NaNo nibbles

One of the crazy things some of us do each year is participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal? 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s about 200 pages. Almost 7 pages a day.

That may not sound like much, but for some of us that’s a lot. Torture even. I’ve done it in as little as 90 minutes, and as much as four hours. Sometimes I get behind and have to catch up. Last year I had a couple of 4K days.

There’s nothing so motivating as pushing your limits and realizing what you can accomplish.

But other areas of my life do suffer. One of them being my family. And since my husband’s schedule precludes him from making dinner if we want to eat before bedtime, November is when I resort to my quickest, easiest meals.

We have taco soup (a super easy one-pot meal I shared here), appetizer night (everybody enjoys this one), Trader Joe’s Pad Thai (yum!), pasta with marinara and sautéed veggies, baked curried brown rice and lentils, burritos with Mexican rice (made in the rice cooker), and stir fry (rice cooker to the rescue again). All yummy and easy.

And just in case you need a new meal for one of your busy nights, here’s another of my quick, simple favorites.

Spicy Peanut Noodles
Serves 4


* 16 ounce(s) whole-wheat pasta

* 0.5 cup(s) natural peanut butter (I love Wegman’s Organic with nothing but peanuts and salt)

* 0.75 cup(s) boiling water

* 4  sliced scallions, reserve a couple of T. of slices for garnish

* 4 tablespoon(s) reduced-sodium soy sauce

* 3 tablespoon(s) rice vinegar

* 1 clove(s) garlic, minced

* 0.5 teaspoon(s) sugar

* Cayenne pepper to taste (start with a dash)

* Cilantro for garnish, optional

* Chopped peanuts or whole sesame seeds for garnish, optional


1. Cook pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until just tender, according to package directions.

2. Once you’ve added pasta to water, start peanut sauce.

3. Whisk peanut butter with boiling water in a medium bowl until smooth.

4. Stir in scallions, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, sugar and cayenne.

5. Toss with hot pasta. Garnish with scallion tops, cilantro, and seeds/peanuts. Serve hot or at room temperature.

(Adapted from original recipe found at: