Noodles & Veggies in the BEST Peanut Sauce

For some reason I have never been able to pull off a good peanut sauce and it’s a shame because peanut sauce is one of my favorite things to have when I am out for Thai food.

Tonight was rainy, cold & gross so ordering in some Thai did seem like the thing to do but after a second thought I was determined to make it myself.

And I did!  Adding a little of this and a little of that, this time the peanut sauce turned out PERFECT.  And with plenty leftover, I am looking forward to enjoying it with a bunch of meals this week.

Hope you enjoy it just as much.

Noodles & Veggies in Peanut Sauce

Serving of your favorite noodles (whole wheat penne)
Choices of vegetables (steamed broccoli, water chestnuts, green peas)
Peanut Sauce

Cook noodles according to package directions until just add al dente.

If desired, saute vegetables in a pan with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp minced garlic.  Then add cooked pasta & 2 tbsp of the peanut sauce.  Stir so that everything is coated in the sauce and cook until warmed through.

You can also use precooked veggies (either leftover or in the microwave) and just pour the sauce over the noodles and vegetables.

Peanut Sauce

(makes 1 1/2 cups)

1 tsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp sambal oelek (for spice, omit if you wish)
2 tbsp. peanut butter, natural if possible
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp Agave or Honey, if using natural peanut butter
Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Cornstarch (optional)

In a small saucepan heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and sambal oelek, if using.  Cook for 1 minute and add the peanut butter.  Stir for another 2 minutes until the peanut butter begins to melt.  Stir in coconut milk, water, soy sauce, agave (or honey), if using.  Cook over medium low heat, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes, whisking ever. Taste and season with salt accordingly.  Whisk in the cayenne.  If using the cornstarch, add now and whisk in briskly.  Otherwise, let thicken by simmering over low heat until it reaches the desired consistency.


Confused Shepard’s Pie

This meal really doesn’t qualify as a shepard’s pie.  It has no ground lamb or beef and the regular potatoes are switched for sweet potato.  On the other hand, it’s not really a chicken pot pie either.

Call it what you will but this layered casserole dish full of veggies and chicken only tastes decadent.   Use whatever vegetables you have on hand to create.  Any fall root vegetable, like parsnips, would also be fabulous here.

Shepard & Chicken Pie All in One

(makes 3 servings)

1 medium sweet potato, peeled & cooked (microwaved is a good choice here)
1/3 cup milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 oz. chicken, cubed
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen & defrosted)
1/2 cup diced carrots (about 1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 1/2 tsp. Olive Oil
Bay Leaf

In a mixing bowl, mash cooked sweet potato.  Stir in milk, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Heat one tsp of olive oil a skillet over medium low heat.  Add chicken, seasoned with some salt and pepper.  Cook for 1 and a half minutes and turn over.  Cook another 2 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned.  Remove from skillet and place on a plate.  Add a 1/2 tsp of olive oil to the pan and add the onion.  Cook 3-4 minutes or until softened.  Add carrots and garli.  Cook for 6 minutes or until carrots are not as hard.  Stir in peas and then add the chicken back to the pan.  Stir in mustard, bay leaf and about a half cup water.  Let simmer for 7 – 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool for 5 minutes.

In a lightly greased casserole dish, spread an inch thick layer of the sweet potato mixture.  Add chicken and vegetables.  Cover with another layer of the remaining sweet potato.

In a 400 degree preheated oven, add casserole dish.  Cook for 15 -minutes.  If you have a broiler, place in there for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Quesadilla & Creativity

Sometimes, you just need to look and the fridge and see what fits your fancy on any given weeknight.

That’s a reason why quesadillas make a great weeknight option.  Take whatever you have on hand, place it in a tortilla, heat in a skillet and dinner is ready in less than 10 minutes.  Your inspiration can be traditional such as cheese & beans or more upscale like leftover grilled fish with veggies.

With only a 3 ingredient filling and some salt and pepper, Monday night’s quesadillas definitely hit the spot.  A whole serving a veggies was even sneaked into the crispy, crunchy outer tortilla.

Still feeling hunger hanging around after I was finished, I contemplated having an apple for dessert.  But I craved more of the warm tortilla from my dinner.  So I combined the two and had a fabulous dessert quesadilla!

Goat Cheese, Ham & Pea Quesadilla

1 whole wheat tortilla
1 oz. goat cheese
1 or 2 slices Canadian Bacon (or deli ham or turkey bacon)
1 cup green peas (defrosted and heated)
1 tsp olive oil

In a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, heat olive oil.  Spread goat cheese on entire tortilla.  On one half of the tortilla place peas, pushing down slightly (so they don’t go all over the place).  Layer bacon over the peas, season with salt & pepper and fold other half of tortilla over.  Place in skillet & place another pan with a weight on top so that it crisps up well (I used a full tea kettle).  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned well on one side.  Flip over and cook another 3 minutes.  Slice into quarters and enjoy!

Apple Pie Quesadilla

3/4 apple, diced (about 1 cup)
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp walnuts
1/2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1 whole wheat tortilla
1 tsp agave nectar (or honey)

In a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, melt butter.  Add diced apple  and walnuts and season with cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Stir to combine.  Cook apples for about 3-4 minutes or until softened.  Spread agave on one half of the tortilla.  Place apple/walnut mixture on top of agave and fold other half over.  Place in skillet & place another pan with a weight on top so that it crisps up well.  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned well on one side.  Flip over and cook another 3 minutes.