We have officially been back in California for a month! Home is a magical place. We are still living in Scott’s family’s vacation home in Irvine while we search for a permanent home in our old neighborhood of east side Costa Mesa. We feel so fortunate to get to take this time to find the “right” place, instead of being forced into what was available when we first landed here several weeks back. I’m also really enjoying the quiet neighborhood life for a bit. I can walk across the street to the farm and stock up on produce at the farm-stand, one of the few (only?) places you can really do this in Orange County. And we have plenty of well-paved streets and sidewalks to explore on our bikes. Grassy green belts. Tall, old trees blooming violet and red flowers. This is a short blip in our life that we are in a situation like this, and I am trying to live in the moment – soaking it up.
Soon we will be back in our cute neighborhood with busier streets, trendier homes, and cool shops. I’m excited to be around more people my age and be close to all of our favorite go-to places – including the beach. But I’m not feeling hurried (other than this home will be needed soon for vacations, so we don’t have but maybe another month to get scootin’). My clothes are still packed in trash bags from the move, leaving me with the option to be “lazy” and only get dressed using the pieces of clothing sitting on the tops of each bag (I’ve worn the same three outfits for a month). I haven’t brushed my hair once (what box did I pack those in again?) and our entire pantry is still sitting on the kitchen counter. We are “in limbo” and I’m just chilling out. Scott works on an old desk in the bedroom by the window, I set up my station at the kitchen table. This home use to be his grandma’s, and much of what she left is still here. Old seashells in baskets, old brown carpet turned green, cobwebs and daddy long legs lurking about – but its cool. No distractions, really. Nothing for me to try to renovate or perfect. We’re just squatting for a bit and, like I said before, chilling out. Life is full of so many seasons, and I love just going with the flow. There is no sense in trying to control the season you are in, or envying others in a different season than your own – although I am guilty of this at times too. Its important to embrace your current season. I don’t think there is anything wrong with setting goals and having dreams, but if we live our lives consumed with tomorrow – who is going to be here for today?
ABOUT THE RECIPE
I made this dish a few weeks back for a project with Urban Outfitters and received a standing ovation from Scott. I think this may be his (and my) new favorite meal so far this year. It is delicious served hot from the skillet, but equally amazing eaten cold from the fridge the next day. I portioned out servings into mason jars in the fridge for easy lunches during the week and felt super accomplished. Especially since the entire dinner is so simple to throw together, and is void of any “nutrition-less” ingredients. I used kelp noodles for the first time, paired with spiralized veggies, and sautéed them with crumbled tempeh. The kelp noodles, once sautéed, remind me so much of ramen its startling. I’m so excited to have discovered them, and once covered in my creamy, zingy cashew sauce they are undeniable. I took a traditional peanut pad thai and made it cashew based instead. After making my sauce both ways, one with cashew and one with peanut, Scott and I both agreed the cashew one was better! The peanut butter flavor tends to overwhelm the other delicious flavors in the sauce and dish, whereas the cashew butter variation let them shine. But of course, use your favorite and it will be delicious nonetheless. And if you find some take-out boxes with disposable chopsticks, it makes for a fun “take out” night-in too.
This post was sponsored by Urban Outfitters. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Faring Well by supporting it’s sponsors!
CASHEW VEGGIE PAD THAI
Makes 3 servings.
1 medium zucchini
2 medium carrots
1 red bell pepper
1 package of kelp noodles
1 package of tempeh
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup toasted cashew butter (plain)
1/2 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
cashews, toasted and chopped
fresh cilantro leaves
wedge of lime
Combine the ingredients for the cashew sauce in an upright blender and process until smooth. Transfer to an airtight jar. Can be used right away, or made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to one week.
Wash and pat dry the vegetables for the stir-fry. Using a julienne peeler, make thin vegetable noodles from the carrot and zucchini. Slice the bell pepper in half, remove the stem and seeds, and peel into thin strips as well using a flat blade vegetable peeler. (Or slice very thin using a sharp knife.) Remove the tempeh from the package and crumble into tiny bits over a small bowl.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium on the stove. Add the vegetables and tempeh crumbles, and toss while cooking until the veggies are tender, about 3 minutes. Open the bag of kelp noodles and rinse under water for a few seconds. Add to the veggie stir-fry on the stove, and break up the bunch of noodles using tongs until they are well incorporated with the veggies. Continue tossing and cooking for an additional 3 minutes.
Add half the jar of cashew sauce to the sauté pan and toss with tongs to incorporate and warm. Remove the pan from the stove and divide between 3 bowls. Top with your choice of toppings, if desired, and drizzle with more sauce right before serving. Can be eaten warm, or chilled and eaten cold. Just like good Chinese takeout, this dish is super when eaten cold from the fridge for breakfast the following morning.
SEE THE RECIPE ON URBAN OUTFITTERS >>