Ariel and boyfriend Garth have a new after-dinner tradition: She sings while he plays the piano. "We normally do jazz standards, since that's what he knows best. 'My Funny Valentine' is one we both love," says Ariel. "I'm trying to convince him to learn how to play some alt-folk stuff, too. It's an ongoing effort!"

“I love trying new dishes,” says Ariel Horowitz of Somerville, Massachusetts. “My boyfriend Garth is a vegetarian and I eat meat but am picky about vegetables so dating him has really caused me to broaden my horizons. I’m trying to learn to cook different cuisines--from Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Jewish to Thai and Asian fusion. I hope to start trying Indian food soon!”

Ariel’s Peanut Noodles are a hit with Garth and their friends who come over for dinner about once a week. Ariel loves that the flavors taste even more wonderful when she makes the recipe ahead of time, which often works out perfectly with her class schedule.

“My favorite dinners to have with my boyfriend, honestly, are any ones where I’m not rushed,” says Ariel, who also volunteers at a women’s health clinic. “We do every sort of dinner, from an entree and salad and sides at the table, to homemade pizza and root beer while watching a movie.

“I am thankful to have someone so caring and generous in my life. My boyfriend makes me feel special and loved.”

Peanut Noodles

This recipe from Ariel Horowitz makes for a nice meatless meal or a spicy side dish.

  • 8 oz. whole wheat rotini
  • 1 TB. sesame oil
  • 1/3 Cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 Cup teriyaki (preferred) or low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TB. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TB. mirin or xiaoxing cooking wine (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. POWDERED GINGER
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. CHINESE FIVE SPICE (preferred) or GROUND WHITE PEPPER, to taste
  • 1-2 TB. peanut oil
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/3 Cup chopped cashews

Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain well. While the pasta is cooking, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, peanut butter, teriyaki sauce, rice wine vinegar and mirin (to measure the peanut butter easily, measure the sesame oil into a spoon and pour into 1/2 cup measure to coat the sides, then measure out the peanut butter with the oil-coated cup). Add the SPICES 1/4 tsp. at a time, whisking between additions. Gradually add the oil until the mixture has a sauce-like consistency as opposed to being thick and sticky (how much oil this takes depends on the kind of peanut butter used). Stir in the scallions and nuts. Add the pasta and stir to coat. Chill and serve.

Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Nutritional Information: Servings 6;
Serving Size 1 cup (119g); Calories 450; Calories from fat 230; Total fat 26g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 430mg; Carbohydrate 44g; Dietary Fiber 9g.

Peanut Noodles

Need any spices for this recipe?

Description Price Quantity
Garlic Powder Granulated 1.3 oz. 1/4 cup jar $3.79
Powdered China #1 Ginger .9 oz. 1/4 cup jar $3.65
Chinese Five Spice Powder .9 oz. 1/4 cup jar $4.35
White Pepper Fine 1.0 oz. 1/4 cup jar $3.89