Brianne at Cupcakes & Kale Chips is a great source of food inspiration for me. When she posted a recipe for sesame noodles, I wanted them right away … it was a simple, quick recipe, so I went into the kitchen and made them straight away. I have veggies galore in my kitchen right now, so I had to throw some of those in. So I sliced up some cucumber in thin noodle-like strips and tossed in some shredded carrot and sweet onion.
I also replaced the peanut butter in the recipe with PB2 … it’s a powdered form of peanut butter that has most of the oil removed. And I left out some of the oil to cut down the amount of fat. It was still quite delicious. I looove this sauce!
You could add in cooked chicken or shrimp or scallops to dress this dish up, use other vegetables or even replace the noodles with zucchini noodles (have you seen that? zucchini cut up in long thin strips like noodles? I want to try that one of these days!) Anyway, I used brown rice Pad Thai noodles and that worked wonderfully. My cucumber strips weren’t quite straight or thin enough to really act like noodles, but they added a refreshing crunch to the dish.
Sesame Noodles with Cucumber
Adapted from Cupcakes & Kale Chips (who got the recipe from The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman)
There is enough sauce to cover about twice this much noodles/vegies, so go ahead and make more if you have more mouths to feed. I was just cooking for me … I’m lucky, though. Making this amount means I have some of that scrumptious sauce left for another day.
- 3 cloves of garlic
- A 2-inch hunk of ginger root, peeled
- 2 Tablespoons white or rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha or other hot pepper sauce (use more or less to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons dark sesame oil (I used 1 Tablespoon, but I think it could use a little more)
- 4 Tablespoons PB2
- 3 Tablespoons water
Noodles and vegies:
- 4 – oz. of noodles (I used brown rice pad thai noodles, but any long skinny noodle will work …)
- 1/2 cup of cucumber, cut in long thin strips like the noodles
- 1/4 cup of shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced bell pepper
- Garnish: fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds (or chia seeds if you can’t find your sesame seeds … like me)
- Make the sesame sauce: whir all of the sauce ingredients in a handi chopper, food processor or a blender until smooth. Set the sauce aside.
- Prepare the noodles according to the package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of the noodle cooking water (or 1 cup if you are making a full batch), then drain the noodles.
- Add the reserved cooking water to half of the sesame sauce and blend. Place the warm drained noodles in a large bowl and toss them with the sauce and vegies until everything is coated.
- I skipped this step because I was starving but the recipe says to let the noodles cool to room temperature because they will absorb more sauce as they sit. This might be true … I have yet to try it.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and peanuts or sesame seeds and serve. Try not to inhale them like I did.
Of all the things I made for my first blog-iversary party, I think these meatballs were the biggest hit. My friends were asking me if the recipe is up on the blog. Now it is!
I was really excited that my daughter tried them … she said they were good, but a little too spicy for her taste. (My girl does NOT like spicy food at all.) She was wishing her friend who loves Asian food had been able to make it to the party because she thought she would have LOVED them.
These little meatballs really aren’t very spicy, in my opinion, but if you or your party guests are sensitive to “heat”, you could use less of the hot chili sauce and more hoison in the meatball sauce. I was worried the meatballs wouldn’t be salty enough because there is no salt in the balls, but slow-cooking them in the sauce made them just perfect. I have to thank SouthernCookingLight for the awesome recipe. I had intended to make feta-stuffed greek meatballs (which would have been awesome too), but when I saw these beauties with all that yummy ginger in there, I just HAD to make them.
Asian Ginger Party Meatballs
Adapted from SouthernCookingLight
For the meatballs:
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 1 – 8 oz. can of water chestnuts, drained
- 1 lb. lean ground beef or venison (I used venison)
- 1 lb. lean ground pork
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 cup finely shredded carrots
Preheat oven to 400° F. In a handi chopper or food processor, process the garlic, water chestnuts and onion into fine bits. Mix with the remaining ingredients till well blended. Form 1” balls and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for about 15-20 minutes, until done.
For the sauce:
- 2/3 cup hoisin sauce (you can use bottled hoisin or make your own … recipe below)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tblsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. fresh ground ginger
- 1/3 cup Thai Chili Sauce
Combine ingredients for sauce and pour over the meatballs in a crock pot, then cook at low heat for 6 hours. (Or you could heat up the sauce and meatballs in a saucepan on medium heat till heated, about 20 minutes.)
Recipe from CDKitchen
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut butter or black bean paste
1 tablespoon honey or molasses or brown sugar
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
20 drops chinese hot sauce, habenero or jalepeno
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl till well blended. At first it might not seem like the peanut butter is going to mix with the rest of the liquids, but keep whisking, it will.
That’s it! Store in a covered container in the fridge. It keeps pretty much indefinitely and is a great sauce to have on hand.
In Albuquerque, there is this fast food chain called Teriyaki Chicken Bowl. We called it TCB. It’s not a New Mexican thing, really, but they are all over Albuquerque. We went there a lot for lunch. It wasn’t anything fancy: just some chicken, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower in a delicious sauce over rice. There was no ambiance or decor. Just a bit of chicken, vegetables and rice in a bowl. TCBs were always packed at lunchtime. You usually had to wait in line to get your bowl.
