Parents are always telling me how they have to make several different meals for dinner because of their family’s dietary restrictions, preferences, schedules, etc. Plus, the meal has to be on the table ready to eat 5 minutes ago, right? I totally get it!
***My number ONE tip for families is:
FIND MEALS THAT EACH MEMBER CAN CUSTOMIZE TO THEIR LIKING!
· Stir fry with rice
· Homemade flatbread/pizzas
· Pasta bowls
· Buddha Bowls
· Salad Bar Night
· Panini Night
I love eating like this and feeding my family like this not only because I know we all like different things, but also because it still puts the things they might not like in front of them so they can explore without actually tasting or eating! Yes, simply having a food on the table does help a child (or adult!) “get used to something”.
So, when I stumble upon something that fits the “customize your dinner” category, I gotta share. I love my NEW FAV: Thai Peanut Noodles!
I found Gluten Free Rice Ramen Noodles at Costco, and decided to try them with stir fry and peanut sauce. I’ve made this sauce before, but something magical happened the other night…my kids TRIED it AND LIKED IT!
The noodles take very little time – so keep an eye on them and as soon as they are cooked, strain, rinse and put some soy sauce or tamari sauce on them to prevent them from sticking. You could also try a little olive oil or sesame oil, too.
Sauté your choice of veggies. I love the combo of red peppers, broccoli and pineapple! The fruit adds a burst of sweetness and juiciness to balance the salty sauce, which is the real star of the show if you ask me! You could sauté them each separately to encourage more customization, or just throw them all together. Your family can pick out what they don’t like;) I also add a minced clove of garlic and a little bit of fresh ginger (Super tip: Have your family smell fresh ginger after you cut it! So good.).
If you need a little boost of protein, you could cook chicken, beef, shrimp, salmon or tofu to add to this dish, but there is protein in the peanut sauce and some veggies.
Okay, so here’s the recipe for the sauce! You can play with the flavors and texture to make the sauce your own. I even use it for a salad dressing sometimes!
EASY THAI PEANUT SAUCE
1/4 c. peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
2 Tbsp. tamari (Gluten Free)
1 lime, juiced
1/4 c. warm water
Pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper (optional)
A few drops of Toasted Sesame Oil (optional)
Assemble and customize your bowl with noodles, veggies, protein and sauce. For an extra special touch, chop peanuts, jalapenos and fresh cilantro to top your bowl with! If your kids don’t want the sauce, have them go for a little straight up soy or tamari sauce.