Well I definitely did not make my “within the week” promise, but as you may or may not have noticed I’ve cut back on the every day postings. I am hoping this isn’t a permanent slow-down, but work has hit a really busy patch and I was worried about losing quality on my posts. And I’m a “quality” over “quantity” person. So I hope you all are sticking with me and can deal with hearing from me only every-other day for now…
On a recent Sunday, R and Madison and I had a fantastic afternoon dinner in Central Park. I still had green beans and broccoli laying around from our CSA delivery and had some rice noodles (gluten-free!) I also needed to find some use for. So I decided instead of packing us a salad, I’d get a little more creative and come up with a way to use them all together. I had been dying to find another use for the peanut sauce from the Thai Peanut Salad I made a while back, so I figured this would be it. It was a perfect packable and shareable meal that was rich and creamy but still left us with no guilty feelings about eating it. And the leftovers were awesome at work the next day.
What you’ll need for the sauce:
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 TBS soy sauce
- juice from 3/4 lemon (the last version I used lime, I only had lemon this time)
- 1 TBS agave
- 1/2 TBS sesame oil (for more creamy rich taste than just salad dressing)
- 1 chili pepper, chopped (for some more heat)
- 3 TBS warm water
What you’ll need for the rest:
- 1 cup broccoli, steamed
- 1 1/4 cup edamame
- 1 1/4 cup green beans, steamed
- 1 package Trader Joe’s Korean rice noodles
- 1 TBS sesame seeds
- red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
I started with the noodles. Bring a saucepan of water to boil and add noodles, cooking for about 2-3 minutes. (these noodles cook really fast). Strain them and run under cool water, and set them aside.
Then I went to the broccoli. Now, as you may or may not be aware, I am slightly kitchen challenged. So when I steam veggies, I tend to do it my own way. I place some water in the bottom of a pan, put the veggies in my metal strainer and place the strainer directly into the pan. I then put a cover over the veggies and steam. It may take a little longer, but it works well and I must say, the first time I figured it out, I was quite proud of my ingenuity. So- start by steaming your broccoli and when it’s finished, add it to the noodles and set aside.
Trim and cut your green beans and steam those as well. They took a while longer than I thought they would – about 10-15 minutes. When cooked, set them aside with the broccoli and noodles, and add the edamame to the bunch.
Then start on the dressing. I decided to change it up a little bit from the last version, and ended up with a creamier option which I thought worked well. I also used the kitchen ninja to blend everything together. (You could use a food processor). Simply take all the sauce ingredients and blend until the garlic and pepper is incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
Add the sauce and sesame seeds to the noodles and veggies and mix until everything is well coated. I added a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes as well.
I should also mention – during the picnic I also brought sweet corn and cinnamon apples. Both of which were super easy to prepare. For the apples, I sliced them up, squeezed the remaining 1/4 lemon on top (to keep them from browning) and added about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
For the corn, I placed the ears directly onto the oven rack at 400 degrees for 12 minutes until the corn was cooked through. Then it’s perfect for traveling – still wrapped in its own husks and ready to eat wherever you end up.