Friday, October 18, 2013

Spicy Peanut Noodles

Spicy Peanut Noodles

If you read my post last night for Coconut Curry Noodles, you know that I based that entire meal around purple corn and rice noodles that I saw at my local store this past week.  Well, to be honest, those noodles intrigued me so much that I bought two packages.  I love when foods are deeply colored naturally because usually the darker the produce, the more nutrients it has for your body, and although I know that the amount of actual purple corn in these noodles probably holds very little nutritional benefit, I figured that they had to be better than plain old white ones. And more importantly, they are prettier. 

Anyway, I realized that unless I wanted tons of left overs I only needed to cook one package per recipe to feed my little family, so that left me with another box to work with.  I had initially had a spicy peanut sauce idea in my head when shopping but then realized that a lot of my posts have featured peanut butter recently, and having a nephew with a peanut allergy, I try to cook with and offer alternatives to peanuts.  But for this recipe, it is all about the spicy Thai inspired peanut sauce.  Full of healthy fats, tons of veggies and barely any sugar, this is a dish that is rich, satisfying and most importantly, easy to pack for a night on the run (once again).

This evening there is a walk-a-thon for the local school district at our high school track.  Normally on a night like tonight I would pack sandwiches, or just take a night off and go somewhere before or after to grab a bite to eat.  But this event goes from about 4:30 until 7:30 pm which doesn't leave a lot of time for eating.  I am planning to help out while there and my husband will be walking with the kids, but I figure he and I will be able to find some time to sit down and eat a quick meal.  Which is why I am packing this.  It is best served at room temperature and there is nothing in it that would spoil sitting out for a few hours, so I thought it would be perfect, and a nice change of pace to actually have a decent meal while out and about.  Of course the kids will be way too busy with their friends to stop for more than a minute or two so they have bags of fruit and veggies and Peanut Butter and Banana muffins to eat at some point.  Hopefully it all goes smoothly, and everyone is well fed.  I know that I am sure looking forward to it!

Spicy Peanut Noodles
all the ingredients

1 package of rice or soba noodles
1/3 C. smooth peanut butter
1 T. honey
1/4 C. soy sauce
3 T. sesame oil
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger (1/2 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. chili pepper flakes, or to taste
1 finely diced jalapeno, optional

Garnishes: slivered carrots, julienned zucchini or red bell pepper, green onion, edimame, sugar snap peas, bean sprouts, toasted sesame seeds, chopped peanuts etc.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. In the meantime, whisk together the remaining ingredients (easier if heated slightly). Toss noodles with sauce. Let stand for about 10 minutes in order for the noodles to absorb the sauce. Toss again right before serving and arrange noodles on a plate with any or all of the above garnishes.

noodles and sauce ready to be tossed with toppings

all mixed together and ready to pack up

two dinners to go and a lunch for tomorrow!

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