When it quickly goes from 50 degree weather to 90 degree heat, a fast change in cooking styles ignites my kitchen.And when you have, not one, but two, kids graduating from high school and going off to college at the same time, simplicity is in order.When your motto becomes “busy but healthy” I’ve got you covered. My career world, parenting world and personal life seem to be colliding in a lovely trifecta these days, and its even vital that I continue to  nourish myself while also keeping it as simple as possible.Lately, I’ve been crazy for vegetable noodles of all kinds. Summer squash, carrots, butternut squash – you name it, I will shred it. They are such a great stand in for pasta, and so much better for you too. An instant comfort food and vegetable in one.This peanut sauce whipped up in seconds. Shred the zucchini and carrots (or make it even easier and buy it pre-sliced), cube the tofu, chop the scallions and basil and you’re ready to go.Have you been curious, but hesitant, to cook with tofu? I understand. A lot of my clients have never eaten tofu unless it’s been floating as tiny cubes in their miso soup. But I am going to nudge you into trying it. Tofu is high in protein, calcium and other essential minerals. It’s also a vegetarian protein source (meaning no saturated fat), has anti-cancer benefits and is filling. The taste is so neutral that it works perfectly with a highly flavored sauces like this healthy, spicy peanut sauce.Easy, flavorful and so good for you – the operative mantra that goes into a healthy meal for busy people like us. Try it and let me know what you think.

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Tofu

Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, pressed
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
4 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablepoon sriarcha sauce (more or less, depending on how spicy you want it)
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu, drained well and dried with paper towels
4 large zucchini
2 medium yellow squash
2 medium carrots
1 bunch scallions
1 small bunch fresh basil
1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 tablespoon organic canola oil

Directions

1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil and maple syrup. Set aside while prepping the vegetables.

2. Cut off the ends of the squash and peel the carrots. With a spiralizer, shred the vegetables (you should have at least 8 cups). Set aside

3. Cut the ends off the scallions and cut on a diagonal. Roll the basil leaves together and slice thinly (called chiffonade). Cube the tofu.

4. In a large saute pan add the canola oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the tofu in a single layer, flipping after 3 minutes or until beginning to brown. After another 3 minutes on the other side remove the tofu to a plate.

5. Turn the pan to medium and add in the scallions. Saute for 1 minute. Add in the squash and carrots and continue to saute for about 5 minutes, until getting soft. Add the tofu back in and enough of the peanut sauce to coat everything well. Toss in the basil and peanuts, turn off the heat and serve.

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