I just realized it’s been awhile since I’ve posted an update about the cats. You know you want a cat update! Right? Right?!
Okay, so Fern and Blossom are our calico kitties. They’re sisters, about 1 1/2 years old. The first year of their lives was pretty crazy. First, Blossom nearly didn’t make it when she had an issue at 7 months, miraculously recovered, but then was was sick on and off for months. We finally moved her to a hydrolyzed protein food – a food where the proteins were already broken down. And she has been thriving ever since. Yay Blossom!
Meanwhile, Fern’s health started declining. I know! Much drama and tests and a very gravely ill kitty later, we finally discovered she has diabetes. But now, Fern is on insulin and is doing much better. Yay Fern!
And thus concludes the cat update! Not too bad, right? (I’ve always been a total dog person, by the way. But that’s kind of changed – I freakin’ love these cats. Just hoping they continue going strong. Fingers and paws crossed.)
What else do I love? These 20-Minute Peanut Sweet Potato Noodles with Spinach, that’s what!
They have absolutely nothing to do with cats, but I’m sure you’re not thinking “thank goodness she’s done talking about cats,” right? Don’t answer that.
So, sweet potato noodles.
Glorious, glorious sweet potato noodles.
I don’t remember how I came up with this recipe. I had wanted to create a sweet potato buddha bowl with more of a sesame spin – tahini sauce, toasted sesame seeds – the whole shebang. I made a couple of versions and wasn’t underwhelmed, but I wasn’t overwhelmed either. I was whelmed. Well, then I decided to take these a different direction – scrap the bowl, swap in peanut butter and peanuts – and my whelm went to over town. Yum!
Now, to be fair, I may have seen this delicious-looking recipe over at Iowa Girl Eats and then subconsciously “come up with the idea myself” later on. Because I’m sure that happens … I mean, I think I thought of this myself? But also quite possibly not. (Cooking Light has a great-looking take on something similar too.)
So here’s what’s happening in this version.
First, you stir together your peanut sauce and prepare your garnishes. Please do both things before you start cooking the sweet potato noodles! Because they cook fast and you’ll be stressed. We don’t need stress. We need mise en place.
Then, you saute your spiralized sweet potatoes – about 5 minutes.
Add the spinach, stir in the sauce, scoop onto plates, top with garnishes, devour.
Oh, but another super cool thing about this recipe is that it’s perfect for vegetarians/vegans and meat-eaters living together! You have a couple options here. Grilled and sliced or diced chicken atop one serving. Plain for the other. Or if the resident vegan/vegetarian would like some additional protein, how about a bit of baked tofu? (I’ve been loving this stuff lately – delicious and super convenient).
Here’s some with tofu, right before it became my lunch. My carnivorous guy wolfed his chicken-enhanced version down before I could photograph it.
Oh, and taste-wise?! UM, DELICIOUS. Sweet potatoes + peanuts just work together gloriously. The peanut sauce – the same I use in my veggie-loaded peanut butter noodles – is creamy and dreamy and tasty and, just sort of everything.
The crunchy peanuts on top seal the deal, though I prefer a generous hand with the cilantro, too.
So there you have it.
Oh, and let me just reiterate – this recipe is SO EASY to make! Once you’ve got the spiralizing out of the way and the sauce and garnishes made, it’s just 10 minutes (if that) over the stove and dinner’s served.
(I don’t even know what I mean by that.)
20-Minute Peanut Sweet Potato Noodles with Spinach
For the peanut sauce:
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (choose tamari if gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
- 1 medium garlic clove (grated (I use a microplane zester))
- 1/2 cup warm water
For the noodles:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium sweet potato (peeled and spiralized with 1/8-inch julienne blade)
- 4 cups about 3 ounces baby spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
- Small bunch fresh cilantro
- 2-3 scallions (finely sliced)
Protein add-ons (optional):
- Baked tofu (chopped)
- Cooked (chopped chicken)
- Make the sauce. Add all peanut sauce ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Spiralize your sweet potato using the 1/8" julienne/spaghetti blade on your spiralizer.
- Set a large saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the sweet potato noodles. Cook until beginning to get tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If the noodles to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a tablespoon or two of water to help keep the sweet potatoes moving. If they begin to burn, reduce heat. Watch them closely because they can burn quickly - trust me, I know first hand!
- Add spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted, another minute or two.
- Add the peanut sauce and cook, stirring and tossing, until the peanut sauce is bubbling and thickened slightly and the veggies are coated, about 1 minute more.
- Transfer to plates and add toppings. Add additional protein if desired. Serve immediately.