Friday, November 19, 2010

Spicy Garlic Peanut Sauce w/ Sauted Veggies and Japanese Noodles

If you love garlicy, spicy, Asian-inspired food, this recipe is going to be a gold mine for you!  I was told about this recipe idea from my sister, whose friend, Leah made it for her one night...she said it was, "so good, that I literally ate it until I wanted to throw up"!  (Pardon the reference to vomit while talking about food, but I figure most of us have been there before!)  I quickly got the recipe from Leah, and of course, with my own variations, came up with this gorgeous dish that is a confusing mix of satisfying, yet keeping you wanting more!  It's loaded with fresh veggies, and don't worry, it's not too spicy!  (Leah is a self-proclaimed "spice baby" who can handle it!)

The Sauce:

2 c. peanut butter (obviously make sure there's no added sugar, and no hydrogenated oils)...I actually used a blend of chunky p.b. (which I bought on one in my family will eat it!) and creamy...but use what you have available.
1 1/2 c. water
2 t. cumin
2 T. fresh garlic (I used the tube kind, because if I chop garlic, my hands smell like it for days...unpleasant!)
1 T. garlic powder (if you don't love the taste of garlic like I can skip this)
4 T. low sodium soy sauce (if you don't have low sodium on hand, just use 2-3 T. of regular)
2 T. chili garlic sauce (you can find this in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (if you're scared of the heat, bump this down to 1/4 t...or even 1/8 t. if you're REALLY scared!)
1/4 t. chili powder
3 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice

-Mix together in a food processor, or by hand, either way works (if you're doing it by hand, use warm water and heat the p.b., as it will be much easier to stir!)

-Let set for at least an hour in the fridge

-Note:  Mine ended up thickening quite a bit, so I added 1 c. of unsweetened almond milk to thin it back out!

-This makes a LOT of sauce, so portion it out and freeze it for next time!!

-One more thing:  you can use this recipe to marinate tofu and tempeh in!  Give it a good 3 hours to marinate, and then cook like you normally would!

The Veggies:

-In a saute pan combine over medium heat combine:

1/4-1/2 c. water (enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
1 T. garlic powder
2 T. low sodium soy sauce (or 1 T. of regular...gotta watch that sodium!)
1 T. garlic chili sauce
1 section of a red pepper (around 1/8 of the whole one), sliced
1/2 c. broccoli pieces
10 pea pods (unless you want more!)
1/4 c. matchstick carrots
1/8 c. water chestnuts (halved or chopped)

-Note:  These veggies are a suggestion, so if there are some that you don't like, omit them, and if there are others that you REALLY like, add more...some other things that may work are:
palm hearts
yellow squash
peas (minus the pod)

The Noodles:

-Bring water to a boil and add 1 bundle of Japanese style noodles (yaki soba, buckwheat, udon...whichever you like the best...or, just do it over regular spaghetti if you really want to!)

-Cook according to package directions for al dente (slightly firm, not mushy)

-Drain, rinse, place back into the pan, and add 1/2 c. Spicy Garlic Peanut Sauce per bundle of noodles, and cook just a few extra minutes to let the noodles absorb some of the flavors.

-You can toss your veggies right into the noodles, or serve them over doesn't matter, except that it looks prettier if you serve them over if you're trying to impress...on top...if not...toss in!

-Garnish with: (and these are optional suggestions...just use the ones you like)

mung bean sprouts (HIGHLY recommended)
cashews or peanuts (preferably not salted)...chopped or whole
fresh cilantro...not only is it really pretty for presentation, but it tastes SO fresh
a drizzle of sriracha (found in most Asian sections of the grocery store...very spicy)
sesame seeds
wedge of lime to squeeze over it

-There are so many options for changing this dish up to  make it your own, and to fit your family's tastes!  Have fun with it!!

-Note:  To complete the meal, go to the freezer section of your grocery store, and grab some vegan spring rolls!  Don't forget to eat with chop sticks, and if you're doing a dinner party, grab some fortune cookies for after dinner!  Success!

-Another Note:  1 bundle of noodles will serve roughly 2 consider the amount of veggies and noodles with the 1/2 c. of sauce to be a serving for two.  (There is probably enough sauce to feed 8 people...if I had to guess!)

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