Today was a rare day of relative simplicity. Our youngest is still awaiting his first day of school, since preschool has a later start date than the big-kid schools do. He’s missing his brothers this week. So, the baby and I packed ourselves into the car and drove downtown to have lunch with Hubby. We enjoyed a simple, clean lunch in a refreshing space. Just the three of us (like I said – very rare.)
After our unlimited salads, we took a leisurely stroll around the farmer’s market. During which our boy joyfully hopped and skipped over sidewalk cracks. He then proceeded to fall asleep on the car ride home, and awoke just in time for my announcement that he and Mommy were going for a bike ride.
When we were tuckered out from the bike ride, the little guy and our adolescent dog pretended to be Wild Kratts while I caught up with neighbors in the front yard.
I felt unusually recharged by the sporadic simplicity of the day I just described. The majority of days in our current season of life are spent in a flurried rush; sometimes it’s a downright rip-roaring jungle. A day of slowing down is truly invigorating.
Here’s a simple recipe for Peanut Sesame Noodles – it’s as easy as it is delicious. No need to break a sweat in order to bring this well-seasoned dish to the dinner table. Uncomplicated yet full of flavor. Our whole family adores this noodle dish, which is best served at room temp. The flavors of peanut butter and Asian sesame oil make your taste buds do a happy dance. Make it vegetarian or vegan by omitting the chicken.
Be sure to use Asian sesame oil that is darker in color than regular sesame oil and highly fragrant; it tastes completely different than light colored sesame oil. It can be found in Asian aisles of most major grocery stores. A bit of Sriracha adds a little zip, snap, and sweet tang to the noodles. It’s a must. There’s a reason Sriracha is all the rave. Finally.
Here’s to more deliberately simple days.
- 1 lb dry spaghetti (I use multi-grain)
- 1 cucumber; peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
- 1 cup finely shredded carrot
- 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
- ½ cup freshly chopped scallion
- 2 cups shredded chicken from leftover rotisserie chicken (alternatively, boil 2-3 chicken breasts or thighs in salted water until cooked through; shred the cooked chicken.)
- For the Sauce:
- ⅓ cup smooth (not chunky) peanut butter
- ¼ cup regular soy sauce
- 2 TB Asian rice vinegar
- 4 TB Asian sesame oil, divided
- 2 TB packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1-2 tsp Sriracha, depending on how spicy you want it
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
- Whisk together all ingredients for the Sauce in a medium bowl (except for garnishes) and set aside.
- Cook spaghetti in large pot of salted boiling water to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer drained noodles into large serving bowl. Sprinkle 2 TB sesame oil onto cold noodles and toss to coat.
- Add cucumber, garlic, carrots, scallions, and shredded chicken to the noodles. Toss well.
- Whisk sauce again and pour over noodle mixture; toss well to ensure even coating.
- Divide into serving plates and serve at room temp. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and/or chopped peanuts if desired.
Source: Chew Out Loud