Foundation Diet and Health
The best perspective for your health
The best perspective for your health
The best perspective for your health
The best perspective for your health

Pho with Pak Choi, Edamame and Brown Rice Noodles

This version of pho with pak choi, edamame, and brown rice noodles is amazingly delicious, with the added bonus that it doesn’t contain any meat or fish sauce.


90% 72/18/10 
Ω-6 (LA, 0.9g) : Ω-3 (ALA, 0.3g) = 3:1

Ingredients (for servings, )


  • vegetable peeler
  • stove
  • saucepan
  • sieve

Type of preparation

  • cook
  • chop or grind
  • blanch
  • strain
  • bring to a boil
  • remove the skin
  • peel
  • drain


  1. For the broth
    Clean and roughly chop the carrots. Peel and roughly chop the onion and ginger. Cut the shiitake mushrooms in half, remove the stems, and set to the side. Cut the bok choy into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces, remove the stalks, and set to the side. Crush the garlic cloves.

  2. Put the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, carrots, onion, ginger, mushroom stems, bok choy stalks, garlic, and stock in a pot or large pan, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15–20 minutes.

    The rest of the mushrooms and bok choy leaves will be used later in the recipe.

    While the vegetables are simmering, you can prepare the noodles (next step).

    The original recipe calls for vegetable broth instead of vegetable stock. Our reasons for using vegetable stock and some recipe suggestions can be found under “Alternative preparation.”

  3. For the noodles
    Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package, let drain, and place to the side.

    The original recipe calls for brown rice noodles.

    While the noodles are cooking, you can begin with the following steps.

  4. For the mixed vegetables (Suppengrün)
    Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt, and then add the edamame and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to refresh.

    Please note that most edamame and other soy products from North America contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms). However, you can avoid these by buying organic edamame.

  5. Remove the beans from the pods and place in a mixing bowl. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, coarsely chop the scallions, and add to the bowl. Cut the red chili pepper into thin strips. Add ¾ of the red chili pepper, Thai basil, spearmint, and cilantro leaves to the bowl and place the bowl to the side.

    Place the remaining chili pepper and herbs to the side; they will be used later in the recipe.

  6. Continuing with the pho
    Once the broth is ready, strain and then return it to the pan and bring it back to a boil. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook over a high heat for a minute or so. Then add the bok choy and soy sauce and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the contents of the mixing bowl and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the noodles (from Step 2).

    We have reduced the amount of soy sauce by half and replaced the tamari with a low-sodium soy sauce. For more information, please see “Alternate preparation.

  7. Serving
    Taste and add a little more soy sauce if you like. It’s easiest to serve if you use tongs to place some of the noodles and vegetables into each bowl and then use a ladle for the broth. Add a little more chili pepper, Thai basil, mint, and coriander (which you put aside in Step 4) to each bowl according to personal preference. Garnish with half a lime and a little black pepper.

Nutritional Information per person Convert per 100g
2000 kcal
Energy335 kcal16.7%
Fat/Lipids8.1 g11.6%
Saturated Fats0.45 g2.2%
Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber)58 g21.6%
Sugars16 g18.3%
Fiber15 g59.9%
Protein/Albumin15 g29.3%
Cooking Salt (Na:325.9 mg)828 mg34.5%
A serving is 905g.Recommended daily allowance according to the GDA.
Cooking Salt

Essential micronutrients with the highest proportions per person 2000 kcal
VitVitamin K 148 µg197.0%
VitFolate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and 302 µg151.0%
MinManganese, Mn 2.3 mg116.0%
VitVitamin A, as RAE 704 µg88.0%
VitVitamin C (ascorbic acid) 59 mg73.0%
ElemPotassium, K 1'419 mg71.0%
MinCopper, Cu 0.65 mg65.0%
ProtTryptophan (Trp, W) 0.14 g58.0%
ProtThreonine (Thr, T) 0.53 g57.0%
MinIron, Fe 6.7 mg48.0%

Detailed Nutritional Information per Person for this Recipe

The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.