I haven’t been to Albuquerque in years, but I still remember the taste of that chicken.
When my son and I went to California last month, my friend served us this Teriyaki Chicken. My son loved it, and when we got home, he asked me to make Teriyaki Chicken. I was so excited that he was asking for something besides pizzas and burgers.
I found lots of recipes for Teriyaki Chicken and there were so many variations on the recipe … some were really complicated, some were overly simple. I settled on one I found at Itsy Bitsy Foodies. It seemed about right to me. And when I added the steamed broccoli and carrots, to me, it transported me right back to TCB.
Teriyaki Chicken with Basmati Rice, Broccoli and Carrots
Adapted from Itsy Bitsy Foodies
For the marinade:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 2 tsp ginger, shredded (You can substitute 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger but fresh ginger is SO much better.)
- 1-2 Tbsp oil
- About 5 drops of sesame oil
- 7 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat, and cut into large chunks
- 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 Tablespoon water
- Steamed broccoli and carrots
- Cooked basmati (or white) rice
- Mix the marinade ingredients together. Put the chicken in a bowl and pour the marinade over. I then dug my hands in there and squeezed the chicken to infuse the marinade into the chicken. Besides that I just like to feel my food. I know, that’s weird, but I love to get messy in the kitchen. (Yes, I always wash my hands after touching meat.)
- Allow the chicken to marinade at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Start the rice cooking and the vegies steaming.
- Spray a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat.
- Turn the heat down to medium, dump the chicken and sauce into the pan and cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the heat.
- To the remaining sauce in the pan, stir in a drizzle of cornstarch/water mixture a little at a time, stirring constantly, until it boils and thickens.
- When the sauce is thickened to your liking, slide the chicken back into the pan and stir to mix.
- Serve the chicken on a bed of hot cooked rice, topped with steamed broccoli and carrots (and cauliflower if you like!). It’s also nice sprinkled with sesame seeds.
This recipe was shared at Everyday Mom’s Meals, Fat Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Wonka Wednesdays, Gooseberry Patch Inexpensive Recipes, Wednesday Eats, Thursday’s Treasures, Midweek Fiesta, Gooseberry Patch Trip Around the World and Fit and Fabulous Fridays.
I don’t know if you noticed but I was away from my kitchen last week, travelling in California. The company I work for lives out in California … everyone else who works for this company lives in California. Most of them come into the office every day. I am the lone midwestern employee, working remotely. They give me a lot of crap about the weather. My boss loves to call and tell me when he’s wearing shorts in sunny 70 degree weather and we are up to our armpits in snow. It’s all in good fun. My son and I called them all wimps when we were visiting last week and they were shivering in their jackets while we were reveling in what (to us) was lovely weather.
We got home late Sunday night, so there was no time for grocery shopping, and work began early Monday morning, so I wondered what on earth I was going to eat. But I was in luck. My parents were here to stay with my daughter for the weekend and they left me a big, beautiful tub of organic herb salad mix.
So all I needed to do was find something to go with it. I scrounged up some frozen (natural) chicken nuggets, feta, pinons, tomatoes, onion and pulled out one of my homemade dressings and haha! I had a lovely lunch.
Herb Salad with Chicken, Feta, Pinons and Oriental Vinaigrette
- Organic herb salad mix
- Chicken nuggets, cooked and cut into small pieces (I used 4 for my salad)
- Pinon nuts, toasted
- Feta cheese crumbles
- Chopped tomato
- Sliced onion
- Fill the salad bowl most of the way with herb salad mix.
- Top with remaining ingredients.
- Drizzle with dressing.
Oriental vinaigrette salad dressing
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 1/2 c. rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 2 T. honey
- 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine OR 1/4 t. granulated garlic
- 1/2 t. ground ginger
- About 10 drops of sesame oil
- 1 T. canola oil
- 1 T. fish sauce
- 1 T. chinese mustard
Pour all ingredients into a bottle and shake well to blend the flavors. Refrigerate.
I have a not-so-secret fascination with hummus. That creamy garlicky lemony dip with a kick of tahini … ah it is one of my very favorite foods. I snack on it, spread it on my sandwiches, would probably bathe in it if I had enough of it! Well, no, that would be a waste. Because I would want to eat every. last. little. bit. I would be licking the tub. That would not be pretty.
That is how much I love hummus. I have seen hummus made with cannellini beans instead of chickpeas, so I had to give that a whirl. Oh, it turned out delicious. Too bad it is already gone … I didn’t make enough! So I recommend you double the recipe. Or maybe triple it? I SO need to make some more.
Cannellini Hummus with Feta and Oregano
- 1 c. cooked cannellini beans
- 1 t. olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- A bit of lemon zest
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 2 T. crumbled feta cheese
- A few sprigs of fresh oregano or 1/2 t. dried oregano
- 2 T. pinon nuts
- A few drops of sesame oil
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor till smooth. Add a little water if you need to for getting it to blend smooth. Serve with toasted pita chips.
How to toast pitas into chips:
Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Cut the pitas into wedges and arrange in a single layer on the pan. Spray liberally with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp.