As much as I love to cook, after a busy day out and about I admit making dinner can become the ultimate chore, but I resist phoning in an order to a neighborhood restaurant to take care of the evening’s food. Time spent on Sundays thinking about the week ahead and what days will be most hectic allows me to be strategic with my grocery list and planning meals that are quick and healthy but deliver bold flavor and result in enticing leftovers.
Stir-fry ticks all the boxes for a weeknight dinner, and infinite protein and vegetable combinations guarantee I will never be bored by this cooking style. Since I discovered peanut chicken noodles, it has become a stir-fry in regular rotation on the dinner list. The crunchy peanut mixture with chili, lime, ginger and cilantro has subtle heat and adds satisfying texture to each bite. Served as a cold noodle salad, leftovers are a fresh and tempting version of the original.
Peanut Chicken Noodles
Adapted from olive July 2005
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1 red chili, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1 handful cilantro plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced
8 ounces bok choi, stems sliced and leaves roughly torn
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
8 ounces udon noodles, cooked
Combine the peanuts, chili, lime zest, garlic, ginger, cilantro and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process into a paste.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and add the canola oil swirling to coat. When the oil is shimmering, toast the peanut paste for 1 minute. Add the chicken and sauté for 5 minutes until cooked through.
Add the bok choi stems and red pepper and stir fry for 1 minute before adding the lime juice and soy sauce cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Toss the cooked noodles with the chicken and vegetables. Add the bok choi leaves allowing them to wilt. Before serving garnish with cilantro.