A 20 minute veggie noodle bowl with peanut sauce + a side of life.
This meal comes together so fast I figured you have time to read an update on what’s going on over here. I’m sure by now you’re probably realized I’m terrible at keep up with talking about life things. My last life post was nearly a month and a half ago.
side note: We are both obsessed with black bean noodles. I was totally scared of them at first and it took me 6 months to even try them after I bought them. However, the texture is fantastic, they don’t have an overly beany flavor, and no funky aftertaste. These noodles are seriously loaded with fiber [12g], protein [25g], and iron [36%]. My other go-to noodle for meals like this are stir fry brown rice noodles. I love how much more filling and nutrient dense the black bean noodles are, but if you want a lighter use the rice noodles.
While last year was filled with chaos, unknowns, juggling acts, intense ups + downs, worry, lots of questioning, doubt, and a million other things, I knew that if I squinted my eyes and thought about the future I could see that it was all leading to something great.
Although, in the moment I usually wanted to scream, sleep, or cry.
It can be hard to take a step back and look at your life from a distance. It’s difficult to not focus on whatever crazy thing is happening at that very instant, wondering when it is going to be over.
But the thing I tried so hard to keep at the forefront of my mind was that [nearly] all of the chaos was chosen and created by us [myself + my husband].
We could have avoided almost all of it.
We didn’t have to move, we didn’t have to sell our house, we didn’t have to do last minute renovations, Chris didn’t have to take a new job, we didn’t have to buy a new house, we didn’t have to renovate our new house, I didn’t have to try and create my own career out of thin air, I didn’t have to write a cookbook, Chris didn’t have to be in grad school.
This doesn’t mean that making this realization kept me happy and chipper for all the days, or even most of them. It was difficult to remember that these were all choices we made and wanted and that they were going to eventually lead to something great.
The intense moments and crazy year that are now behind us were all worth it. We could have stayed where we were, I could have gotten a 9-5, but instead we took a leap for something more.
I’m 100% positive that there will be harder years, moments, and decisions to make, but having last year under my belt definitely helped prepare me for whatever is to come.
And right now? A wave of calmness has set in. While my work schedule is busier than ever, I couldn’t be happier about it. We’ve settled in to our home. The renovations have ended [but do they ever really end?]. We’ve found a groove. And it feels so good.
I have had a steady flow of work coming in since the beginning of 2014. I have deadlines for people other than myself! I get to send invoices! I get paid to take photos and create recipes!
Holy crap. Pinch me. It’s happening. The crazy was so worth it.
Now let’s eat.
adapted from: The FauxMartha’s Amazing Soba Bowl
Easy Veggie Noodle Bowl with Peanut Sauce
gluten-free, vegan // yields 4 servings
for the peanut sauce:
- 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter, the drippy kind
- 2 – 2 1/2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari, or soy sauce
- 2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed
for the noodle bowl:
- 1, 7oz package black bean noodles, or stir fry rice noodles
- 1, 14oz package non-GMO extra/super firm tofu
- 1 large bell pepper
- 2 large carrots
- 1-2 spring onions, stem end removed
- 1/2 pound snow peas
- optional toppings: chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, basil, mint, sriracha
Drain tofu, give a light squeeze with a kitchen towel, and keep wrapped tightly in the towel.
Combine peanut butter, tamari, ginger, lime juice, maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons of water in a jar or bowl. Shake or whisk until smooth and fully combined. Add the smashed garlic, give a few shakes, and set aside. Dressing will taste quite salty but remember you’re not adding any other salt to your veggies or noodles.
Cook noodles according to package directions. While cooking, thinly slice the peppers, carrots, and onions [white end only] and trim the ends of your snow peas. Unwrap tofu and chop into 1/2-1 inch cubes.
Rinse and drain noodles in cold water until fully chilled. Portion into bowls. Add veggies and tofu. Shake/stir dressing once more then remove smashed garlic. Add a bit more water to thin out if needed. Pour over each bowl and top with a squeeze of lime juice, chopped peanuts, sriracha, and sesame seeds.
Serve cold. Store extra dressing in the fridge and thin out with a bit of water if needed.
This can easily be served warm by adding a bit of oil to a pan over medium/medium-high heat [I like to heat 1 portion at a time]. Once hot, add the veggies, tofu, and noodles and toss for 2-3 minutes. Add desired amount of peanut sauce and toss until coated and hot. Add a splash or two of water if needed to help coat. For crunchy vegetables cook until just heated through.
Use non-stabilized peanut butter [the drippy kind] but be sure to stir it well before using.
My favorite non-GMO tofu.
The garlic cloves should be smashed/flattened so the oils are released but you want them fairly intact.
If you can’t fine spring onions [they look similar to green onions but with a large, white bulbous end] sub with green onions.
This meal is a definite new favorite around here. It takes about 20 minutes to whip up for dinner and leftovers can easily be portioned out for lunch the following day.