Date nights are something we treasure around here.
They’re few and sometimes hard to come by, even though we are currently in that semi-magical point of life where we’ve been married less than 3 years (and even saying 2 1/2 seems like OMG we’re old) and we don’t have children and everything in our life, on paper, is pretty much in order.
—>Date night/Time together should ≠ that hard to fit into our schedules.
For realz. Lately, I never see Sam. As I had to explain to my new friend/co-worker/fellow-intern today, my late schedule + his early schedule + house hunting + having a semi-normal social life with our friends does not add up to much quality time. I’m talking sitting down at the table, eating your food out of real bowls and not the pot you made it in, asking the other person about their day without multi-tasking the dishwasher/laundry/paperwork/you-need-to-set-up-that-appointment-and-your-mom-called-and-I’m-leaving-to-run-errands TIME.
So when we make it happen, and we throw this super fun sounding Tom Kha Gai into the mix, it’s a big deal for us.
Let me introduce you. Tom Kha Gai is a flavorful Thai soup that involves pouring a creamy, ginger and lemongrass-infused broth over rice and topping the whole dealio with peanuts, cilantro, and crispy tofu pieces that have been kissed by a sweet n’ salty marinade and fried to a golden perfection.
I have officially hit the 2016 Winter BLAHs. I fought it hard, but they’re here. If you’re reading this from somewhere sunny and warm, come rescue me, please and thanks.
I have spent countless hours this week on my favorite vacation dream-planning website, skyscanner.com. It has the most amazing function: You can set the departing airport to wherever you like, and then when the second search box asks you where you want to go, you can hit “everywhere.”
Skyscanner than produces a list of all the flights out of that airport to anywhere in the world, from lowest to highest prices, by cheapest Read more
One of those don’t-get-enough-done, need-an-aspirin-every-night, please-can-the-world-stop-for-two-seconds-thanks weeks. Ya feel?
You have those, right? I’m not crazy?
I remember, as a little girl, thinking how crazy awesome it must be to have my own place/house/condo/crash-pad, eat whatever I wanted, go to an awesome job and then, hey, my evenings could be filled with whatever I wanted them to be filled with. Shopping? Ok. Girl’s night out? Why not. Binge-watching Netflix while nibbling on dark chocolate quinoa bark? Well, ok, sometimes that happens. Because that requires NADA on the energy scale, which is where I’m at.
But pity-party aside, I’m not crazy….right? I’m a teensy bit concerned I just asked that question twice in the span of 2 minutes, but seriously, adulthood (ewwwww) is not quite living up to my expectations.
I mean, 24 HOURS IS NOT ENOUGH. I’m partially beginning to understand why people skip things like lunch or sleep, which was something I couldn’t fathom before I graduated highschool. But really, who has time? To eat? Cook? Have friends? Launder?
^^Launder is a fun word, FYI. Try it in a sentence.
So anyway, hi, here we are, and Thursday evening could NOT have come any more slowly. Sam and I are in the middle of a BIG project—something I’ll fill you in on later (!), and I just started a new job. So things a crazy busy hectic around here, and that’s how the story of Vegan Pho and the week-Rachel-likely-almost-starved came into being:
A pot of water, or broth, or broth made from water and whatever veggies scraps were in the fridge.
Rice noodles. Because chewy, gluten-free YUM.
Veggies. All of them, but especially snap peas.
Typical garnish-y things: limes, peanuts, cilantro, dash of hot sauce. You know.
And DONE. Vegan Pho and at least 3 days’ worth of lunch for the win!
This recipe is so warm and comforting and yummy also good for you and easy to make while you dash around the house trying to find your ONE pair of black pants that are still somewhat clean. Don’t judge me. We all do it. Who has time to launder, remember?
'This Vegan Pho Recipe is super easy to duplicate, but this is the recipe Sam and I use when there's only 2 of us. Also: This recipe works great with pretty much any veggies you use. Other great additions are julienned carrots, shredded bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, mung bean sprouts, broccoli....
3 c. chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. grated ginger (or 1 t. ground)
2 t. salt
2 T. rice vinegar
1 T. fish sauce (leave out if vegan)
2 jalapenos, seeds removed, minced
7 oz rice noodles (can substitute ramen, fettuccine, or other noodles of choice)
1 handful snap peas
1 handful shredded cabbage (I used red)
1 red pepper, sliced thin
2 green onions, chopped
½ c. cilantro, chopped
2 T. sesame oil
Toppings: Cilantro, hoisin or sirachi sauce, lime wedges, green onions, soy sauce, etc, etc, etc!
In a large stock pan, stir together broth, diced onion, garlic, ginger, salt, vinegar, fish sauce, and jalapenos. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.
While the pho broth simmers, cook noodles according to package directions or until al dente. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, then ladle the noodles into 4 bowls.
After 20 minutes, add the veggies (except green onions) to the broth, and cook for 5-7 minutes. We like our veggies with a little bit of crunch, so I don't cook them as long as others might.
Stir green onions, cilantro, and sesame oil into the broth, then ladle the broth and veggies over each of the 4 bowls of noodles. Serve with toppings.