I’ve found that eating a bit healthier doesn’t need to involve a major overhaul to everything, all at once. In fact, it’s much easier to make small changes overtime. I think this logic is great for eating more plant-based meals. Start small and start easy. This spicy peanut sauce noodle bowl is one of my favorite places to start people. It’s quick, can use a myriad of vegetables, and is a good sample of items I stock in my pantry.
An easy recipe to have in your back pocket for a quick dinner. This spicy peanut sauce pairs perfectly with noodles, grains, and vegetables.
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon honey or your favorite vegan sweetener
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ to ½ cup water
- 4 oz brown rice noodles
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 to 6 scallions diced
- 4 cups assorted vegetables cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, and/or spinach.
- Extra scallion greens
- Toasted Sesame Seeds or Peanuts
- Bean Sprouts
Combine all ingredients for the sauce, except the water. Stir until well combined and add just enough water to thin the sauce down so that it’s pourable. Set aside.
Cook rice noodles according to the package. Drain, rinse, and toss with sesame oil. Set aside.
Heat a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil followed by the scallions. Cook for a couple minutes, just until they start to soften. Add the heartier vegetables, like cauliflower and broccoli, cook until tender. If using greens, add towards the end of cooking.
Place noodles in a bowl and add the cooked vegetables followed by the sauce. Alternatively, you can add the sauce to the pan with the vegetables to heat the sauce. Top with cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, and scallion greens if desired.
Step by Step
This peanut sauce bowl is the perfect example of an equation meal. The actual recipe isn’t that important. It’s more about the components you can switch depending on the items you might have on hand. Change out the noodles, the sauce base, and vegetables- it will still turn out well. A few of my favorite combinations include roasted broccoli with tahini sauce over quinoa or grilled zucchini with almond butter sauce over soba noodles.
Noodles: I like the rice noodles because it makes this recipe gluten-free. However, I’ve made this with udon, soba, and ramen before- it’s hard to go wrong with such an easy sauce. Don’t want to use noodles? Brown rice or quinoa would work as well.
Sauce: Tahini, sunflower butter, or almond butter make a nice alternative to peanut butter.
Vegetables: I like to go by seasons when choosing vegetables for this bowl. During the fall and winter, a mix of kale, chard, and spinach is nice along with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. During the spring, asparagus is the star followed by snap and snow peas. For summer, it’s all about the summer squash!
I know peanut butter gets a bad rap because there are “better” nut/seed butters on the market. But we still always have it on hand. It’s an easy reach for a snack or a something like this peanut sauce. I like to buy no salt, no palm oil peanut butter. You can also make your own– it just requires a good food processor!