More Noodles, More Good Luck

Since the Chinese New Year celebration officially lasts 15 days, I figured we’d better keep the Asian food coming a little longer.  I hope I’m not the only one out there that loves it!  And one thing I really love about Asian food is Peanut Sauce.  I feel like pretty much everything tastes better with a little peanut butter in it!  So this recipe is great because it gives you that peanutty goodness, but also a lot of fresh veggies so you feel better about eating it.  It comes from Cooking Light.

You’ll notice it’s a little carb heavy and protein deficient, so I like to chop and boil 2 packs of extra firm tofu to throw in there and balance it out.  Please don’t tell me you hate tofu…it is so deliciously creamy, especially in this.  I mean, didn’t we just establish that everything is better with a little peanut butter on it?  Tofu is no exception to that.  If you can’t bring yourself to do it, two pounds of cooked chicken is a fine substitution.

Just keep in mind this is already quite a lot of food, so when you add the meat to it, it makes a ton.  If you aren’t feeding a pile of people, feel free to half it so you don’t go leftover crazy days on end.

Peanutty Noodles

  • 2  carrots, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups red bell pepper strips
  • 1 pound snow peas, trimmed
  • 8 cups hot cooked linguine (about 1 pound uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Shave the carrots lengthwise into thin strips using a vegetable peeler, and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and the next 5 ingredients (broth through salt); stir until well-blended. Reduce heat, and simmer 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and keep warm.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and snow peas; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Combine carrot, peanut butter mixture, bell pepper mixture, and linguine in a large bowl; toss well. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

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Happy Chinese New Year

That’s right…today we embark upon the Year of the Dragon, so to commemorate that I thought it best to highlight some Asian cuisine this week.  Of course, today’s recipe comes from Rachael Ray, so I will not call it authentic, but I WILL call it delicious.  It seems that most foodies have strong opinions about Rachael Ray, so I apologize if you hate me sharing her stuff!  Personally I will probably never understand how she got her own talk show, as I prefer watching her cooking show on mute, but she does have a lot of good go-to recipes.

Anyway, as a general rule the Chinese are a very superstitious people with many traditions upheld to bring good luck, and others to avoid bringing bad luck.  The New Year has many such traditions, and one way to bring yourself good luck throughout the coming year is to eat noodles.  Noodles are actually a symbol of longevity, so I felt it double appropriate to highlight noodles this week since longevity is what this blog is all about (not to mention the meaning of the character up there on the right!)

Spicy Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches ginger root, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks or grated
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps (a couple of cups), sliced
  • 1 medium bok choy, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces, then cut into sticks lengthwise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 cup seafood stock, available on soup aisle or 1 cup clam juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound vermicelli (thin spaghetti)
  • 4 scallions, cut into 3-inch pieces, then shredded lengthwise into thin sticks

Directions

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil, 3 turns of the pan, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and bok choy, then season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and seafood stock or clam juice. Put a lid on the pot and bring soup to a boil.

Add shrimp and noodles and cook 3 minutes. Add in scallions and cook 2 minutes, then turn off soup and let it sit 2 to 3 minutes more. Adjust salt and serve.

**Rachael says this serves four, but I’m scaling this nutrition info to six portions, as we eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of her monster portions.**

Also, to make this a little healthier, just use 1 tablespoon of oil while cooking the vegetables, you definitely don’t need 3 in my opinion!

NUTRITION: Calories 301 / Fat 11 / Carbs 28.5 / Protein 37.5 g / Fiber 2 g

If you are in need of a little more luck for this year than you feel noodles can provide, eat some tangerines, dumplings, whole fish (yes, head and tail included!!), and spring rolls.

Gongxi Facai!