Hi HelloGigglers! I’m Carrie and I’m going to be bringing you fast, simple, cheap and healthy recipes! I believe that cooking doesn’t have to be intimidating and my approach to food is that it should taste good, be relatively nutritious and not take forever to prepare. So watch this space for quick dinners you can whip up before Gossip Girl comes on, desserts that will wow your significant other’s parents, healthy snacks, chilly treats and more.
Here’s a healthy recipe that’s also ridiculously easy to make. It’s filling, it’s got good green stuff in it and you won’t have to spend a lot of time scooping and simmering and tasting and all of that jazz. Basically this is boil, chop, combine, stir, eat.
This is also a good recipe to make to bring to a party, as it tastes way more sophisticated than it actually is and people will be like, “Wow, who knew that girl could cook?” “Who knew she had such a well-developed palate?” “Damn, did you taste that girl’s noodles?” Okay, maybe that’s going a little bit far, but you get the idea. People will dig this. Peanutty noodles are delicious hot or cold, for lunch or dinner or even breakfast if you’re the type of person who eats non-breakfast foods for breakfast. (I am not that type of person, but I know there are many of you out there.)
If you’ve got a nut allergy, just click on over the next post because this might be sad (or hive-inducing?) for you.
Peanutty Noodles with Spinach and Cucumber
serves 2 as a dinner with leftovers
hands-on time: about 15 minutes
total time: 20 minutes
What you’ll need:
1 package of spaghetti
1/2 of a cucumber, cut into 1 in long strips
few handfuls (2-4 cups) of torn fresh spinach
oil of your choice (I suggest canola or sesame but whatever you’ve got will be fine)
for the sauce:
3/4 cup of broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 tbsps soy sauce
2 tbsps rice vinegar
1/2 cup of low-fat peanut butter
1 tsp of fresh garlic
glob of honey
powdered ginger to taste
1. Put the pasta in the boiling water and then start chopping the cucumbers. You can do them julienne, but I just kind of hacked them into strips on this particular night and it worked fine; I like this recipe with the cucumber skin on, but peel them first if you want.
2. Place the cucumbers in the bottom of a large bowl and drizzle on a teensy bit of oil.
3. Tear the fresh spinach and put it on top of the cucumbers, covering them.
4. Assemble the ingredients for the sauce and place them all in a blender; blend on a low setting. If it seems a bit watery, add in another finger-scoop of peanut butter and blend again.
5. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and then quickly dump all of it on top of the spinach and the cucumbers in the bowl. Make sure all of the vegetables are covered. The idea is that the heat of the noodles steams the spinach a little bit.
6. Leave the bowl for about 4 or 5 minutes. Pee, file your nails, teach your dog how to give paw, whatever.
7. Return to the bowl. The spinach should be just wilted. Stir so the vegetables and pasta are mixed, then pour on the sauce and stir again.
8. Garnish with whatever you’d like; I used cilantro, but green onions, sesame seeds, or actual peanuts would be good, too. No garnish is also fine. Oh, and you’ll most likely have leftovers!
To make this vegan, use agave nectar or sugar, as well as vegetable broth. I’ve made this before with shredded chicken, which makes it a little bit bulkier, more stick-to-ya-ribs, you know? Tofu, maybe sauteed quickly in garlic and red pepper flakes, will also add protein and bulk.