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Freaky Fast Faux Pho

Posted Jan 07 2013 10:16pm

How’s that for a title?

So, remember when I poo-pooed my darling husband’s obsession with Vietnamese Pho that he insisted we have on our first night in Denver? 

Well, something very strange happened after I wrote that post.  I started getting a crazy craving for the stuff! We ordered take out from a great place down the street from us a week or two ago, and my recipe-wheels started turning.  Pho is actually considered to be a pretty healthy dish, but after some research, I discovered that true pho starts with a homemade broth that gets it’s flavor from bone marrow and the fat in certain cuts of beef, meaning the dish is actually a little heavy on the fat content.

When my second pho craving hit, I scoured the web for an easy, skip-a-million-steps recipe while I was in the parking lot of the grocery store.  Sadly, all I could find were recipes that insisted that you start by making authentic stock, which takes hours (and also requires a lot of funky ingredients).

And ya wanna know how I feel about spending hours to make your own stock?

AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR DAT!    (click it and thank me later)

After a few minutes of brainstorming, I decided to let Swanson help me out with the broth.  Another way I made my pho healthier was to swap out the traditional rice noodles for Shirataki noodles, which are made from tofu.

tofu_shirataki_spaghetti_large

(Source)  (Can be found in the refrigerated vegan section in the produce aisle of most grocery stores)

Rice noodles have about 200 calories per cup.  Guess how many are in my beloved Shirataki’s? FORTY. That’s quite a difference for something that tastes almost identical.

I must say, my little tricks and cheats made this meal come together in minutes, and it was just as delicious, in my humble opinion :) .

Healthy Faux Pho

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Servings: 2

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 and 1/2 14oz. cans reduced-sodium beef broth

1 can reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste (optional)

2 tablespoons lime juice, plus one lime sliced into wedges and reserved for individual serving

2 packages House Foods Shirataki Tofu Spaghetti Noodles , prepared according to package

directions (drain, rinse and microwave OR parboil for 2-3 minutes)

1/2 lb. thinly sliced deli roast beef (can substitute protein of choice)

1/2 cup bean sprouts, for garnish

lime wedges for garnish

Directions:

Heat the EVOO over medium heat in a large pan or wok (large enough to hold the liquid you will add later). When hot, add the onion and green pepper and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.

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Add the ground ginger and allow it to cook for 1 minute.

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Add the garlic powder, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and allow the spices to toast for a minute or two, using the spatula to move the ingredients around to avoid burning.

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Add the soy sauce and allow it to reduce (cook for 2 minutes).

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Add the broth and lime juice.

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Stir in the chili paste, if using it.

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Bring everything to a simmer, then place a lid on the pot and lower the heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes.

To serve, portion the noodles in the bottom of a bowl.

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Portion the roast beef, slice it lengthwise and place on one side of the bowl, then ladle the broth over top. Garnish with bean sprouts and a lime wedge.

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P.S. This is the perfect time to use those old chopsticks you’ve been saving for no reason. I was very excited about this.

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