lighter sesame noodles.

I’ve been in a winter food rut; continually going to tried and true favorites, comforts, and easy recipes because this cold has put me in a funk. Call it lack of motivation to try something new, I guess.

But last night, I decided to rip myself out of it by easing in gently. Enter Martha Stewart’s lighter sesame noodles, which didn’t require a lot of work, or a billion different ingredients I didn’t have in my kitchen.

I did modify it a bit. I realize after buying my ingredients (broccoli, red pepper, etc.) the day before, I neglected to check and see if I had sesame oil in house. I did not. So like any risk taker, I improvised, and skimmed two tablespoons of the oil on the top of the tahini jar off and used that. It was incredible tasting; I might just always use tahini oil. I mean, crushed sesame seeds made into a paste–same thing, right?

I also used natural peanut butter with no sugar added, and nixed most of the brown sugar called for in this recipe. And instead of just boiling all the veggies in the pasta water, I decided to saute my red peppers and onions in the garlic; raw garlic in a sauce can sometimes taste bitter to me, and I wanted a gentle browning on the veggies. I did, however, blanch the broccoli with the pasta. And, for a bit more crunch, I topped the entire bowl off with some chopped dry roasted peanuts I had in my cabinet. Win.

This is a weeknight meal you have to try. So satisfying, full of flavor.

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