Monday, October 12, 2009

Meatless Monday: Lime Peanut Noodles

Last week, when I was drafting my post about PB&J, I came across the following recipe and thought YUM! I love soba noodles but hadn't had any in quite a while, and I love satay sauce in Thai restaurants but had never tried making my own peanut sauce before, so I was intrigued. I had almost all the ingredients in the refrigerator, and the cooking prep seemed super quick and easy, so I said, "Why not?!"

Lime Peanut Noodles

I know, I know. After all the hemming and hawing I did about never willfully eating another carrot or radish after the bushels of it we got from Underwood Family Farms, here I am making a recipe that calls for both. What can I say?

I wasn't so sure about this dish when I saw it coming together, but I'm happy to say, despite appearances, it tasted great. Here are the few adjustments I made or would suggest:

I substituted parsley for the cilantro (surprise-surprise!) and didn't use as much as was called for. I used a julienne peeler on the carrots. I didn't use as many radishes as it called for. It suggests cutting the cucumber and radishes thinly, but I would actually suggest chopping them finely; I think you can toss the ingredients with the soba noodles more easily that way.

Got any favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday posts

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meatless Monday: PB&J

In this post, instead of a recipe, I offer a reminder of how easy it is to go meatless for just one day.

Feeling like there's nothing meatless in the house that sounds appetizing? Oh, come onnn. You must at least have a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly on hand. Who doesn't love a good PB&J now and again?? Who, I ask you?! I say there's nothing like a PB&J and a tall glass of milk to make you feel young again. So simple, so satisfying, . . . and (who knew) also very good for the environment. Check out the details at The PB&J Campaign.

Opening up and carving your knife into a new jar of peanut butter has to be right up there on life's list of simple pleasures. And there are so many different nut butters and brands to choose from! My husband likes Laura Scudder's brand peanut butter, which is an old-fashioned peanut butter with no hydrogenated oils and no trans fats. It's tasty but a little high-maintenance because the oil separates from the peanut butter in the jar and you need to stir it with every use. That's why I bought him the Witmer peanut butter mixer (model 100) as a stocking stuffer a couple of years back. Works like a charm. Others adore Nutella (a hazelnut butter). Personally, I find it a little too sweet for a whole sandwich.

If no brand satisfies you, you can always make your own nut butter from scratch too -

And there are tons of jellies and jams from which to choose as well. There is everything from the jam your grandma makes from scratch, to the tiny jars of exotic fruit preserves dressed up in gingham cloth and ribbon at gourmet boutiques, to the big-brand standbys in new squeezable bottles, to the Frankenjam concoctions of jelly and peanut butter in one jar (for the truly lazy . . . and, apparently, taste bud-impaired).

Everyone seems to have their favorite ingredients when it comes to PB&J, even celebrities. For instance, most folks know that Elvis loved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. But did you know that Jerry Seinfeld will only eat one kind of peanut butter? They make it at Peanut Butter and Co. If you're in the NYC area and feeling just too lazy to slap some PB&J on two slices of bread yourself, you can check out Jerry's favorite yourself at the company's sandwich shop in Greenich Village. Some of their sandwiches sound more like desserts (e.g., the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Sandwich), but to each his own.

Me? I'm happy with a plain ol' tub of Jif. And I usually go old-school with a jar of Welch's Concord grape. But I do mix it up once in a while with raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry jelly . . . or even . . . FLUFF. Ohh, the Fluffernutter! A whole other topic for another day.

How do you PB&J?

Got any favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday posts