20 Minute Spicy Peanut Noodles
I will gladly admit that I have a love affair with noodles. What's not to love? Little nests of carby goodness, with a limitless combination of flavours and add-ins - sounds like an ideal meal to me. The best part about noodles, you may ask? They take next-to-no time to make, making this a TWENTY (!!) minute meal. These 20 minute spicy peanut noodles are quick, but full of your favourite asian takeout flavours.
The Secret to Weeknight Cooking - Prep!
For most easy weeknight meals, I find that it isn't the cooking process that is laborious or time-consuming - it's scrambling to get your ingredients together, and ready to go. I will admit, I used to be the kind of person that would grab ingredients as-needed, which would usually lead me to run around my kitchen in a frenzy. I would spend more time running around finding ingredients in my pantry and fridge, than I would actually preparing my dinner.
If you can relate to the above - that's normal! If there is one thing I have learned, preparation is KEY! Weeknight meal prep works in two ways - 1) getting your produce ready when you bring it home from the grocery store; and 2) getting your ingredients together before you start cooking.
Prep After You Shop
I cannot stress this enough! If you find that chopping and prepping your veggies take a considerable amount of time when you are cooking at night - wash and cut your veggies after you grocery shop. Breaking down your produce at the beginning of the week and storing them in produce-friendly containers will shave off a lot of time!
Keep Your Ingredients on Standby
If nothing else, keeping your ingredients pre-measured and ready to go is key! This allows you to keep everything by the stove, and as you are cooking you can add your ingredients without having to search and measure. This will make weeknight cooking stress-free, I promise!
Let's Talk Peanut Sauce!
When you are making a mountain of noodles, do not be shy with making a generous amount of sauce! Your sauce might be full of flavour, but if there isn't enough of it, your noodles will likely be lightly seasoned and just a little bland. Adding some starchy pasta water will also help with letting that sauce cling to your noodles - I have said it before, and I'll say it again - Pasta water is LIQUID GOLD! Your 20 minute spicy peanut noodles will thank you, I promise!
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20 Minute Spicy Peanut Noodles
- 375g whole wheat spaghettini
- 1lb 16-20 shrimp, peeled and deveined.
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup snow peas, sliced in half
- 1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp korean chili flakes
- 2 tsp chilli garlic paste
- 1/2 cup pasta water
Mix the Sauce
- Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce, and set aside.
Boil the Noodles
- Cook the noodles until al dente, in salted water.
- Reserve pasta water prior to draining.
Make the Stir-Fry
- While the noodles are cooking, saute the ginger, garlic and vegetables in 1 tbsp of olive oil, in a large stainless steel skillet, over medium-high heat.
- Once browned and softened, add the shrimp and take off heat once the shrimp are opaque and pink.
- Add a quarter of the sauce to the vegetables and shrimp and toss.
- Add the pasta, pasta water, and remaining sauce, and toss again.
Sounds good, I would need to switch out the shrimp (allergic) for Tofu or chicken. I will have to tame the fire some so I can tolerate it, but Hubs will go for it as written. I would add my thoughts on saving time for any night’s meals. (Who wants complicated meals on Summer weekends, or any more time in the kitchen than absolutely necessary during Summer heat) 1) Catch the long range weather forecast late in the week, then 2) Meal plan for the meals for the next week, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. 3) Check kitchen, fridge, freezer, and pantry for needed ingredients and low staples 4) Make up your grocery lists, 5) Shop Friday, Saturday, Sunday, whatever’s convenient for you, consider evening, overnight(24 hour groceries and pharmacies) or early mornings. It’s helpful if you want to shop without trying to keep an eye on the children while you shop. It’s cooler to shop during those hours, the markets are much quieter. Night stockers are working and new items are being put on the shelves. Night managers are less frazzled and more happy to help you find things. The meat counter is usually stocked in the late evening, but a night meat person is often on. The deli is often closed at night, but an order called in earlier can be prepared and placed with the night meat man for pickup. A good idea for any time of day, if you’re needing several pounds of different meats. It can be prepared and ready for you when you arrive. When you’re finished, it’s not blazing hot outside. You can hit a 24 hour gas station for gas on the way home. No long lines as during the heat of the day. Once you’re home, if you’re a night person unpack and do meal prep then, if you’re not get fridge and freezer stuff where it belongs, catch some zzz’z and do meal prep when you get up, after breakfast. These are tricks many Nurses, Military wives, and women with large families, or very young children use to organize their time. I know this from meeting so many at the 24 hour market after my own evening shifts, and in the morning after my overnight shifts at the hospital. Many of you have outdoor grills to cook on, I rely on my slow cookers (3). Instant Pot, and Electric Skillets for a cooler kitchen. Counter top convection oven, broiler, Air fryer units, are much cooler than the range. A microwave is cooler and suitable for 80-85% of stovetop work. The electric skillet does the rest. Keep the fridge rotating and cleaned out so additional produce and more chilled dishes can be accommodated. Tailor staples lists to the season for more useable storage space. Keeping all your appliances in mind as you meal plan goes a long way to lessening or easing meals preparation during the summer, along with pre prepping the veggies. If meats are stored in the freezer ( I highly recommend this) label with name, meal, and date, then organize them into the freezer according to date needed. That way you can easily pull and place the items in the fridge at night. I store meats and fish in Zipper bags, in the freezer. Easier to label, better protection, and highly leak resistant. My Mother used to freeze deli meats and meat leftovers very successfully. Keeping goods fresh and tasty for as long as possible is a must in the summer. When you set up to make a preplanned, preprepped meal, you don’t want to find essential ingredients un useable. So take time to prep them properly for storage until you need them, your patience is worth it.