One-Pot Noodles with Chicken, Butternut Squash and Bok Choy
It’s full-blown Thanksgiving madness on the Internets right now, which I obviously support. God knows I love T-Day. But since we’re a week out, I figure you’ve likely got your menu locked in at this point (if not, these are my best offerings) and may be down with some everyday fare. I mean, we’ve all still gotta eat between now and next Thursday.
Here’s the thing. The holidays—they’re upon us, people!—are glorious, but they also tend to wreak havoc on the health front. There are endless celebrations to attend, cocktails to drink, fingie foods to attack, and various forms of sugar coming at you from all directions. There’s a lot less sleep happening. Not to mention the fact that most of us are dealing with FRIGID weather.
While I believe in embracing a treat yo’self mentality during the drunk bath holiday season, I am also a delicate flower who needs to maintain some sense of healthy routine/normalcy in order to avoid becoming a sequin-clad ball of anxiety with a face rash and a runny nose come mid-December. That’s where nourishing one-pot meals come in.
I rounded up some of my favorite cozy one-pot recipes here, but I wanted to introduce you to a recent (and epic) addition to the rotation: One-Pot Noodles with Chicken, Butternut Squash and Bok Choy.
This baby, like most of my best recipes, was born of a clean-out-the-fridge experiment. I had some rice noodles, butternut squash, and baby bok choy leftover from Dude Diet testing and thought they might make quite the base for a sweet and savory noodle bowl. Cleary, they did.
The first batch was so good that I made the recipe again a few days later, throwing in some chicken for extra protein, more fresh garlic and ginger to boost flavor and immunity, and a splash of Thai fish sauce for funky, umami-laced awesomeness. This version of the noodles far exceeded my expectations on their own, but once I got a little fresh lime juice, cilantro, peanuts, and a sinus-clearing amount of sriracha involved? Mind blown. (I haven’t said that about a recipe in a while, right? Don’t answer that.)
These comforting and convenient noodles come together in 45 minutes from start to finish—only about 15 minutes of which is hands on time—and given the one-pot element, there’s minimal cleanup. They taste indulgent but happen to be loaded with fiber, protein, antioxidants, and immunity boosting ingredients to help you keep it tight and ward off seasonal sickness. They also happen to be gluten- and dairy-free and Dude Diet-friendly. (Hallelujah!)
Now for the requisite you do you options. These noodles are served in a delicious broth, but they’re not “soupy.” If you want to turn this into a noodle soup (I support it), add an extra cup or so of broth and a tiny bit more soy sauce and fish sauce if needed. The recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken breasts, which are cooked in the broth, but feel free to add shredded roasted or rotisserie chicken, or leftover Thanksgiving turkey(!!!) if you prefer. To add even more fiber and nutrients, try brown rice pad Thai noodles (I like Annie Chun’s brand), or sub zucchini noodles for a grain-free/paleo-friendly twist. Sweet potatoes can obviously be subbed for butternut squash, and the bok choy can be replaced with your favorite leafy green (although I do love the crunch of the baby bok choy stems).
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