Saturday, August 6, 2011

Homemade Take-Out

Homemade take-out. Those words are an oxymoron for sure. But that's exactly what this recipe is.

Now, I'm someone who likes the occasional little kick to her food. The key word being "little." But when you order food out, it impossible to control the ingredients, and you take what you get. So one thing I never get to order from Chinese restaurants is sesame noodles because they're always too spicy for me.

Enter a recipe for sesame noodles by Martha Stewart. It's just perfection. Because I'm making it myself I have complete control over the ingredients, not just the heat. While the original recipe calls for cooking the vegetables in the pot with the pasta, I opt for using my steamer basket. The vegetables cook to a perfect crisp-tender, and the colors are vibrant, making the meal appealing not just to my palate, but visually as well.

This meal is great hot, warm, or cold for lunch the next day. Another reason I love this meal is because it makes such a great next-day lunch. Keep in mind, though, the longer it sits the spicer it gets, so plan accordingly when measuring the red pepper flakes.

Lighter Sesame Noodles

Recipe from Martha Stewart
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

  • 12-14 oz. light carb or whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 2 bunch broccoli crowns, but into florets
  • 2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  1. In a large pot of boiling water salted water, cook spaghetti 5 minutes less than al dente. Place vegetables in a steamer basket and sit on top of pot. Steam vegetables while pasta finishes cooking. When pasta is al dente drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add hot pasta and vegetables; toss to coat, thinning sauce to desired consistency with pasta water, if necessary.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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