As the last heavy meal of the holidays braises in the oven (a Guinness Meat Pie for the small percentage of me that is Irish), I took the chance to make the simplest (and definitively lighter) sesame noodles for lunch this week. With school ramping up as we go full steam ahead into finals in about 6 weeks, it is more important than ever to keep stress low, budget low, and belly full. It is amazing how much taking just 40 minutes on a Sunday to organize my meal plan and prep quick snacks and ready to go lunches alleviates stress Monday through Friday. It also gives me a good excuse to take a break from the books on Sunday and spend time doing my favorite thing (cooking).
I first made this recipe when Thomas gave me Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook for my birthday a couple years back. I went back to my ski blog to see what I wrote in the lead up to the recipe, and thought I’d just copy that below, because every part of it is still true (minus the volume block in ski training this upcoming week so while I don’t have that excuse to eat a bowl of noodles, I’ve since realized that sometimes one needs no excuse to eat a bowl of noodles other than they are delicious. But also I am taking my first deposition in class so that is basically a marathon):
“Few things excite me more than a new cookbook. Especially as a present. Especially when that cookbook is a goldmine for new recipes. So when Thomas presented me with Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook, I was out of this world excited. I immediately cozied up on the couch, and read the book from cover to cover.
A few things became immediately clear. One, Chrissy is my soul celebrity. She appreciates food in a way few do, viewing the whole cooking and eating process as a healing, at times almost religious, ritual. Two, the woman isn’t afraid to indulge, even though she is a swimsuit model. She understands the balance between primarily healthy eating, while not restricting yourself from some of life’s greatest pleasures (hot dogs). Three, I have to make every recipe in the book.
The biggest stressor with every new cookbook is where to start. When every recipe looks like a winner, you just have to drop the book and see where it opens. I also get quite excited for a good bowl of pasta, and with an upcoming volume week in training I figured I might as well kick off the week with carbs.
Adopted from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen; Serves 6-8 lunches
1 pound chicken breast (two big breasts!)
1 pound fettuccini
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup well stirred tahini
1/3 cup coconut aminos
3 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
Scallions and sesame seeds for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Plop your chicken breasts in the pot, remove from heat and cover. Set a timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes cut into the middle and check for doneness- if your chicken breasts are on the bigger side let it sit for another 3-5 minutes. Set aside and shred into bite size pieces using two forks, or your fingers once it is cool enough
Bring the SAME POT OF WATER (DO NOT DUMP OUT THE CHICKEN WATER) back to a boil. Cook pasta according to box instructions.
Meanwhile, mix the olive oil, tahini, coconut aminos, 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil, red wine vinegar, honey and garlic cloves together in the bottom of a big bowl.
Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. While still in the colander (and I know this sounds dumb but it is really helpful) dry pasta to the best of your ability with a paper towel. Then, while still in the colander, mix in remaining teaspoon sesame oil.
Add shredded chicken and cooled (and dried!) pasta to the bowl with the tahini sauce. Stir to combine. Put into a big Tupperware, split between smaller Tupperwares, or throw it right onto your plate. Top with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.