I love cooking, I just set up a recipe category so I can share some favorites. A couple of notes to start with: I am SO not a vegetarian or vegan. I think there are some interesting ethical discussions, and one of my own favorite pieces on it recently is this one, by Mark Sisson. That said, I probably won’t post many recipes that are vegan just because that’s not how I cook.

I wanted to put a nice happy lighthearted piece up since I’ve been writing about sexual politics, abuse, privilege, and so on for several days. I’ll get back to that stuff, just not today. Oh, and can you tell we’re not in Ensenada? Yeah, they found someone local to do it, which makes a lot more sense than us flying to San Diego to do it. I’m sad that I am not in Ensenada, I’m happy that it was done by someone who didn’t have to get on a plane to do it. Instead, we’ll take our own sailboat out tomorrow afternoon, cruise over to a favorite spot a couple of hours away, and spend some time campfire singing, eating and drinking with friends.

Last night was only the second time I’ve had time to cook a meal since coming home from DC. I texted my one remaining child at home to ask what she wanted, and she said “spicy noodles!” Spicy noodles is a variation on a Nina Simonds recipe for szechuan green beans. It typically doesn’t include green beans when I make it.

Ingredients:

a head of garlic, minced
scallions, white parts only, minced. A couple of tablespoons. Save the greens for another recipe, don’t toss them.
hot pepper paste (use from 1 tsp to a couple of tablespoons, depending on your heat preference)

pork tenderloin
a veggie (I sometimes do use green beans, but I also use asparagus or snap peas or whatever looks good)
udon noodles
Oil. (I use coconut oil, or duck fat. Coconut oil stands up well to high heat, which is nice. Use whatever you feel is healthiest.)

For the sauce:
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp worchestire or chinese black vinegar
3 tbsp Shaoxing wine (look for it at Asian markets, red label)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar (I use Xylitol to keep it low glycemic)
2 tsp corn starch (Suggestions for a paleo alternative for thickener? Email me)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

And then you:

Start a pot of boiling water for noodles.
Dice up your ingredients, mix up your sauce, have them standing by.
Slice your pork tenderloin in fairly thin slices

Heat up a wok to almost smoking with your choice of oil. Brown the pork, set it aside and wipe out your wok.
Cook your noodles to al dente. They’ll get a tiny bit softer later, so don’t overcook. Drain, rinse in cold water, set aside
If you’re using a veggie, throw it in the pot with the noodles, also drain, rinse in cold water, set aside.

Reheat your wok with more oil, and throw in your spicy seasonings (the garlic, scallions and red pepper paste). WARNING! If you like a lot of spice and are using lots of red pepper paste AND you let your wok get too hot, you make a lovely pepper spray effect in your kitchen. I know this from experience, sadly. :)

Saute spicy seasonings until fragrant, maybe 30 seconds.
Add your sauce, bring to a boil, stir constantly until it starts to thicken.
Add your veggies and noodles, so they soak up the sauce. Add the meat last, the juices will make the sauce less thick.

Done!

This is a great recipe because it’s so adaptable. Want to stay paleo? Leave out the noodles. Want to stay vegetarian? Sub vegetable broth for chicken broth, use more veggies and no meat. It’s basically all about the sauce. I figure any recipe that my entire family requests (they are fussy eaters) is one to share. And check out Nina Simonds books, Spices of Life is my favorite.

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