One of the great things about having a pantry that’s on the small side is that it is next to impossible to lose track of food, only to find it years later. I don’t have to get elbow-deep in my canned goods to find a can of tomatoes. My small food storage also keeps me from stocking up on things I don’t need…I do have a snack bowl on top of the cabinet for my assortment of gummy candies and what remains of Carson’s Easter goodies. But candy is a need, right?
Anyway, when I came across this recipe on Eatingwell.com I knew that I had about 3/4 of a box of thin spaghetti because I see it every time I get something from the pantry, so I added this to my meals for the week. I was already planning to buy chicken for chicken parmesan, so I was able to buy a 4 pack of chicken breasts and know that they would all get used that week. That makes me happy.
The recipe calls for a bag of vegetable medley, but I just used veggies that we like; broccoli, red bell pepper, snap peas, frozen edamame and carrots. Since I was using more like 11-12 ounces of spaghetti, I increased the amount of vegetables I used to about 20 ounces. I really like there to be a lot of vegetables in pasta dishes, so you may not want to use as much as I did. I used 1 medium sized broccoli crown, 1 red bell pepper, 5 small carrots, 1 small bag of snap peas, and 8 ounces of frozen edamame. I kept the sauce pretty much the same, but did end up adding more soy and a drizzle of sesame oil at the end. The sriracha is spicy. I like spice, so I used 2 teaspoons of the stuff and definitely felt the heat. If you are not a fan of spicy foods, use 1/2 a teaspoon in the sauce, taste it and add more if you’d like.
A mistake I made with this was adding all of my vegetables at once. The carrots were a little under cooked, so if you’re using carrot slices, don’t slice them too thick and make sure to give them a head start in the boiling water. The broccoli, bell pepper, snap peas and edamame cooked easily in the 3-4 minutes of cooking time.
To make this meal even faster to fix, use shredded rotisserie chicken. Buy bagged vegetables that are ready to go, or chop your veggies the morning of or the night before. You can even make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it. The heat from the cooked pasta and hot water will loosen it up as it will be stiff coming out of the fridge. You can serve this warm or cold. We ate it both ways and it was delicious.
Peanut Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables
Adapted from Eatingwell.com
- 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 10-12 ounces thin spaghetti
- 16-18 ounces of vegetables (broccoli, snap peas, bell pepper, carrots, edamame) carrots, broccoli and bell pepper cut into pieces
- fresh chopped cilantro, optional
- 1/2 cup chunky, natural peanut butter
- 2-3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1-2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce (Sriracha), or to taste
- 2-3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1/2-1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Cook the chicken. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil, salt water, then add chicken, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from water and let cool slightly before shredding into bite size pieces.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook for 4 minutes, add carrots if using and cook for a minute, add the rest of the vegetables and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water then drain and rinse with cool water.
- Make sauce by whisking peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sriracha and sesame oil in a large bowl. Stir 1/2 cup of pasta water into the sauce. Toss in pasta, vegetables and chicken. Add in more pasta water to moisten pasta to your liking. Mix thoroughly so that all the veggies, pasta and chicken are coated with sauce. Garnish with cilantro if desired.