Yesterday was my first off day of work this week so what do I do? Sit on Pinterest for a good hour looking up some fun recipe to make before I head over to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for my weekly foodie run. I always end up standing by the vegan part of the refrigerated aisle wondering if I should try out a new type of Field Roast sausage, a Daiya cheese or something unknown. However, this time I ended up with nothing but my usual tempeh from Trader Joe’s.
Along with the tempeh, I bought So Delicious dairy-free coconut yogurt, Medjool dates (great addition to smoothies and a perfect snack when paired with nut butter), Ezekial bread (a wonderful sprouted grain bread with no refined sugars and organic grains) and my usual pack of pre-cut butternut squash for $2.
While I walked up and down the aisles trying to find something unique to make for lunch or dinner, I came across Happy Pho Gluten-Free Brown Rice Noodles (around $5). I had seen them before on Instagram and in store but never got around to buying them. They’re an excellent option for stir-fries or Pho – which is what I ended up making. I figured I would finally man up and buy the product and make some Pho! Sidenote: I had never had Pho until making it with this product.
I followed the recipe on the side of the box and only needed to buy cilantro and a box of vegetable stock (together costing me around $3-4). The noodles come in a few different flavors including Shiitake Mushroom, Garlic Goodness and Zesty Ginger. I decided to go with the Shiitake Mushroom because I knew I had some leftover mushrooms at home I could add into the soup along with red peppers and tofu. The box claims it holds 2 servings but this could gladly feed up to 3 or maybe even 4 considering how many noodles you’re given. The great thing about Happy Pho is that it comes with fresh gluten-free noodles and a spice packet, that’s it. No more additives and quite low in sodium – compared to your average Thai/Vietnamese restaurant that piles in the salt and leaves you stuffed to the brim.
- 1 box Star Anise's Gluten-free Brown Rice Pho Noodles
- 1 spice packet included in box
- 4 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 1 small red bell pepper
- ¾ cup broccoli
- ½ cup sliced portabello mushrooms
- ½ block organic and non-GMO extra-firm tofu
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ⅓ cup cilantro
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp lime juice - optional
- Slice tofu into fourths and press either in a tofu press or between paper towels with a heavy object placed on top for 30 minutes to squeeze out excess liquid. (I pressed mine for 3-4 hours which gave me the best results but 30 minutes should work fine)
- Heat up 4 cups of vegetable broth with the spice packet into a large pot until it begins to boil.
- While the broth boils, drop oil and tamari onto a pan and combine veggies and tofu - start sautéing.
- Drop in noodles to boiling broth and cook 1-2 minutes until noodles are tender. Add in cilantro.
- Continue to cook stir-fry while adding garlic powder.
- Pour half of your noodles into a large bowl and top with your stir-fried tofu and veggies, a bit of lime juice and more cilantro.
- Feel free to add some more tamari or sriracha! 🙂
I was very pleased with the way my Happy Pho turned out and I can’t wait to have my leftovers/try the other flavors to see if there is a noticeable difference in them. It is a wonderful feeling making homemade food that replicates restaurant favorites when you know they don’t contain any artificial colors or preservatives. And the box is recyclable! So it’s a win-win for all.
The only thing I might have done differently in the process of making my Pho would be to cook the tofu a tad bit longer because I absolutely love when my tofu is as firm as possible. A tad of Sriracha would have been lovely as well but I was all out 🙁
The next time you’re thinking about having some noodles or Pho for dinner, instead of going out somewhere I highly recommend picking up a box of Happy Pho from your closest Whole Foods and whipping this up.