Fast and Fit Steak Pho with Zucchini Noodles

The best thing about slurping up a big bowl full of my Fast and Fit Steak Pho with Zucchini Noodlesis the overload of delicious meat and veggie goodness sans the traditional noodles (we be low carb-ing it over here). The second-best thing is cracking Pho jokes, puns and innuendos with the family while eating this fast and fit meal.   Kids: “Mom, dinner tonight is pho-nomenal, it’s un-pho-gettable! You should take a picture of it, it would be good pho-tography.” Me: “Only the best pho you guys, that’s pho-sure.”

Beef and Zucchini Noodle Pho

But, no joke, this quick soup is not only “good pho you” it’s weeknight dinner winner when you just don’t have hour after hour to simmer down oxtails, beef knuckles and leg bones and exotic charred spices into the traditional Vietnamese broth. So, I might have broken a few ancient tenets of pho-making here and there – but, then again, I used zoodles (gasp) instead of the thin white rice noodle that my neighbor’s grandmother would more approve of. I’m a rebel who, with my zucchini, is squashing all rules!

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Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup + #KeepingFitFun

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.January is National Soup Month, so I’ve been busy making a new pot of healthy, hearty and warming comfort every couple days – I will share everything in a Soup Roundup soon!  Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my latest creation – Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup! It’s so delicious and packed with oodles of healthy veggie ingredients along with brown rice noodles. I’ve used crab in the recipe (mainly I was looking for an excuse to eat crab), but shrimp or chicken would make perfectly acceptable and yummy substitutes.

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.

Y’all know with my busy family, work and fitness training schedule, I’m a convenience lover – but keep in mind I stock up on HEALTHY helpers, not your typical sodium, sugar and fat-loaded convenience products.  Some of the convenience ingredients I’ve used in the soup recipe to reduce prep time include the Power Blend from Mann’s  Vegetables (a blend of Brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots and kale) and Odowalla 100% Carrot Juice. I also used Better that Bouillon Vegetable Base and  the Thai Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles from Explore Asian (see my past recipes), as I find they taste super and the texture holds up really well!

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Bowl

I’m also sticking to my intention to #KeepFitFun in 2016 with handstand and backbend practice – just like I was some sort of kid!

Spiced Beet & Carrot SoupLooking for another quick and unique carrot soup recipe? Try this Spiced Beet and Carrot Soup from CookingLight.com . . . its a delicious riot of root veggies!

 

 

 

 

 

So, what is in your soup pot this week? What are you doing to #KeepFitFun ? Please share in the comments below – XOXO,  Jennifer

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup
Print Recipe
Enjoy the exotic taste and oodles of healthy veggies along with brown rice noodles in this easy Thai inspired soup recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup
Print Recipe
Enjoy the exotic taste and oodles of healthy veggies along with brown rice noodles in this easy Thai inspired soup recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high in large stock pot. Add red onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly softened.
  2. Add ginger, garlic and curry paste and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes until fragrant.
  3. Toss in bag of veggie slaw (no dressing!) and stir for 30 seconds to coat with spices.
  4. Add carrot juice, coconut milk, vegetable broth, fish sauce and lime juice to stock pot. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium low to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add brown rice noodles and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add crab during last 5 minutes of cooking.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. To serve, garnish with lime wedges.
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No Beef with Beef! Black Garlic and Steak Curry

Black Garlic Beef and Bean CurryDo not mess with my beef. People have been eating red meat since the dawn of time and lived to tell about it. In fact, beef and other red eats fueled their bodies with some pretty dam good nutrients to help them conquer and recover from the day.  I say this in the light of all the “red meat causes” cancer hullaballoo in the media this past week.

jennifer beef for kebabsThat is such media hype. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer itself was divided on whether or not to finger point red meat (beef, lamb, pork, etc) as a “probable” source of cancer. Most scientists agree that it is unrealistic to isolate a single food as a cause of cancer from a complex dietary pattern further complicated by lifestyle and environmental factors.

You can read the beef industry’s response in this press release, Science Does Not Support International Agency Opinion on Red Meat and Cancer.

Eat Real FoodI’m still also a little riled up about the governmental recommendations for the 2015 Governmental Dietary Guidelines. They are minimizing the importance of animal-based protein and pushing plant-based — all without sound scientific study. I won’t delve back into the whole can of worms here but I did in a recent blog post. However, I will reiterate that after 30 years of the government telling us what to eat by way of the Food Pyramid and MyPlate, Americans are fatter and sicker than ever. You can find out more about this and demand better science behind the guidelines here.

