“Busy Day” Asian Veggie Noodle Soup (Gluten & Grain-Free Options)

Busy Day Asian Veggie Noodle Soup - AnAppetiteForJoy.com

By Natalia Gill from An Appetite For Joy

This asian-inspired broth is rich, savory, and loaded with perfectly cooked veggies and gluten-free rice noodles (or grain-free kelp noodles). The best part? It comes together in a flash! And it’s high on nutrition, particularly if you have homemade broth on hand.

I typically use chicken broth I have in the freezer, made in one of two ways – either a budget-friendly bone broth or a time-saving gelatin rich drumstick broth.

I’ve always looked for ways to spend less time cooking without sacrificing nutrition. But now, simple cooking is a must since earlier in the summer, we got a big surprise that our family is expanding! I’m on a mission to get my meal rotation pared down to simple meals, many of them using the slow-cooker or prepped ahead in the freezer (Check out Kimi’s great list of gluten-free freezer meals!)

My favorite simple meal is chicken soup and all the quick variations that can be made with it – from enchilada to Thai red curry to this Asian veggie noodle. I notice that my kids eat this variation with more gusto than plain chicken noodle, so I make it often.

I omitted the chicken this time for a lighter, veggie-focused soup. But feel free to add a few boneless, skinless thighs in at the beginning of cooking. When they are done, take them out, shred them and add back into the soup.

ADDITIONAL SIMPLE MEALS ON MY ROTATION:

Busy Day Asian Veggie Noodle Soup
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian-Inspired
Serves: Serves 6-8
 
This Asian inspired veggie noodle soup is so comforting and full of flavor, but requires very little time and effort! See the recipe notes for additional shortcuts or ways to further enhance it.
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces thin rice or 24 ounces kelp noodles (kelp noodles are hydrated in the package and weigh more), freshly prepared according to package instructions and set aside in individual serving bowls
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 cups snow peas (ends removed, halved)
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce (less if full sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring the broth to a simmer and add the diced carrots. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the snow peas and tamari. Simmer another 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the broccoli florets and scallions. Simmer until the broccoli and carrots are fork tender but still have life in them.
  4. Stir in the sesame oil and, if using, fish sauce. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Add salt and pepper if needed.)
  5. Add the soup to the individual bowls you have set aside with the noodles. Enjoy!
Notes
When you have less time: Swap out the snow peas for frozen peas and put them in with the broccoli (step 3). Buy pre-chopped broccoli florets (Trader Joe's sells a bag of organic ones).

When you have more time: Add 2 cloves of crushed or minced garlic, a small knob of fresh peeled ginger (removed at the end), and/or 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro to the soup with the carrots (step 1).

This post contains affiliate/partner links. Thanks for supporting this website!

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Thai Chicken Fried Rice NG

By Katie Mae Stanley of Nourishing Simplicity

Savory grains of rice are mixed with fresh summer vegetables, tender chicken, and spicy basil.

Thai chicken fried rice is the perfect dish to enjoy anytime, especially in the summer when gardens are bursting with zucchini, bell peppers, string beans, and basil, all of which make up this dish.

I am a huge rice fan. Part of that comes from living in Mexico for ten years where I ate it almost every day. The other part is simply because rice is pretty tasty. It helps that rice is an excellent way to stretch pricier items like meat. Even now that I have been State-side for over two years I crave rice if I go more than a few days without eating it.

Rice is the humble staple of many cultures. Whether it is Arabic rice, Chinese egg fried rice, Jamaican rice and peas, or a savory miso rice congee, rice is an integral part of life. It is the substance that keeps many people going.

Unless it is necessary for me to go grain-free I don’t see my kitchen ever going without rice.

Thai is one of my weakness when it comes to picking a restaurant to eat at. If I could, I would eat it out at least once a week but that is not exactly budget friendly.

Thankfully over time I have started to learn how to recreate some of my favorite dishes, like yellow curry or Kimi’s simple Thai broth. It was only a matter of time that I finally broke down to create a Thai chicken fried rice that satisfied my cravings.

