Monday, July 11, 2011

Chaing Mai Tofu Noodles

So far our big CSA adventure has been going great! Week one was a bit of a learning experience for us as we ended up wasting a bit more of our produce than I would have hoped. One bunch of arugula, a bunch of cilantro and sadly, the majority of our bok choy went into the trash. I figured out after I made this recipe for Chaing Mai Tofu Noodles that I should have put the whole bunch of bok choy in, not just one individual "bunch". I know we're still learning, so I'm trying to have grace with myself as I make mistakes. Still, it's hard not to feel ashamed for wasting. A few years ago I used to waste a lot. It would hardly bother me to pluck a small handful of herbs and let the rest go to rot, or buy produce with the hope it would force myself to eat it, but really I had no meal plan in place to use it. I was convicted over time that this wasn't being a good steward to the resources I was being blessed with and needed to be more diligent with using what I had on hand.

Before I get to the recipe, let talk about bok choy. Bok choy can come large or baby-sized (pictured in this post). In cooking, you would treat both the same way. These sweet, succulent and nutritious stalks are a popular crop in oriental regions, which is why we find it in many asian dishes. Bok choy is very low in calories, but high in dietary fiber and vitamins, such as C and A, which help our bodies resist infection and support our immune systems. Additionally, it is a good source of Vitamin K for bone health, and contains a good amount of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium. Lucky for our bodies, bok choy can be eaten raw! It's important to remember that most vegetables lose nutrients once they are cooked, so eating your produce raw when applicable is always best. Bok choy can be stored up to 3-4 days in your refrigerators vegetable drawer without loss of nutrients.

Have you met my new friend, garlic scapes? They are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G., like a garlicky stalk of buttered asparagus. Garlic scapes are the flower that the garlic plant sends up. They have to be snapped off to convince the plant to send its energy down to the bulb. I'm not sure where you find them other than a CSA box or farmers market, but if you happen to run into them, do not hesitate to buy. They are so delicious. You can honestly add them into anything. We even cut up a few for a mushroom and garlic scape omelet the next morning. Drool.

Chaing Mai Tofu (or Chicken) Noodles
- Chop up 5-6 garlic scapes into 3 inch pieces, discarding the last 2 inches of the flower bud. If you don't have access to garlic scapes, you don't need to add them in, just forget-about-em!
- Chop 1 bunch of bok choy (as in the whole bunch pictured in the first photo) into ½ inch pieces, then wash well.
- In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add 1 TBS grape seed or olive oil and the chopped scapes.
- Sauté for a few minutes then add the chopped bok choy.
- Cook for about 5 minutes until bok choy is just tender.
- Then add 1 tsp ground turmeric and 2 TBS red Thai curry paste (more or less depending on your spice tolerance).
- Stir for 1 minutes and then add 1 can of coconut milk and 1 cup chicken stock.
- Add 1 block of tofu and/or 1.5 cups cooked chicken and cook at a simmer for 15 minutes.
- Season with 2 Tbsp light brown sugar and 2 tsp fish sauce.
- Cook 1 package egg noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles.
- Divide noodles into (up to) 4 bowls
- Spoon the tofu/chicken curry over top and sprinkle with any/all of the following:
3 TBS chopped cilantro, 1 red chilli which has been halved, deseeded and shredded, some chopped green onions and some lime wedges.

Nutrition facts:
Recipe: Came in our CSA newsletter and adapted from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry

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