Cooking here is different

Cooking in Belize is different than cooking in the U.S. For starters, one cannot just go somewhere and find whatever ingredients they imagine and cook on a whim. Red meat is not as plentiful. Turkey is rare. Instead, one buys fresh, local, ingredients and then decides what to cook. That’s how I came about creating new dishes that are different than the meals we eat in the states.

When my husband Will and I moved to Hopkins, we rarely had pasta as one of our meals together. I was surprised when he announced, after doing a little research, we needed to add more carbohydrates to our diets. I didn’t have a “go to” dish to whip up so I began searching for something other than the standard spaghetti and meatball type of dishes. I was also looking for dish that could multi-task as an entree or side dish and taste good warm or cold. (So, if I took it to a pot luck, I wouldn’t have to worry about keeping it warm.)  We have many more pot-luck get togethers than we did in the states, so I am always on the look-out for a dish that works well to share with neighbors.

I add chicken because there is always chicken available in Belize, so I usually have some shredded in the fridge. But the chicken can be omitted for vegetarians or as an alternative to the usual pasta salads side dishes.

Ginger noodles with chicken in peanut butter sauce (Makes 8 meals)

Sauce:

1 cup natural peanut butter

6 TBSP rice vinegar

6TBSP soy sauce

4 tsp fresh ginger, grated

Blend the above sauce ingredients in blender

Ingredients:

3 cups shredded chicken

1 16ou box of spaghetti

1 cucumber-sliced very thinly

2-3 green, red, and yellow peppers-chop in thin slices

1 carrot-chopped into match-stick size pieces or sliced thinly

1 zucchini-chopped into match-stick size pieces

4 TBSP chopped peanuts

 

Directions: Cook spaghetti according to directions. While it is cooking, combine first four ingredients and mix in blender until smooth and creamy. Chop all the veggies.  When pasta is done, strain, and return to pot. Add all ingredients (chicken-veggie mixture) to the spaghetti, including the peanut butter sauce from the blender. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts before serving.

*This recipe was originally posted in Shoots Alive blog.

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