Friday, February 18, 2011

Rice Pasta with Seitan and Greens with a Lime Peanut Sauce

Happy Spring!  Today officially tipped the thermometer into the Spring vicinity when it reached 61 degrees.  61!  Not really healthy or normal for February, but amazing none the less.  I have not been doing much of anything this week except recovering from being sick (ugh!), and felt much better today.  I am very proud of myself too, because I have treated this cold with only natural and organic remedies, supplements and teas - no over-the-counter medicines.  And today I am at 95%.  It could also be that I am picking up the hubby from the airport tomorrow and I am beyond excited and happy.

I have done a lot around the house while he has been gone, including getting and putting together a dining room set, which was a Christmas present from my amazing mum.  Christmas, yes, you heard that right.  It came from CA and was completely ruined, was sent back, and I received a new one a couple weeks ago, which I put together myself!  So proud!  That required me to rearrange my small apartment to make it fit, and it feels so nice and homey.  I can't wait to have people come over and share in my happiness over the table.  It is the first time I have had a table and chairs since coming to the city.  Hubby and I have survived these past couple years slouching over a coffee table.  Fine for us, but not the best for company. 

Now that I am so off topic it isn't even funny, back to food!  Since today was so nice and I actually had all the windows in the apartment open to let in the nice nyc air (ha!), I felt so refreshed and wanted something not too heavy, with lots of veggies and was going through some of my cookbooks and had an idea for a veggie seitan stir-fry kind of thing, since I had just made a gigantic batch of homemade chicken-style seitan.  So, off I went, and ended up with an extremely delicious, light lunch packed with veggies.

Rice Pasta with Seitan and Greens with a Lime Peanut Sauce

Serves 4

10 oz. rice vermicelli or other shaped rice pasta
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish

3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1/2 green pepper, julienned
1/2 orange pepper, julienned
1 small onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
4 scallions chopped, green and white parts separated
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups seitan, sliced thin
3 cups kale, tough ribs removed and leaves sliced
1/2 bunch spinach, sliced
2 carrot, peeled and shredded
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Lime Peanut Sauce
3 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons tamari/shoyu
1 1/2 tablespoons agave
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.
2.  Prepare the peanut lime sauce by mixing together all the ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified and medium-thick.  Season to taste and set aside.
3.  In a wok, over high heat, place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Add the seitan and cook, stirring frequently until it browns and the oil is absorbed.  Place in a bowl and set aside.
4.  Lower the heat slightly, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.  Add the green, orange and jalapeno peppers, onion, white part of scallions and shredded carrots.  Cook for several minutes, turning frequently with a wooden spoon.
5.  In the meantime, once the water has come to a boil, place the kale inside, pressing down with a spoon.  Blanch for 1-2 minutes or until the kale is bright green and tender.  Remove from the water with a pair of tongs and place in strainer in the sink to remove the excess water.  Bring the water back up to a boil and continue with the saute.
6.  To the sauteing vegetables, add the garlic and stir and cook just until fragrant.  Add the spinach and cook just until wilted.  Add back in the cooked seitan and blanched kale.  Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper to taste.  Turn off the heat.
7.  Cook the pasta in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until tender.  Drain well, return to empty pot and drizzle a small amount of oil over top to prevent from sticking.
8.  To serve, place a mound of rice noodles in the middle of the plate, followed by a generous helping of the vegetable/seitan mixture, followed by as much of the sauce as you would like.  Garnish with the green parts of the scallion and the chopped peanuts.  Serve.



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