Vegetarian Pho {recipe}

We have now entered the extreme craziness of spring season and Anton & Ezekiel are both playing two sports...therefore we are n.e.v.e.r. home.

...probably doesn't help that we're also remodeling a house...

Now more than ever, I need quick and easy dinner solutions. 
My crock pot is my best friend, but I tell myself I can't use it EVERY night
{though truthfully I almost do}. 

I found this recipe recently on Pinterest & was intrigued by the combination of spices: 
coriander, cinnamon, cloves, & star of anise. 

A big thank you to Healthy Green Kitchen for a yummy dinner that yes...even our children enjoyed!

{of course Imani had seconds}

just a side note...

The recipe calls for ketjap manis, which is a dark, sweet, & very flavorful soy sauce. 
I couldn't find it in the Asian section of our grocery store 
{and didn't have time to check Whole Foods or an Asian specialty store}. 

So, I substituted soy sauce & added some brown sugar {per instruction on Healthy Green Kitchen} 
1 tablespoon of each, taste, and add more if needed {which I did}

Do you like bok choy? Yum, I sure do.

totally off subject:

These are the beautiful roses above my kitchen sink.
Don't you hate when flowers are at the tail end of their lives, becoming all wilted and sad?
I can't bear to toss 'em out yet, but I pose the same question my children always ask me:
"why do flowers have to die?" 

I'm usually a wimp when it comes to spicy, but I'm liking Sriracha more & more. 
That's the red you see on top.

{oh and in case you're wondering, "pho" is actually pronounced "fuh"}

I love that this soup is extremely tasty as well as healthy:

It is glueten-free {make sure you use wheat free soy sauce}, contains protein in the form of the edamame, and is loaded with calcium from the greens.  We're not vegetarians, but it doesn't mean we can't enjoy an amazing vegetarian dinner!

vegetarian pho

. ingredients . 

. 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
. 4 whole cloves
. 4 whole star of anise
. 1 cinnamon stick
. 1 quart of vegetable stock
. 1 small onion, peeled & quartered
. 1 three inch chunk of ginger, peeled & smashed with side of knife
. 2 tablespoons ketjap manis {see substitution above in post}

. 2 cups chopped bok choy
. 1 cup shelled edamame

. approximately 2 oz. rice noodles or cellophane/bean thread noodles
. 1-2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped {optional garnish}
. 1-2 tablespoon chopped green onions {white parts only}, minced for garnish {optional}
. 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
. sriracha chili sauce, to taste

. directions . 

{step 1} Heat a cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon stick and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices into a bowl to avoid burning them and set aside.

{step 2} In a large pot, add the toasted spices and all ingredients from stock through ketjap manis and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

{step 3} Taste the broth and add more ketjap manis, if needed. Strain the broth, reserving the solids. Chop the onion and ginger and add them back to the pot with the bok choy and edamame and cook for 4-5 more minutes. Remove from heat.

{step 4} Add the noodles and allow to sit for a few minutes while they soften.

{step 5} To serve, ladle the broth into bowls. Divide the bok choy, edamame, and noodles evenly into each bowl. Sprinkle on the garnishes and add sriracha to taste. Squeeze lime juice to taste over the top of your bowl before eating.

bon appetit!