If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.

For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.

Essential fatty acids per person 2000 kcal
Alpha-Linolenic acid; ALA; 18:3 omega-3 0.28 g14.0%
Linoleic acid; LA; 18:2 omega-6 0.93 g9.0%

Essential amino acids per person 2000 kcal
Tryptophan (Trp, W) 0.14 g58.0%
Threonine (Thr, T) 0.53 g57.0%
Lysine (Lys, K) 0.78 g42.0%
Phenylalanine (Phe, F) 0.56 g36.0%
Isoleucine (Ile, I) 0.44 g35.0%
Leucine (Leu, L) 0.86 g35.0%
Valine (Val, V) 0.50 g31.0%
Methionine (Met, M) 0.18 g19.0%

Essential macroelements (macronutrients) per person 2000 kcal
Potassium, K 1'419 mg71.0%
Phosphorus, P 323 mg46.0%
Sodium, Na 326 mg41.0%
Calcium, Ca 257 mg32.0%
Magnesium, Mg 119 mg32.0%

Essential trace elements (micronutrients) per person 2000 kcal
Manganese, Mn 2.3 mg116.0%
Copper, Cu 0.65 mg65.0%
Iron, Fe 6.7 mg48.0%
Zinc, Zn 2.6 mg26.0%
Selenium, Se 6.4 µg12.0%
Fluorine, F 256 µg7.0%
Iod, I (Jod, J) 6.8 µg5.0%
Book cover: “Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl: Natural, Nutritious and Delicious Wholefood Recipes ...”
Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl
Pavilion Books Company Ltd, David and Charlotte Bailey
Raw recipes 11, Cooked recipes 58 (4)
Additional photos (7)

“Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl – Natural, Nutritious and Delicious ...,” a Middle Eastern vegetarian cookbook with a strong focus on wholefoods.

SummaryWholefood Heaven in a Bowl – Natural, Nutritious and Delicious Wholefood Recipes to Nourish Body and Soul by David and Charlotte Bailey is a vegetarian cookbook that includes many vegan recipes. It is a good cookbook both for those who have experience with a vegan and/or vegetarian diet and those who are just starting out and are ready to try healthier options. The recipes are international and have a special focus on Asian cuisine; they range from easy to prepare to more challenging dishes.

Critical book reviews
Since August 2018, we have been addressing the use of ingredients that aren’t particularly healthy. Although we don’t change recipes that contain such ingredients, we do provide alternative healthier versions of these.

It is not common practice for us to use a vegetarian cookbook as a source, but about 70 % of the recipes in this cookbook are vegan. These are the only type we have on our website.


Overall impressionIn their cookbook Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl – Natural, Nutritious and Delicious Wholefood Recipes to Nourish Body and Soul, David and Charlotte Bailey have selected recipes with naturally healthy ingredients. The recipes include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains that have been processed and refined as little as possible. David and Charlotte Bailey use a lot of whole grains and ancient grains and avoid highly processed foods and food additives. They also try to keep the amount of added salt, sugar, and oil to a minimum. It is therefore somewhat surprising that canned foods such as legumes or tomatoes are sometimes called for in the recipes. However, this does not occur very often.

It is helpful that above each recipe the authors have listed whether it is a vegan recipe, includes vegan options, if it includes grains, and if it is gluten-free. Tofu products are found in some recipes but are the exception. You will notice right away that the recipes contain a large number of spices. The dishes are international, and many are clearly influenced by Asian cuisine. The ingredients themselves are readily available. Alongside simple and quick dishes, you will also find quite complicated recipes that require planning and time to prepare. However, it would be nice if the recipes, especially the more involved ones, included the preparation time needed. Since most people will not be familiar with recipes like these, it would be nice if there were photos for all of the recipes and not just for most of them.

Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl is a book that has a strong emphasis on health and features many extraordinary, one-of-a-kind recipes. It is a cookbook that offers even experienced vegan cooks numerous new ideas for recipes.
David and Charlotte Bailey have written two books: Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl and The Fresh Vegan Kitchen, both of which are available from Pavilion books and Amazon.

About the authorsDavid Bailey, who has several years of experience working in top restaurants, and his wife Charlotte started their business Wholefood Heaven in 2010. They sell vegetarian street food at markets, festivals, and other events. Their famous Buddha Bowl won the 2011 British Street Food Awards for Best Main Dish. In addition to their business, they are continually developing new recipes and writing cookbooks.

ContentsWholefood Heaven in a Bowl – Natural, Nutritious and Delicious Wholefood Recipes to Nourish Body and Soul begins with an introduction that explains the terms “wholefoods” and “bowls.” The chapter “Wholefood Store Cupboard” provides information about a wide range of ingredients that come under the categories of whole grains, flours, legumes (pulses), nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, tofu and soya chunks, and other things.

The recipes are divided into seven sections:

  • Breakfasts and brunch
  • Salads
  • Soups and stews
  • Mains
  • Accompaniments and sides
  • Baking and desserts
  • Drinks

Breakfast and brunch: This chapter is full of sweet and savory international breakfast and brunch options — from muesli to pancakes and the like. Only one recipe is vegan, but two have vegan options. Most of the other vegetarian dishes contain egg and about half of them dairy products. Examples of recipes in this section are Chia Seed Bircher Bowl and Millet Porridge with Prune Compote and Flaked Almonds.

Salads:Most of the salads call for cooked ingredients such as grilled vegetables or grains and therefore are not raw food dishes. Four of the eight recipes are vegan, and two more include vegan options. Seaweed, Wild Rice, Tofu, Sesame and Spring Onion Salad and Wholegrain Glass Noodle Salad with Smoked Tofu and Mixed Sprouts are just two examples of the recipes in this section.

Soups and stews: All of the recipes in this section are vegan or include vegan options. You might try, for example, Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds or the Vietnamese-inspired Pho with Pak Choi, Edamame and Brown Rice Noodles. Apart from canned coconut milk, canned ingredients (here: beans) are only called for on one occasion.

Mains:About two-thirds of the recipes in this largest section of the cookbook are either vegan or include vegan options. About one-third calls for soy products (e.g., tofu or soya chunks) or canned ingredients. Many of the recipes require several ingredients, which means that they take more time and effort to prepare. Some examples of recipes in this section are the famous Buddha Bowl, Ethiopian Kik Alicha (split stew) with Atakilt Wat (spiced cabbage), Cucumber Salad and Injera Flatbread, and Mexican Bean Pot Bowl with Citrus Chard.

Accompaniments and sides:Apart from one exception, all of the dishes in this section are vegan. You will find fermented vegetables such as Basic Kimchi, spice pastes and savory sauces like Seeni Sambol, and vegetable sides and toppings such as Hazelnut Dukkah.

Baking and desserts:The majority of the recipes here contain either eggs or dairy products and therefore are not vegan. An example of one of the three vegan recipes is Vegan Carrot Halwa.

Drinks:Alongside Milky Masala Chai and Tiger’s Milk, this section includes numerous smoothies and refreshing drinks such as the Switchel with lemon and ginger.

Book review written by Dr. med. vet. Inke Weissenborn

... more

Notes about recipe

This version of pho with pak choi, edamame, and brown rice noodles is amazingly delicious, with the added bonus that it doesn’t contain any meat or fish sauce.

Nutritional profile: According to GDA guidelines, one serving of this dish meets the recommended daily requirement for vitamins K, C, A, and B6, as well as the minerals potassium and manganese. If only a little soy sauce is used and the salt content of the broth is moderate, then the overall salt content of this recipe is acceptable. In addition, at 2:1 the soup has a good ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is well under the maximum recommended ratio of 5:1.