So, I’m going to keep on eating beef.Just try and stop me! Here’s a new favorite weeknight recipe I’ve been making the family. It uses one of my favorite cuts of beef – top sirloin steak.  Sirloin is just such a versatile cut of beef – it’s not too pricey, it’s lean without being tough, and perfect for a range of cooking methods including grilling, pan searing and stir-frying.

black garlicThis recipe for Black Garlic, Beef and Bean Curry is amazing. The secret ingredient is Black Garlic, a new-to-me ingredient that you can find in your produce section or Friedas.com. It’s soft and mellow and packed with umami wonderfulness – it’s been fermented in soy sauce and aged. You HAVE to try this and also need to discover over friends favorite finds this week at Happy Fit Mama’s High Five Friday!

 

 

Black Garlic Beef and Bean Curry

 

 

So, do you have any concerns over eating red meat? How many times a week do you eat beef? Are you sick of media hype over every single thing in the world? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

Black Garlic Beef and Bean Curry
Black Garlic, Beef and Bean Curry
Print Recipe
Put a little "black magic" into your weeknight dinner with this easy skillet meal that features black garlic fermented and aged to amazing umami perfection.
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Black Garlic Beef and Bean Curry
Black Garlic, Beef and Bean Curry
Print Recipe
Put a little "black magic" into your weeknight dinner with this easy skillet meal that features black garlic fermented and aged to amazing umami perfection.
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Instructions
  1. Bring large pot of water to boil and boil noodles according to product directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Lightly coat large skillet with oil and quickly cook sirloin strips with black garlic for approximately 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from pan while still somewhat pink in the center. Set aside; this will be stirred back in when recipe is finished.
  3. Add mushrooms, green beans and ¼ cup of water to skillet, cover and let steam for 2 minutes. Take lid off and add curry paste, soy sauce, fish sauce and coconut milk. Stir to blend.
  4. Add drained noodles to skillet and stir until evenly coated. Cook until sauce is reduced, about 3 – 5 minutes. Stir cooked beef into recipe. Add Sriracha sauce, to taste, for desired level of hotness.
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Thai Coconut Shrimp with Finger Limes ( a freaky little fruit )

Finger Lime Coconut Shrimp Soup made in the style of Tom Kha Gai

What do you do with these weird little limes? They’re called Finger Limes and also “citrus caviar” because of the caviar-like bubbles of tangy citrus pulp on the inside. Exotic fruit afficianaos describe the favor as “tart, lemon-lime with slight herbaceous notes.”  These little-bitty limes hail from Australia’s coastal and rainforest areas – but are also now grown as a specialty product in California.Finger Lime - Citrus CaviarAn enthusiastic citrus-squeezer could make mini margaritas, but I’m saving that as treat to look forward to after my Spartan Beast Dallas race on October 31st (talk about a scary Halloween)!  Tonight I’m sharing a version of a favorite soup, Tom Kha Gai – you know, that spicy Thai soup with chicken and coconut milk. But, I’m doing huge shrimp and lots of limes – it’s a winner, winner for an easy and exotic dinner. You’re going to love this Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Finger Limes, especially now that the weather is cooler. If you don’t have finger limes, just swap in two limes sliced thinly and then into quarters. Also, I’ve used a LOT of Instantly Fresh herbs in here (so convenient and next best thing to fresh) — but feel free to swap in fresh chopped if you prefer.Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Finger Limes

 

What is your favorite soup? What is your favorite Thai dish? Would you eat soup for breakfast? What’s the weirdest fruit you’ve ever tried? Please share in the comments — XOXO, Jennifer

Finger Lime Coconut Shrimp Soup made in the style of Tom Kha Gai
Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Finger Limes
Print Recipe
This delicious Thai soup is a quick fix and satisfies tastes for spicy and slightly sweet! The finger limes are a delicious addition that makes dinner pop. If you don't have finger limes, just swap in 2 regular limes sliced thinly and quartered.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Finger Lime Coconut Shrimp Soup made in the style of Tom Kha Gai
Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Finger Limes
Print Recipe
This delicious Thai soup is a quick fix and satisfies tastes for spicy and slightly sweet! The finger limes are a delicious addition that makes dinner pop. If you don't have finger limes, just swap in 2 regular limes sliced thinly and quartered.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add coconut oil to medium-sized stock pot and saute for approximately 1 minute, or until softened. Add stock to pot along with lemongrass, ginger, mint, basil, chili, and limes.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes. Salt to taste.
  3. Add in the shrimp and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.
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