Ingredients

Pickled Carrots and Daikon (cut into matchsticks)
Cilantro
Mayonnaise
Sriracha Sauce
Sliced Cucumber
Hoagie Rolls/French Bread
Jalapeno slices
Roasted Chicken

Directions

Toast bread.  Spread mayo and sriracha on toasted bread.  Pile the remaining ingredients onto the  bread and enjoy.

I fell in love with Bun Thit Nuong (grilled pork with rice noodles) when I went to visit my girlfriend in Boston.  Since then I’ve been addicted to it.  I had it for my birthday dinner (in the filipino culture, you have to have noodles on your birthday which symbolize long life) at VungTau in San Jose and it was DELISH.  It’s pretty light and healthy.  I didn’t have any pork shoulder, so instead I used shrimp.  The recipe I used was okay but I was expecting more flavorful shrimp.  Next time I think I’ll try Rasa Malaysia’s version.

Bun Thit Tom Cang Nuong

Ingredients

Vermicilli Noodles (found in any asian grocery store.  they’re also called bun noodles or rice noodles)
Cilantro
Mint
Nuoc Mam (fish sauce)
Pickled carrots and daikon
Sliced Cucumber
Bean Sprouts
1 lb of shrimp
1  small onion (minced, rinsed under cold water, and drained)
Garlic (minced)
Vegetable Oil
Fish Sauce

Directions

For the shrimp:  Mix the onion, garlic, vegetable oil, and fish sauce to taste in a bowl large enough to hold the shrimp.  Add the shrimp, toss to coat evenly, and marinate, covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Preheat grill and grill for 2 minutes on each side.

For the bun:  oil the bun according to package directions. Run bun over cold water and drain.   In a bowl, add cucumber, bean sprouts, pickled carrots and daikon, and bun. Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro.  When the shrimp is done place shrimp on top of bun.  Add prepared Nuoc Mam (fish sauce) to taste.