Daily Tip Number Five: Get Creative

I have a confession. I love Sam’s Club. Not because you can buy a large bag of chicken tenders and a few pairs of Calvin Klein jeans in one store, but there’s something else they do really well: rotisserie chicken. In fact, at Sam’s Club you can buy a gargantuan sized juicy rotisserie chicken for $4.99. It’s the perfect thing to buy on Sunday when you know the week is going to be hectic, and cooking may not be an option.

But therein lies the problem. What do you do with it, just eat it plain, or maybe on salad? No, of course not, you get creative! When I was weight-cutting over the summer for the tournament, I discovered a new kitchen tool- the zoodle maker. It’s an extraordinary little device that can take a whole zucchini and spiral it into beautiful noodles. And then the thought hits you: now you have “noodles”! Low-Carb noodles. When I realized that, the possibilities seemed endless. One thing in particular came to mind that I had been craving lately, pad Thai peanut butter noodles. Peanut butter and spice, seems like an odd combination, but it gives peanut butter a whole new flavor identity. It just works, and your taste buds will tell you so. And it’s the perfect thing to pair with left over pulled chicken.

So here’s what you do. You’ll need two medium zucchinis and a spiralizer. I bought mine at Marshall’s, but they’re found in most home goods departments. Cut the stems off both zucchini and twist into noodles.

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But, sometimes I admit, I don’t always use the zoodler. Sometimes I cheat and buy pre-made zoodles, which are conveniently sold at our local Lucky’s grocery. When I saw them, I just couldn’t resist their bright orange color, since they were made from a more savory squash, the beautiful butternut. Which I suppose doesn’t make them zoodles but, “boodles”?

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I added these extra noodles since the zoodle maker doesn’t spiral the entire zucchini, but has to stop at about the last third (lest you accidentally spiralize your fingers).

From there, you’ll need a few special ingredients to make the sauce. The first are a few spices: ginger (fresh is best, but freeze dried was on hand), curry, and my special blend spice called garlic -Sriracha, but a combination of chili powder and garlic will do.

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You’ll also need some natural creamy peanut (the kind with no added sugar), some peanut butter powder and soy sauce. Add together 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter powder. For richer flavor, skip the powder and add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

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Then mix a pinch of ginger, 1/4 tsp of curry, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder or a couple of pressed cloves and 1/4 tsp of chili powder.

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Add a little oil to the skillet and heat to medium. Add the “boodles” first, since butternut squash takes longer to cook than zucchini. Once it’s tender, add the zoodles. When they’re about tender, add the spices-peanut mixture, mixing it evenly into the noodles. Making sure the skillet isn’t too hot, simmer the noodles in the sauce for a few minutes.

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At this point I like to taste it, and see if I find the “heat” level sufficient. This time, it needed a little boost, so I added a little Sriracha sauce.

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While the sauce simmering, prepare a few extra ingredients to top the noodles when done: some dry roasted peanuts, chopped green onions and chopped cilantro.

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When the sauce is ready, add the pulled chicken and mix in the sauce and simmer an additional minute.

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That’s all! Garnish with toppings and enjoy your low-carb pad Thai peanut butter noodles.

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You’ll forget it’s not take-out, maybe even forget it’s low-carb? I sure did!

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Pad Thai Peanut Butter Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Zucchini or pre-made noodlesDail
  • Oil for the skillet
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce (I like low-sodium)
  • A pinch of ginger
  • 1/4 tsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic-sriracha powder or
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or a couple cloves
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Dry roasted peanuts
  • cilantro
  • Green onion
  • Sriracha sauce

 

Spiralize the noodles with the zoodle makers, about 3 if not bought pre-made. Heat oil in skillet at medium heat, and sautee the noodles until about al dente. Mix the spices, soy sauce and peanut butter (2 tablespoons of peanut butter for richer flavor, or 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 tablespoon peanut butter powder for a little less fat). Add mixture to skillet, mix thoroughly and simmer a few minutes. Additionally, if sauce is not spicy enough for your palate, add a little sriracha sauce. While sauce is simmering, chop onions and cilantro.  When sauce is about done, add pulled chicken and simmer an extra minute to heat. Remove from heat and garnish with peanuts, onion and cilantro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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