“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Happy National Pasta Month! I was presented with the opportunity to participate in a recipe challenge contest put on for Recipe Redux members by the National Pasta Association to share some pasta dishes that fit into my healthy lifestyle. So for the next week I will be sharing a few mouthwatering and nutritious recipes using pasta.
Today I’m excited to share my Easy Thai Peanut Noodles, one of our new favorite meals! For awhile now I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a tasty pad thai but with out the fish sauce, rice noodles and less common ingredients that I’d have to buy and probably use only once. Finally I came across this version I have adapted, which uses spaghetti noodles and other ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen. It is seriously so simple to make and is ultra flavorful. It is also a great dish for the little ones to try. Our little Noelle can easily pick it up as a finger food and its not too saucy/messy. Win-win!
If you like a more traditional spicy thai dish, add in some jalapeno or whichever ingredient floats your boat. ginger, cilantro and lime! Mmmmm! And if you don’t have toasted sesame oil for this dish, I would recommend buying some. It’s easy to find in the grocery store..,I think mine is a store brand bottle. I’ve been using it now for stir-frying and it really adds a tasty nutty flavor to the dish. Otherwise I would think any other kind of cooking oil would work fine as well. We tend to keep things mild, so I left that out. But bring on the
Nutritionally speaking, pasta can be a fabulous and healthy foundation to incorporate into your meals. The noodles alone deliver a good dose of fiber, energy and vitamins, especially pasta made with 50-100% “whole grains” (as opposed to white refined pasta). Whole grains fall under the category of “good”/complex carbohydrates because they are less processed (therefore more nutrients and fiber) and provide a slower breakdown in digestion (thus not raising blood sugar as fast and assisting in lowering cholesterol).
Pairing your pasta with colorful vegetables, tomato or olive oil based sauces, spices/herbs, garlic and lean meats or cheeses provide even more great nutrition and flavor. The possibilities are endless! Not to mention, homemade pasta tastes so much better with all of those fresh ingredients as opposed to the typical heavy sauces and humungous portions you get at a restaurant.
This Easy Thai Peanut Noodle recipe gets its flavor and wholesomeness from the whole grain noodles, carrots, ginger, chicken, scallions, lime juice, cilantro, peanuts and garlic. It’s a unique way to use spaghetti noodles and get a scrumptious dose of vegetables, protein and healthy fats.
Check back this coming week for a few more recipes and nutrition related tips/topics on incorporating pasta into a healthy clean-eating diet. Don’t forget to check the bottom of these posts for more healthy pasta recipes shared by other Recipe Redux members!
Recipe was modified 11/23/14
- 12 oz whole grain spaghetti noodles (I used thin ones, but any kind will work)
- 1/3 c peanut butter, (creamy or crunchy is ok)
- 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 + 2 tbsp. c. water
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 3/4 c. carrots, shredded (about 1-2 carrots)
- 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (optional, I didn't use it)
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
- 3 scallions, chopped with white and green separated (could use more if you prefer)
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 lime, cut in half
- 1/2 c. no or low salt peanuts, roughly chopped
- Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta noodles according to package instructions.
- While the water is boiling and pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp. sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat with the white scallions, ginger and garlic. Add the chicken and cook completely.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, 2 tbsp. water, 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp. sesame oil.
- Once pasta is done, strain and set aside. Transfer cooked chicken to a cutting board and cut up into bite size pieces. Scrape out any brown bits of ginger in the skillet and the change to low/medium heat.
- Add 1 more tbsp. sesame oil to the skillet and toss together the pasta, chicken, sauce mix, carrots, 1/2 the jalapeño (if using), half the cilantro, half the green scallions and squeeze in the juice of half the lime. Slowly add about 1/2 of water (or to your preference) to loosen the noodles and sauce.
- Transfer to individual bowls and garnish with the remaining jalapeño (if using), cilantro, peanuts, green onions and a squirt of fresh lime juice.