So it’s a really uncomfortable truth for many, but one of the biggest contributions you make to the planet is to change the way you eat. To be even more specific, by drastically scaling back the amount of meat you eat, if not cutting it from your diet entirely. It’s a super touchy subject and one that tends to make some people defensive. The cold, hard, truth of the matter is that the meat industry is a HUGE producer of carbon emissions and is massively damaging to the environment. It’s unsustainable. Having entire mono-cultures and huge amounts of farmland devoted simply to feed into another mono-culture like animal protein, just doesn’t make environmental sense. There is a way to farm animals responsibly but it requires knowledge of biodiversity farming and perma-culture, and sadly it’s not as government subsidized like the massive mono-culture farming brands are. You can be a steward to the planet by making the choice buy ethically and humanely raised animal proteins. They do cost a bit more, but isn’t being humane and ethical worth it? I strongly feel the absolute least we can do as humans who chose to consume animals, is to buy from farmers that treat those animals humanely during their lifetimes.
I am a strict vegetarian for ethical reasons both environmental and humane, and am working my way to a completely plant based diet. My husband and daughter still consume ethical animal proteins occasionally but as whole we eat a mostly vegetarian diet. It can be tricky to find plant based recipes that your entire family loves, especially if they are big omnivores. This recipe is a big family favorite and everyone absolutely loves it. If you are looking to reduce your meat consumption by subbing out a few plant based meals per week, this one is a great place to start! It’s wonderful because there are no gimmicks, with no strange vegan meat alternatives that would put off a devoted omnivore. It’s just simply delicious. We have made a few tweaks to the original recipe which I will link to below in the title. We *ALWAYS* double this because we like it so much and love having the leftovers.
Thai Peanut Noodles adapted by Nora Cooks
FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE:
1/2 cup natural peanut butter, smooth (MUST be the all natural stuff, with low sugar, normal PB would be too sweet)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce , (tamari for gluten free)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (approx 1 lime)
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (to make this toddler friendly we leave this out and just squirt it into our individual bowls)
FOR THE REST:
7 ounces brown rice stir fry noodles (or any kind of flat, thin rice noodles, not the super thin like mai fun noodles)
2 cups cabbage
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (I almost never have this on hand and it’s fine without)
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (again I almost never have this on hand and it’s fine without)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (again I almost never have this on hand and it’s fine without)
-Make the Peanut Sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients (MINUS Sriracha) until smooth. Set aside.
-Prepare the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare according to package instructions.) Drain noodles in colander and rinse immediately with cold water. Set aside.
– Meanwhile cook the veggies: In a large frying pan saute the cabbage, carrots, red pepper and green onions and cook on medium high stirring constantly for a few minutes in batches until they are slightly cooked, but still crunchy.
-Pour the peanut sauce mixture into the large pot used to cook the noodles. (You can be really efficient and rather than mixing the sauce up separately just measure and dump it into this big pot after you pour out the noodles) Bring the sauce to a low boil and stir until thickened and glossy, it should come together really quick. Add the noodles and veggies to the sauce mixture and combine.
-Serve with the cilantro and peanut garnish if you have it. Squirt a squiggle of sriracha in your bowl if you like a little kick, but it’s delicious without as well. Enjoy!
Some notes about the recipe-
I think it’s critical to use all natural peanut butter. Before the pandemic shut down the bulk foods section at Whole Foods, we used to LOVE their organic peanut butter grinder and would get mason jars filled with that nearly every other visit. Since that has closed we have switched to 100% Peanuts. I just don’t see the need to add sugar or palm oil to peanut butter. I’m always shocked at how abnormal that notion seems to be, and how hard it is to find just straight peanut butter. This is what we use and it’s been a fantastic substitute. Still miss my fresh ground pb, though.
Also, I absolutely DO NOT recommend the rice noodles pictured above in my ingredients photo. It was the only kind I could get in my grocery delivery and the amount of over packaging was insane, I would never buy them again. Instead, this is the kind we typically use when I can find it.
I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine does. You should absolutely try it!