Kneads and Cravings: Noodles and nuts

Do you ever just need a peanut? Maybe it’s a holdover from being a picky eater as a child, or maybe I just have an abnormal love of peanut butter. But sometimes I just need something peanutty without it being a PB&J. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a PB&J (unless you have a nut allergy), but it is nice to change things up. So in my recent attempt to incorporate peanuts in a less sugary dish, I stumbled across Buddha Noodles. This recipe is essentially pasta in a peanut sauce, so not only is it pretty easy but you can choose what you want to add to your bowl. When I made it, I added shredded chicken and avocado slices for some extra protein, but you can easily enjoy the noodles alone in the peanut sauce.

This recipe was super easy to make, and I already had most of the ingredients in my pantry, so I only had to run out in search of the udon noodles (which can be found easily enough in the international section of your local grocery store). And since it is technically spring (even if the weather hasn’t quite gotten that memo yet) Buddha Noodles give you the opportunity to add some color to your plate. Just keep in mind that this a nutty dish and should not be served to any of your pals who have nut allergies. However, I’ve found over the years that SunButter is an excellent substitution for peanut butter — the taste is virtually the same — and because it is made with sunflower seeds instead of peanuts, it is safe for those with nut allergies.

Buddha Noodles

Serves 4

12 ounces udon noodles

3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 garlic clove

2 cups shredded chicken

2 cups steamed broccoli

2 sliced avocados

2 green onions, sliced

Sesame seeds

Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package; drain and rinse with cold water. Place the peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, lime juice, and garlic in a pan with the udon noodles. Put the ingredients in the pan before putting it on a low heat and stir until the noodles are evenly coated. If you add the ingredients to a hot pan, your udon noodles will become a starchy mess. After a few minutes, place the noodles in a bowl and top with the chicken, broccoli, avocado, green onions, and sesame seeds. The dish can be served warm or at room temperature.