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Perfect-Peanut-PastaThis dish packs in the protein and veggies, and is great served hot or cold, making it an excellent lunchbox choice!

Perfect Peanut Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients

1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti, reserve ¼ cup of pasta cooking water
1 teaspoon of kosher salt (optional)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
1½ tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
12 ounces cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded and julienned
1 red bell pepper, halved and julienned
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon chopped peanuts, unsalted (optional)
2 scallions, chopped (optional)

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil (with parental supervision), add salt if using. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and reserve ¼ cup cooking water. Briefly rinse pasta under warm running water. Set aside.

In medium bowl whisk peanut butter, reserved pasta cooking water, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes until smooth and creamy. Pour over warm pasta. Toss the pasta with chicken, cucumber, red bell pepper. Sprinkle each serving with scallions and 1 tsp. chopped peanuts. Serve warm or cold.

Serves 4.

*Recipe and image courtesy of www.pastafits.org.*