Recipe: Sesame Noodles!

sesame noodles

About a year ago, I discovered my love for sesame oil. I love it. It makes me sad that I had never tried it earlier. I could have been living a whole life full of sesame oil. Anyway…this recipe brings together my favorite things: noodles, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Man I love Asian noodle dishes; I could live off Asian noodle dishes. This one is one of my favorites, and I make it all the time. The flavors are just so amazing! But I won’t waste time talking about it, let’s just get right to the recipe!

What you’ll need:
(As with a lot of my recipes, I made this just for myself so these amounts are only for one serving)

veggies

  • about 4-6 oz brown rice spaghetti
  • little handful of carrots
  • little handful of broccoli slaw
  • 1-2 thin slices of onion, diced
  • 3-4 sliced of zucchini, cut into strips
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • about 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • about 2-3 tablespoons sesame oil (use more or less, depending on your love for sesame oil)
  • as much soy sauce as your heart desires (which for me, is a lot)
  • feel free to add any protein you like—I’ve used chicken which is really good in this
  • sesame seeds for topping

How to make it:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the package.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil to a wok or pan. When it’s hot, add your veggies (excluding the green onions and garlic) and cook until soft (if you’d like, you can add a little soy sauce to the veggies for it to absorb the flavor). Make sure you don’t start this step too early, otherwise you might overcook your veggies while you’re waiting for the pasta to be done (yes, I know this from experience). Just plan your time wisely so your veggies and pasta are done at about the same time.
  3. Once your pasta is cooked and drained, add the garlic and green onions to the wok and sauté for another minute or so. Then, add your pasta to all your veggies and add as much sesame oil and soy sauce as desired.
  4. Put it into a bowl, top with sesame seeds, and enjoy!

This recipe is so yummy. It’s definitely one of my go-to meals, and it’s so easy! It’s one more pasta recipe in my pasta arsenal (which, by the way, is very full). For having such simple ingredients, this dish packs a whole lot of delicious flavor. And as usual, feel free to personalize as you like and use different veggies and proteins. I’m so happy that me and sesame oil were brought together. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do! 🙂

sesame noodles

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Recipe: Egg & Avocado Rice Bowl!

egg avocado rice bowl

I was desperately in need of a new easy lunch option. Not that I ever get tired of pasta (pretty much my everyday choice), but I needed something a little different. That’s when this recipe came in, and I kind of fell in love with it. I have Pinterest to thank for bringing me and this bowl together, and I adjusted it just a little bit. It’s so ridiculously delicious, and it has kind of a brunch-y vibe because of the nice fried egg on top. The flavors just go so well together, and oh my goodness I just love it so so much!

What you’ll need:
*Note that I only made enough for just me, so if you’re making this for more than one person increase amounts.

  • 1 cup Minute Brown Rice and 1 cup water for cooking (or you can use leftover rice, whatever rice you’ve got will work)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (only if making rice)
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • about 1/2 an avocado, sliced
  • a little handful of carrots, chopped small
  • a little handful of zucchini, chopped small
  • about 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • hot sauce (optional)

How to make it:

  1. (if necessary) Add your bouillon cube to 1 cup of water and cook your rice until all the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Sauté your carrots and zucchini in about 1 tbsp olive oil, until soft.
  3. Add red wine vinegar, carrots, zucchini, and green onions to your rice, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Put a little more olive oil in the pan you cooked the veggies in, and crack your egg into it. Make sure you season with salt and pepper, and cook it to your liking (it’s best if the yolk is still nice and runny).
  5. Put your rice into a bowl, top with the egg, avocado, and hot sauce, and bask in the glory of this unbelievably tasty dish!

Not only is this delicious, it’s just so dang pretty! I mean look at it.

egg avocado rice bowl

Mmmm…and when you break the yolk…

egg avocado rice bowl

Wow. It’s just so nice to look at. It’s amazing. I’m pretty obsessed with this recipe right now, if you couldn’t tell. After the egg is on top and the yolk is broken, I like to cut it up into little pieces so I can mix it all together and get a little bit of the egg in each bite. The hot sauce is a nice added touch; it gives it just the bit of kick that this needs. The avocado makes it a little creamy and a little more heavenly. I could go on and on about this. But instead, I’ll let you all give it a try yourselves.

Do you have a favorite lunch recipe? Leave it in the comments!

Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company is the perfect place to go when you don’t feel like making dinner and just want something that’s quick. It’s described as a “fast casual restaurant,” so it’s like a fast food restaurant but with higher quality food. And you can definitely tell that they use quality ingredients. The food is so good! I’ve told you guys how much I love pasta, so this is totally the place for me. You do pay a little extra for the gluten free fusilli ($1.50), but it’s worth it! The staff is very aware and knowledgable of gluten allergies. Not every time, but a couple of times I’ve been there the cashiers yell to the people making the food that something was ordered by someone with a gluten allergy, and they wipe down their station. Either way, whether yelling or not, the chefs are told they are making food for someone with an allergy. It’s pretty awesome, and I’ve never gotten sick after eating here. It’s also a chain; they currently have 410 locations in 31 states. It isn’t super common that big chain restaurants have gluten free options, so that’s pretty cool.

A decent amount of the noodle dishes can be made with gluten free fusilli or rice noodles. You can see a full list here on the Noodles & Company website, under the gluten free tab. However, something to be aware of is that I was told that the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese could NOT be made gluten free, but it’s possible that this has been changed. Just be sure to ask before you order it so you don’t have any problems. I also don’t think the meatballs are gluten free either, so again, ask to be sure.

