Quick Dinner: Sesame Peanut Noodles

imageWe LOVE sesame peanut noodles!  I’ve been adhering to a weekly menu plan lately, in an attempt to save money and waste less food, and I’m happy to say my evil plan is working, mwa ha ha!  However, whether you make a weekly plan or not, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when you try to make dinner at home regularly.  These sesame peanut noodles made their way into the rotation recently, and not only did they get Mr. Viv and me out of a boring, repetitive dinner pattern, they were surprisingly easy and inexpensive.  Awesome!  Keep reading for the details.

-Viv

I looked up a bunch of different recipes for inspiration, but then I came up with this.  I didn’t measure (and I rarely do, unless I’m baking), so amounts are approximate, and can definitely be adjusted to your preference!  Also, this looks like a lot of ingredients, but it’s really not.  A lot them are optional, and if you do need to pick up some of the pantry items for this recipe, you’ll be able to use them again and again.  Plus, there are only 4 steps!

img_5883INGREDIENTS

  • Spaghetti or any other appropriate noodle (whole wheat or soba would be perfect)
  • Optional: vegetables of your choice, cut and lightly cooked however you like. I’ve used steamed broccoli and sauteed red bell peppers before.  Carrots, snap peas, baby corn, edamame,  water chestnuts, or raw matchsticks of cucumber would all work well too.
  • Optional: protein of your choice. Chicken or tofu are both great with this.
  • Optional:  sliced scallions (optional)
  • Sesame peanut sauce (makes enough for 2 servings):
    • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced or grated ginger
    • red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
    • a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds (optional)
    • splash of pasta cooking water (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. If using, cook the vegetables (if necessary) and the protein however you like.
  2. Prepare the noodles according to the package directions and drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
  3. Whisk together all the sauce ingredients, using some of the cooking water to thin the sauce, if desired.
  4. Stir the sauce into the warm noodles, and if using, top with veggies, protein, and sliced scallions.  You could also sprinkle some more sesame seeds on top, or if you’re feeling extra fancy, some chopped peanuts.

See?  That was pretty easy, right?  There are so many variations you can make, and we’d love to see what you come up with, because WE LOVE THIS STUFF!

image

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