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Funny Story About Pho
Pronounced “fuh”. Fuhnny, huh? The first time I ever had it, I wanted to try the full deal. No Americanizing for me, please. I want to experience the taste of the Vietnamese! So, when “Pho” opened on the beach (no need to question what’s being served here), I wanted to order the authentic pho with tendon and tripe. Fuuuh that!! I’ll never order that again! Just like my best friend had described for me when I asked her what it was like to eat tripe served to her by her Chinese husband’s parents; you chew and you chew and you chew and then you chew some more. Then….you just give up and swallow. I’m not sure I can tell the difference between tripe and tendon but, one of them is spiky and it’s just peculiar. I know eating unfertilized, unborn chickens to some Hindus and a particular religious group of India, called Jains is taboo. Ethiopians and Thai cultures may consider using utensils rude. In Peru, people grill and eat tree grubs as a special treat! Some countries can’t quite stomach Velveeta cheese (processed cheese food, although it tastes kinda good is pretty gross). I get it. Still, me no likey. All said and done, I’m glad I tried it.
Needless to say, when we received a Green Chef meal called Chicken and Veggie Pho’, I wasn’t exactly excited. I was happy to see, however that the ingredient list was void of any stomach linings or collagen bits.
This was one of the easiest Green Chef meals I’ve ever cooked, especially with the onions, carrots and celery already chopped and as always, the seasonings and sauces were pre-made.
After chopping the chicken, mushrooms, cilantro and scallion, you sauté the vegetables. Next, you add the ginger-anise spice mix and pho base. I admit, it was starting to look pretty tasty.
Add water and chicken which has been coated with oil (I used avocado), salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then add the black-rice noodles (I really like these). Simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and serve with a garnish of cilantro, scallion and Sriracha sauce.
I liked this pho. I’m glad because my first pho experience wasn’t the best.
*something you may not know: Sriracha is all the rage these days, showing up on tables and in menu items everywhere, even fast food restaurants. The sauce originated in Thailand and is made with chilis, sugar, vinegar and salt. The spicy part of a pepper is called capsaicin, which has shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. There are some claims that eating spicy food will help you lose weight by raising your body temperature, therefore expending more calories by increasing metabolism. Taking supplemental capsaicin is not likely to provide much benefit, as with most foods, the health benefits come from an interaction of compounds contained in the whole pepper. So go ahead and spice things up! Just be mindful that Sriracha contains sugar and a pretty good bit, since it’s the second additive on the ingredient list.
another bit: when you overdo it and your mouth is on fire, drinking water won’t help; it only spreads the heat around. Drink milk instead. The casein binds with the capsaicin from the pepper and will provide immediate relief.
If you feel overwhelmed by all the nutrition advice, calorie recommendations and diet trends, read these: Fact. Not Fad., Let’s Crunch Numbers!, Help Me To Help You!
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