I’ve tried a couple different dishes. My favorite is the Penne Rosa with GF fusilli. The spicy tomato cream sauce is just fantastic! It also has tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms in it. I get it without mushrooms just out of personal preference. You get the option of parmesan or feta on top, and as much as I love feta, the parmesan just seems right on this. The flavors are just so yummy! The only thing I would change is the size of the tomatoes and spinach. I like things cut up really small so I get a little bit of everything in each bite. The ones in this dish are pretty large. But otherwise, it’s wonderful!

noodles and company penne rosa

Another favorite of mine is the Pad Thai. This is made with rice noodles, so it’s naturally gluten free. Now, as I’ve previously established in my Chaang Thai review, Chaang Thai has the greatest pad thai ever, so I’m picky about my pad thai. But for a fast food kind of place that doesn’t specialize in Thai food, it’s pretty good. The flavor of the sauce is nice, and I like all the things in the dish. Scrambled egg, red cabbage, peanuts, bean sprouts, cilantro, carrots, yum! My only issue with this is, again, the size of the carrots. They need to be skinnier, because they’re not very integrated into the dish. But on their website, it says that they have a new recipe with a “more traditional sauce” and “features green onions instead of carrots.” So I guess I’ll have to visit again soon to see if I like this new recipe better!

noodles and company pad tai

The only other thing I’ve tried from Noodles & Company is the Pesto Cavatappi with GF fusilli. To be honest, I tried it so long ago I don’t completely remember it. It features basil pesto, garlic, mushrooms, tomato, wine, cream, parmesan, and Italian parsley. And of course, I got it without mushrooms. I do remember that I did like it. I also remember thinking the pesto sauce needed some more cream to make it a little better—it was a tiny bit dry.

According to the menu, they also offer salads that can be made gluten free, as well as tomato bisque. I’ve never tried any of these, but honestly, am I gonna go to Noodles & Company and not get noodles?? Who goes to a noodle restaurant and gets a salad and soup???

One of my favorite things about this place is that I can order online and just go skip the line and pick it up! It’s so simple. Also, it’s attached to one of my favorite malls, so if I’m hungry after a long day of shopping I can just head here (the food court doesn’t exactly have the best options for someone with celiac). In general, Noodles & Company is a delicious and easy gluten free option!

**Update 3/6/16– I went to Noodles & Company last weekend and asked about the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese. It can be made gluten free now!! So of course I had to order it with the GF Fusilli. It was so good, and soo cheesy! I think I have a new favorite. I definitely recommend it! I ate it so fast I forgot to even take a picture for you guys. I’m so happy they changed it so it’s gluten free now. The Mac & Cheese is the one thing from here that everyone always said was amazing—and now I can 100% confirm that it is.

Recipe: Peanut Noodles!

peanut noodles

This recipe combines two of my favorite things: noodles and peanut butter. I got the recipe from Food Network, and it’s so creamy and flavorful and just plain delicious! I love to sauté some vegetables and combine them with my favorite brown rice noodles and this amazing peanut sauce. And the sauce is literally one of the easiest things to make! All you have to do is throw some stuff in the blender and turn it on. This is one of my go-to recipes, and it’s definitely one to keep in your recipe lineup.

What you’ll need:

  • 12 oz brown rice spaghetti (my favorite is Tinkyada)
  • handful of matchstick carrots
  • handful of broccoli slaw (which has broccoli, red cabbage, and carrots, so you could always just chop up some broccoli and cabbage)
  • a few slices of zucchini, cut into strips
  • about a tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1-2 chopped green onions
  • crushed peanuts, for topping
  • (you can add any meat you want; most of the time I just use veggies, unless I have some leftover grilled chicken or something like that that’s easy to toss in)

(For the sauce)

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I like Jif)
  • 8 oz coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package
  2. While your pasta is cooking, sauté your carrots, broccoli slaw, and zucchini in a wok or pan in a little bit of canola oil
  3. Just before you add your pasta, put your green onions and garlic in the wok and cook for another minute or so. Then add in your pasta to the veggies
  4. For the sauce, put all your ingredients in the blender and blend it all up until it’s nice and creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as desired
  5. Add as much sauce as you’d like to the pasta and veggie combo, and mix it all together
  6. Plate it up and top with the crushed peanuts

And there you go! You have delicious Peanut Noodles that will make your taste buds as happy as can be. This is such an easy recipe. I barely have to do any work, because most of the vegetables I use are the ones that come in bags and are already pre-cut. Literally the only things I have to cut up are the zucchini and green onions, and that takes no time at all. I even have a jar of minced garlic, so I don’t have to chop that up either. And of course you can add whatever vegetables you have in your house! I am obsessed with the flavor of this sauce, and the crunch of the peanuts on top just makes it even better. I could eat this all day every day.

The best thing about the peanut sauce in particular is you don’t just have to use it on pasta. I’ve used it in the past as a dip for an avocado summer roll (courtesy of Wegman’s). You could also use it to dip veggies in. Or as a sauce for chicken, fish, or shrimp. You could even try it as a salad dressing. I almost always have leftover sauce, so you will definitely have the opportunity to experiment with its different uses. Any way you eat it, it will be a creamy, delicious delight.

peanut noodles