Salad

When you’re looking for an easy, tasty recipe that leaves you feeling satisfied but light, try out this Spicy Peanut Zoodle Bowl for dinner. Inspired by some of my favourite Thai cuisine, this dish is loaded with vegetables, tofu and grain-free veggie zoodles in place of rice noodles, all tossed in a quick and easy spicy peanut sauce.

For many of us, January is about pressing that reset button and getting back on track with healthy habits. But this doesn’t mean we can’t continue to enjoy our favourite dishes. Simple ingredient swaps can refresh your favourite recipes by really kicking up the nutrient values of a dish.

In this Spicy Peanut Zoodle Bowl, rice noodles are traditionally used, but swapping them for ‘zoodles’ (zucchini noodles), this dish provides a low-carbohydrate alternative with lots of fibre, vitamin C, and potassium. Due to their antioxidant content, zucchinis can help fight inflammation caused by overindulgence during the holidays.

If you don’t have a spiralizer to make zoodles, consider adding one to your kitchen this year! They make fruits and veggies much more interesting and kids love to get in on the spiralizing action. When it comes to zoodles, their texture is similar to al dente pasta. I suggest keeping the skin on the organic produce you’re working with as it will provide lots of additional fibre.

Firm tofu is used in this recipe to provide a complete source of easily-digestible protein and a good amount of iron and calcium. Tofu is a personal favourite in this recipe as its texture pairs perfectly with the firm zoodles and creamy sauce. However you can easily swap tofu for chicken or fried eggs in this recipe!

The spicy peanut sauce is quick and easy to make in a food processor and can be stored in the fridge for up to one week to accompany some of your other favourite dishes, drizzled in soups or tossed into a salad.

Spice levels can easily be adjusted in this recipe by adding or removing sriracha.

Note: Not ready to commit to your own spiralizer? You can try this pasta alternative on for size by picking up a bag of prepackaged zoodles at your local grocery store. More and more spiralized veggies are being offered this way for those of us on the go.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

Peanut Sauce:

  • 5 tbsp organic smooth peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp tamari
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp sriracha
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • Pinch of salt

Zoodle Bowl:

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 350g package of firm organic tofu
  • 3 zucchinis, spiralized into noodles
  • 1 cup kale (or your favourite greens)
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced (I used red and green bell peppers)
  • 1 cup snap peas

Topping:

  • ¼ cup peanuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet, using half of the sesame oil, and then add cubed tofu.
  2. In a small food processor, add all peanut sauce ingredients and pulse until everything is combined (7-8 pulses). Add additional water if you want a smoother consistency.
  3. Once the tofu has been cooking for 10 minutes, add 3 tbsp of peanut sauce and cook until tofu has browned (additional 5-10 minutes). Remove tofu from skillet and set aside.
  4. Using the same large skillet, add 1 tbsp of sesame oil, kale, carrots, bell peppers, snap peas and ¼ cup peanut sauce. Sauté for 5-10 minutes then add zoodles and tofu. Sauté everything together for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve dish topped with chopped peanuts and cilantro.