Sesame Peanut Noodles


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Summer is a time of barbeques and potluck parties.  Hot food is a hassle, whereas cold salads and other cold dishes that can be prepared ahead of time can save you trouble on the day of the party.

These Sesame Peanut noodles are one of my go-to dishes because they are delicious, cheap (you can make a LOT of these for a few dollars if you have the spices already), and great cold.  You can even freeze leftovers (great for an easy lunch!).

The concept is pretty simple: veggies get sauteed lightly (or not at all, if you prefer raw!), noodles get cooked until tender, a sesame/peanut sauce is made on the stovetop, and it’s all combined in a big bowl and left to chill.

IMG 2458 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Sesame Peanut Noodles

Ingredients:

  • Veggies of choicegood options include carrots, bell peppers, zuchinni/squash, green beans, celery, radishes, anything in season.
  • Garlic and leek (to taste, depending on how big a batch you make.. a few cloves of garlic per bag of egg noodles)
  • Egg noodles (or rice noodles if you prefer gluten-free).  I bought wide, short “casserole” style noodles and really liked how much easier they were to pick up on my fork and serve as compared to long stringy noodles.  I used one whole bag, and it made a ridiculous amount of noodles.
  • Sesame seeds


Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Sesame oil (hot or regular)
  • chilli oil or peppers
  • paprika, salt, pepper
  • grated or diced fresh ginger (1-2″ section of ginger root)
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (more or less, to taste)
  • < 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 4-5 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 C diced leek

Directions:

Cook your egg noodles (or rice noodles) as per the directions.  Egg noodles cook relatively fast so keep an eye on them, because if they get soggy they will fall apart or be mushy in your dish.  As soon as they are done, drain the noodles and run cold water over them (to stop them from cooking).  Set aside.

Chop your veggies into small pieces.  I like to julienne the carrots and peppers.  I used zucchini, kale, carrots, green beans, and celery.  Peel and then grate or dice your ginger root.  **A friend showed me that ginger root can easily be ‘peeled’ by rubbing the skin off with a spoon.  Here I was trying to use a peeler and going crazy with all the knobby bits!  The spoon trick has definitely come in handy!

IMG 2443 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Julienned carrots

Saute any of the veggies you want in your sesame and chilli oils with several cloves of diced garlic and leek (or a little onion).

Add your grated/diced ginger.

IMG 2448 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Sauteed Veggies

Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and peanut butter together in a bowl.  Add mixture as well as other spices (salt/pepper/paprika and a generous amount of sesame seeds) to the veggies.

IMG 2451 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Egg noodles

As soon as the veggies are cooked to the desired tenderness, either toss the noodles into the stir fry pan or combine all ingredients in another very large bowl or pot.  Stir to coat the noodles with the sauce.

IMG 2449 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Add sesame seeds

Feel free to add fresh basil or thai basil to this dish near the end.  YUM.

Chill noodles for several hours before serving.

August 4, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad


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A delicious side dish, salad, or appetizer, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and mint or basil pair amazingly well together.

I suppose this is one more Greek Week” dish, due to the feta cheese involved.

Ingredients:

  • Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

    IMG 1317 300x225   Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad

    Halved grape/cherry tomatoes

  • Feta cheese, cut into small cubes

    IMG 1318 300x225   Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad

    Feta cheese slices

  • Fresh mint or basil, chopped
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper

Combine all ingredients and serve as a salad.

IMG 1328a 300x197   Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad

Tomato, Feta, Mint salad

Or, turn this into a cute appetizer by using toothpicks to spear a half a tomato, a small cube of feta, and a leaf of mint or basil.  Arrange on a tray for a beautiful and delicious finger food!

IMG 1328 300x225   Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad

Feta, Tomato, and Mint salad served with vegetable sweet potato curry

May 6, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Carrot Chips


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After making kale chips the other week I figured it might be time to try and bake more veggies into crispy treats.

I remembered reading somewhere about carrot chips.  I wasn’t sure how to slice them thin enough so I peeled them.

These are VERY easy to make, and another delicious alternative to chips or fries when served with your main course.  You can make these for a healthy snack as well!

Directions:

Peel your carrots using a peeler but avoid rotating the carrot for as long as possible to make wider sections.

Lightly grease or oil the bottom of a cookie sheet to avoid sticking.   You don’t need to toss or drizzle the carrots with oil.

IMG 0965 300x225   Carrot Chips

Carrot chips--peeled carrots on a cookie sheet before baking

Distribute the carrot peelings on the cookie sheet evenly, with little overlap if possible, mixing them slightly in the cookie sheet to get a little oil on them.  Alternatively you can spray the carrots with oil.  I was just trying to avoid high of an oil-to-veggie ratio.

Sprinkle a little salt on the carrots if desired

Bake at 350 for 10-25 minutes.. depending on how thick your carrot slivers are, until crispy but not burnt.

IMG 0973 300x225   Carrot Chips

Carrot chips baking

If you have a mandolin you can slice the carrots with that, but increase your cooking time and/or your temperature to get them crispy and cooked through.

Play with seasonings for additional flavor, but alone these are delicious!

Yum!  A few sections were crispier than others, but they still turned out well.  Next time I think I’ll try the thicker slices and see how they go.

IMG 0980 300x225   Carrot Chips

Carrot Chips!

 

 

April 20, 2011
Food

 
 

Kale Chips


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A substitution for potato chips? Not quite.
A yummy/healthy/low calorie snack or addition to a meal?  Sure!

  • Take your Kale (1-2 bunches), and wash and dry the leaves.  Remove the thickest parts of the stems.
  • Lay the leaves out on a baking sheet lined with foil and preheat to 350 degrees
IMG 0855 300x225   Kale Chips

Baking the Kale

  • drizzle olive oil over the kale and sprinkle with salt.  I also enjoyed adding a little garlic powder to the leaves
  • Bake until leaves are crispy/brown but not burned, about 10-15 minutes.  Keep an eye on these! Burned chips are not good..
IMG 0859 300x225   Kale Chips

Kale Chips

April 7, 2011
Food, Recipe