I made us the bestest lunch today.
Or maybe it’s your dinner and then lunch tomorrow. Oh yeah, that should be they way it goes. Like you can eat the pasta warm (or not, whatever you prefer) tonight for dinner and then have it cold tomorrow for lunch.
Two meals, made in 20 minutes or less?!? I know it’s cheesy and all, but I have to say, that is totally “killing two birds with one stone”. Kind of perfect for these busy summer days, huh??
SO, let’s talk about this zucchini pasta thing. How do you guys feel about it? Personally, I love the idea of making zucchini and other veggies in pasta form, like that is so fun, but with that said, it’s not really a meal to me without some carbs. You know?
Especially with zucchini noodles, zucchini has a pretty high water content.
I feel like it’s just more of a side, and that’s totally cool if you can deal with that, but I just can’t. For me to make this zucchini pasta more like a meal you better believe I am adding real pasta into the mix…
But wait, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the whole zucchini pasta thing?? Maybe, but hey, I am definitely using less pasta, so I’d say it’s still a win.
So yes, while most of those pretty noodles you see are in fact zucchini noodles, I added some pasta in there as well.
More important than the noodles is the sauce that goes on this pasta/noodle bowl (not sure whether I like calling these pasta or noodles…hmm).
Back when I first started cooking I made Ina Garten’s schezwan noodles and impressed my dad so much that to this day, it is still one of my favorite meals to make. Since then I have changed the recipe quite a bit, since that’s just kind of what I do. I usually leave out the chicken since no one really cares much for it in this recipe. I feel like it just gets lost in the mix of noodles and sauce, and let’s be honest, the noodles and sauce are really where its at.
*Sidenote, is anyone else semi in awe of Ina? Cause I totally am. If I had all the time in the world. I would be watching Barefoot Contessa 24/7. So much one can learn from that show…ok and I want her kitchen some day too!
*Sidenote over – So the secret to this recipe is the sauce. This sauce + veggies, talk about healthiness!
I like using a mix of peanut butter and tahini + some really good chili oil, some toasted sesame oil, oh and honey. The honey really balances the spicy flavors and makes the sauce extra special…trust me on this. If you are vegan, you can sub in brown sugar. Speaking of which, I just realized that I actually made a vegan AND gluten-free friendly meal. Like whoa!
The whole recipe comes together in twenty minutes or less, it’s completely no-bake and almost completely no-cook (you have to boil the pasta, but that’s it). You make the sauce in the same bowl you are going to toss the pasta in and then you are kind of done.
See, this dish is REALLY easy, and it makes leftovers for lunch at work tomorrow. Heck yes!!
AND it’s healthy, AND so good! No really, these firey schezwan peanut and chili zucchini noodles are so delicious, peanut noodles are maybe one of my favorites though. Peanut butter, peanuts, basil, noodles?
Yeah, so much to love right there!
Also, in case you were wondering, those flowers you see in my noodles are actually edible, I swear! They grew on my cilantro plants, which are growing like crazy! YES!
Firey Schezwan Peanut and Chili Zucchini Noodles.
- 1/2 pound spaghetti/linguine or sub more zucchini for gluten free if needed
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup tahini sesame seed paste
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey use brown sugar if vegan
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon hot chili oil*
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil*
- 1/4 cup coconut milk lite or regular
- 3 medium size zucchinis spiralized using a veggie spiralizer
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 6 baby bell peppers sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 hot pepper sliced (red or green both work)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and keep pasta hot.
Meanwhile, combine the peanut butter and tahini in a large serving bowl and whisk until combined. Whisk in the soy sauce, honey, lime juice, hot chili oil, toasted sesame oil and coconut milk.
To the bowl, add the zucchini noodles, peanuts, sesame seeds, basil, cilantro, baby bell peppers and tomatoes. Now add the hot pasta. Toss well to combine. The hot pasta should warm the peanut sauce and make it easier to coat the noodles.
Pasta can be served warm or cold. Top with hot pepper slices, basil and peanuts if desired. EAT!
Thursday noodles? Yes, but with a fork…chopsticks just don’t give me a big enough bite.