The thought of being “all tangled up” in something is an awfully appealing and comforting one to me. “Tangled up” in my husbands love, experiencing his hugs and his kisses, is a joy; “tangled up” in a warm, soft, fleecy blanket after it’s just been freshly pulled out of a hot dryer, is sheer coziness; “tangled up” in a meaningful hug with my son just because we both love each other, is a blessing; and “tangled up” in all the big questions of life such as “Who am I?”, “What is my purpose?”, and “What is the meaning of life?”, is soulfully stimulating.
Being “tangled up” in all that life offers, whether physically or spiritually, is a wonderful way to be; it’s a way that feels active, involved, alive, and like good work. It’s meaningful and full of wonderment. It’s a sort of struggle of the good kind.
Being coated in all of the delectable “sauciness” that life brings to us is a thrilling way to live in each moment, and brings such flavor and excitement to the plate, which makes navigating through those tender and squishy noodles of daily existence so much more fun.
I love “noodle-y” food, and noodles with an Asian flair are some of my favorite kinds. I’m particularly fond of the warm, rich and sweetly-nutty flavor of peanuts, and find such pleasure and coziness in combining the two to create a delicious little meal to get lost and “tangled” in.
Saucy Peanut Chicken tossed with a couple of crisp vegetables like baby bok choy and sweet, red bell pepper twirled together with perfectly to-the-tooth (and gluten free!) brown rice noodles makes for a perfect meal to get “tangled up” in to experience a few moments of having a happy mouth and a warmed belly. One of the best tasting types of “tangles” there are.
So when life (or your loved one) offers you up a big bowl of Saucy Peanut Chicken with Veggies over Brown Rice Noodles, dive in face first.
Get excited about becoming “all tangled up” in the taste of the experience, and savor each and every unique and satisfyingly chewy bite.
Because the more we allow ourselves to get “tangled up” in all the little bits and morsels that life brings our way, the more fulfilled we’ll become, prompting our appetite for participation and engagement with all that surrounds us to deepen and grow.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Peanut Chicken with Baby Bok Choy & Red Bell Peppers over Brown Rice Noodles
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4
• 1 – 1 ¼ pounds chicken tenderloins (about 8-10 small tenderloins), cut into small pieces
• 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press, divided use
• Black pepper
• 2 tablespoons (heaping) corn starch
• Vegetable oil
• 1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
• 4 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
• 8-10 ounces brown rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions and held warm
• Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
• ¼ cup peanuts, roughly chopped
• 2 green onions, chopped
-In a bowl, toss the chicken pieces with 2 cloves worth of the garlic, and a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper; sprinkle in the 2 heaping tablespoons of corn starch, and toss the pieces to coat.
-Place a large, non-stick pan over medium-high or high heat, and drizzle in about 4 tablespoons worth of the vegetable oil; once the oil is very hot, add in the chicken pieces, and allow them to sit, undisturbed, for about 4 minutes; then, toss the pieces around and allow them to sear up and become golden brown on the other sides, for about 4 minutes longer; remove from pan and set aside for a moment.
-Add the sliced red bell pepper into the pan, along with the sliced baby bok choy, and allow it to quickly saute for a moment, just until crisp-tender; add in the remaining clove of garlic, stir to combine, and once the garlic becomes aromatic, remove the veggies from the pan and set aside for a moment.
-Add a drizzle more oil into the pan, and over medium-low heat, add the cooked brown rice noodles in, along with the reserved chicken; drizzle in the Peanut Sauce (you can use all of it, or as much as you’d like according to your taste), and gently toss to coat; turn off the heat.
-Add back in the sauteed veggies, and toss to combine; sprinkle in about half of the chopped peanuts and green onion, and toss once more.
-Serve in bowls garnished with the remaining peanuts and green onion.
Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
• ¾ cup natural, unsalted creamy peanut butter
• ½ cup water
• 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
• 7 tablespoons light soy sauce
• ¼ cup rice vinegar
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 2 cloves garlic
• ¼ teaspoon sriracha (Asian-style hot sauce)
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
-Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor, and process until everything is well combined and completely creamy and smooth; store in a covered container in the fridge if not using immediately, and allow to come to room temperature when ready to use.