Tag Archives: Noodles & Co

Wanna Be Asian Noodles Recipe with Orange-ish Chicken

We love this !  I can’t stress how much all of us truly enjoy this dish.  And its various incarnations.

I also can’t quite define what I’m doing here.  It is Asian-inspired, to put it neatly.

The noodles are an attempt to copy my favorite dish at Noodles & Co (they call it Thai something or other).  The chicken is marinated in salad dressing, orange juice,  and fruit spread.  The veggies and sauces can vary each time, but I try to keep them similar.

What you’ll need:


Spaghetti or Linguine

Soy sauce

Brown sugar

Ketchup

Garlic, crushed or powder

Chili Powder

Butter

Ginger, powder

Peas, carrots, broccoli, edamame, bell peppers, onions, bok choy,  whatever

Chicken breasts

Orange juice

Asian salad dressing

As always, I try to stick to organic ingredients and make sure the dead animal I’m eating was well-treated before slaughter.  Appetizing, I know.

Directions

Cut the chicken into cubes, skewer the cubes with bell pepper and onion between them, and place the kabobs in a deep dish.

Mix a half cup each of salad dressing and orange juice with 3 tablespoons of fruit spread and 1 tablespoon of garlic powder.  Pour mixture over kabobs then cover dish; I prefer Walmart-brand plastic clinging wrap.

Prepare grill and set to medium high heat.

Fill pot with water to cook pasta. Bring the water to a boil, drop in pasta, get it submerged and back to a boil, and turn down the heat.

You’ll want to follow the directions on the box for the pasta, but know that once it can be left alone for a few minutes, you’re going to be running that chicken to the grill.

Grilled chicken can be a pain in the neck.  I’ve learned you want to cook it really hot, being fast to turn it so you don’t burn it.  Once the entire outside of the piece of chicken looks cooked, turn down (or off) the grill heat and keep the lid closed.

Basically, you’re searing the chicken to lock in the juices and you’ll let it cook from the outside in.  That’s how you keep from drying it out.

When the pasta is 97% done, toss in your harder veggies like onion, edamame, and carrots.  When the pasta is 100% done, add peas, broccoli, and peppers.  Then drain it all.

Add butter to your pasta pot, maybe half of a stick, and get it melted before putting the pasta and veggies back in the pot.  Then stir.  Get the noodles coated.

Did you forget about the chicken?  Go check it!

Turn the burner under the pasta back on to about medium heat.  Then mix together (in the same thing you mixed the marinade, if you want to save yourself dishes)
¼ cup soy sauce,
¼ cup ketchup,
¼ cup brown sugar,
¼ teaspoon ginger,
½ tablespoon garlic,
and ½ tablespoon chili powder.

Stir well, until the sugar is dissolved, then slowly pour over the buttered noodles and veggies.

Keep stirring!  You’re making my half-hearted attempt at caramelizing your noodles.  Make sure you turn off the heat AND move the pan to a cool burner when you’re done.

Bring the chicken in off the grill and strip the skewers.  Make sure it really is cooked.  This seems to be a repeat issue with me, chicken, and the grill.

Pile it all on plates and EAT YOUR COLORS!

If you’re feeding toddlers like I am, make them small portions and stick them in the fridge.  While you’re chasing them to wash their hands and get to the table, while you are filling drinks and calling out to your husband that he needs to wash his hands and get his drink, while you are chasing at least one escaped toddler, while you get forks for the other three but a set of chopsticks for yourself, your children’s food will be cooling off and ready to eat when you finally get all four of your bodies to the table.

AH-MAY-ZEEN

This meal changes every time I make it.  In fact, frequently I use ground beef in a wanna-be-street-vendor-style Korean sauce instead of the chicken.  Whatever, it is still freaking awesome.

I try to make enough to last two dinners and one lunch, but since it is so darn good, we often eat more than we should at one sitting.  Sometimes we add black pepper or a sweet chili sauce or extra soy sauce to the finish product; sometimes it is just too good for words, much less extra condiments.

Play with it.  It is amazing.  You’ll come back to this post to thank me.