This Thai chicken fried rice is a combination of three of my favorite restaurants in various parts of California.

I mentioning making velvet chicken in this recipe. It is a process of poaching the chicken to make it more tender. It is a beneficial step but not necessary. There are times when I skip it, so don’t pressure yourself to do it. If you have a little extra time then it is worth it in my book.

If you are confused about why we are okay with white rice read more about it here.

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups steamed white rice (Jasmine preferred), made at least a few hours before and chilled
  • 1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced and velveted (optional)
  • 1 cup Thai basil*
  • 1 cup zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup string beans or long beans, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons coconut/palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce/tamari for gluten free
  • 1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt

* If Thai basil can not be found, feel free to substitute with sweet basil. To cut the basil roll a few leaves at a time into a cigar shape and thinly slice.

Directions:

1. Cook the rice a few hours to a day or two in advance. Allow to cool.

2. Thinly slice the chicken breast. Use the velveting method to par-cook the chicken or set the raw chicken aside to cook in the skillet.

3. Quarter the zucchini, cutting it 1/4 of an inch thick. Remove the end from the string or long beans, cutting them into 1/4 inch pieces. Cut the bell pepper in half, removing the seeds. Thinly slice the bell pepper. Roll a few basil leaves at a time like a cigar. Thinly slice the rolls of basil. Crush the garlic.

4. Mix the soy sauce, palm sugar, and salt in a small dish.

5. In a wok or cast iron skillet heat the oil for two minutes.  Add the green beans and bell pepper. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes, allowing them to blister, stirring frequently.

6. Add the chicken and crushed garlic. Stir until the chicken is almost cooked.

7. Add the rice, zucchini, the soy sauce mixture. Stir for 3-5 minutes until thoroughly mixed and heated through. Add the basil and stir again.

Top with extra basil if desired.

Thai Chicken Fried Rice
 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups steam white rice (Jasmin preferred)
  • 1 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced and velveted (optional)
  • 1 cup Thai basil*
  • 1 cup zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup string beans or long beans, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 tsp coconut/palm sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce/tamari for gluten free
  • ½ tsp unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. * If Thai basil can not be found, feel free to substitute with sweet basil. To cut the basil roll a few leaves at a time into a cigar shape and thinly slice.
  2. Cook the rice a few hours to a day or two in advance. Allow to cool.
  3. Thinly slice the chicken breast. Use the velveting method to par-cook the chicken or set the raw chicken aside to cook in the skillet.
  4. Quarter the zucchini, cutting it a ¼ of an inch thick. Remove the end from the string or long beans, cutting them into ¼ inch pieces. Cut the bell pepper in half, removing the seeds. Thinly slice the bell pepper. Roll a few basil leaves at a time like a cigar. Thinly slice the rolls of basil. Crush the garlic.
  5. Mix the soy sauce, palm sugar, and salt in a small dish.
  6. In a wok or cast iron skillet heat the oil for two minutes. Add the green beans and bell pepper. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes, allowing them to blister, stirring frequently.
  7. Add the chicken and crushed garlic. Stir until the chicken is almost cooked.
  8. Add the rice, zucchini, the soy sauce mixture. Stir for 3-5 minutes until thoroughly mixed and heated through. Add the basil and stir again.
  9. Top with extra basil if desired.

 

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino NG

By Katie Mae Stanley of Nourishing Simplicity

This drink is sure to hit the spot on a hot day. It is creamy, slightly sweet, and bursting with vanilla.

Few things are better than drinking a cold icy drink out of a mason jar with a fun straw in the summer. This vanilla bean creme fauxccino is definitely at the top of my list right now. Hot days make me want to wander into a coffee chain and order a nice big blended iced drink. Honest moment here, I may have in the past couple months given in and ordered a few with less syrup and dairy-free milk.

As you know, I am a big fan of fauxccinos for many reasons- they are delicious, so much better for you, less expensive, and easy to whip up! You can have your own ready in less time than it takes to drive to the coffee shop!

