Peanut Noodles: Take 2

After yet another long and hectic day at work today (got there early, a pregnant teacher passed out and an ambulance was called, I covered an extra class during lunch, then supervised after school study hall… the teacher is fine, by the way! It was scary!), I got home and wanted noodles. I didn’t care what kind, but I wanted NOODLES DARN IT!

I asked Adam what kind of noodles he’d like, and he said that if I didn’t mind, could I make peanut noodles again? Um, lets see, long hard day, noodles, peanut butter… yes! I decided to take the opportunity to perfect the peanut noodle recipe, and I think I’ve got it! These were creamy and spicy and sweet, and I added peas this time!

I only had one piece of chicken... I wanted more noodles!

I only had one piece of chicken... I wanted more noodles!

PERFECT Peanut Noodles

Ingredients

1 lb. whole wheat or high-fiber pasta, cooked and kept hot

1/3 c. creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. dark sesame oil

1 tbsp. red wine or rice wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Sriracha (Rooster sauce) to taste

cooked vegetable of choice (peas, broccoli, red peppers, etc)

Directions

Mix all ingredients from peanut butter through Sririacha in a small bowl. Stir until well-combined. Mix pasta with the vegetables, then add the peanut mixture. The heat from the noodles will melt the peanut butter. Stir to evenly coat the noodles. Add more sriracha if desired.

OH MY GOODNESS were these good noodles! I could eat them every day…which is why this is probably the last time I’ll make them for a while! Once this batch is gone, no more! I think I have a peanut butter problem…While I was eating these noodles, I had a flash. This recipe is remarkably similar to a recipe my grandma used to make with tiny tube pasta, baby peas, and a slightly spicy peanut sauce. I remember trying to shove as many peas as possible into each tube noodle, and then eating the stuffed noodles.

QOTD: Are you going to watch the new season of Biggest Loser? I think I am, though I think it creates unrealistic expectations for many overweight people. I find myself to be truly motivated by the contestants’ success, even though I’m usually eating dinner during the show!

Advertisements

Chicken Katsu and Peanut Noodles

I decided to venture into the wonderful world that is Panko breadcrumbs today. Panko crumbs are  Japanese breadcrumbs, usually used on the outside of tempura fried dishes, and dishes such as tonkatsu (a fried pork cutlet) and chicken katsu (the same, with chicken). Chicken katsu is a favorite of Adam’s when we go to our sushi place, so I decided to try it for dinner today. I had no recipe, so I just cooked by the seat of my pants, so to speak.

The recipe for the noodles is below!

The recipe for the noodles is below!

Chicken Katsu

Ingredients

1 lb. chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 3 or 4 oz pieces

1 egg, beaten

1/4 c. milk (or water)

1 Tbsp. low-salt soy sauce

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions

Mix together the egg, soy sauce, and milk (or water) in a shallow dish. Pour the panko crumbs into a separate dish. Heat the oils together in a large frying pan, then proceed to coat the chicken in first the egg mixture, then the panko. Gently place in the oil and cook until golden on both sides and chicken is cooked through, about 5 min. on each side.

We also had some sesame-peanut noodles with broccoli on the side. THESE were a hit! Here’s the recipe, super simple, and very easily vegetarian or vegan!!

Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles

Ingredients

2 servings of whole wheat or high fiber pasta, cooked

3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter

1 tsp. dark sesame oil

1 Tbsp. low-salt soy sauce

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

red pepper flakes to taste (i used about 1/2 tsp)

Whisk all ingredients except pasta in a bowl. Thin with water if necessary. The sauce should be the consistency of a thin pudding. Pour the sauce over HOT noodles, and stir until all noodles are coated. Add a vegetable of choice, I chose broccoli, but peas and/or cabbage would be delicious!

This was a fun dinner, since it tasted like we were out to eat, but we were at home in our pajamas! I’m dreading going back to work tomorow, after being off for over 2 weeks, but alas… back to reality I go! It will definitely be nice to have a set eating schedule again, and much more limited fridge access!

Shrimpy Goodness

Today was my first day off for Thanksgiving break, so I definitely took advantage! I slept in, watched Oprah, played some Animal Crossing on the Wii, went out for lunch at Panera with Adam, and then came home and literally did nothing. It was AWESOME!

We both got hungry pretty early (the curse of bread and soup for lunch), so I decided to throw together a stir-fry with what we had in the freezer. We had frozen cooked shrimp, a bag of Asian-style vegetables, frozen broccoli, and this spicy stir fry sauce I’ve been dying to try.

Today’s dinner doesn’t even get a recipe its so simple! Cook the vegetables in a small amount of oil in a wok. Add shrimp. Cook til no longer frozen. Add sauce. Cook til heated through. Serve on rice.

See? Simple! And GORGEOUS!

Spicy and delicious!

Spicy and delicious!

In no particular order, the vegetables in this lovely stir fry are:

  • red peppers
  • baby corn
  • broccoli
  • edamame
  • water chestnuts
  • sugar snap peas
  • shrimp…wait, not a vegetable, but still quite delicious!

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s dinner which will probably be even simpler…and then on to the Thanksgiving festivities! We have 4 or possibly 5 SEPARATE EVENTS to go to between Thursday and Sunday!

QOTD: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Oddly enough, my favorite thing is on Thanksgiving morning, turning on the Macy’s parade, and then waiting for my phone to ring so my mom and I can squeal in excitement about seeing the Rockettes!

Chinese Take-Out? No Thanks!

My original plan for dinner tonight was to make a Lean Cuisine frozen pizza and make some cauliflower on the side. Not too exciting, and I realized that it was something that was quite caloric and I’d be hungry an hour later, and be out of Points®.

I decided to utilize the frozen broccoli florets I had to make a Thai-style chicken and broccoli with rice. Really, the only thing that was “Thai” about it was that the seasoning I used on the chicken tastes just like the stuff they put on our chicken satays at our favorite Thai place! In any case, this was a very low-Point® and satisfying meal.

I love my red bowl!

I love my red bowl!

Thai-Style Chicken and Broccoli with Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 cups quick brown rice
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2-3 tsp. Penzey’s Sate Seasoning
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

In a large frying pan or wok, heat the olive oil. Once its very hot, add the chicken and sprinkle the Sate Seasoning over the chicken. Stir well. Add the broccoli, broth, and quick rice. Cook a few minutes until rice is tender, and add remaining seasoning. Stir, and taste. Add more seasoning to your liking and eat!

I ate today’s dinner in my favorite red bowl. My mom got me that red bowl when I moved into my very first non-dorm, non-sorority-house off-campus house in college. At one time, there were 2 of them… one fell to the careless moving god, and the other continues to make me happy every time I use it! Sometimes, I’ll eat food out of my red bowl with a tiny spoon, which makes me über happy!

On a non-dinner subject, I’m a) obsessed with the lemon and lime LÄRABARS!! I liked the other ones ok, but I had a lemon one this morning and I can’t stop thinking about it!! Must get more! And b) I’m so beyond happy that tomorrow is Friday, I can hardly stand it! I get new students after Thanksgiving, and I don’t need to lay eyes on any students between Monday and the Monday AFTER Thanksgiving! That’s right, folks, I’m off from Tuesday through Sunday! In the words of a gamer… w00t!

Surprise!! Dinner Out!

Adam surprised me tonight by taking us out for Thai food! While I originally was going to grocery shop after work, he called me on my way home and said we were going out. I was NOT going to argue after a Monday with middle schoolers!

We got a couple of our favorites, along with a new thing. Adam got an egg roll, which at our Thai place is really something special. It has black-pepper spiced ground chicken, cellophane noodles, basil, and a great sweet sauce. We also got steamed vegetarian dumplings that were so delicate they just about fell apart when I touched them with my chopsticks!

Adam got beef spicy fried rice. The way the fried rice is served is quite unique. Instead of everything being mixed up together, there is a sticky fried rice with egg, then its topped with the spicy beef and accented with vegetables.

I got chicken pad-si ew. Sounds gross…heck, it even says “ew” in the name. But it’s FAR from gross! It’s a sautee of wide rice noodles, chicken, a sweetened sauce, and a massive amount of red peppers (bell, not spicey) and broccoli. The sauce was not at all greasy, and I left feeling satisfied…I’d wanted Thai food for a while!

We finished off the night with a walk around Woodfield Mall which, once we walked around both stories at a brisk pace, took almost a half hour! We stopped at Yogen Früz to feed my new addiction to frozen yogurt!
Tomorrow will have a trip to the grocery store and a home-cooked meal. I’m thinking burgers… or maybe chili… or maybe… heck, I’ll think of something!

Random Question: What’s your favorite go-to recipe when you can’t think of ANYTHING? Mine’s meat sauce and pasta… I make a mean meat sauce!