Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vegan Peanut Noodles - and they are GOOD

In our second week of Meatless Monday I had Nick take over.  As I have said before, part of the reason I actually started to work on my culinary skills is because Nick actually has major skills in the kitchen and exercises them often.  This was actually one the first dishes he made for me when we started dating. 

One of his good friends used to be vegan and passed along this recipe.  When he told me about it I was skeptical because I really wondered how something vegan could be good, but this really was!  In honor of Meatless Monday I thought it would be worth going above and beyond and have a VEGAN Meatless Monday, which in turn leads us to the first edition of Nick Cooks - he even took pictures!

The necessities...

1 cup of peanut butter
1 -1/2 cup of coconut oil (or a 14 oz can works too)
1 teaspoon cooking oil (veggie oil)
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon grated/finely chopped ginger root
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
Zest of 2 limes (not required by recommended)
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
Hot sauce to taste - 12 dashes
Fresh scallions and peanuts to garnish
Snap Peas

The Ingredients
A couple of notes about some of the ingredients: the actuall recipe calls for natural peanut butter, but since Nick thinks it oily - or to use his terms "oily and gross" - he used normal peanut butter.  Also, you can use any type of pasta you prefer, but you want something longer and flatter that holds the sauce better than other types of pastas. 

Nick also knows I am crazy so he went ahead and cut everything up and took a lovely picture.

All chopped up!
Now that the garlic was chopped and ready to go, it gets sauteed for about 1 minute.  He then grated in the ginger root and stirred it together for about 3-5 minutes. 

Ready for the good stuff
At this point, the peanut butter and coconut milk is added to the saute pan and combined.  The main note here is DO NOT LET THE MIX BOIL!  After the components are all combined, he added the sugar (Nick did not add the full amount), the hot sauce, the lime juice and cilantro.  We are a household that loves things extra spicy, so maybe 12 dashes might be a bit more than what some may like.

The Peanut Sauce
Once it was all blended the sauce came off the heat.  While all of this was going on, Nick boiled the pasta, and during the last 2 minutes of cooking time tossed in the broccoli and snap peas to slightly cook them.  The recipe doesn't call for anything besides pasta and the peanut sauce, but we added the veggies to the dish to give it an extra added umph - that and we wouldn't need a side dish.  The chopped peanuts add a nice garnish to the top.

Served Up!
This dish is actually very hearty and filling for something that is vegan.  Meatless Monday was just a great excuse to ask him to make it again.  So another successful edition of Meatless Monday and Nick Cooks all in one!

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