Recipe: Whatever-You’ve-Got Sesame Noodles

I have to admit, I am a terrible budgeter.  I’ve never been good at it.  Especially when it comes to food.  But recently, I’ve been trying – with my husband’s FULL support – to be more conscious about what I’m buying/spending at the grocery store, using leftovers and pantry items for meals, and not giving in to that 6pm urge to “just get takeout” instead of cooking.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me document my veggie drawer clean out nights – when I sautee or roast up all the veggies we have in the fridge and use them to make rice bowls or salads.  It’s been a delicious way to eat clean, not let produce languish in the fridge, and not get take out! But then I said to myself….is there a way to combine veggie drawer clean out with take out?! At home?! So lo and behold, these Whatever-You’ve-Got Sesame Noodles were born!

You can make these just the way I did, by following the recipe below – or you can get a little creative and use whatever you’ve got! There are two parts to this dish:

Part one: the noodles. I used whole wheat spaghetti because I always seem to have that in the house.  But you can use gluten free noodles, ramen noodles, pad thai noodles….or any other shape of pasta: fettuccine, angle hair, etc.

Part two: the veggies.  The options are endless.  There are very few items I think wouldn’t work in this dish – like starchy potatoes but even still I think it wouldn’t be so bad.  Snow peas, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, cabbage (any color/kind!), jalapenos, mushrooms, poblanos, zucchini, onions, snap peas, kale, brussel sprouts, eggplant, peas, water chestnuts, edamame, celery.  Should I keep going? Or are you with me? Truly whatever you’ve got … throw it in!

Oh wait! There’s a BONUS and optional part three: chicken, fish, tofu served on the side.  These noodles make a great vegetarian main dish, but also are a delicious side with grilled chicken, thinly sliced hanger steak, teriyaki salmon, or stir fried tofu.

In the end, I’d say aim for 9-10 cups of sliced veggies per 1 pound of pasta.  This will make a lot which makes this great for a crowd or fantastic to prep ahead for a weeks worth of lunches.  This recipe is easily halved if you don’t have 9-10 cups of veggies.  I realize, not everyone is a veggie hoarder like me 🙂

So next time you’re craving take out, just peek at your veggie drawer — and give this homemade takeout a chance!


Whatever You’ve Got Sesame Noodles
Serves 6-8

1 tbsp ginger – minced
2 cloves garlic (about 1 tbsp) – minced
2 cups snow peas – thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 carrot (about 1 cup) – julienned or thinly sliced
1 bell pepper (about 2 cups) – thinly sliced
2 cups savoy cabbage – thinly sliced
6 scallions – sliced
1 16oz box Whole Wheat Spaghetti
5 tbsp sesame oil, divided – plus additional for serving
5 tbsp soy sauce or tamari, divided – plus additional for serving
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Prepare spaghetti according to package directions for ‘al dente’.  Drain and shake to remove excess water.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp sesame oil and toss to coat.  Set aside.

In a large saute pan or wok, heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil over medium high heat.  Add in ginger and garlic, stirring frequently.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragarent.  Do not let it brown too much or burn.

Add your vegetables (snow peas through scallions – or whichever veggies you are using!), stir to coat with the sesame oil.  Cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes, or until veggies soften. Add 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari, and toss to coat.  Cook for 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.  Set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp sesame oil in the same large saute pan or wok.  Add in the cooked spaghetti (be careful for oil splatters if the noodles are still a little wet!).  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the noodles begin to brown slightly.  Stir in 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari, followed by the cooked vegetables.  Stir to combine.

Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.  Serve hot or room temperature with additional soy sauce and sesame oil for garnish.


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