Veggie packed DIY Vietnamese lemongrass beef vermicelli bowl

This Vietnamese lemongrass beef vermicelli bowl is a noodle salad dish that’s great for hot summer days when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. The dish is often treated like a salad and eaten cold. You can usually find this dish at a Vietnamese restaurant, but you can also easily recreate it at home. The best part of recreating your favorite restaurant dishes at home is that you get to be creative and customize it to your liking. As long as you have a few of the essential ingredients and the final product tastes good, there’s really no right or wrong way to make it. Make sure you load it up with veggies, herbs and lean protein to make it a healthy dish. Check out this quick recipe below!

INGREDIENTS

1 lb beef sirloin; thinly sliced or another protein of your choice such as chicken, tofu, shrimp, pork or ground turkey

FOR THE PROTEIN MARINADE
2 garlic cloves; minced
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp lemongrass powder or 3 tbsp finely chopped lemon grass

TO ASSEMBLE
1/2 cucumber; peeled, seeded, and julienned (or zucchini)
4 cups shredded lettuce
handful fresh, chopped cilantro
sprinkle of sesame seeds or chopped peanuts
1 package thin vermicelli noodles; prepared as per package directions

Optional additions:
(Unfortunately, I didn’t have these on hand when I made the dish)
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
4 cups mung bean sprouts, washed
handful fresh mint or basil leaves
1 red Thai Chili; finely minced

FOR THE SAUCE
1/4 cup warm water
5 teaspoons sugar (for a healthier sub, try 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp monkfruit sweetener or 6 tbsp 100% apple juice)
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
optional: julienned carrots and/or sliced chilies to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

PREPARE THE BEEF
In a medium bowl, combine minced garlic, fish sauce, sugar, fresh lime juice and lemongrass powder/chopped lemongrass. Add the the beef slices and add to the marinade. Let sit for about an hour or so. Then heat a lightly oiled pan or wok on medium-high heat. Stir fry marinated beef in batches.

FOR THE SAUCE
Combine the water, sugar, fresh lime juice, rice vinegar and fish sauce together. Stir well and let it sit.

FOR THE VERMICELLI NOODLES
Prepare as per package directions. Drain and set aside.

TO ASSEMBLE THE BOWLS
Arrange lettuce in the bottom the bowl or have it on the side. Top with vermicelli noodles. Place cooked beef on top of vermicelli noodles. Finish off with toppings of cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, mint, sesame seeds or peanuts. Drizzle the sauce on top of the dish and enjoy!

healthy soup

Cold weather soup ideas

With winter here, soups are a popular food item. Personally, I enjoy soups year round. I grew up having soups almost every night and still enjoy them as often as three to four times a week. They’re hearty, hydrating, cozy and warm to sip on and may even be a real powerhouse of nutrients (depends on the soup).

I tend to opt for homemade soups, but when I’m on the go, I’ll choose quick, ready-made soups with an eye on the sugar and sodium content. While looking for homemade soup ideas and recipes online, I came across so many recipes! And I wanted to share here some of the amazing blogs I came across offering a large variety of soup recipes that you may also enjoy.

  1. Healthy Seasonal Recipes “25 Healthy Soup Recipes”
  2. A Sweet Pea Chef’s “10 Healthy Soup Recipes”
  3. Cookie + Kate’s “17 Healthy Vegetarian Soup Recipes”
  4. Whole Food Bellies “13 Homemade Healthy Soup Recipes Made in the Instant Pot”
  5. Feel Good Foodie’s “Soups”

Special thanks to these bloggers for sharing recipes!

Recipe for easy chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri is an uncooked, herb-based, vegetarian sauce traditionally from Argentina and Uruguay. Alternatively, it can be used as a dressing or marinade. The sauce tastes best when you use fresh herbs and used soon after preparing, but it can also be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for 24 hours before serving.

The sauce pairs well with steak and chicken, but if you prefer to keep it a vegetarian dish, it will also go well on top of roasted vegetables or veggie tacos. It’s easily an addition that can liven up your meals! Chimichurri is not only super tasty, but it is also packed with intense flavors, antioxidants and nutrients including Vitamin A, C, K, potassium and magnesium. And the best part is, it’s really simple to make! I prefer to chop the ingredients by hand, but if you want a quicker route, you can use a food processor.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and minced)
  • 1 cup flat parsley
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried red pepper

How to prepare:

  1. Wash parsley and cilantro thoroughly and remove the stems. Finely chop the herbs up and mince the garlic cloves.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together. You should see a bright green color!
  3. Allow the sauce to sit for 5-10 minutes for the flavors to kick in before serving.

How to prepare spaghetti squash

Did you know that spaghetti squash is a wonderful alternative to pasta? It’s low in calories, providing about 30 calories per cup, and it’s very low in fat. It also provides Vitamin A including beta carotene (good for eye health), B and C. This winter squash has a mild flavor, making it versatile to use for sweet or savory dishes.

Enjoy this simple recipe on how to prepare spaghetti squash in the oven!

Ingredients:

  • 1 sharp knife
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 rectangular baking pan
  • Enough parchment paper to cover bottom of baking pan
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (optional)
  • 1 fork

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Give the outside of your uncut spaghetti squash a good rinse!
  3. Using the sharp knife, start cutting from the stem to the bottom of the squash. You should have two lengthwise halves.
  4. Using your spoon, scoop out the seeds inside the squash.
  5. Drizzle olive oil into the halves. Sprinkle some salt and pepper if you’d like. Use your fingers to spread the oil and seasoning evenly.
  6. Place parchment paper on bottom of the baking pan.
  7. Place the squash halves face down onto the parchment paper.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  9. Once ready and cooled enough to handle, use a fork to gently scrape the squash to create long strands.
  10. You can transfer the long strands into a bowl and serve with toppings. Or, if you’re like me, you can leave the strands in the squash half and eat directly from it!