Sit. Stay. Cook.

Cook to live. Live to cook.

When I was a growing up, I ate a lot of pasta. Spaghetti, Prego spaghetti sauce with extra canned mushrooms, and a whole load of Kraft Parmesan cheese (gotta love that green can) was, and still is, my idea of the perfect comfort food. Finding ways to incorporate my love of all things spaghetti with a healthy diet isn’t always easy, but every once in a while, magic happens.

I present to you one of these magic moments, in the form of a cold noodle salad.

With spaghetti.

And veggies.

And peanut butter.

Mmm hmm. Peanut. Butter.

You start by cooking up some whole-wheat spaghetti, then running it under cold water. You know, since we’re making cold noodle salad. Save a little of the cooking water – you’ll need it later.

Next, you get out your trusty blender and throw a bunch of stuff that will eventually turn into something delicious. By the way, my blender is all sorts of awesome.

Don't knock my blender. It's old school retro.

See all those speeds?!

Fun fact: Blenders like this one and just about every other one ever made only have two speeds. But they have special parts that make the pitch of the sound change when you change “speeds” so you, the unwitting consumer, think that beating is different from pulverizing is different from liquifying.

Another fun fact: I used to have two blenders, and neither was this one. One was a cute little chrome jobbie that I gave to my mom when she said she wanted to make smoothies. I gave it to her because I had a really fancy KitchenAid model that I thought would last forever. A week later, the KitchenAid went kaput.

Thank goodness my mother-in-law still had the blender my husband bought when he was in high school. Don’t ask me why he had a blender in high school. He’s always been into gadgets.

Anywho, once all the good stuff, like peanut butter, and red curry paste, and lime juice and some of that cooking water I mentioned before are in the blender, blend/pulverize/frappe/whatever until the mix is smooth.

Taste the sauce. Go on… it’s so delicious…

Then chop up a pepper, grate a carrot, dice a cucumber, mince some cilantro, and mix it all together with the spaghetti and the sauce.

Then chill.

Up close and personal with Cold Curry-Peanut Noodle Salad.

Then eat.

Then smile in smug satisfaction, because that stuff is freaking delicious! Right? Right!

Here’s the complete recipe:

Cold Curry-Peanut Noodle Salad
Servings: 4
WW Points: 4 per serving

8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
2/3 c. reduced-fat peanut butter
4 tsp. red curry paste (to taste)
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. fish sauce
Juice of one lime, plus wedges for serving
1/3 c. fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for sprinkling
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium cucumber, peeled, canoed and cut into matchsticks
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
Sriracha sauce (optional)

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve about 3/4 c. cooking water, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Shake off excess water and set aside.

Meanwhile, puree the peanut butter, curry paste, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, fish sauce, 1/2 c. cooking water and 1 tsp. salt in a food processor until smooth.

Toss the spaghetti with the peanut sauce, green onions, cucumber, carrot and bell pepper in a large bowl until coated. Season with salt and stir in some more water to loosen the sauce, if necessary. Transfer to serving dishes and top with more cilantro and some sprinkles of Sriracha, if desired. Serve with lime wedges.

This is so delicious. I crave it at least twice a month. This goes really well with Vietnamese Spring Rolls…

Tell Panda Express to shove it.

…and you know how to make those now, too!

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