Sunday, December 2, 2012

Springtime Rice Noodles with Coconut Crème

As the recipe notes say, "The Springtime Rice Noodles with Coconut Crème" (page 237) is like an Asian pasta primavera. Bursting with colorful vegetables (including red bell pepper, shallots, ginger, edamame, carrots, and peas), and swimming in a creamy sauce, the flavors and textures combine for a most delicious stove top dish. The recipe calls for coconut milk, which I try to avoid due to the high saturated fat content. Instead, I use an equal amount of unsweetened soymilk (13 ounces in this recipe) flavored with coconut extract (½ teaspoon). This provides both the creaminess and flavor of coconut milk without all the fat and calories. This recipe is listed in the "fast" category, meaning the dish can be made in 30 minutes or less, but it took me more like 45+ minutes. The preparation also requires a saucepan to cook part of the veggies, and a skillet to stir fry the rest, so in my mind, this does not equate to a quick, throw together meal. Eventually everything ends up in one skillet - the cooked noodles, the two batches of veggies, and the coconut milk. Fresh chopped cilantro finishes things off. To keep this oil free, use a non-stick skillet to cook the veggies, or replace the oil with a little water, broth or sherry.

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