Spicy Peanut Noodles with Chicken

I’ve been craving something super spicy, maybe Indian or Thai food.  Unfortunately we have no Indian restaurants and I wasn’t in the mood for our only Thai restaurant.  I browsed Pinterest to get some ideas and finally decided on peanut noodles.  I know that some people think that peanut butter and pasta belong nowhere near each other but I LOVE the combination!

I read several recipes and came up with this, and let me just say, it’s pure deliciousness!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons peanut butter (I used Creamy Natural Jif)
  • 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • Hot sauce to taste*
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup cooked noodles
  • 1 chicken breast, cubed (approximately 1.5 cups)
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Green onions
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Directions:

  1. Over medium-heat, mix peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, hot sauce, and broth in a sauce pan until combined.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat and then add the vegetables.  Saute the veggies until the carrots are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Season the chicken well (I used Tex Joy Spicy Steak Seasoning, salt and pepper).
  4. Add chicken to veggies, continue to cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Mix noodles, sauce, vegetables, and chicken.  Top with sliced green onions.
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*The hot sauce I used (pictured below) is VERY hot so I literally only needed a couple of drops.  Some hot sauces may require up to ½ teaspoon or more, depending how spicy you like it.

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Buttermilk Blueberry & Strawberry Breakfast Cake

Is there anything better than cake for breakfast?  I didn’t think so.  And this cake is full of berries so you won’t feel too guilty eating it.  It also contains buttermilk, and if you’ve ever had buttermilk pie (which I will cook soon) you know how delicious buttermilk can make something.

Recipe adapted from:  alexandracooks.com

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Zest from 2 large lemons
  • ⅞ cup sugar* + 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries (I used frozen sliced strawberries)
  • ½ cup buttermilk

*⅞ cup=¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cream butter with lemon zest and ⅞ cup sugar until light and fluffy.  If you don’t have a hand mixer, a food processor will work.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Meanwhile toss blueberries and strawberries with ¼ cup flour; then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add flour mixture to batter, a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk.
  6. Once it is mixed, fold in the berries (it’s not necessary to add the flour that didn’t stick to the berries).
  7. Grease a 9″ baking pan and spread the batter into the pan.  Sprinkle the batter with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Check with a toothpick after 40 minutes, it may need up to 15 minutes more baking before ready.
  9. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts (8 servings):

  • Calories: 322
  • Fat: 12.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 4.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 59.6 mg
  • Sodium: 28.2 mg

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Sunday afternoon I had grilled jerk shrimp and pork chop kabobs.  It was delicious, although almost too spicy.  For me to say something it too spicy, it much be HOT.  I grew up in a Cajun family about 15 minutes from the Louisiana border; then I actually lived in Louisiana for nearly six years.  I can handle hot!  But these kabobs had my lips and mouth on fire, even paired with a deliciously sweet Riesling wine.

So Monday night, I decided I would make the leftover jerk shrimp a little easier to eat–I would pair them with an Alfredo sauce.  I knew the creamy richness of the sauce would tone down the spiciness and who doesn’t love shrimp fettuccine Alfredo anyway?

So what do you need?  Here you go:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

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It’s a very simple recipe and it took maybe 15 minutes to make although I let it sit on the stove longer than that.  Note:  don’t let it sit on the stove on warm or low for very long, it will get too thick.  If you make this same mistake however, simply add a little of the pasta water (always save some of the water after you boil your pasta).

  1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat, careful not to brown it.
  2. Whisk in the cream, followed by the yolks, cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  3. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until it is thickened slightly, but do not bring to a boil.

Once the sauce is made, feel free to add grilled chicken or shrimp to the sauce!  Serve over your favorite pasta (I prefer fettuccine or penne for Alfredo sauce.  You need a strong pasta to hold up to such a thick and rich sauce) and garnish with a little freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese.

Nutritional information (1/4 of recipe):

  • Calories: 410
  • Fat: 38
  • Carbohydrates: 5
  • Protein: 11
  • Sodium: 503
  • Cholesterol: 217

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

A few days ago I woke up to thunder and rain.  I immediately knew I wanted soup for dinner, and what’s more comforting than tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich?

This tomato soup is full of roasted vegetables and compared to some other creamy tomato soups, it’s not too high in calories (although it is a bit high in fat)!  This makes approximately seven 1-cup servings.

So, what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (I seeded one and left the seeds in the other for some heat)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • handful basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • crumbled goat cheese to garnish

It’s not a hard soup to make but it does seem to always dirty a lot of dishes and it takes a fair amount of time.

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Cut tomatoes in half and spread onto baking sheet.  Seed and core the bell peppers and cut into quarters, place on baking sheet.  Cut jalapeno peppers in half as well.  Drizzle with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut the top off the head of garlic so that the tops of all the cloves are exposed.  Wrap in foil.
  4. Bake tomatoes, peppers, and garlic for an hour.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  6. Saute the onions for approximately 5-10 minutes.
  7. Stir in garlic and thyme and saute for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Add crushed tomatoes, basil and sugar.  Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10-15 minutes, covered.
  10. Pour broth and roasted vegetables into pot; season with salt and pepper.
  11. Continue to simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.
  12. Using an immersion wand blender or a regular blender, blend soup until smooth.  If using a regular blender, be careful to only fill the blender up halfway so that you don’t end up with soup all over your kitchen!
  13. Once the soup is blended, stir the cream in.
  14. Simmer 3 minutes.
  15. Top each bowl with a sprinkle of goat cheese.

You can serve this soup with goldfish crackers or sandwiches.  My personal favorite is a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread, made with either sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese.

Nutritional Information (per 1 cup):

  • Calories: 176
  • Fat: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 16
  • Protein: 2
  • Sodium: 540
  • Cholesterol: 12