I don’t know where this past weekend went. Sunday evening crept up on me and I was at a lost. Eager to get in some sort of laziness, I forwent lining up a blog post for yesterday and watched a movie with my love and went to bed before 8. (In my defense, I did run 10 miles, while nursing a hangover, in 80* weather earlier that day.)
I finally got around to trying zucchini noodles one night last week. Why I waited this long? I’m not sure. I’ve had the recipe bookmarked since the beginning of the summer – enticed by the simplicity of the zucchini noodles, a naturally gluten-free pasta alternative? Sign me up.
But I procrastinated. Until I couldn’t procrastinate anymore. My new mandoline was begging to be used. Sitting in its box for nearly a month, untouched? Unacceptable. This seemed like the perfect chance to break it in. It actually turned out to be a fabulous, light summer meal while our thermometers were breaking 85* here in the Pacific Northwest!
Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Peanut Sauce
The original recipe actually calls it tangy peanut sauce but mine didn’t have much tang to it. If you are looking for more zip, I’d double the rice vinegar. Maybe even triple it! That the benefit to a no-cook sauce – taste as you go and adjust for your palate!
2 cooked chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
4-6 medium-sized zucchini and summer squash (I used 4 medium and 1 large zucchini)
About 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
About 1-2 tbsp toasted cashews
red pepper flakes for garnish
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce (or gluten free tamari)
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic (or more)
1/2-1 tsp granulated sugar (depending on taste)
At least 1/4 cup water, add 1-2 more tablespoons depending on texture
Make the peanut sauce by whisking all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Start by adding 1/4 cup water as the recipe suggests, and if the sauce is too thick for your taste, add additional tablespoons water to reach desired consistency.
Prepare the zucchini ribbons by using a mandoline or by using a peeler designed to julienne vegetables. Briefly blanch the vegetables in a pot of boiling water by adding the zucchini 2 minutes (it gets tender very quickly). Drain the hot water, immediately add cold water to stop the cooking, and once the vegetables have cooled, drain the water again. You may want to blot the zucchini dry as they tend to retain quite a bit of water. This was my only complaint.
Assemble the dish by putting some of the vegetable ribbons on a plate and topping them with diced or shredded chicken, then the peanut sauce, and chopped cilantro, cashews, and red pepper flakes if you don’t mind some heat. Serve at room temperature, but can also be served cool (if you would like to refrigerate ingredients before serving).