[Subscribe please]It seems that I become more fascinated with cooking as time passes. Perhaps stemming from my love affair with fresh, gourmet food. You are what you eat and I want my family and myself to be organic and healthy. But this is no easy feat. The process of planning, shopping, cooking and the subsequent clean-up is a labor of love. One that requires a lot of time and energy, and is always, under all circumstances, worth it.
A few years ago I found my favorite cookbook in the world at a used bookstore. It is titled The Detox Health-Plan Cookbook, although the newer version on Amazon is The Detox Cookbook & Health Plan. I’m fairly positive the content is the same.
The recipes and pictures in this book will make a conscious-eater’s mouth water. Every dish is made of fresh food from the earth. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, herbs. In addition to about 75 pages on detoxing and healthy living in general, the recipes cover juices, smoothies and breakfast ideas; appetizers and snacks; soups; main dish salads; vegetable main dishes; tofu, egg, fish, shellfish and chicken dishes; simple salads and side dishes; and healthy desserts.
What other cookbooks offer a chapter of vegetable main dishes? Not many that I have found, although this is how I often prefer to cook.
Recently, I created the Thai Noodle Salad, on page 148 of my favorite cookbook. True to myself, I made quite a few modifications (who needs water chestnuts anyways?), and the end result was delicious. I even took pictures. You can really add just about any vegetables you want, steamed or raw. Toss with the sauce and noodles, garnish and yumminess is in a bowl.
Here is the recipe as I found it:
7 oz somen noodles
1 large carrot, cut into thin strips
6 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 in pieces
4 oz snow peas
4 oz baby corn, halved lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly slized
4 oz bean sprouts
4 oz can water chestnuts, drained and finely sliced
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1 lime, cut into wedges
fresh cilantro leaves to garnish
Fo the dressing:
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2/3 cup reduced fat coconut milk
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 spring onions, finely choped
1. First make the dressing. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.
2. Cook noodles as directed. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
3. Steam carrots, asparagus, snow peas, and baby corn for about 5 minutes until tender but still crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water.
4. Toss noodles and steamed vegetables together in a large bowl with the red pepper, bean sprouts, and water chestnuts. Pour over dressing and toss well to combine.
5. Arrange on individual serving plates, sprinkle over the chopped peanuts and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.