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Peanutty Noodles

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Got to make this snappy because I’m zonked. Cross-eyed and kooky after an insane exam and 3 hours of staining and microscopic examination. Blah.

Dinner was delicious, and consumed in about 1.816 seconds. That happened for a number of reasons. First, I was starving — I killed myself lifting at the gym (I hate wall sits!) and also, I literally had 4 minutes to eat before I had to leave.

hpim2840SPICY PEANUT NOODLES

  • 6oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained and diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha (or red pepper flakes) (adjust to your taste buds)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. When pasta has about 2 minutes left to cook, throw broccoli into the pot with it.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the tofu however you like. You can bake it, or pan-fry it. I tried to pan-fry.
  4. While pasta and tofu cook, in a small saucepan, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, and garlic until smooth. Simmer sauce about 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thick for your liking (mine was pretty thick but I like it that way), you can thin it out a bit with a tablespoon or two of the pasta cooking water.
  5. Drain pasta and broccoli and put in a large bowl.
  6. Add carrots and cooked tofu.
  7. Dump in sauce and mix around until everything is coated.
  8. Enjoy!

I really enjoyed this. Peanut butter and spiciness go so well together. The tofu was pretty lackluster. No crispy crust on it. I don’t think I can really fry things that well. Brent will remain Tofu King in our house. This makes 2 or 3 servings. I think like 2 servings, and then a bitty baby portion that I may eat with lunch tomorrow (assuming Brent did not eat it while I was at class tonight.)

If you haven’t already, check out Meghann’s Blogging Bake Sale! Everything looks great and is going like crazy. The toffee is going for $40!

Spicy Peanut & Eggplant Soup

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Its cold. I’m not complaining, merely stating an excruciatingly obvious fact. Spring cannot come quickly enough. I can handle the cold (by handle I mean curl up in a down blanket and sit by the fire) when I’m at home, but I’ve been running around a lot this morning, getting test results, some quick shopping, and a trip to the post office where I mailed my Secret Valentine Exchange Gift! I’m back home and planning to stay that way until I go get Brent from work. I’m planning to use my time wisely and do some reviewing for my entrance exam. 😦

One of the things I love about cooking and baking is how a recipe almost never tastes the same each time you make it. Use the same ingredients, the same method, but there will still be a slight difference. Unfortunately though, that sometimes means things aren’t as wonderful the second time around. I made the Spicy Peanut and Eggplant Soup from Veganomicon a while ago, truthfully I have no idea how long ago, but it has definitely been awhile. I remember really liking it, as I do with most soups that have peanut butter in them. I find them very warming and soothing.

hpim2752No one would ever call this soup bad. I certainly wouldn’t and I doubt you would either. It’s a good soup. Just not as great as I remembered. The broth is the standout; slightly spicy and buttery feeling, I really love it. I’m not really feeling the chunky veggies in it this time around though. I just want that cube of eggplant and rings of shallots to get out of my way and leave me to my delicious, soothing, peanuty broth. Alas. I ate it, chunky vegetables and all, but with so many wonderful soups to make, I don’t know that this will be making a reappearance too soon.

But I really do LOVE soups with peanut butter in them, so if you have any that I should make, send them my way. 🙂

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

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I did not get Brent any crackers to take with his lunch. (His lunch always has like 5 parts. Dudes eat a lot.) So, I had to make him another component. We had 2 bananas left from last week that were brown, and to spice things up a bit I decided to add some peanut butter too.

hpim26281I wanted to make the lower-fat banana bread from Veganomicon, but I was out of applesauce, so I just decided to play around. I usually find quick breads and muffins are pretty forgiving.

There wasn’t really a method to my madness, I was just throwing stuff into the bowl until it felt like the right consistency. Brent (not normally a muffin man) said they taste good, so he approves.

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA MUFFINS

  • 2 medium, over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (if your PB isn’t salted, maybe add 1/2 tsp)
  1. Beat banana, PB, and sugar together until homogenized.
  2. Add in oil and milk and stir to fully combine.
  3. Sift together flours, salt, baking soda and spices.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. If mix looks too dry, feel free to add a dash more milk. PBs can vary in consistency.
  5. Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes.
  7. I got 11 muffins, but I probably didn’t plan well, so you should be able to get a dozen.

hpim2633

I really like the combination of peanut butter and banana in these. Neither is very “in your face,” but they both work really well together. The muffins aren’t super moist. I think they’re more cakey in texture. I recommend enjoying one of these with a glass of milk. Really tasty. I think I’ll definitely make these again, maybe with some almond butter.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies!

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I love peanut butter and jelly. A lot. I eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, but I decided to make it a cookie tonight. Well, I didn’t decide tonight. I’m been thinking, hoping and dreaming about it lately and tonight was the night. I wanted to originally “hide” the jelly in the cookies, but then I thought maybe that seemed a bit unwieldy. That jelly could come flying out of there at a moment’s notice. So I chose to keep my eye on it and do some thumbprint cookies.

These cookies represent everything that is perfect and wonderful about PB&J. Maybe when I have children, I will make them these cookies and they and their friends will love them and I will be the coolest mom on the block… or maybe my kids will throw a fit and ask why they can’t eat Chips Ahoy and go to McDonald’s like the other kids.

My first batch, seen on the right, I feel I made the thumbprint too deep and wide.

After biting into it, I could tell this cookie was structurally unsound. Notice the droopy middle.

I made adjustments to the next batch.

These were an improvement. Brent’s reaction upon biting into it, “Yep. Peanut butter and jelly.” He’s a man of few words, but I guess that’s the “flavor profile” I was going for so I can’t complain. I may make other modifications to this recipe, maybe sub out yogurt for something else to make the peanut butter part crunchier, but the recipe as I just made it is posted to the right.The peanut butter cookies are “cakey” because of the yogurt.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup soy yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon soy milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup preserves, jam or jelly.

PREPARATION:

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Cream together peanut butter, yogurt and sugar.
  • Add soy milk and extract
  • Add flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Scoop out by by the tablespoon on the baking sheet, make into circle and then press a slight indent into the middle.
  • Fill the middles with 1 teaspoon jam, preserves or jelly.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Cool before eating.

In other news, I bought a new ingredient tonight. Any guesses as to what I’m planning on making? The winner will get a sweet mention on this blog, which is not something to take lightly. I’m pretty sure a few of my friends read it.

And, I got a Basil plant… more pesto!