Friday, August 31, 2012

Flash Noodle Bowl - serves 4

Summer has been fun, crazy and gone in a flash.  The latter part of the previous sentence has basically been my husband, who after Memorial Day, finally decided that all my nagging would likely stop if he would just start working out and eating better.  After being together for nearly 20 years, the nagging has paid off.  Not only did he start eating better, he has become Mr. Extreme Makeover of the neighborhood.  He's also managed to beat records at Crossfit.  He is a machine.  He drinks protein shakes in the morning (no more 7-11 tacos), packs his own lunch (no more Home Depot Hot Dogs) and drinks a trough of water everyday (no more liters of Diet Coke, kegs of beer or barrels of wine).  He's even cut down on the coffee (down from 8 cups a day with 3 heaping tbs of turbinado sugar) to 2 cups/1 regular spoon full of turbinado and, no more raiding refrigerators after all have gone to sleep (no more pints of ice cream or Debbie Snack Cakes).  Now, he leaves apple cores all over the house.  He came in this morning as I was dressing for the day, eyes all "hey, honey, we still have some time before the kids get up" (like 1 minute before) then tells me that he's 1 pound off his 30 pound goal.  30 POUNDS.  Crazy, gone in a flash, all of my husband's terrible habits (well, that might be pushing it, but I'll take what I can get).  He's that fit, spunky man I married way back when and I have him back.  Healthy and all.  And no, we didn't have time.

Ingredients (inspired by Cooking Light)

4 shiitake mushroom
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce 
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced 
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced 
1 quart water 
2 cups buckwheat noodles, cooked to package direction 
1 pound chicken cutlets 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds 
2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise 
1/2 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices red bell pepper
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges


Remove mushroom stems. Thinly slice caps; set caps aside. Bring stems, broth, and next 6 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Remove pan from heat. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Sprinkle chicken with black pepper. Place seeds in a dish. Press seeds into both sides of chicken. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Add bok choy, cut sides down; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Add reserved mushroom slices and bell pepper. Strain broth mixture through a sieve into pan; cover and cook 2 minutes. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon.Thinly slice chicken. Place 1/2 cup noodles, about 1/4 cup vegetables, and 4 ounces chicken into 4 shallow bowls. Spoon 1/4 cup broth mixture over each. Garnish each with two lime wedges.

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