Almost every night of college my dinner consisted of frozen veggies, noodles, and sauce. Nothing glamorous, but you know the drill - if it's cheap, quick, and easy to throw together, it's dinner. Years have passed and surprisingly, I haven't grown tired of making stir fry dishes. In fact, it's quite the opposite! I mean, talk about a versatile meal. You can throw in any protein (plant or animal-based), fresh or frozen veggies, and adjust the sauce flavors to fit your personal preference day to day. A complete meal that fits in a bowl or portable container to-go.
Since college, I've learned how easy it is to make your own stir fry sauce - not to mention how much better it tastes than the bottled stuff!
For the last 3 years I have had the honor and pleasure of partnering, and cooking, with Big Horn Olive Oil Co., a family-owned and operated store specializing in ultra premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. In addition to their olive oils, Big Horn also carries a line of gourmet specialty oils including toasted sesame and pumpkin seed oils and roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Talk about savory flavors! They served as the inspiration for today's recipe: Thai Noodle Bowl with Pepita-Lime Dressing.
Today, we're showing you a raw and sautéed version of the same bowl. Difference in prep time is about 3 minutes. Easy peasy.
We've made this sauce dozens of times, each time just a little different than the last. We'll give it more of a kick and peanut flavor to pair with chicken or tofu kabobs or lighten it up for a chilled noodle appetizer. Today, we've added a bright punch of fresh lime to help wake up the sauce and balance out the aromatic, savory flavors of pumpkin seed, sesame, and soy.
Just as with your sauce, you can mix and match your favorite veggies and proteins. We used a mix of cabbage, carrots, and bell pepper but shredded broccoli, kale, radishes, and celery are fun too! For protein we opted for chicken breast and pepitas. Sautéed tofu is another tasty option.
Nutrition Notes: This bowl features green and red cabbage which are part of the cruciferous veggie family, which also include favorites such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radishes, Brussels sprouts, arugula, bok choy, to name a few. Cruciferous veggies are rich in fiber, vitamins C, K, and E as well as the potent compounds, carotenoids. Most notable however are substances known as glucosinolates. Glucosinolates give cruciferous vegetables their bitter odor, taste, and burp-a-bility, and compounds of these substances have been shown to have strong anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
1 head green cabbage, shredded
1 head red cabbage, shredded
4-5 carrots, shredded
2 red bell peppers, sliced into thin strips
⅓ cup pepitas
Green onion, garnish
1 lb. chicken breast, diced
1 tbsp toasted sesame or olive oil
Pepita-Lime Dressing Ingredients
1 ½ limes, juiced (use the remaining ½ lime as wedge garnishes or for twist at the end!)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce, or per preference
2-3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
½ cup peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp garlic powder, or 1 fresh clove, minced
1 ½ tbsp Roasted Pumpkin Seed Oil
2 tsp Toasted sesame oil
¼ cup reduced fat coconut milk or other preferred milk
¼ cup + 1 tbsp water
Wash and chop all veggies; set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine all dressing ingredients. Bring to a light simmer, stirring continuously until peanut butter has melted and all ingredients are well incorporated. Remove from heat, add to a glass jar and chill in fridge.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Cook chicken. If sautéing veggies, add once chicken is fully cooked; sauté for 3-4 minutes or until veggies have softened but still have some crunch. Cook pasta and assemble bowl! Drizzle with dressing, toss well and garnish with pepitas and green onions. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts (serves 5)
Calories - 500 Fat - 22g Carbohydrates - 47g Protein - 30g Fiber - 4g