Thai Curry Peanut Noodles

By Lisa D’Agrosa, RD

I love Thai food.  It is flavorful, spicy, and unique.  But, it can sometimes be a bit too greasy for my stomach and a bit too expensive for my student budget.  So instead of getting take-out, I have been making homemade Thai food. Both vegetarians’ and meat-lovers’ palates are appeased because the proteins are cooked separately.  All of my favorite Thai flavors: garlic, ginger, peanut butter, basil and curry make up the sauce.  I used a blend of late summer vegetables, but any that you have on hand would work well.  The curried vegetables are mixed with brown rice noodles and served with your protein of choice-tofu or chicken.

Thai Curry Peanut Noodles- For the Omnivore in All of Us

Ingredients (serves 4):

8 oz brown rice noodles (may substitute spaghetti)

6 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 medium/large red onion, diced

2 oz fresh ginger*, finely diced

1 jalapeño, diced **

2 tablespoons red curry paste

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water-the starchy water helps thicken the sauce

3 carrots, diced

1 cup snap peas

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1 TBSP dried Thai Basil (may sub 1 TBSP regular dried basil, or ¼ cup chopped fresh basil)

Salt and Pepper-to taste

2 scallions, sliced thin-for garnish

1 lime-sliced for garnish

*I keep fresh ginger in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer and remove as needed.

** if you are a crazy heat-seeker feel free to add 2 or 3

For tofu:

1 package tofu (pre-cubed, or cut slab into ~1/2” cubes)

1 TBSP olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp Thai Basil

For chicken:

1 lb bonless, skinless chicken breast

1 TBSP olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp Thai Basil

Bring large pot of water to boil for noodles. When water is boiling, add in noodles and cook according to package directions.

Pre-heat skilled over medium heat.  Prepare tofu by draining excess water and cutting in cubes (if not using pre-cubed).  To skillet, add 1 TBSP of olive oil and drained tofu with seasonings. Cook 3 minutes on one side and flip in pan; cook 3 more minutes and gently move cubes around pan ensuring that each piece is browned.  Remove tofu from pan and set aside on plate.

In the same pan, add the ingredients for curry sauce: 1 TBSP olive oil, diced onions, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and carrots.  Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onions have become translucent.

In a separate pan, heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Season chicken breasts with half of Thai basil, and salt and pepper.  Place in pre-heated pan seasoned side down, and season the other side. Cook for about 7-10 minutes per side, depending on how thick your breasts are, or until the inside of the chicken is no longer pink.

In separate bowl mix together peanut butter, curry paste, ¼ cup reserved pasta water and Thai basil.  Add to veggie mix making sure and stir to evenly coat.  If needed, add a bit more water to thin the sauce.

Drain pasta and combine with curry veggies.  Serve with protein of your choice.  Garnish with chopped scallions and limes.

Enjoy! 

Lisa D’Agrosa is a first-year Nutrition Communications student and a Registered Dietitian.  She enjoys running, yoga and skiing in addition to cooking and baking. She hopes to help solve the obesity epidemic in the country by educating the public about healthy eating.  Read more @ http://www.simmerdownnutrition.com

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