Happy New Year! I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. We certainly did, but now it’s back to reality. That means school is back on and new after school activities are beginning. For me, since I manage most of the day-to-day activities at home, I need some time before adjust back to our schedule. As a result, that puts me in a time crunch for dinner, so this quick and easy peanut butter noodle dish is the perfect weekday dinner.
The most difficult part of these peanut butter noodles is cutting the vegetables. You can choose any assortment you’d like. Red bell peppers, snow peas, carrots, broccoli, and a bit of green onion are a favorite combo at our dinner table. Once you chop your vegetables, all you have to do is dump all the dressing ingredients into a large bowl, boil the noodles, and mix everything together.
If I have time, I add tofu to the noodles, and actually my girls love the tofu. I make it crunchy by pressing all the water out of an extra firm block of tofu (I place a clean kitchen towel in a pie plate, then put the tofu on top of the towel. Next I place a heavy saucepan on top of the tofu. To add additional weight to the pan, I place a 28-ounce can of tomatoes inside the sauce pan. After placing the contraption in the refrigerator, by morning tons of water is pressed out of the tofu.) Before pan frying the tofu, I chop into small pieces, dredge it in corn starch and fry it. It makes for the crunchiest tofu ever. I promise!
I’m sure you’ve seen tons of recipes for peanut noodles, but this recipe is so darn delicious and easy. All of the dressing ingredients are probably something you already have in your pantry. Just throw in any vegetables you have in the fridge, boil some pasta, and toss it in a flavorful dressing. This is a favorite quick and easy dinner in our home, and I think it will be in yours too!
- 1 lb dried spaghetti (I use Barilla Plus Pasta made with beans and legumes for added fiber and protein.)
- 1 small head of broccoli chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 3 carrots, shredded
- ¼ lb snow peas, trimmed and chopped
- 3 stalks of green onion, chopped (green portion only for a milder flavor)
- a handful of sesame seeds
- 1 block of extra firm tofu
- corn starch
- For the Dressing: ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 3 tbs sesame oil
- 1 tbs honey
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbs fresh ginger, grated
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- If you are adding tofu to your noodles, follow the instruction in the post to drain the tofu.
- Once the tofu is drained, dice it.
- Toss about ½ a cup of corn starch into a large zip-top bag. Add the tofu cubes to the bag, and shake until the cubes are coated in corn starch. Using a strainer, shake off the extra corn starch.
- In a skillet with a shallow amount of vegetable oil, fry the tofu until it's crisp. Drain the tofu on a plate lined with paper towels. The tofu will be very hot. Set it aside to cool while preparing the rest of the noodle dish.
- Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Follow the directions on the pasta package to prepare the pasta.
- While the pasta boils, make the dressing.
- Place the first five ingredients in a large bowl, Then add the peanut butter, and whisk until combined.
- Then add the garlic and ginger. Mix until combined.
- Once the pasta is cooked. Drain it. Then toss the warm pasta in the peanut butter sauce.
- Add the broccoli to the warm pasta so it cooks a bit.
- Then add the rest of the vegetables and the tofu.
- In a dry pan add the sesame seeds and brown just slightly. Add as a garnish to the noodles.
This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s Crunchy Noodle Salad.
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