Do you ever get stressed about magazines piling up month after month? Not real stresssed more just “anxious to read them and not see the next months edition show up before you have even lifted the cover of the previous months” stressed. Personally, I feel like this a lot lately as life is busy and those lay back read a magazine days have become far and few. I finally had a quiet sleeping baby and a chance to catch up on my celebrity gossip from US Weekly, learn from my Parenting magazine, get recipe ideas from Cooking Light and Todays Dietitian. While skimming Todays Dietitian I came across this great and easy vegetarian dish in their Meatless Mondays article. So three weeks ago I cooked it up for my in-laws (aka MN mom and dad) and meat loving husband and it got passing reviews from all three. To my surprise the second time I made it our almost 2 year old tolerated the mildly spiced sauce and loved it. This has already become a dish in our frequent rotation and will be a great go to last minute week night meal for our house.
Here are a few reasons why I loved this dish:
1. It’s vegetarian! I love having meatless meals mixed between nights we have meat and try to do this at least once a week if not more times. It is a great way to add variety in protein choices and helps keep a good balance between macronutrients and as research has shown a diet that is majority plant based can help prevent diseases (now I love meat don’t get me wrong but I don’t think it should be the only protein people think about when planning meals)
2. The veggies and noodles cook in the same pot so you only end up with three dirty dishes (a bowl for the sauce, one pot and a strainer)…yes THREE dishes TOTAL! Amazing.
3. It was EXTREMELY easy and the sauce used things that I normally have in my pantry (if you don’t have almond butter you could definitely sub peanut butter).
4. My toddler liked it. Now not sure this is a great one to have as she likes most things (or per the norm for most toddlers – will like something one day then not eat much next time you make it then devour it at a future meal)
We ate it three weeks ago and I have made it by request two more times since then which rarely happens. Once for my dad and the next time for a group of 8 (we doubled the recipe that time). There is a little kick so if you are sensitive to spice you may want to add the chili-garlic sauce after but it truly was a mild kick and our daughter was fine with it.
Here is the recipe with my adjustments/comments italicized. I do mention below that I normally double the sauce (when I doubled the recipe I just did 1.5 times the sauce) so if you plan to do that you will need double the amount of soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and chili-garlic sauce then what is listed below.
Asian Noodle Bowl with Spicy Almond Sauce
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 head broccoli (about 3/4 lb), tops cut into flowerets, stems peeled and sliced thinly –I did more than 1/2 a head
2 cups (about 4 oz) snow peas, trimmed – I did a little more based on what I had
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup unsalted almond butter
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 T fresh lime juice
2 T brown sugar
1 T chili-garlic sauce, such as Sriracha
1 scallion, green part only (about 3 T)
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet on medium heat, stirring frequently until they’re golden, about 3 minutes – IF YOU ARE IN A RUSH YOU COULD SKIP THIS STEP
3. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Three minutes before the pasta is ready, add the broccoli to the pasta pot. One minute before it’s ready, add the snow peas and red peppers to the pot.
4. I DOUBLED THE QUANTITIES ABOVE WHEN I MADE THE SAUCE — While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Place the almond butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili-garlic sauce, and 3 T of boiling water from the pasta pot into a large bowl, and whisk until smooth.
5. Drain the noodles and vegetables, return them to the pasta pot, add the sauce and toss to coat. Serve garnished with the toasted almonds and scallion greens (if the sauce turns out thick, as mine sometimes does, just add a little more water to the finished pot and mix in).
Nutrient Analysis per serving assuming no extra veggies and one batch of sauce
Calories: 410; Total fat: 16 g; Sat fat: 1.5 g; Cholesterol: 85 mg; Sodium: 460 mg; Total carbohydrates: 60 g; Dietary fiber: 17 g; Protein: 15 g
— Recipe Adapted from Ellie Krieger, RD, for the Almond Board of California.
Recipe found in Todays Dietitian Magazine