Ingredients
1 lb whole- wheat penne rigate pasta
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces (room temperature) (pat dry before cooking)
3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 sliced red onion
¼ – ½ lb sliced cremini/shiitake mushrooms
1 diced red bell pepper
2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves grated/chopped garlic
½ – 1 inch grated/finely chopped ginger root
¼ – ½ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ – ½ cup soy sauce (low sodium)
1 lemon
½ – ⅔ cup chicken stock (low sodium)
1-2 tsp sesame oil
3-4 green onions, chopped diagonally into ½-inch pieces

Preparation
1. In a pasta pot/stockpot on stovetop, bring pasta to boil in water on high heat until al dente (almost done). Optionally, add salt to water to flavor pasta when water starts to boil.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet on stovetop over high heat. When oil is hot, brown chicken in skillet, turning only when chicken pieces release themselves.
3. When chicken is almost brown, add in onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. When vegetables are tender-crisp, remove everything in skillet and set aside.
4. In same skillet, reduce heat to medium and mix 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil, garlic and ginger all together for 10-15 seconds.
5. In ginger oil, mix in peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice, chicken stock and sesame oil.
6. Drain water from pasta and return to pot.
7. Add chicken and vegetables to pasta. Pour sauce from skillet into pasta, chicken and vegetables, and let flavors combine.
8. Spoon pasta and chicken into bowls. Garnish with green onions. Serves 4-6.

Alternatives

Original Ingredient: Replace With:
Whole- penne rigate pasta brown rice pasta, semolina penne rigate pasta, or any type of short cut pasta 
boneless skinless chicken thighs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pork loin, steak, or extra firm tofu 
red onion shallots, yellow onion, or white onion 
cremini/shiitake mushrooms any type of mushrooms 
red bell pepper mild peppers (cubanelle, poblano, or Anaheim), medium heat  to hot peppers (fresno, jalapeño, chipotle in adobo,  serrano or habanero peppers), or any type of pepper 
garlic cloves ½ tsp garlic powder or 1-2 tsp minced garlic 
peanut butter I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, apple butter , sunflower seed butter, or almond butter 
soy sauce Shoyu soy sauce, gluten-free soy sauce, tamari sauce, or teriyaki sauce 
lemon lime 
chicken stock beef or vegetable stock 
green onions chives 

 

Tips

– To maintain freshness, wash green onions immediately when you bring them home from the store.  Dry off and store wrapped up in paper towels in a Ziploc® Brand Bag in refrigerator.

– Simply grate garlic with a zester/grater to make garlic paste.

– Alternate way to make garlic paste:  Peel and finely chop garlic, add a pinch or two of salt on top of garlic, and rub garlic repeatedly with sides of knife.

– Rub fingers on stainless steel underneath water to remove garlic smell from hands.

– Mashing/cracking garlic first allows for easier peeling.

– Clean mushrooms by wiping with a damp paper towel.  Don’t rinse under water.

– Do not salt mushrooms until after browning them.  Salt draws out the moisture from the mushrooms and slows down the cooking process.

– To peel ginger, use tip of spoon and scrape.  Store peeled ginger in Ziploc® Brand Bag in freezer to maintain freshness.  Do not store in pantry or refrigerator, as it will dry out faster.

– Use zester/grater to grate ginger.