Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sweet and Sour Peanut Stir-fry Rice Noodles

This easy dinner is in celebration for the spring weather and pulling out the grill again. I love it when we can use the grill. Some people may say it's not the healthiest, but seriously haven't people been cooking over an open flame for thousands of years. So, why not have some grilled chicken? Or you could easily make this recipe without grilled chicken and have a vegan meal with lots of stir-fry veggies and rice noodles. So, it can be versatile if need be. My husband said to me the next day when he was packing some for a leftovers lunch, "That this might be the best made-up dinner you've created yet!" I didn't really believe him because how could this be better than spring time pesto pasta or squash pasta sauce, really? Maybe it was because I haven't cooked anything that special as of late, so maybe he was just happy to have a nice meal. Or maybe it was the sunshine coming back into our lives.
You know, the sun does strange things to people. It was 83 degrees here on April 1, and everyone thought it was a joke. Seriously, what is happening?! It's true though, it is spring, and the trees are growing their neon green buds and it has also rained on and off for the last few days. Daffodils and crocuses have bloomed and the next thing on my mind is... what about my garden? I am going to plant a full garden this year in my new space behind my home. This is a big deal compared to my apartment deck pot garden of years past. It will be a new adventure that I am looking forward to. It's hard work though, clearing space and making time to learn up on some good techniques and ideas. Unfortunately you can't just throw seeds in the ground and hope for a bountiful crop. You have to plan, toil, and then you can reap the benefits. So, my friends, we will see how this year goes. I am still going to wait a few weeks here in Grand Rapids, because there is rumor for more snow later this weekend. You just never know here. The best time is end of April or even mid May some say to make sure the plants survive any last frost days. So as I am busy preparing, this is an easy dinner to whip up with some tangy flavors and freshness in each bite!

First, if you want to prepare some grilled chicken to go along with the noodles:

Marinate some chicken in wheat-free Tamari based sauce ( I used the San-J Thai peanut sauce, which I like a lot ) or you could even marinate the chicken in the sauce below used on the noodles, but just make sure to whip up on a bowl before stirring over the raw chicken. Marinate overnight, or just for 15-30 minutes. Grill on an outdoor grill if possible, or use a nifty indoor grill pan on the stove top. Both will result in flavor-full chicken.

Sweet and Sour Peanut Stir-Fry Noodles
2 TB of olive oil or sesame or peanut oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 1/2 cup of diced carrots circles or matchsticks
1 cup of diced red pepper
1 1/2 cup of diced broccoli florets

1/4 cup of wheat free low sodium tamari sauce
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 TB of creamy natural peanut butter (organic is always best)
1 ts. of ground ginger powder
1/2 ts. of cayenne pepper powder (or flakes could work too)
1 TB of agave nectar (honey is another alternative)

In a large wok or frying pan, saute the veggies in the garlic and oil for a few minutes to soften up the veggies. Then after a few minutes of letting the veggies cook down, add in the rest of the sauce ingredients. This will start to cook and thicken with the peanut butter and create a tangy sweet and sour sauce to toss with the noodles. Which in the meantime, while sauteing, start to boil a large pot of water, and then drop the large cut oriental style rice noodles in the pot. Use as many noodles or as little as you want. I think I used about 2/3 of the package, so probably around 8 or 9 ounses. It will take about 5-7 minutes for them to soften in the boiling water. make sure to stir a few times to make sure there is no sticking happening...

1- 12 ounce package of oriental rice noodles (vermicelli noodles) *You can find these for a very decent price at most local Asian market stores. These noodles are most used in traditional Thai cooking and make sure to check to see if the ingredients are just rice, water and possibly corn starch or rice starch. It should be those few simple ingredients and nothing more.

Turn the veggies and sauce down to a simmer and then when the noodles are just a touch away from being done, strain them from the water and add them to the sauce and veggies. Then use a large tong to toss the noodles int he sauce to get completely covered in the sauce and let the veggies spread themselves out throughout the dish.

Now, it is ready to serve! Serve the grilled chicken over the noodles if you wish. Or without if you are vegan. And some good fresh toppings include: fresh cilantro, green onions, crushed peanuts, or bean sprouts. Enjoy also with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Viola! A sweet and tangy dinner to satisfy all your taste bud's needs. I hope you enjoy! Much love to you!


  1. Mmm...I made something similar to this the other night. One of my favorite types of meals!

  2. I am in love with these flavors. Sounds tasty!