Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nourishing an Occupation 2: Sesame Noodles

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In this episode of Nourishing an Occupation, I show you how to feed 34 people a delicious, nutritious vegan meal for about $14. The occupiers at Occupy Poughkeepsie, along with visitors and hungry kids from the neighborhood all dug in and enjoyed these Sesame noodles.

With this dish, I started by making a sauce. In a large sauce pan, I heated a bit of oil and added several tablespoons each minced garlic and ginger. After about a minute, I added about 1.5 cup of smooth peanut butter, 1/2 cup of water, 1/3 cups of soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar and an extremely generous squirt of Sriracha sauce and sesame oil and stirred it well so it would melt. I tasted this and adjusted the ingredients, adding a bit more of this or that until I had a sauce that was nutty, a bit tart, a bit salty, and with a bite of heat. I let it warm and simmer on the stove.

I filled my largest soup pot 2/3 full with water to boil and cooked 3 lbs of linguini. Cooking that much pasta at once is tricky because if your pot isn't big enough it will stick together. If you don't have a giant pot, cook in 2 or 3 batches. As soon as the pasta was al dente, I drained it and immediately rinsed it well with cold water.

While the sauce was simmering and the pasta cooking, I chopped up a large napa cabbage, 3 sweet red peppers, and a bunch of arugula and put them raw, into a large foil serving dish. I chopped a bunch of green onions and put half of them in with the other veggies. I chopped up a bunch of cilantro and set that aside with the remaining green onions for a topping.

I cut up 2 lbs of firm tofu into small cubes and stirred them into the peanut sauce, then let the sauce cool a bit.

I put the pasta into the big foil dish with the vegetables, and using my clean hands, mixed everything together. Then I poured the cooled sauce over everything and mixed it through thoroughly. I topped the dish with chopped green onions, cilantro and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.

This was a big hit with the occupiers and the neighborhood kids who stopped by the park couldn't get enough.

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