If what I’m hearing is correct, 2012 is a year for change. It’s a hold-onto-your-hats-it’s-going-to-be-a-bumpy-ride kind of year. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that 2012 is going to be bad or good. But what it does mean is that we all need to focus on what matters most to us and let go of all of the superfluous “stuff” – there’s no time for it.
In keeping with that theme, I have done a lot (A LOT) of soul searching during the past couple of months. After leaving my job as a communications specialist and becoming a literary consultant and publicist, my days have become much more “my own” and my mind has gradually found much-needed clarity. I’ve found my cadence again, my rhythm. I’ve reignited my sense of humor, my patience and my curiosity about life. I’ve found what it means to be me. (And, for those of you who are wondering, that means I’ve rekindled my passion for music and teaching – two things that have always been a part of me, but that were hidden beneath layers of that aforementioned superfluous stuff.)
I think many of us are doing that this year – figuring out who we are and what we want to do with our lives. All of this talk about the end of the world as we know it (whether you believe that theory or not) has at least given us pause and has made us examine what we’re doing with our time here. We’re learning to not waste a moment. This is the year; the time is NOW.
My brother Dan and his girlfriend, Elissa, left this morning on an adventure of a lifetime. They will be traveling through Central and South America for the next 8-9 months – no agenda, no reservations, carrying nothing but a backpack and a camera. Some may call that crazy, but I call it inspiring.
When Dan and Elissa came to visit us back in December, they left something incredible behind – the most delicious Pad Thai recipe. Well, not the actual recipe, but the idea of it. Just like their free spirits, their idea of the dish was “a little of this” and “a little of that.” And it was perfect.
I’m sharing this dish with you as an ode to 2012 and to wish these two very special people bon voyage. Here’s to seizing the moment, to new adventures and to embracing this year of change!
1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and chopped
1 Tablespoon canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh ginger, minced (I like a lot of ginger, but adjust to suit your taste)
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
1 cup peanut butter
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
½ cup water (plus more to adjust, if needed)
1 box rice noodles
Bean sprouts, garnish
Lime wedge, garnish
Sauté the garlic and ginger in the canola oil until fragrant. Add the grated carrots and zucchini and sauté for about 1 minute; set aside.
Next, make the sauce. Combine the peanut butter, cider vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, water and red pepper flakes until creamy. Adjust the consistency to your liking by adding more water.
Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions; drain and return to the pan. Add the carrot and ginger mixture, chicken and sauce to the rice noodles; stir to combine.
To serve, top with fresh bean sprouts, cilantro, peanuts and a lime wedge, if desired.