Phun Pho

I have had the biggest craving for Thai, Chinese and Pho.  I am also not super stellar at making certain Thai Food (do NOT get me started on Pad Thai.  As much as I LOVE it, I can’t make it to save my ass).  Anywho, my January health and fitness challenge also started recently which always inspires me to play with food.  I know it sound silly but yes, I play with food and work with recipes.  I’ve learned that most people struggle with nutrition.  Whether it’s how many macros they need, how to plan and prepare food, time constraints, cooking for the rest of the family that might not eat the same food…and on and on.  I like to have options.  I’m a vegetarian so most of the goodies I play with are vegetarian…if you’re a meat eater and stumble on my blog I’m not going to bitch if you substitute delicious vegetarian protein for meaty stuff.  It is what it is, my hubby is a meat eater to the T and he’s not about to change nor will I try to change him.  He’s also not a very adventurous eater, so most of the stuff I cook is for me only, tee hee.  It does boost my confidence when he says how good it smells (who doesn’t like a compliment every now and then?).

Needless to say I wanted Pho…and wontons…and spice.  So, I looked into a really cool cookbook that I received as a gift years ago (The Essential Asian Cookbook) and cooked up some Becky-style Phun Pho.  I personally like beansprouts in my pho, I totally forgot cilantro (nobody’s perfect), lime, sriracha and green onion.  The pho makes about 3 vegan servings, but keep in mind it makes extra wontons which I ended up baking the next day as a snack (BONUS!).  I did calculate some nutritional facts for ya which I’ll include at the end.

Phun Pho
servings: ~3

4 cups Pho soup base
Wonton wrappers
4oz Seitan
4oz Shitake mushrooms
2 Tbl minced Chestnuts
1 tbl Soy sauce
1 tsp Sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Bean sprouts
2 finely chopped green onions, save some for garnish


Place seitan in a bowl, crumble.  Mix in the mushrooms, chestnuts, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and green onion.


Work with 1 won ton wrapper at at time, be sure to keep the rest under a damp cloth to keep from drying out.  Swipe a bit of water onto edges of won ton wrapper.  Place about 1 tsp of mixture onto center, fold in half and lightly smoosh out air while pinching edges to seal.  I’m a won ton virgin, so it took awhile to get the hang of working with these little buggers.  If you don’t smoosh out the air, they may “take on water” in the soup and sink like a capsized boat…just sayin’.  You will see some of my sinkers in the photo below.

Lightly wet edges and fold over to make a little purse.  Continue making won tons until you have 12 (if you follow the nutrition guide I calculate for 4 per serving).


Heat the pho soup base over med-low.  Heat another pot of water to a rapid boil, add the won tons and boil about 4 minutes.  Scoop out with a slotted spoon and add to warming broth.


Make a bowl with about 4 won tons, garnish with about 1 cup of rinsed bean sprouts, fresh cilantro, lime and sriracha.


Nutrition Facts:
4 won tons with broth, 1 cup bean sprouts, 1/4 lime, sriracha and cilantro (optional)

Calories: 224
Carb: 30g
Fat: 5g
Protein: 18g

Enjoy!  If you make any modifications, please share!  I’m a pho and won ton beginner 😀




Mushroom Lentil Soup

I have been in such a food funk lately.  It’s been hard to decide what to put on my meal planner, nothing sounds good, blah blah blah.  I figured soup was an easy fix to my problem.  My next obstacle was to decide what kind of soup to throw together, mushrooms nearly always sound good, I wanted protein, not in the form of beans because I was having Greek chickpea salad for lunch this week, so lentils it is.  I like a hearty soup, or at least that’s generally how my soups turn out whether I like it or not.  My husband makes fun of that fact, yet he never complains.  I was feeling creative this evening so here’s my version of a super simple, food funk vegetarian soup.

Makes about 4 servings.

1 small onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrots…oh wait, my husband had the carrots in his lunch so my soup is missing it…bummer
1 cup sliced celery
3 cups chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup rinsed brown lentils
2 Tbl sherry
4 cups veggie broth
Salt/pepper to taste
1 bay leaf

Here we go!  Heat the EVOO over medium heat and sauté your onion and garlic for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the celery and (ahem) carrots, pretend mine are in there.  Sauté another 2 minutes, add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, stir well and simmer about 2 minutes.  Add the lentils, veggie broth, bay leaf and sherry.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes until the lentils are tender.
In the meantime, take your dog for a walk, chase your kids around the house, clean up the dishes if you’re responsible.  In no time your soup will be ready and then you need to determine if it’s necessary to crack a bottle of wine, Oktoberfest or porter 😉  Voila!  Super easy weeknight soup.

As usual I like to give optional add-ins because one size does not fit all.
1/2 cup barley would add some nice texture and flavor, I was actually going to add this but I was good on my carb macros for the week.
1/2 cup diced potatoes would also be a nice addition.

If you try it and add anything, let me know how it goes!