#GotItFree


Please note that I used Barilla’s Gluten Free pasta for this recipe.  I received this pasta for free to give my honest opinion of it.  I am a BzzAgent and qualified to test and taste this Gluten Free pasta.  This recipe and the opinions I have regarding this pasta are mine.

We are not a gluten free family by any means.  When the BHE and I went wheat free 5 years ago, it was for personal health based on personal research.  We didn’t really go “gluten free” nor did we stick to it after that initial round of weight loss.  Probably because I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant a couple months after we started the diet.

However, I told BzzAgent that I am interested in gluten free foods.  It is the closest way to telling them that we try to avoid excessive wheat in our diets.

I was so freaking excited to get free pasta!  I LURV PASTA!

I received both macaroni and linguine.  I used the linguine for this Asian-inspired dish.  The sauce clung to the noodles perfectly.  I’ve learned that organic wheat as well as gluten free pastas take a little longer to cook than traditional GMO wheat noodles, and sometimes those types of pastas let your sauce slid right off.  Not these!  Perfect.

The kids didn’t notice anything different about the noodles.  That’s how good Barilla did with taste and texture on these.  What I noticed was that I didn’t have to cut their servings.  Normally with linguine, I have to cut the noodles down to 1 or 2 inches in length.  These noodles broke apart during the regular cooking process for this recipe.

Let me tell you:  it still tasted good.  The flavor of the noodles is great!  My husband loved loved LOVED that it was gluten free.  He said he would rather eat something without wheat than worry if it held together.

If you were making, say, chicken alfredo with linguine noodles, I wouldn’t recommend Barilla’s Gluten Free pasta.  You can’t twirl your noodles!  If you are making this recipe or don’t care about how your food gets from your plate to your mouth, these noodles are just fine.  In fact, in the case where you need to cut the noodles to feed a kid or have less messy leftovers for lunch at work, these noodles work great!

The flavor and ingredients:  great!

The texture and look:  not so great, but acceptable.

Happy birthday (to me)! How we celebrated my 32 years for under 20 bucks

FREE STUFF!

Did I get your attention with that?  I know that catches my eye.  I like FREE stuff.  Not just any ol’ stuff but food and beverages and clothes that I like… for FREE.

Yes, I treated myself for $4.32. Then spent about $9 to cover what the coupons didn’t.  That isn’t technically FREE but this is what I got:  a fancy coffee from Starbucks, a tasty pastry from Panera, a regular sized bowl of noodles from Noodles & Co. plus a drink, a handful of cute things made from fabric from JC Penney, and chocolates from CVS.  If you count what I spent two days before at Coldstone Creamery, the total spent (not including gas) was $18.57.

And you can do it too!

Follow me, and you’ll get some wonderful goodies for yourself on your birthday.

First, think of what you really like.  Me?  I’m a big fan of food.  Any kind of food will do but the best kind of food is FREE food.

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

Let’s see… I like Asian foods and drinks, I’m a sucker for desserts and sweets of all kinds, I love wine, I enjoy a good cup of frilly coffee, I’m a big fan of shopping for new clothes, I like good barbeque, I want to spend more time with my husband and friends, and I’d love for someone else to regularly clean my house.

Sadly, no one turned up to clean for me.

Next, pinpoint specific places and people that can deliver what you really like.  Noodles & Co. makes a dish they call Japanese Pan Noodles that I prefer to get with tofu.  Starbucks makes a great caramel macchiato.  Panera has an assortment of pastries while Coldstone Creamery has a million ways for me to enjoy ice cream.  Penney’s is my go-to place for new clothes as I have a store credit card there.  Sadly, there isn’t a decent bbq place under an hour’s drive from where I live.  As for my friends, family, and clean house… well, we’ll tackle those desires another day.

Then, go to the websites of your favorite restaurants, stores, cosmetic products, foods, et cetera.  Just about everything out there has a website and the majority of them have clubs or newsletters or fan lists you can sign up for.  Go ahead, sign up!  See what goodies you get!

Examples (FREE stuff and Almost-FREE stuff):

Noodles & Co. has an eclub, where you sign up for their Noodlegrams. For my birthday, they sent me an email with a coupon for a FREE regular-sized bowl of my choice.  (I chose to add a drink so paid two bucks and change for food and a refillable beverage, which fed and hydrated both myself and Angel Baby.)

