Bengali-Style Chinese Noodles

by spiceaholic on July 11, 2016

Bengali-Style Chinese Noodles

This is a comfort food dish from my childhood that I love even to this day. It would make appearances on potluck dinner tables, a welcome reprieve to all the traditional Bengali dishes like pullao, korma, dal, vegetables, various beef/chicken/fish curries. I also remember eating it for lunch with my cousins when we’d go visit our relatives in Bangladesh. One of my aunties made it for my baby shower last year and I wanted to inhale the whole platter.

What exactly makes it Bengali-style? No clue, other than the fact that variations of it are made and served in Bengali households the world over. It’s a simple dish, just noodles sautéed and tossed with pieces of chicken, veggies, and omelet strips in a mix of soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, ginger, and some sesame oil. I’ve even had it with pieces of cooked sausages/hot dogs and pieces of cooked potato — that is definitely a Bengali thing, we like adding potatoes to things.

I’m not sure what exactly made me think of it recently. It was probably a combination of the sad news from Bangladesh that made me think back to our childhood visits, missing my family on Eid, craving carbs like crazy because I was trying to limit them to lose some weight, and wanting to make it for Baby N, who happily ate some when we were visiting relatives over Memorial Day weekend.

Feel free to play around with the type of noodles (try spaghetti, linguine, Chinese egg noodles), vegetables (broccoli slaw, French-cut green beans, julienned carrots or peppers), and protein (omelet strips, chicken, sausages). Don’t be too alarmed by the amount of soy sauce — you are seasoning a lot of noodles and vegetables and quite honestly, the soy sauce is what makes the noodles so good. And don’t forget the black pepper, that’s also key!

Since these noodles taste great at room temperature, they make a great contribution to a potluck or picnic!

I was recently given the opportunity to play around with OXO’s  8-piece SNAP Glass Round Container set, as well as their 2-in-1 Salad Servers and Little Salad Dressing Shaker as part of OXO’s SNAP Into Summer campaign, and these are perfect for those summer potlucks or picnics.

OXO SNAP set

Some quick facts about the glass containers:

  • Made from BPA-free borosilicate glass, the SNAP Glass Food Storage Containers can withstand extreme temperature changes without the risk of cracking or shattering
  • The SNAP lids have four locking tabs and a removable gasket which ensures a leakproof seal
  • SNAP Glass Containers are both nestable and stackable, which means whether they’re full or empty, it’s easy to fit them in your cabinets

I love the look of the clear glass with the bright teal in the rim of the lids, and the containers weren’t too heavy to hold. The set consists of 1-cup, 2-cup, 4-cup, and 7-cup containers and corresponding lids. The 2-in-1 Salad Server worked great to serve the noodles – there’s a button at the top that you can push to change the configuration from tongs to single-use, though I found it a bit difficult to push.

Overall though, I feel like the glass storage containers and the salad server will get a lot of use. I’m trying not to use plastic as much for food storage, so having a BPA-free option is good.

But what I like most of all is how beautifully they show off these noodles!

*Disclosure: OXO provided me with the 8-piece SNAP Glass Round Container set, as well as a 2-in-1 Salad Server and a Little Salad Dressing Shaker as part of their Blogger Outreach program. All opinions are my own.

Bengali-Style Chinese Noodles

Bengali-Style Chinese Noodles

Ingredients

8 oz. dried pasta such as linguine, fettuccine, or spaghetti (break in half to make it easier to eat)

3 tbsp. canola oil, divided

3 large eggs, beaten

10 oz. uncooked chicken breast tenders, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup sliced green onions; reserve 1 tbsp. for garnish

8 oz. thinly sliced or julienned vegetables (I used broccoli slaw)

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. ginger paste

3-4 tbsp. soy sauce or to taste

1 tbsp. oyster sauce (optional)

ground black pepper to taste

1 tsp. sesame oil (optional)

 

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high heat.

