Fake pho and real TCHO

I’m back again! This is probably my last post for a few days, so I figured I’d make something special for my readers.

I saw this recipe when I was working on my meal plan for the week and was intrigued (I know this is my second New York Times recipe in as many days, but I swear I don’t work for them. Although, if you’re in a position to make that happen, please feel free to contact me). It included things we’re not eating right now, like a chicken, but it made me think about noodle bowls and this awesome pho we had in Seattle a few years ago, so I decided to create my own version.

Tofu Noodle Bowls

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Bear with me, because there wasn’t a lot of measuring that happened here, but I’ll recreate it as best I can.

You need:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • rice noodles (probably about 2 oz), soaked in warm water for about ten minutes
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • ~2 tsp soy sauce
  • splash of rice vinegar
  • garlic powder (to taste)

And then you:

  1. Heat the oil over medium in a large pot or dutch oven
  2. Add cubed tofu. Cook for five minutes. Flip. Cook for five more minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms. Cook until just softened, stirring occasionally, about four minutes.
  4. Add water, broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add rice noodles and simmer, uncovered, for ten minutes.
  6. Stir in spinach slowly, increase heat to medium, simmer for five more minutes.
  7. Add garlic powder (and other spices) to taste.
  8. Serve.

It’s important to use just a little olive oil since tofu doesn’t really absorb it. I used too much and I think it would have been better with less. Still, it was a nice, warm, satisfying meal in a bowl. The beauty of this is that you could basically put anything you wanted to in it. I’m thinking now that I’d like to try it again with a tiny bit of green curry paste, some broccoli, some shredded carrots… so many possibilities.

I followed up my meal with some of the TCHO chocolate that Matt got me for Christmas. I can’t recommend this chocolate enough. The bars Matt gave me are “Citrus,” “Fruity,” and “Chocolatey,” all dark chocolates (my favorite) with really nice, nuanced flavors. I’m almost out, sadly, and I think it’ll be a little while before I recover from my December spending and have some disposable income to order more.

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I didn’t make it to the gym this morning (surprise surprise). I couldn’t fall asleep last night, and the idea of going to the gym on 4 hours of sleep was really unappealing. Maybe I’ll give it another go tomorrow.

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