It’s been a week of “yes” for me. Saying “yes” to strangers, colleagues, friends and family alike in the form projects, both edible and non, that are now arranged in various degrees of completion around my home. Fabrics and flours and papers are my constant companions. J just tries to keep from getting swept up in the current. Or baked, or sewn into it.
Times like these can be tricky where meals are concerned. It’s so tempting to absent-mindedly pick at some cheese and crackers in place of “dinner”. But, I think that it’s times like these that it is most important to take just a few minutes to slow down and breathe… and chop. And then to sit and savor something that you’ve made with your two hands, just for yourself (and your hungry-eyed husband), and not the throng of others awaiting your attention.
Times like these, you need something that wakes you up a little, too. Something with beautiful contrasts like salty/sweet or crunchy/creamy. For this, I lightly borrow my flavors and methods from Southeast Asia, in this case, from Thailand. Add some bright fresh veggies to match the flavors, and 20 minutes later the only thing you’re saying “yes” to is another bite…
Crunchy Coconut Cilantro Noodles
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Gluten-free, all natural, vegan, easy, minimal mess
Special equipment: Blender
1 ½ cups unsalted dry roasted peanuts OR 1 cup creamy peanut butter (no salt/sugar)
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 cloves garlic
2 – 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce, tamari or liquid aminos (to taste)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
Juice of 2 limes (plus zest of 1 lime)
1 teaspoon Sriracha or ½ teaspoon dried chilies
½ cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons coconut oil or other neutral oil
3 cups firm tofu, cubed, or shan (chickpea) tofu, cubed
4 large carrots, julienne
4 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
¼ medium head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
Chopped peanuts, cilantro leaves, Sriracha (optional)
Placed all the ingredients for the sauce, except for the cilantro, into your blender and blend until smooth. If you are using whole peanuts, you may not get a perfectly smooth consistency. That’s OK! Add in your cilantro and blend another 20 seconds or so. Set finished sauce aside.
In a large saute pan or a wok, heat your 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add in the tofu and saute for about 2 minutes, or until it begins to color. Add carrots, scallions and garlic and saute for another 2 – 3 minutes, or until just tender.
With heat still on, add your cooked rice noodles and peanut sauce (you may not use all the sauce). Toss and cook for 30 seconds or so, until heated through. Remove from heat.
Finish by adding your raw cabbage and toss. Top with extra chopped peanuts, cilantro or a swirl of Sriracha if you’re feeling adventurous!
Hungry yet? Check out a few other recipes like this one: