Monday, October 1, 2012

Spicy Rice Noodles and Peas: Desperate Mother Pulls Off Dinner in Under 20 Minutes

October is a lovely month, and I really should have celebrated its first day in all its glory, but... I was so ever-loving busy today, I barely had time to come up for air, let alone plan a party for Mr. October's arrival.

Speaking of parties (and we were, weren't we?)... HAPPY VEGAN MOFO!

I'm not one of those Type A moms who can effortless juggle kids, pets, a husband, a career and a weekly meal plan. It requires a great amount of effort on my part for me to remember to get dressed in real clothes (read: something besides yoga pants, sneakers and a stained t-shirt) before leaving the house. Between doctor appointments, errands, polishing up Princess's personal statement submission for her vet school application (I was revising, not rewriting, in spite of my natural editorial inclinations), and avoiding the laundry, I almost forgot Curlytop and Snugglebug at the bus stop but was saved at the last minute when Pepper sprinted to the end of the block to meet the big yellow Twinkie bus for me.

Speaking of laundry (and we were, weren't we?)... Washing, drying, folding AND putting away the laundry is a bit of an unrealistic expectation for a mom of seven, don't you think?

Oh... and I have to make dinner, too?!

A panicked glance at the clock revealed I had less than 20 minutes to get dinner on the table before my scheduled client conference. So, what did I do? I cheated my sweet little fanny off with frozen veggies and quick-cooking noodles, doused in a super-quick, zesty sauce that requires no stovetop simmering.

Spicy Rice Noodles and Peas

Half of a 16-ounce package of rice stick noodles
2 c. frozen peas
several cups boiling water

1/4 c. sesame oil

1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/8 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 t. lemon or lime juice
1/2 T. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (Rooster Sauce, Baby!) (See note below for substitutions)
Handful fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Place dry noodles in a large bowl and add frozen peas.

Pour enough boiling water into bowl to cover noodles and peas completely.

Using a fork, stir noodles gently every couple minutes to loosen them as they soften.

While noodles are "cooking," place rice vinegar, ginger, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and Rooster Sauce into a jar with a tightly-fitting lid. Close lid and shake vigorously to combine.

NOTE: If your family is sensitive to spiciness, you may reduce the amount of Rooster Sauce, or substitute ketchup, with a sprinkle of mild paprika.

When noodles are appropriately tender (not mushy), drain noodles and peas in a colander. The cooking of the noodles should take about ten minutes or less.

Return noodles and peas to bowl and toss with sesame oil to prevent stickiness. Pour vinegar mixture over oiled noodles and toss again to coat noodles. If desired, mix in a handful of chopped cilantro.

Pile on a plate, and act brilliant for a moment before running off to save the (rest of the) world!

(Oh, by the way, please go VOTE for this blog in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Food Allergy Mom blog contest! Sexy Vegan Mama was a late nomination, and there are only a few days left of the contest, so I have a lot of catching up to do! You can vote once every 24 hours. Thank you!)

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