Pho (Phở): Pho is a traditional soup that is an integral part of Vietnamese cuisine. Depending on the geographical location in Vietnam, you will find different variations of this soup. In the north (Hanoi), for example, the broth has a more spice-filled flavor because more seasonings are added and certain ingredients are roasted beforehand. In Vietnam, you can find pho practically everywhere, no matter if it’s a restaurant or a stand in a narrow, winding street. The original pho contains broth, rice noodles, thinly sliced beef, onion or leek rings, cilantro, mint, chili peppers, lime wedges, and fish sauce. Regional varieties often include basil and/or mung bean sprouts. In Vietnam, pho is a traditional and popular breakfast food.

Edamame: Edamame have a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. The name edamame means “stem beans” and refers to the fact that in times past the beans were often sold still attached to the stem. Edamame are immature soybeans that are usually boiled or steamed and served with salt. Originally only found in East Asian cuisine, today edamame are also becoming popular in Western countries. Edamame are often served as an appetizer or finger food. Although edamame are sometimes cooked in their pods, only the beans are eaten and not the pods themselves.

Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms, native to east Asia, are the second most common edible mushroom in the world. Shiitake mushrooms have a wide range of uses. They can be eaten fried, baked, or steamed, and also raw. Shiitake mushrooms have a pleasant, savory taste called “umami.” They also have positive effects on metabolism and are used in traditional medicine, for example, to treat inflammation, tumors, and stomach ailments.

Bok choy: Bok choy, also called pak choi, is a type of Chinese cabbage. It has a mild flavor and takes very little time to cook. Bok choy contains glucosinolates, which have been reported to prevent cancer in small doses, but can be toxic to humans in large doses.

Thai basil: Thai basil, also known as horapa, is a type of basil that is native to Southeast Asia and used in a wide range of Asian dishes. Unlike its European counterpart, Thai basil has purple stems and blossoms and narrow, arrow-shaped leaves. The flavor is much different than “normal” basil and can be described as an anise- and licorice-like, slightly spicy flavor.

Differences between stock and broth: In cooking, there are several differences between broth and stock. Broth can be used as an ingredient or served as a dish on its own whereas stock has been boiled down, concentrated, and isn’t salted and is therefore only suited as an ingredient in cooking.


Cilantro (fresh coriander): There is a wide range of opinions regarding the flavor of cilantro. Some people react to its intensive, slightly soapy aroma with symptoms ranging from aversion to nausea. In these cases, simply leave out this ingredient as there isn’t an alternative with a similar flavor. In addition, it is important to note that cilantro does not keep well. According to Swiss statistics, 15% of the allergic population reacts to cilantro.

Alternate preparation

High salt content: The higher salt content is mainly a result of the vegetable broth and soy sauce (tamari) contained in this dish. Consuming too much salt is very unhealthy, and it is therefore best to reduce the overall amount of salt you consume. A total of 2.5 g of table salt (1 g of sodium) per day is optimal, especially if you have high blood pressure. This is why we've used a salt-free vegan stock in place of the vegetable broth and cut the amount of soy sauce in half. In addition, we have replaced the tamari with a low-sodium soy sauce called genen shoyu. However, this variety of soy sauce is not gluten-free.

Making your own broth/stock: If you would like to make your own vegetable broth or stock, here are a few tasty recipes to try out:
- Instant Vegetable Broth with Carrots, Celery, and Leeks
- Organic Mushroom Vegetable Broth with Carrots and Celery
- Vegan Stock with Celery, Leeks, Fennel, and Carrots

Noodles: Instead of rice noodles, you also can use soba noodles, which are Japanese noodles made from buckwheat.

Cilantro: For this recipe, the authors use cilantro (fresh coriander). However, original Vietnamese pho usually contains culantro (long-leaf cilantro). Culantro is in the same botanical family, but the two herbs look nothing alike, and culantro has an even stronger flavor then cilantro. If you do use culantro, you will need to reduce the amount significantly.