Spring has officially arrived! Commence Spring cleaning and light eating! Of course, here in Charleston, Spring is more reminiscent of summer in normal, non-Southern regions. Since March began I’ve been to the beach twice and already have tan lines. I’d call it a solid start to the season. Other than lounging like a dead person in a beach chair, my other favorite spring activity is creating light and delicious recipes. Here’s one of my favorites….
Easy Asian Peanut Noodles
Technically makes 2 SERVINGS, but who are we kidding, you’re probably going to want that whole bowl to yourself.
I’m a huge proponent of Ramen noodles. They’re super cheap, around 30¢ when you buy in bulk. They cook fast. They’re delicious and versatile. This is my other favorite Ramen recipe which uses many of the same ingredients and tastes amazing on a cold, rainy day.
- 1 package Ramen - 70¢ or cheaper if you buy in bulk
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter - about $2.50 for a 16 ounce jar
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar - about $3 for a 10 fluid ounce bottle
- 1 1/2 tablespoons warm water - FREE
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil - about $3 for an 8 fluid ounce bottle
- 1/2 teaspoon honey - about $2.50 for a 12 once jar
- 1/4 teaspoon minced or grated ginger - about $2.50 for a 23g jar or about $1.50 for a fresh branch
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce - about $3 for a 10 fluid ounce bottle
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili paste (like Sriracha) - about $3 for a bottle that will last a long time
Garnish (All ingredients optional. You can always pick and choose a few that sound good to you)
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro - about $2 for a large bunch/ 1 oz
- 1/2 bell pepper, sliced lengthwise – about $1.50 per pepper
- 1/4 cucumber, sliced- about $1.50 per cucumber
- 2 oz firm tofu, diced – about $2 for a 10 ounce package
- 1 head of baby bok choy, blanched and chopped - about $1.50 per bok choy
Approximate cost: $6, which makes 2 servings at $3 each
Approximate cooking time: 5 minutes
*A note on Rice Vinegar and Sesame Oil: This Chinese version of vinegar is a clear liquid with a less acidic taste than typical vinegar. If you’re hesitant to buy a bottle just for making this recipe, here are three other ways Rice Vinegar comes in handy: 1.) Douse fresh veggies in rice vinegar for a snack. I suggest julienned carrots and jicama. They taste similar to the pickled veggies that are served in Japanese restaurants. 2.) Add one tablespoon of rice vinegar to white or brown rice for a consistency and taste similar to sushi rice. 3.) Add rice vinegar to homeade salad dressings. I’m particularly fond of this one. Similarly, Sesame Oil can be used in salad dressings, stir frys, and on rice.
Bring a pot of water to a steady boil over high heat. Add the Ramen noodles (omit the spice packet). Cook for about 3 minutes. Drain Ramen and set aside in a bowl to cool. Mix the peanut butter, rice vinegar, warm water, sesame oil, honey, minced ginger, soy sauce, and Chinese chili paste together in a bowl. Mix noodles into mixture. Add desired garnish.
I used cilantro and bell peppers in mine. My one packet of ramen counted as 2 servings of grain; the peanut butter is one serving of protein; add some veggies and you’ve got a simply delicious and balanced meal. One I could not stop taking pictures of….
What I’m Snacking on Right Now: Trader Joe’s Organic Sandwich Pickles…I’m a pretty big fan of anything with zero calories and still tastes delish
What I’m Listening to Right Now:
Yeah, you wish I was kidding. Sadly, I have a special spot in my heart for excruciatingly bad, yet addicting pop songs such as this.