So a paleo, a vegetarian and three kids walk into a bar…
Just kidding, no punchline! Just our real life situation. Husband loves low-carb, high protein meals, I love pasta, pasta and pasta (no meat) and the kids like to switch it up. One day, yes! Next day, nope. Not eating that, Mom.
Here’s my take on an easy dinner.
One Pot Sesame Noodles & Veggies (Vegetarian style)
8 ounces whole wheat long pasta, UNCOOKED! <-the best part, easy!
3-1/2 cups water
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, cut into coins (about 1 cup)
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (because mom doesn’t always have fresh)
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (watch the heat for the kids!)
Pinch of salt (or not)
1/2 medium Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 4 cups, loosely packed)
1 tablespoon rice or white vinegar
Toppings: Ground cilantro, chopped salted peanuts, sliced scallions. Heck, go for honey roasted peanuts. It was what I had on hand and it worked just fine!
In a large pot over high heat, add pasta, water, bell pepper, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt.
Allow the pot to come to a boil; 7-9 minutes depending on the thickness of your pasta, use tongs to toss the noodles so they do not stick to the bottom of the pot. When noodles are al dente, the veggies should be tender and water will have mostly evaporated, leaving a nice sauce.
Remove from heat and add the cabbage and vinegar, tossing for a few seconds to wilt the cabbage.
Top with the ground cilantro and add peanuts and scallions to individual bowls.
Protein Option: Add in some grilled or slow cooker chicken.
Kids Option: Kids love this either way. The like the sweetness of the brown sugar, tho they tend to pick around the veggies. Grr. Least the nutrients from the boiled veggies stay in the pot!