Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Green Bean Redemption

I have to say with I am thrilled, relieved, and oh so thankful that the little Cole man has decided that he likes to take naps after all.  After a week of wanting to literally pull every hair out of my head, I am now surrounded by the peace and quiet of a sweet napping baby boy.  I don't know what changed, there is still no sign of any emerging teeth.....perhaps he is waiting to pop a whole mouth full out at once. Who really knows, all I care about is my baby boy is back! Praise the Lord!

Other news I have been busy learning the culinary art of making my own baby food.  All I have to say is you win some and you lose some.  I knew early on I wanted to make my own baby food, something about spending $1.00 or more for a little jar of food just didn't settle well with me.  Also, I like knowing what I am feeding my little man.  I have to admit that this has been quite a challenge for me..... see, Cole came out of the womb ready to chow down.  He practically tripled his baby weight in about 3-4 months.  I often joke that I don't just serve up milk, I serve up whipped cream.  I mean, seriously, the kid isn't lacking any rolls.

Photo By: Shannon Dickman
It has been challenging transitioning into incorporating some solids into his diet, in fact I kind of began dragging my feet when the time actually came.  The truth is, up until now I always knew that Cole was getting the best food possible, there was no guessing, no measuring, and no preparing....he ate when he was hungry (or when I let him as he would have grazed every minute of every day if I would have let him!).  And in return he was absolutely thriving.  Solids meant that I would have to put more thought into his meals...which I don't mind doing, but it was a matter of what was best for his little body.  Rice cereal turned out to be the safe route but a dead end, as he became overly constipated and the poor thing was miserable.  I finally decided to ditch the cereals and go with veggies and fruit.  So far he has loved eating sweet potatoes, peas, pears, and bananas.  I decided it was time to introduce another veggie and being that I scored a good deal on organic green beans, I thought perfect!  Oh how I worked and worked on getting those green beans pureed just right.  Finally, I pranced on over to showcase them and had visions of Cole gobbling them up and anticipating every single bite of their yumminess. Ummm,  Epic fail.  he took barely one bite and then gave me this....

Followed by this pained and disgusted look....

Can't say I blame him, they do look pretty gross. I am now left with a big bowl of green mush, lovely. 

So maybe I bombed on the green bean machine....but I definitely have a win to share with you today.  You know you hit the jackpot with a meal when you wake up in the middle of the night dreaming about it.  And that is what this is....nothing short of a dream-like salad.  If you are like me and adore spring rolls, then please try this takes all the flavors of Thai spring rolls and tosses them into a wonderfully refreshing salad.  Perfection I tell you. I have eaten this two days in a row and about to do a third, and all I have to say is the flavors get even better with time. Even my hubby went back for seconds and possibly thirds. Take my advice, skip the green beans and indulge in this.

Without further ado...I give to you....

Spring Roll Salad:
Found From: Cooking for Seven


For the Salad:
  • 1 package Rice Vermicelli
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 4 C lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts + extra for serving
  • 6 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1-2 lbs. chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • lime wedges, for serving
For the Peanut Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • water
For the Fish Sauce:
  • 4 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
1. Soften the rice vermicelli according the the directions on the package. Drain and run under cold water to cool the noodles. Place in a large salad bowl. Add the carrots, cucumber, cilantro, lettuce, 1/2 cup peanuts, and green onions.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic & ginger for about 1 minute. Add the chicken & soy sauce and saute until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Cool on a plate, then transfer to the refrigerator.

For the Peanut Sauce:
3. In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over boiling water, whisk together the peanut butter and hoisin sauce. Add water a little at a time until desire consistency is achieved.

For the Fish Sauce:
4. Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved.

To Assemble:
5. Add the chicken to the noodle and vegetable mixture. Toss well. Top with lime wedges. Serve with the peanut & fish sauces & chopped peanuts on the side.

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