here be a heap of color for you to enjoy!
my sweet little neighbor girl came over a while back to sling me some gift wrap and other goods for her school fundraiser. naturally, i had to buy a few things. i remember the days of marching door-to-door in my neighborhood selling $1 beef sticks and chocolate bars to raise money for our soccer team. also gift wrap sales which were so hilarious to watch people half-heartedly whiz through the catalog and reluctantly purchase from me every year. you kind old souls, thank you for buying things you didn't need just so i could get closer to winning a lava lamp or tiny gorilla keychain.
i think i made my neighbor katy come with me at the time. even though she was homeschooled, she still sold the candy & beef sticks for sports fundraisers (and i needed her because her perkyness helped my sales pitches tremendously). i was just so shy to adults and she was absolutely not; she was always the best sales lady for sure. i also remember us going to our rooms and paying our own dollars so we could eat the chocolate bars and beef sticks. haha!
anyhoo! so i bought some gift wrap and a vegetable spiralizer from my neighbor girl last fall. its not the most advanced piece of kitchen technology, but it gets the job done! i am loving it.
i like how the legit veggie spiralizers you can buy make the noodles so plump and smooth, but this little gadget that i bought is really compact and works just fine. even if my noodles are a bit jagged and thin.
i think letting the noodles dry a bit on a towel is a super important step. there's so much water content in vegetables that you want it to be as crunchy as you can. you're not going to boil the "noodles" or even cook them very long in the sauce; you just want a good crisp texture for the finished product.
as i write this, i am recovering from a gum graft surgery that i had yesterday morning. i feel like a total granny about it, but i think its actually pretty common. i will only be able to eat soft foods on one side of my mouth for about 6 weeks.
i definitely made these zuke noods a while back, and will not be enjoying this meal again at least for a couple weeks or so. i suppose i could cook the noodles and veggies way more to make them softer, but i am not a fan of soggy things with gross textures, so no. i'll just wait til i'm recuperated. i have to be super careful and eat teeny bites on my right side only, so this whole eating thing is a little bit of a nuisance right now. even if it is my favorite life activity.
the point of me talking about my granny gum surgery here is that i realized today that i still have the urge to want to cook or bake things in the kitchen, even though i can't really eat anything! i'm glad to learn that i truly do enjoy the process of cooking and baking, even if i can't enjoy the outcome (the best part! what am i, cuhrazy?). oh well, peter has been a top notch nurse to me the last two days and he deserves to enjoy all the eats & treats i might make. he is seriously the best!!!
i am strange in that way, i guess. i had jaw surgery when i was 15 and had my jaw wired completely shut for 6 weeks (kanye style), i would watch the food network allllllll the time. i don't know. it sounds like torture, but there was some sort of comfort in it. i could only consume liquids and was constantly hungry, but it didn't mean that i didn't want to see and learn about all the glorious eats that are out there! i just love food, man.
hot sesame oil. so yummy! and so sneaky on the hotness! you'll taste it and be like, "oh dat's not hot." 10 seconds later...aye!! but the flavor is fab.
this whole meal is just delicious. made up of mostly vegetables and some sauces and spices, its so simple but soo tasty. and crisp and fresh! and sweet, savory, & spicy! and quick, too!
now i just feel like a hot sesame vegetable pusher.
[don't be scared by the apparent amount of ingredients in the recipe, its really super easy if you already have the items in your kitchen.]
i had originally planned to cook this with thin slices of beef. and it would be really good with chicken. but the veggies are just so pretty and flavorful on their own!
also, i'm just lazy in the meat cooking department.
its goooood guyyys. tryyy itttttt.
Hot Sesame Zucchini Noodles with Sautéed Rainbow Veggies
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 a red onion, chopped into chunks
- 1/2 a red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 an orange bell pepper, sliced (i had an additional bit of yellow pepper that i used, too.)
- 2 medium sized zucchinis - spiralized
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. hot sesame oil
- 2 TB olive oil
- 2 TB sesame seeds (toast them in a pan or in the oven if desired)
- 2 green onion stalks, sliced
- handful of cilantro leaves, chopped coarsely
- 1-2 tsp. red chili flakes (optional)
- black pepper & salt, to taste
Wash all produce thoroughly. Using a vegetable spiralizer, form spiraled noodles from 2 zucchinis. Spread the zucchini noodles out on a kitchen towel or paper towel to remove excess water. Chop the ends of the zucchinis into chunks if you have any remaining after spiralizing.
Start cooking your desired amount of white rice on the stove top or rice cooker. I usually make a cup of rice so that there are leftovers.
Heat a large pan to medium and add olive oil. Cook garlic until golden and fragrant. Add the red onion and toss in the hot olive oil until slightly translucent and tender, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced bell peppers and any zucchini chunks to the pan to cook. Allow the veggies to tenderize in the olive oil for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, and regular sesame oil to the pan. Stir every couple of minutes and let the sauces heat up and begin to thicken and simmer with the veggies.
After about 10 minutes, remove pan from heat and add the zucchini noodles on top. Sprinkle the sesame seeds, black pepper and salt. Slowly drizzle a small amount of hot sesame oil over the zucchini (that stuff is surprisingly hot!). Using tongs or two forks, gently combine the zucchini noodles with the rest of the veggies.
Garnish with green onion, cilantro, and extra sesame seeds! Serve immediately on a bed of white rice.
Soooo good. Soooo much flavor. Soooo simple. All vegetables!!!!!!!!!!