Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Spicy Peanut Spring Vegetables and Noodles
You know what’s not fun?
A teething toddler. Oh, man. At the risk of sounding dramatic, it’s the worst. For nearly the past two months, little Kase hasn’t been his goofy-smiley self. He’s in pain, and it’s making him irritable. And clingy. And tired. And hungry.
And it’s making me irritable. And clingy. And tired. And hungry. Except the difference between Kase and me is that I actually eat when I’m hungry.
My poor husband.
It’s amazing how kids are so different. When Garrison got his 2-year molars, we had no clue. Sure, we brushed his teeth. Well, as good as you can for a small but chompy child. We just didn’t study the back of his mouth. So when the dentist shared that his molars were in, we were happy surprised.
So you can imagine our sad surprise when we realized Kase has a bad, bad case of molar teething. After ruling out double-ear infections (which he is prone to getting), we accepted this teething business. We are trying our best to power through it and find the good. Sooooo…
You know what is fun?
Finding in-season asparagus at the grocery store! I know I said we are trying our best to find the good, but I can assure you that fresh asparagus is not a stretch. I love this time of year. To me, fresh asparagus exudes spring. I am craving spring more than ever this year. With at least nine inches of snow still on the ground, I’ll take whatever I can get. I’ll take asparagus.
Spicy Peanut Spring Vegetables and Noodles is an excellent dish that incorporates fresh asparagus. It also includes other vibrant vegetables, so it’s a visually appetizing. Julienned red peppers and shaved carrots add great color. The secret to shaving carrots is using a vegetable peeler; just run the peeler over the carrot, and voila! Perfect carrot ribbons.
The spicy peanut sauce is so good. And so spicy. You might remember that I have a thing for spicy peanut sauces (and in case you don't remember, check out my Spicy Peanut Chicken Cups). If spicy sauces aren't your thing, cut back on the jalapeno. I should make a note about the sauce. It will thicken, so don’t panic if it seems liquid-y. Be patient. Let it boil. Stir it frequently. It will happen!
This post wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory jalapeno warning. I just love cooking with jalapenos. I can’t get enough of their spice! When you chop them up, wear gloves and be extra-careful. I would suggest that if you do cut them without gloves, don’t rub your eyes. Or pick your nose. At least for awhile. Ouch.
If you are trying to find any sign of spring you can, I hope buying asparagus and making Spicy Spring Vegetables and Noodles does the trick. And if you’re dealing with a teething toddler, would you like to start a support group?
Spicy Spring Vegetables and Noodles
Adapted from: Taste of Home
Spicy Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1/4 tsp. brown sugar
6 oz. thin spaghetti
18 asparagus spears, cut into 1” pieces
1 red pepper, julienned
1 medium carrot, shaved
1/3 cup green onions, sliced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Dry roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, jalapenos, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken. Turn the burner off, but keep the saucepan on the burner to stay warm.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté asparagus and red pepper in oil for 6-8 minutes. Add carrots and green onions to the asparagus mixture; sauté for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Drain pasta, toss with vegetable mixture and sauce. Garnish with dry roasted peanuts, if desired. Serves 4.