Monday, July 31, 2017

Colorful Noodle Vegetable Stir-fry with Peanut Butter Sauce

Vegetables at second stage of cooking, I've just added the broccoli and cabbage.
Ready to serve and enjoy!
     One of our top favorite vegan recipes is this irresistible, richly flavored vegetable and noodle stir-fry with a peanut butter sauce. Although we are not vegan or vegetarian, we eat a healthful meatless meal about once or twice a week. It is loosely based on a recipe I found in a magazine from the library. I'm sorry I cannot credit the inspiration source; it may have been Cooking Light. However, my extensive revisions probably justify calling it our own creation. The original, which used a smaller amount of sauce made with almond butter, is milder in flavor, so I expanded the flavor with additional almond butter, soy sauce and ginger root from the first time I made it, later switching to the richer and less expensive peanut butter. Warmed gently in the microwave with a little added water if needed, leftovers are just as delicious. 

     The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily customize it for the preferences of your family, using different vegetables, more or fewer vegetables or noodles, or revising the sauce. To some extent, I did all of the above. Enjoy being creative, then enjoy a yummy treat!

Noodle Vegetable Stir-fry with Peanut Butter Sauce
4 main dish servings

Note: I begin by chopping all the vegetables, whisking the sauce together, and setting a pot of lightly salted water on to come to a boil. You can turn off the water, check the cook time for your chosen noodles, and quickly return it to a boil at the right time to have everything ready at the same time.

1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 - 2 cups carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on an angle
2 cups broccoli florets (plus some of the stalk, sliced)
about 1/2 small head purple cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
1 large onion, sliced lengthwise

2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp. or more chopped fresh ginger root

1/2 - 2/3 cup chunky peanut butter
3 - 5 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice or cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. water (or amount to make a thick sauce)
dash of cayenne pepper or pepper flakes, if desired

8 oz. thin whole wheat spaghetti

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1. Slice and chop all vegetables, garlic, and ginger.
2. Bring pot of lightly salted water to boil, then turn off burner until needed.
3. Whisk peanut butter and water together (careful; I can get too splashy with this), then whisk in rest of sauce ingredients.
4. Heat olive (or other) oil in a very large saute pan (ours is 13") or wok, then stir-fry the vegetables, beginning with the carrots, adding the others according to the time it takes to cook them (I add the cabbage and broccoli flowerets last with the garlic and ginger root). Stir-fry just to desired degree of crispy tenderness.
5. As vegetables are cooking, cook noodles to al dente, then strain in colander.
6. Remove vegetables from heat, stir in sauce and cooked noodles, mixing well.
7. Top with slivered almonds and serve. 

It's been awhile since I've posted a recipe. Here is my index to recipes on the blog.

Question of the day: What's your favorite meatless main dish?