While water is coming to a boil, make the omelet strips.  Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then add beaten eggs. Make a quick omelet and fold into thirds. Slice into julienne strips and set aside.

Once water has come to a boil, add the pasta and cook for amount of time indicated on box.

While pasta is cooking, take a large deep skillet and heat 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat.  Add sliced green onions, reserving some for garnish, then the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or two.

Add the chicken pieces, seasoning with black pepper and 1 tbsp. soy sauce. Cook until no longer pink.

Add the vegetables to the chicken and add 1 tbsp. soy sauce and the oyster sauce if using.  Stir fry until veggies begin to soften.

Once pasta is done, drain and return to pot.  Depending on how deep your skillet is or how big your pot is, you can either dump the pasta into the skillet or dump the chicken and veggie mixture into the pot. Either way, combine noodles with the chicken and veggies, adding more soy sauce and black pepper as needed. If needed, add more oil to prevent noodles from sticking. Carefully add omelet strips and adjust seasoning once more.

If using sesame oil, add and give noodles one last stir.

Garnish with remaining sliced green onions. Enjoy!

 

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Chocolate Orange Protein Smoothie

by spiceaholic on May 31, 2016

chocolate orange smoothie 1

Ahhh, it’s been getting warmer and warmer lately, which means it’s smoothie season! They really are such an easy way to get in some much-needed fruits and veggies, that I should do them year-round.

More importantly, with a newly-mobile 9 month-old who loves crawling everywhere and hates sitting still, I need a fast option for a breakfast or snack that will provide me with energy to keep up with him.

Usually when I make my smoothies I just do almond milk, baby spinach or kale, berries and any other fruits that look good.  I used to occasionally add protein powder, but when I was pregnant and then later nursing I skipped the protein powder because I was never quite sure that they were okay to use.  I’ve experimented with various whey protein powders and even plant-based ones, but some of those just had that chalky taste to them.

I think I’ve finally found a plant-based protein powder that I actually like!

I was introduced to Healthy Skoop plant-based protein powder through the Stonyfield Organic Clean Plate Club. With an impressive blend of plant-based protein, probiotics, antioxidants, omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals, Healthy Skoop truly is a nutritional powerhouse, perfect for those crazy on-the-go days. When I opened the container, instead of that musty old plant smell from the plant-based protein powders, instead I got a whiff of chocolate and cinnamon, almost like cake mix! Very promising. I also liked that Healthy Skoop donates a portion of its profits to help provide fresh fruits and vegetables to school lunch programs around the country.

Obviously I chose the chocolate-flavored Healthy Skoop, and though it’s pretty good on its own with some almond milk, I wanted to play around with it.  Rather than my usual greens + berries combo, I thought back to this amazing chocolate-orange milkshake I had on my birthday and decided that’d be a fun way to change up my smoothie. I found frozen mandarin orange segments and used those, but you can use fresh orange or clementine segments instead. You definitely need fresh orange zest though to get that orange flavor in the smoothie. Play around with the proportions of milk to yogurt, especially if you’re using plain versions of either.

*Disclosure: Stonyfield Organic provided me with coupons for their yogurt and compensated me for this post as part of their Clean Plate Club. Healthy Skoop provided me with a sample of their chocolate-flavored Super Skoop All-in-One nutritional shake as part of this month’s campaign. All opinions are my own.

Chocolate Orange smoothie 2

Chocolate Orange Protein Smoothie

Ingredients

6 oz. milk of your choice – I used unsweetened chocolate almond milk

2 oz.  Greek yogurt – I used Stonyfield Organic plain non-fat Greek yogurt

2 scoops Healthy Skoop chocolate protein powder, or protein powder of your choice

1 handful baby spinach

1 cup frozen mandarin orange slices – I used Dole

1 tsp. fresh orange zest

 

Preparation

Combine ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend on smoothie setting until smooth.

Add some more fresh orange zest as garnish if desired.

Drink and enjoy!

{ 3 comments }

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