Better Than Takeout Noodles with Veggies and Peanut Sauce
We had one of those packed to the gills weekends. We took advantage of a day off from school by squeezing in one more day of fun at White Pass. We were treated to blue sky, warm temperatures and short lift lines; it couldn’t have been a better day. As we near the end of ski season, I ask the kids, ‘is this our last time up this year’ and the answer is a resounding NO.
From skiing, we headed home to do a quick regroup, unloading the ski gear and packing up for the weekend to watch my 10-year-old son play in a basketball tournament. He played four back to back games, while we cheered our hearts out. And, lucky for us, squeezed some fun in with extended family.
By Sunday afternoon it was time to head back to Yakima, exhausted from the weekend, only to be greeted upon arrival by giant melting snow puddles creeping ever so close to the house and needy animals demanding to be fed and exercised. We hastily unpacked the car, tackled the chores and just as we were finishing our marathon of a weekend, I realized we still needed dinner.
After a weekend of being on the road, I couldn’t bear the idea of getting back in the car to pick up take-out. A quick peek in the pantry and fridge weren’t looking too promising until I remembered I could throw together a peanut sauce from some of my pantry staples and even better use up the last of the veggies quickly going bad in my crisper.
The result was a quick and easy meal that was tasty and so satisfying. Brown rice noodles mixed with veggies and a little sweet mango are smothered in the dreamiest peanut sauce. Dreamy because the whole meal takes 15 minutes to make and tastes as good as the take-out place. I’m dead serious. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so I saved half in the fridge for later in the week. You can add any combination of vegetables you like; I think snap peas, broccoli and Persian cucumbers would be a nice addition.
Better-Than-Takeout Noodles with Veggies and Peanut Sauce (recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest)
· 8 ounces brown rice noodles or long cut pasta
· 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
· 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
· 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
· 2 tablespoons honey
· 1 tablespoon chili paste (I use sambal oelek)
· 1 tablespoon Thai curry paste
· 2 teaspoons ginger (I use frozen minced ginger, but fresh ginger is great too if you have it on hand)
· 2 teaspoons minced garlic
· 2 carrots, shredded
· 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
· 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
· 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
· 1 mango, sliced OR 1 cup frozen mango, thawed and cut into bite-size pieces
· 1 cup shelled, edamame
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to package instructions. Drain water from noodles and set aside.
In a food processor or blender, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, chili paste, Thai curry paste, ginger and garlic. Pulse with ¼-1/2 cup water until sauce is smooth and creamy.
In a large bowl, toss noodles, carrots, bell pepper, mango and edamame. Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss to combine well. (I used about half the sauce for my preference but use as much or as little as you like). Garnish with chopped basil and cilantro.
Divide noodles into individual bowls to serve. Store any extras in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.