Vegetables. A rainbow of vegetables of every color. To me these beautiful vegetables herald summer, and we’re all ready for that here in Minnesota! I’ve been trying to add more vegetables to the foods that my family has been eating as, I must admit, we have slipped into a rut over the winter. I’d also like to be a better steward of the planet by eating less meat (this is sadly not so easy for my family). One of the things I am trying to incorporate into our weekly meal plan is Meatless Monday. These Peanut Vegetable Noodles fit the bill!
I became a vegetarian in my college days, while trying to impress a particular boyfriend who had grown up vegetarian. In fact, I was still a vegetarian when I went on my first date with my carnivore husband. This posed a problem because we had gone to a pizza place expecting to share a pizza. This turned out to be a really big problem because he didn’t eat vegetables and I didn’t eat meat. Sigh…I can honestly say that was the best plain cheese pizza I have ever eaten…and a sign of our great ability to compromise!
Needless to say, many, many years later, that carnivore husband of mine now eats vegetables, and yes, I now eat meat (I developed a taste for red meat during my last pregnancy…a story for another time) so our pizza (and dinner) options are now much more varied.
I’ve been working really hard to find dishes with bold flavors, yet still simple to make. I’m also trying to introduce the rainbow of vegetables to my kids in a way that they will appreciate. I stumbled upon a version of this recipe while checking out A Pinch of Yum (which is a beautiful blog and if you haven’t visited yet, you certainly should). I added a few more vegetables for crunch and color and came up with a Asian flavored dish my family loved.
I ate these Peanut Vegetable Noodles as a purely vegetarian dish (yep, in the true spirit of Meatless Monday) although I must admit my daughter and husband pulled out a rotisserie chicken and added some chicken to theirs. I also think some thinly sliced pork or beef would be a good addition if you aren’t ready to go meatless. Either way this is a simple and beautiful dish that everyone will enjoy!
Peanut Vegetable Noodles
- 1 cucumber seeded and cut into thin 1 inch matchsticks
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into thin 1 inch matchsticks
- 1 red pepper seeded and sliced thinly
- 1 yellow pepper seeded and sliced thinly
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 1 8.8 ounce package of soba noodles these are found in the international foods aisle at the grocery store
- 5 Tablespoons peanut butter
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 5 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeded (you can use more or less depending on your comfort level with spice)
- 1/2 cup of peanuts + a few more peanuts for garnish
Boil water in a pot.
Cook soba noodles according to directions, do not overcook.
Drain noodles in a large colander, set noodles aside to cool to desired temperature (I put mine in the refrigerator so I could have this dish served cold).
Place garlic in a food processor and process until minced.
Add peanut butter, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, vinegar and jalapeño, process until smooth.
Add peanuts and pulse a few times, leaving your sauce slightly chunky.
Place cooled noodles in a large bowl, toss with peanut sauce,
Add cucumber, carrot, and peppers and toss again to coat.
Add cilantro and extra peanuts for garnish.
Serve and enjoy!