I now have a My Starbucks Rewards card that led to me being emailed a coupon for a FREE regular coffee or tea.  Now, this is where things didn’t go the way I planned.  I needed to go to Target while in town and our Target has a Starbucks in it.  Sadly, the emailed coupon from my rewards card was not accepted at the Target’s Starbucks; something about how the ones in stores are actually Target and the code to be scanned could only be scanned at a free-standing location.  That’s cool, though, because on this particular Target trip, I had a coupon from a previous trip where I’d get $1.50 off one of the specialty drinks.  Since I got the littlest size (who the eff named the sizes at Starbucks anyway?!), I only paid two and change for a fancy-schmancy caramel macchiato.  I got my frilly coffee for Almost-FREE.

Before a few weeks ago, I didn’t have a My Panera Rewards membership.  I signed up and immediately got a coupon for a FREE pastry.  That’s it.  It didn’t have to do with my birthday or anything. But check this out:  I had the option to “donate” my treat.  They have this aspect to their program that once you earn something with your points or if you don’t want that first FREE pastry, you can give it back to them to give to someone in need.  How’s THAT for warm fuzzies?

I’ve had a JCPenney credit card as long as I can remember.  Some years, I use it for every last item of clothing, linen, kitchen gadget, et cetera; other years, I won’t touch it once in efforts to pay it off.  (I have a love-hate relationship with credit cards.)  No matter what I spend, every December, I get a coupon for $10-15.  This year, I received two coupons in a mailer (YES!  Snail mail!):  one was FREE shipping on anything to anywhere; the other was $15 off a single item of $15 or more.*  So, like, FREE money?  Thank you, Penneys!  Don’t hold me to this but I’m pretty sure last year I received a mailed coupon for $10 to be used however, no fine print about it being on one thing costing at least $10.

The BHE and I enjoy the Jack Daniels menu at TGI Fridays.  As Stripes club members, we had points plus I received an emailed coupon for my birthday to get a FREE appetizer.  Dinner would have been Almost-FREE, but Angel Baby wasn’t game for behaving in a busy restaurant, so we skipped that.  But, hey, we could’ve had FREE food, leading to a cheap dinner, on my birthday.

I’ve also joined the eclub at Coldstone Creamery so got a coupon for my birthday from them as well.  In my email, I got an offer for BOGO FREE ice cream.  After my father bought us dinner a couple days before my birthday, we dropped into the Coldstone that was just a mile up the road and spent about $4 for waaaay tooooo much ice cream (two of the medium-sized bowls) which we split between the BHE, Angel Baby, and myself.**

Finally, you can have a great day on your birthday for Almost-FREE!  Just do a little clickity clackity on your computer (I did most of mine from my Windows OS phone), gather your coupons (I had others that had been piling up, some for FREE goodies and some were just money off or BOGO—that’s how I got $6 worth of chocolate for $1.98), and head to town. Maybe call a couple friends or plan an evening with your spouse.

Ta-dah!  A cheap and easy birthday!

The bonus:  Angel Baby was such a easy doll all day.  It was like she knew the best present to give me was awesome behavior.  Not that she’s a difficult child by any means; it was just nice that she napped when I needed her to and happily went along with everything I did.

*I needed panties.  Ever since I had Angel Baby, my body has gone through some weird transformations.  I don’t fit the underwear from before nor the ones from during pregnancy.  Anyway, JCP had some great deals like 5 panties for $25… but that isn’t a “single item of $15 or more.”  Grr.  I found in the baby section 4 long-sleeved onesies as one item for $16.99 on sale plus got a few pairs of panties.  My total was around seven bucks.

**Don’t discount FREE meals purchased by someone else.  I’m not suggesting you take advantage of anyone.  Your friends and family love you, they offer to buy you lunch or dinner, you say yes and enjoy a meal and their company, and you got something for FREE.  Be grateful, but don’t abuse it.  😉  I got FREE dinner out of my father, and a couple girlfriends had bought lunch for Angel Baby and myself a few weeks before.  I’m grateful for their company as well as the food. Thanks again, ladies!