This specific fauxccino is coffee free, it’s a milk based drink instead. I used almond milk, but you can adapt to whatever type of milk you prefer. The key to this icy drink is making frozen milk cubes. They ensure that your drink doesn’t become watery.

Other Fauxccinos to Enjoy:

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino

1 cup milk (raw, almond, or coconut)
8 milk ice cubes (raw, almond, or coconut)
2 TBS maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 vanilla bean caviar*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped cream (optional)

1. Freeze milk of choice in an ice cube tray until solid.

2. *Cut a vanilla bean in half, slice it open. Use the sharp side of the knife to scrape out the caviar (seeds).

3. Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.

4. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream if desired.

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino
 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk (raw, almond, or coconut)
  • 8 milk ice cubes (raw, almond, or coconut)
  • 2 TBS maple syrup or raw honey
  • ½ vanilla bean caviar*
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Freeze milk of choice in an ice cube tray until solid
  2. *Cut a vanilla bean in half, slice it open. Use the sharp side of the knife to scrape out the caviar (seeds).
  3. Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream if desired.

 

5 Things I’m Loving

With three little people in very different stages, with a husband doing multiple part-time jobs while in seminary, and with me keeping up with the family (as best I can) while dealing with some health issues, life can slip by just like that. So this week I’ve continued to concentrate on the many things that TODAY I am thankful for – little lady’s curls, playing “beaver” with my five-year-old, my nine-year-olds growing love of books, and the help and love of my husband – just as a starter. It’s good for my soul.

Along those lines, here are some fun things that I am loving – many of them kitchen related – because food and the joy of eating is a great gift too!

Pretty Platters

Polish Pottery Platter

When Joel and I were getting married, I searched for someplace to register for Polish pottery, as I loved the beautiful design work. With more limited options online then, and Polish pottery not as common as now, it ended up being an impossible task. So how fun is it that the house we are house sitting at has a lovely collection of Polish pottery! We have been enjoying all of it, including the above snack platter. When I put this little snack together for my kids, the platter made it seem so special, even though it was very plain food. (This is sort of cheating since I had the Polish pottery mug on my first list of things I’m loving, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving with so many pieces to use!).

Mushroom Kit

Mushroom Kit - so fun for the kids, and delicious too!

I saw one of these Mini Mushroom Farms (affiliate link)  at a local store on sale, and I’ve always wanted to try one. I pretended it was just for the girls, but really I was the one most excited to try it out. The picture above was a couple of days into it, and you can see another picture here just several days later. They grow fast! It was a lot of fun, and now I want to buy mushroom plugs to put into a log to grow more edible mushrooms!

Sisterly Love

The love of sisters

My oldest is starting to grow up so much, and one of the things she is growing in is looking out for her newest sister. This shows up in watching out for her in the backyard as the three of them play together (I love watching them all together – it’s so sweet) or even setting up elaborate “play rooms” for her in our living room! I shared about that on my Instagram a few weeks ago.

Favorite Sweet Potatoes in a Basket

Sweet Potatoes in a basket

The AIP diet can be a little tiring on the carbohydrate side, but I’ve found that mixing up the sweet potato varieties really helps! I LOVE both this kind of sweet potato (often called a Japanese sweet potato) and this wonderful basket I got on clearance to hold them all.

Peonies

peonies

There are some beautiful plants at the house we are house sitting. Peonies have burst open in their glory in the yard, and we have a lovely vase of them on our table. It makes me smile every time I see it!

Bonus Item!

And finally, I shared with my subscriber list last week some updated information on my health, and I got so many notes from so many of you! It. Made. My. Week. I felt so blessed to have so many people who visit my blog who genuinely care about the person behind the screen. And you know what? That doesn’t happen very much online –especially on something as impersonal as a food blog. To those of you who leave comments, write me emails, and private message me, I may not always have the time/energy to reply in a timely manner, but know that I read every single one of them, and appreciate you greatly!