It’s state standardized testing week in Louisiana. I have lots to say about how I feel about that, but I’ll just say this:
If teachers are constantly told to differentiate our instruction because every student learns differently and we must adapt our teaching style to meet each child’s learning style, then why do we give every single one of them the same test? If they all learn differently, doesn’t it make sense that they would all test differently, too? And I don’t just mean that some of them should be in a smaller group or have part of the test read aloud. I mean that the entire test should be made differently to meet each need. Impossible? Not really. Ask any teacher worth her salt how she teaches a roomful of students who each need something different. She adapts her lesson in a dozen different ways each and every day to make sure that every kid in her room gets the best possible chance to learn and succeed.
Okay. I’ll step down off my soapbox.
I am testing a small group – one of many small testing groups at our school. I am administering the test to four fourth graders. It makes for a long morning! And I find that any time I am not teaching my regular classes in the regular way, the day. Just. Drags. By. By the time I get home, I’m tired and cranky and tired and tired and tired.
And then I have to cook dinner.
I always try to keep the ingredients for this super-fast meal on hand. It is a great one to pull out any time I really don’t want to spend another hour on my feet. I have, in fact, posted this recipe twice before. Once in its original form: Hummus Sesame Noodles and a second time with a variation: Red Pepper Hummus Sesame Noodles. Both are well-loved and often-used in our house.
Tonight, I added shrimp!
Hummus Sesame Noodles with Pan-Roasted Shrimp
- 1 pound of angel hair pasta
- 1 12-ounce container of hummus
- 1/2 cup of vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/3 cup of toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup of snow peas, sliced very thinly on an angle
- 3-5 green onions, sliced very thinly on an angle
- 1 cup of dry roasted peanuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds
- 2 pounds of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- sesame oil
Boil pasta in salted water for 6-8 minutes.
While pasta is boiling, in a large bowl, whisk together hummus, stock, soy sauce, oil, and 1/3 cup of sesame seeds.
Slice snow peas and onions. Chop peanuts. Mix together peas, onions, and 1/2 cup of the peanuts. Set aside.
When pasta is cooked, scoop it out and into the hummus mixture. Keep the pasta cooking water!! Toss to coat all the noodles. Let cool for 15 minutes.
While the noodles are cooling, heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add about a third of the shrimp to the hot pan and sprinkle with a little salt. After 2-3 minutes, stir the shrimp and drizzle with just a little sesame oil (about a teaspoon, but just eyeball it). Stir for another 2-3 minutes until shrimp are pink and curled. Pour shrimp into the bowl with the noodles and cook another third of the shrimp the same way. Lastly, cook the last third of the shrimp and add it to the bowl. Add two cups of pasta cooking liquid and stir. Toss to combine.
Place noodles and shrimp into bowls or plates, top with the snow pea mixture. Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and peanuts.
Well Duh #1: You can use any variety of hummus that you like. I used a roasted garlic variety, but I can see this dish going lots of places with different kinds of hummus. Roasted red bell pepper, in particular, is next on my list!
Well Duh #2: When you slice the snow peas, make your slices VERY thin.
Well Duh #3: You may need to add more cooking liquid. Elizabeth and I ate dinner, but Michael and Christopher ate 30 minutes later. By the time they came home, the noodles had drunk up all the sauce, so I added about a cup more of the cooking liquid. You want the noodles to be loose, but not drowning in liquid.
Well Duh #4: I used frozen shrimp and just thawed them in a strainer in the sink by running cool water over them for about 5 minutes.
Well Duh #5: I couldn’t find the whole wheat angel hair pasta that I bought (pretty sure the pantry ate it!), so I had to use regular spaghetti. If you do this, just be sure to cook it a little while longer until it’s tender.
This really is a family favorite. By adding shrimp, it went to the next level! Since Christopher can’t have pasta right now, I cooked the final third of the shrimp for him and just added a cup of sliced snow peas while it was cooking. He got the same snow pea, onion, peanut, and sesame seed topping that we got. He loved it! This whole meal took 15 minutes from start to finish – including thawing the shrimp!