Monday, January 24, 2011

homemade peanut noodles

Yesterday, my little one decided he wanted noodles for lunch. "Long noodles with sauce!" Easy enough, right? The only problem is that I'd used the last of our sauce earlier in the week, and there was no way I was getting all bundled up to go to the market for sauce when it was in the single digits, or at least felt that way. Not a chance. "Sounds good, that's what mom wants too!"

I remembered a post I'd gotten recently...something about peanut noodles. Pulling the bookmarked recipe up, I realized I could concoct something similar with what I had on hand. Maybe even better, since the paltry amount of whole wheat spaghetti I had on hand meant that I'd have to bulk it up with shredded veggies. The result was fabulous, and it was made in minutes. Here's what went into my version:

Peanut Noodles with Shredded Veggies

whole wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente

shredded carrots
shredded English cucumbers or zucchini

peanut butter
sesame oil
rice vine vinegar
dried ginger (leftover from Christmas cookie baking)
frozen cilantro
frozen basil
frozen garlic

Cook pasta according to package. While the pasta is cooking, shred carrots and cucumbers (or zucchini would be good too) in a Cuisinart using the shredder attachment (the disk with all of the little holes).* Pop shredded veggies into a big mixing bowl. No need to rinse the Cuisinart bowl out, as it's all going in the same place...just replace the shredding attachment with the regular metal blade. Then, I made a dressing of peanut butter + sesame oil + rice vinegar + dried ginger + several cubes of frozen garlic, cilantro and basil.** Add the noodles to the mixing bowl once they're cooked and drained. Pour the dressing over noodles and veggies and toss with tongs.

Note that I didn't give you measurements for the dressing ingredients because it can really be made to your taste. I made ours zesty with more vinegar than peanut butter, but you could definitely go the simple, creamy route by erring on more peanut butter and sesame oil. Try it as you go and add a little more of this or that until it's just the way you and your family would like it. These noodles store perfectly in the fridge...though I am not sure for how long, since we polished them off at lunch today!

* To give you an idea of quantities, I used about 1/2 a package of whole wheat spaghetti + 1 lb of carrots and 1 English cucumber. Really, that's because that's what I had on hand. You can do any ratio, but I thought this end result where it was 50:50 noodles to veggies was perfect and I'd do it exactly the same way when I make these again.

** I always have a stash of these frozen herbs for times like these, when I want to make something but don't have fresh on hand. Around us, they carry them at Trader Joe's (in the frozen aisle, of course).

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