Update: The giveaway is closed. The winner of The Blender Girl’s Cookbook is Nettye Johnson. Thank you to everyone who entered!
On this Earth Day, we’d like you to look closer at what’s on your plate. Ditch the take-out, the sugar and processed foods and replace them with yummy nutrient-dense ingredients that are, as much as possible, locally grown. This task will be a bit easier with Tess Masters’ new book The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks–100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes! (Ten Speed Press). The Blender Girl is versatile collection of recipes that includes appetizers, salads, and main dishes all with a blended component.
I first stumbled upon The Blender Girl website a few years ago while looking for a smoothie recipe. I soon discovered that a blender could be used for so much more than a smoothie (or a margarita); but it could also be used to create delicious and healthy meals. I had a blender, still in the box from my wedding years earlier, and I quickly got it out and began experimenting. Tess calls herself a “blendaholic” and it wasn’t long before I was too — lured in by a Vitamix demonstrator at my local Whole Foods I finally purchased one. (While a high speed blender is not necessary to make any of her recipes, it does come in handy.)
My favorite recipe, so far, isn’t a smoothie or a soup, but a sweet and savory take on pad thai. I found myself literally licking the bowl – the sauce is that yummy!
Pad Thai is Always a Good Idea
Serves 2 to 4
- 1 (14-ounce/395g) package rice stick noodles
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 small radishes
- 1 1/2 carrots
- 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or soy sauce, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
- 8 ounces (230g) tempeh, thinly sliced, or very firm tofu, cubed
- 4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal into 2-inch (5cm) pieces (white and green parts)
- 2 heads baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
- Natural salt
- 1/4 cup (60ml) toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup (60ml) plus 3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
- 1/4 cup (60ml) plus 3 tablespoons coconut nectar (or other natural liquid sweetener)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste, plus more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 2 cups (120g) bean sprouts, to garnish
- 1 cup (140g) roughly chopped raw unsalted cashews, to garnish
- Cilantro, to garnish
- 1 lime, cut into wedges, to garnish
Soak the noodles until al dente according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and coconut sugar. Quickly grate the radishes and the carrot half and transfer the gratings to a glass bowl. Pour the vinegar and sugar mixture over the gratings, cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator.
In a saute pan over medium-high heat, combine the tamari, sesame oil, and lime juice. Add the tempeh and cook for 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and a bit crispy. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
To make the sauce, pour the sesame oil, tamari, coconut nectar, lime juice, garlic, ginger, curry paste, and pepper flakes into your blender and blast on high for about 30 seconds, until well combined. Transfer the sauce to a wok or deep saute pan and bring it just to a boil over high heat. Cut the remaining carrot into julienne. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the green onions and carrot and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the bok choy and cook for about 1 minute more, until the bok choy is just cooked through. Add the noodles and stir until coated with sauce and heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the tempeh and stir carefully. Remove the radish and carrot pickles from the fridge and drain them. Add to the noodles and toss gently. Tweak flavors to taste (you may want more tamari, curry paste, lime juice, or a little salt).
Serve on individual plates or in a big bowl, family style. Top each portion with some bean sprouts, a sprinkling of cashews, and chopped cilantro. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Want your own copy of The Blender Girl? Enter our giveaway now!
I hope enjoy the recipes as much as I do! — Amanda
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks–100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes! by Tess Masters, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
All Photos by Anson Smart © 2014