I often wonder what it would be like to live alone. To cook for just me and me alone and to have all the time (I think) I need or want to get my projects done. The pressures us mothers face on a daily basis are immense. Whether you work or not (which I do), there are just so many demands on our time and precious mental energy every day that sometimes it's just, well, tiring.
But as much as the grass can always seem greener as I watch my single friends head out for a round of beers every day at 5, there really is nothing else I would rather do. I love cooking for my family, and I love seeing their chipmunk faces at the end of every day. I may not love driving them all over the city or fighting with them to get dressed for school, but I really can't imagine (and couldn't possibly bear) life without them.
The key to handling it all is to take care of me. If I am taken care of, then I have more to give to them and everyone else in my life. If I am well, those around me will be well. Children are merely mirrors of who we are as parents. And really, how all people respond to us is usually a direct reflection of what we are projecting to them.
So whether you are cooking for just you, or a whole brood of folks who look to you to provide guidance, love, and sustenance, take care of number 1 first. That light you shine will always reflect back on you. Keep it bright. Today's recipe can be made for just one or for many.
Peanut Sauce Noodle Bowl
The Peanut Sauce3/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce, more to taste
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
The Noodles & Vegetables1 handful around of your favourite soba noodles
1-2 chopped scallions
1 handful thinly shredded green cabbage or raw Brussels sprouts
Cilantro leaves & roasted sesame seeds for the top
To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients except the water into a blender. Blend on high - add the water as the blender is on to help get the sauce to a smooth & even consistency. Transfer the sauce to a clean jar. Note this recipe makes enough to keep the sauce on hand for meals through the week.
Cook noodles according to package directions, using a about a generous quarter's circumference per serving. When cooked, drain the noodles and allow to cool a little for about a minute. Mix
with about (1/4) cup of sauce onto the hot noodles and mix together with a fork. To serve, transfer the noodles to a clean bowl and top with shredded cabbage, chopped scallions, cilantro leaves & sesame seeds - with or without a little extra sauce or soy sauce on the side.
Make this ahead and store it in the fridge, it makes for fantastic re-heated lunches! Leftovers can easily be heated in a wok with an added splash of water or soy sauce to soften up the noodles from the fridge. I enjoyed this topped with cubes of tempeh, but you could add plain or cooked tofu as well, and for those of you who like it, I could easily see chicken on this too.
This sauce is also wonderful in salad rolls, and I'll be posting a new salad roll recipe too, using this easy-to-make recipe from ingredients most of us usually have on hand.