Noodles with Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette and Tofu

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It’s a little ironic to be posting a tofu dish after I spent most of yesterday committed to helping make the best beef bourguignon for the bi-monthly medical staff meeting.

My day started with a trip to perhaps the worst Walmart on the face of the earth. No, really. It’s the worst. The smell when you walk in the front doors is reminiscent of college bar’s…bathrooms. They don’t carry basic ingredients (not a pearl onion – fresh, frozen, or canned in the entire store?!). The employees act completely bothered if you ask a question. And lord FORBID there be more than one check out lane open. I mean, it is only 10 people deep.

Then it’s my turn and I’m the lovely customer with a company tax exempt card that requires authorization.

I then had to add on the complication of purchasing wine which is a no-go with a tax exempt card. So my one order turned into 2 and consequently two trips for the manager to walk at a snail’s pace the entire distance of the store for approval.

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I survived Walmart, with only a raging attitude. I mean, this was no way to start a Monday. I dropped off the groceries at the hospital before going to another grocery store where they sold cognac and hopefully, pearl onions.

I get a text to get another bottle of wine because “one kissed the floor”. Oops.

I get my cognac, another bottle of wine, and my pearl onions. Six pounds of pearl onions. I go to check out and inform the checker that this order is for the hospital on account #blahblahblah. She looks at the booze. Cards me. Then gives me a I-so-don’t-believe-this-booze-is-for-“the-hospital” look. Nothing like some judgement on a Monday morning.

I arrived to work sweating. #wintercoatnotneeded

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Around 3pm began prep for the beef bourguignon. Fresh thyme, the most gorgeous cremini mushrooms ever, and all that wine & booze. The smell was intoxicating and people kept coming in the kitchen searching for the source of the scent wafting through the halls. I left for my boot camp class just as the girls were throwing the cognac in the skillet and ready to light it on fire. I suggested a safer approach — a simmer…I like my job.

I returned in 45 minutes and tried a sample. Wow. First time having beef bourguignon, but it won’t be my last. It was absolutely phenomenal. But, a lot of work.

Much unlike this recipe. So simple. So good. So many of my most favorite flavors.

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Noodles with Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette and Tofu adapted from Lemons & Anchovies

1 package extra-firm tofu, cubed
olive oil cooking spray
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 lb dry whole wheat spaghetti
Juice of 1 lime and zest of half
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
3 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp sambal oelek chili paste
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2-3 stalks scallions, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Arrange tofu cubes on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Mist tofu with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 20-3o minutes, stirring half way through.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare pasta according to package directions.

Prepare the vinaigrette by combining whisking together all the ingredients above from the lime to the ginger.

Toss the pasta, vinaigrette, and baked tofu together to combine. Garnish with chopped scallions before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 470 calories; 21.0 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 600 mg. sodium; 53.5 g. carbohydrate; 8.3 g. fiber; 19.3 g. protein; 9.0 g. sugar

Result: I just LOVE meals like these…and I know I have many that are similar. There should never be a shortage of quick, go-to Asian noodle recipes! This had a great balance of sweet, salty, and tart. The sauce was incredible easy to make and no cooking involved. You could even throw this sauce over leftover pasta…or rice for that matter. Swap in your protein of choice. I think shrimp or chicken would be great, but beef and pork are options, too. I opted for tofu as it took on the flavors of the sauce when tossed together. Enjoy!

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Busy day, hockey tonight! Stayed up too late watching The Bachelor. I won’t post spoilers…the last time I did that I got hate mail from my sister-in-law 😉

Be well,

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22 Comments

  1. March 12, 2013 / 7:01 am

    I am so glad we don’t have walmarts here…they sound awful!! Unlike this noodle dish…I am such a fan of all things peanut-lime! This is definitely going on the menu soon!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      March 12, 2013 / 8:49 am

      I need to move to NY! No Walmarts?! Love it lots.

  2. March 12, 2013 / 7:42 am

    This is my type of dish!! Definitely. The only thing I would change is the tofu. haha. Maybe I’d make it with chicken instead.
    I hope the weather is great up there!! No jacket?? I like the sound of that!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      March 12, 2013 / 8:48 am

      I should’ve knocked on wood. Snow and COLD today 🙁

  3. Michelle
    March 12, 2013 / 7:47 am

    Despite my midterm this morning (priorities), I made sure to watch it live last night — couldn’t take any chances this time 🙂

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      March 12, 2013 / 8:48 am

      I’m sorry!!! So are you happy with his choice? She definitely grew on me these last 2 episodes. I just wasn’t so sure after her hometown. P.S. GL on your midterm!

      • Michelle
        March 12, 2013 / 8:58 am

        Haha it’s okay! We knew if we didn’t watch last night we would definitely find out somewhere. I was surprised, but I agree…she grew on me. I would be curious to see how her family reacted.

  4. March 12, 2013 / 7:50 am

    Walmart gives me anxiety. For those reasons. I hate going there…

    Also, I love the phrase “Kissed the floor”. Funny how I do that often, myself…

  5. WannabeVegan
    March 12, 2013 / 8:45 am

    This recipe looks great. However, I was wondering if the sugar and rice vinegar could be omitted (or substituted) to take the sweetness out of the dish without making it taste like a hot peanut butter mess. I’ve never been able to develop a taste for sweetness in a hot meal (ex: teriyaki, phad thai, etc.–I keep giving them a shot but never seem to like it due to the sweetness). Any suggestions for altering this?

    P.S. Thanks for the vegan recipes…keep ’em coming!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      March 12, 2013 / 8:47 am

      Hi! You could use plain vinegar and/or additional soy sauce in place of the rice vinegar and just omit the sugar all together. I may add a bit more peanut butter, too. You could also add olive oil or more lime juice to keep the consistency appropriate. Just some thoughts but you could definitely play with it and end up with something delicious. 🙂 I don’t think of rice vinegar as being sweet, and I would definitely call the sauce tart (in a good way) much more than sweet…if that helps at all 🙂

  6. WannabeVegan
    March 12, 2013 / 8:55 am

    Awesome! Thank you for such a quick reply. I’ll definitely be trying this out this weekend 🙂

  7. March 12, 2013 / 10:42 am

    I hate Wal-Mart with a passion. I will pay more to not have to shop there.

  8. March 12, 2013 / 11:11 am

    The Walmart in Forest Park is just like that. The last time I went there was when Hannah was 8 (um, she’s 21 now!). I was looking for fall coats. Couldn’t find a coat in the whole place! I asked someone “excuse me, do you have any fall coats?” She replied “did you see any?” I said no. She said “then we probably don’t have any” and walked away. Done! I’ve never stepped foot in that one again!

    Conversely, the 24 hour Walmart in Crystal Lake? Amazeballs. Clean, friendly staff.

    I am definitely going to make this dish – I love all things lemon!

  9. March 12, 2013 / 11:14 am

    Sounds like you had quite the shopping experience….

    The beef bourguignon sounds delicious and so does the noodle dish. Beautiful photos – I want to reach into my laptop and eat some! 🙂

  10. Addie
    March 12, 2013 / 12:53 pm

    Can’t wait to try this recipe – I love meals like these, too. And I can’t WAIT to get your cookbook!!!

  11. March 12, 2013 / 1:56 pm

    I am sorry about the horrible WALMART experience – I live close to one which reminds of the WALMART you went to – sucksssss.. I love quick recipes like this with so much flavor in such less time 🙂 it will leave more time for wine 😛

  12. March 12, 2013 / 7:01 pm

    Ugh, Walmart can be the WORST. The one by me is not too bad as long as you don’t need produce or meats, LOL. This dish looks great. I don’t cook with tofu a lot yet, but I would like to more, and this one looks like a good place to start!

  13. March 12, 2013 / 7:58 pm

    Walmarts can be the worst! However, this recipe looks great. SO wish I would like tofu, I’ll the noodle recipe though! 🙂

  14. March 12, 2013 / 8:00 pm

    This looks fantastic however I’d probably replace the tofu with chicken because there’s no way my man would eat vegetarian haha he’d complain so much. However, if it was just for me I’d try the tofu.
    Love the way this looks. Will be trying this out soon.

  15. March 19, 2013 / 8:25 am

    Seems like you had quite a day. It probably was tiring but I’m sure you had a good laugh about it at the end of the day. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Please keep posting more. Thanks.

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