Friday, February 18, 2011

Longevity Noodles

I ought to have made this dish earlier in the month, to correspond with Chinese New Year (the long noodles are said to represent a long and happy life, around the celebration), but better late than never.

For the peanut sauce:
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon vegan dry white wine*
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Gardein Tuscan chicken breasts (without sauce)
For the noodles:
  • 8 ounces uncooked thin spaghetti**
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup trimmed snow peas
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup diagonally sliced green onions
1. To prepare the peanut sauce, heat the canola oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, and the garlic; saute for 5 minutes.  Stir in the soy milk, peanut butter, and lemon juice, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and cool completely.

2. To prepare the marinade, combine the white wine, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons grated ginger, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl.  Cut the Gardein chicken into thin strips, and add to the marinade, tossing to coat.  Cover and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook the thin spaghetti according to package directions.  Drain and rinse; set aside.

4. To put it all together, heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add the marinated chicken and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the snow peas and carrot; saute for 4 minutes.  Stir in the peanut sauce, the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Add the cooked spaghetti, and toss well to combine.  Sprinkle with the green onions. 

*To make the most of the white wine, use a little bit for cooking and serve the rest of the bottle with dinner.  Wine can be tricky to pair with the flavors in this dish, but I really enjoyed a Pouilly Fume, with notes of herbs and lime that complimented the noodles well.

**Do make the effort to seek out thin spaghetti rather than regular spaghetti, since the longer, thinner noodles are in the spirit of this dish.  One option to try: Brad's Organic. 

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1/2 cup), Calories 213

Tasting Notes:
Although I enjoyed the flavors in this dish - particularly the ginger and the peanut - I found that the sauce was a bit dry and sticky, and that there was an overall lack of spice or seasoning.  You might try dressing up the dish with some hot sauce, or thinning the sauce with more soy milk to address these critiques.  As it is currently, I can't quite say it was worth the effort for the final product.


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