Between mid-2015 and 2016, I spent close to a year living in Toronto and absolutely loved it. I could talk endlessly about how great it was, how much calmer it was than New York, how nice everyone is (or seems to be), but for this particular post, I will focus on one of the dishes I ate when I was there. Next to my office in Toronto were two lunch spots – Salad Days (which I will post a recipe from at a later time) and Freshii. When I moved back to the States, I went through a period of withdrawal, craving those lunches that I loved so much, so I recreated my favorite lunch from Freshii. It was so easy and I learned about the joy of rice noodles (which taste just like pasta but cook much faster!). Plus, this is a recipe that doesn’t need to be refrigerated if you don’t add meat, so it’s portable and great for outdoor get-togethers.
As a side note, about 6 months after I got back from Toronto, I went on the Freshii website…and lo and behold, they’re here! They’re in New York! And their White Plains location is about 10 minutes from my office, so I drove over there as fast as I could. So now, I have the option of making this myself or getting the real thing…they’re both delicious and both bring back my happy memories of Toronto.
freshii.com – Go visit if there’s one near you!
rice noodles, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, crispy wontons, green onions, spicy peanut sauce (Side Note: I ask to replace this with a simple vinaigrette on the side or just use sriracha on the side)
- 1 8-ounce package of rice noodles
- 1 lb. of chicken breasts or pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cups no-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced (white and green parts separated)
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups vegetables – as Freshii does, I use broccoli, a few shredded carrots, and purple cabbage, but any veggie would be good in here!
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- 5-6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Note: You can either boil the noodles like pasta or stir fry them. They both work well.
- Toss corn tortilla strips lightly in a little oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake them until crisp with brown edges, about 8 minutes. Place them on the side.
- In a large skillet or wok, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken or pork. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the pan, then add the scallions, ginger and garlic; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetables to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start softening, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and ground pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth evaporates and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Squeeze the lime on top and add the chopped cilantro.
- Stir all together and serve in a large bowl. Add the tortilla strips on top.
If you’d like to add more of a sauce on top, you can either make a simple lime vinaigrette (found HERE, just omit the salt) or pour a little sriracha on top to add a kick.