Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I could eat this for every meal FOREVER and be happy! Thank you Vivi’s!

B7 - Grilled Chicken

I am a huge fan of Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, and Greek food… but my all time favorite meals have Vermicelli noodles as a main ingredient. Yummy! These long thin noodles made from rice are simply fantastic, but not allowed on my Paleo diet. (sigh) I used to be a regular at a couple nearby Vietnamese restaurants, and even though I know there are several things on the menu I could choose from, those darn noodles call my name and I can’t resist them, so I stopped going. Recently, I overheard some of my gym-mates talking about Vivi’s Vietnamese Noodle House and I know that most of my fellow Gym-goers follow a same or similar diet as I do, so I inquired about what they eat there. Turns out, the owner Tanya, also a member of our gym has recommended a couple different options for our eating pleasure and let me tell you, they are FANTASTIC and I don’t even miss the noodles.

B9 - Pork, Chicken & Beef (To Go)

There is something about thinly shredded fresh vegetables that when presented this way, mimic the noodles that were once there. Plus as a bonus when you get these bowls without the noodles, you get a huge heaping pile of these veggies which more than satisfy your hunger and then some. I’ve tried two different dishes “SWEAT360” style, (no noodles / double the veggies). B7 – Bun Thit Ga Nurong – Grilled Chicken, Shrimp Spring Roll, Vermicelli Bowl. (minus the Spring Roll & Noodles), and B9 Bun Tong Hop – The Super Bowl! Pork, Chicken, Beef, and Shrimp Spring Roll (minus the Spring Roll & Noodles). They are both served with a giant portion of shredded vegetables and topped with roasted peanuts and green onions. They give you a side of their homemade fish sauce and a scoop of chili sauce to finish it off just right. I wish someone would tell me what “fish sauce” is… it must contain some sugar, but just the right amount, and it is sweet and tangy, and perfect for this dish. They also have a Lemongrass Chili sauce that is great mixed in. I’ve been told their Beef Soup (without noodles) is really good as well… Next time Vivi’s… next time. Thank you Vivi’s for showing me that I can still enjoy Vietnamese food even without my favorite rice noodle.

Vivi’s Vietnamese Noodle House is located on 25th Avenue in Hillsboro. 503-648-2300 http://www.vivisnoodlehouse.com/  Order B7 without noodles or if you are talking to Tanya “SWEAT360 Style”.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash

I loved the Butternut Squash Lasagna from Health-Bent so much I bought all the necessary ingredients again. Last night while making the sauce, I decided to add a few of my own… first to the sauce I added a significant amount more of the garlic, added red wine (since it was in my fridge left over from when Julie was cooking for me), doubled the roasted red peppers, added both fresh and frozen basil. Ruthie enjoyed picking out just the right basil leaves and putting them all in for us. I added less of the pizza sauce; well I didn’t use pizza sauce at all but ½ a jar of an organic basil tomato pasta sauce. I chose a large white onion instead of a red onion and chopped it and let it caramelize before I added the ground mild Italian sausage. I also let the sauce simmer quite a while and reduce somewhat, while I was busy doing other things around the house. For the Squash, I used a carrot peeler to peel it, then it was cutting it so nicely I decided to use it to make the noodle slices as well…. This made for really pretty even squash but it was a little too thin, next time I’ll make thicker slices with a knife instead. Not to mention this takes a long time to use the peeler. The other addition I made is in the layering. I started with a little sauce, then the squash, then a layer of fresh spinach (since Jeff brought me a bag back from his snow trip)… This turned out to be a great addition to the lasagna, I just wish I would have added more since after it was cooked it shriveled to just a tiny amount. A nice thick layer would have been awesome! Next time. Since I made a huge lasagna I will be having leftovers for a couple days for sure... In my take-to-work container today I added more spinach, I think it will reheat perfectly in my dish… oh great now I’m hungry.

BN Squash Lasagna w/Spinach

Super Kid-Friendly Ideas for this Weekend
This weekend we are doing a first-time sleep over at our house with my niece and nephew… I actually have a few very kid-friendly recipes in mind including a couple sweet treats to try out, and yes my dear sister, your kids and mine, will be able to have some grains and dairy while they are here… but they may not need or want them with what I have planned for them.

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