Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Unprocessed: Spicy Peanut Noodles with Broccoli

I just watched the season finale of Top Chef: All Stars. Even though the food cooked on the series is nothing like the food I want to or would eat right now (my mouth waters regardless), I totally and completely connect with the passion and the personalities of the contestants on the show. I was bawling like a baby when they announced the winner, Richard Blais.

Today I present you with the second of Chef A.j.'s recipes from her new cookbook, Unprocessed. Light on calories, this dish is not. Heavy on flavor and texture, this dish delivers. Bring this to a party and you are sure to wow your family and friends. After preparing two of Chef A.j.'s recipes, her disappearing lasagna and now her Spicy Peanut Noodles with Broccoli, I can say that she should be competing on Top Chef! And by preparing Chef A.j.'s recipes, I feel like I can bring the magic of great tasting, special food into my own home, even as a no-added-fat vegan.

Chef A.j.'s Spicy Peanut Noodles with Broccoli

Printable Version

1 pound brown rice noodles (spaghetti or linguine)
1 pound broccoli florets
3/4 cup peanut butter, unsweetened and unsalted
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp low sodium tamari
2 Tbsp date syrup*
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4-1/2 ounce piece of fresh ginger, pressed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
8 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Sesame seeds or chopped unsalted peanuts for garnish (optional)

*To make the date paste: soak 1/4 pound of dates in 1/4 cup of water for several hours until much of the liquid is absorbed (you can do this overnight). In a food processor fitted with the s blade (I used my mini Cuisinart), process dates and liquid until completely smooth. Store extra date paste in the refrigerator.

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Run under cold water when done. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Blanch broccoli and run under cold water when done. Drain and add to pasta bowl along with the scallions.

To make the sauce, combine peanut butter, water, rice vinegar, tamari, date syrup, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk until smooth and cook for about 10 minutes until thickened, turning heat down to low if necessary to prevent overheating. Pour dressing over noodles and broccoli and thoroughly combine. Chill until it becomes cold.

This dish was spectacular, but rich. I was too lazy to make a salad to eat with it, so I know that I overindulged. But how could I not, it tasted so darned amazing!

I don't know if you've noticed but I've been a little distracted lately from blogging. I have something pretty big to report, but that announcement is going to have to wait until my next blog post!

Do you watch Top Chef or other cooking competition shows? If so, which ones?

Is it hard for you to watch t.v. like this when you are trying to protect your own health and waistline? Or can you watch regardless of the types of food being cooked on the show?


Danielle said...

Funny, I just made this last night! I've really been enjoying Chef AJ's recipes, her passion for delicious food shines through in all her recipes. Not a boring or uninspired recipe in her book, and I just love that. She makes me crave healthy food! Her story is awesome too!

JL goes Vegan said...

What a tease! I have noticed so I'm curious about what's happening in your life!

I don't watch Top Chef, but my husband watches a couple of food shows (all super-meat heavy) and when I look up and see what's on I either shudder or I feel really hungry. LOL

ellen said...

This looks deeee-licious!
Just gave up my satellite so missed out on the end of Top Chef and all my other faves. It's a sad, sad thing. :)

Joi said...

My husband will love this. We love all cooking competition shows. Our favorites are Top Chef & Chopped. My boys really enjoy Iron Chef America. I cannot always stomach what they are doing. I sometimes have to turn my head when they butcher stuff. My daughter's favorite shows are Cupcake Wars & Challenge.

Adria said...

Looks amazing Wendy, I am adding this to my list for my next grocery trip.
Even more so at lunchtime, my avocado sandwich does not look as appetizing as before I read your blog. Now I will be craving these all day.

Julie said...

I agree w/Danielle about the wonderful recipes in the "Unprocessed" cookbook. I am satisfied and feel so good eating this way. I plan to make this dish this weekend!

katshealthcorner said...

Oh my gosh girl! I love your recipes!!! THANK YOU!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

I don't have cable, so I never watch TV.. but I used to a lot. I loved Top Chef and The Food Network.. It wasn't too hard for me to watch it because I would never eat most of the food anyway.. (being vegan).. but I loved getting ideas from them..

This looks so good. I love that second picture a lot!

San Antonio Weight Loss said...

I cooked this yesterday for my mother who was on her weight loss program and she totally loves it! Thanks for the recipe!
San Antonio Weight Loss

Runescape Gold said...

I think i can cooking this, thank you !

Siltsandy said...

I just made this, using brown rice noodles for the first time, and it's delicious! It was so simple to make. I am trying the disappearing lasagna next. I also love Chef AJ's PB & J bites. What a great cookbook!

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