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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Peanut Noodles with Chicken

I staged an intervention this week.  On myself.  I had to put myself on a spending diet because I have become obsessed with grocery stores.  This blog has encouraged me to spend more time buying fresh produce and healthy vegetables, but it has also encouraged me to run to the store nearly 4 or 5 times a week.  Grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do.  I love browsing the aisles and looking at the new products.  MN grocery stores are like nothing I've ever seen.  Byerly's makes me feel comfortable.  I look forward to a Saturday evening spent at the grocery store with a stop at the bookstore.  Wow.  I sound old.  Although I haven't checked out Pittsburgh's new Market District (which is a must stop on my visit home in May - this place comes complete with traffic cops because it's the mother-load of grocery stores), I think that Byerly's is one of the best grocery stores ever!!

But, even though I love grocery shopping, unfortunately for my wallet, I lack restraint.  So, if I run to the store to pick up "just some bell peppers" I end up leaving with the milk that I kind of needed, the bread that I am almost out of and the 12 cartons of single serve ice cream that I was suddenly craving.  Like many people, what should be $10 trips turn into $50 trips.  And, those add up.

So, this week is restricted to what is in the cabinets, fridge and freezer.  Aside from the vegetables I already have, I won't be buying fresh vegetables, but I have plenty of frozen vegetables.  Though not ideal, they will work just fine and I'll end up saving them a life sentence of freezer burn.

My first attempt at using up household ingredients was a Thai inspired meal that I've been wanting to try.  I crave peanuts and Ron's been excited to eat this meal.  Overall, it turned out pretty good.  The original recipe called for Soba noodles but I used about 10 oz of WW linguine that I had on hand.  I can imagine Soba noodles tasting very good with this recipe.  I used 1 tsp of red pepper flakes and boy did it add a kick to the sauce!  If you want something mild, I'd suggest adding .5 tsp or leaving it out completely.  I'd also suggest pairing this with a side salad.  I ate my noodles on some spinach leaves.  The sauce is so thick that I needed something green to balance it out!

I think the only downfall to this recipe was that it made me realize that I am out of honey and soy sauce! Argh!!  Must exercise restraint not to run to store to buy these items.
Peanut Noodles with Chicken
adapted from Cooking Light
Yield:  6 servings, 1 cup each
  • 1 carrot, peeled (I used about 1 c of matchstick carrots)
  • 1/3 c FF, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 c peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 - 2 tsp crushed red pepper (added too much kick.  Use 0-.5 tsp for milder flavor)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast (cooked and shredded or cooked and cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 5 c cooked soba noodles (about 10 ounces - I used WW linguine)
  • 6 tbsp sliced green onions
  • 6 tbsp chopped, unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
  1. Cook chicken and shred/cut as desired.  Set aside.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Combine 1/3 c broth, peanut butter, ginger, soy sauce, honey, pepper, and garlic in a large bowl.  Stir with a whisk until smooth.
  4. Add cooked chicken, carrots and noodles to peanut sauce.  Toss to coat.
  5. Sprinkle individual servings with onions and peanuts.

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