Tag Archives: peanut butter

The Lazy Vegan: Sweet Sunday Breakfast

When I think about family meals, I find myself being truly grateful that my parents and siblings and I always ate at the table, together. My parents would cook, we would set the table, get our drinks, and then it would just be us and our meal. There was never any radio or TV or smart phone to distract us. Sunday mornings were especially nice: my parents would sometimes cook what I would now consider to be an extravagant breakfast consisting of eggs and sausages and pancakes, etc. Or, we would stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way home from church and have a junky breakfast together.

Fast forward to today. I woke up alone and wanting something comforting but healthy and easy for breakfast. This meal using items I always have in my kitchen met my criteria and was perfectly satisfying! It’s also a great meal for kids.

IMG_9813

Lazy Sunday Morning Waffles w/ Peanut Butter and a ‘Nana

1 frozen Van’s waffle (I love these. There a several varieties, many are gluten-free, and I can find them in any of my usual grocery stores)
1 banana
1-2 tbsp of Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams (again… awesome product from a vegan company that I can find in any of my usual grocery stores)

Directions:

Toast or bake the waffle according to the directions on the box.

Spread the peanut butter on the waffle.

Slice up a banana.

Put it all on a plate.

Eat.

IMG_9814

As easy as it was to make this, I found it to be so comforting. Today is one of those days when a meal can make or break my day. This definitely makes me feel more ready to face my day! –Melissa

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vegan Kare Kare 2.0

I haven’t cooked in awhile (I’m a lazy vegan, remember?) but I had a serious craving for kare kare last week. I think it was triggered by seeing the beginnings of my Dad’s garden this summer, particularly the eggplant. I’m so spoiled by the garden! Alas, there are no veggies yet. Thank goodness for grocery stores.

I previously made kare kare using soy curls and it was good, but I wanted to try something different this time. I didn’t want to drop a meat substitute altogether even though all-veggie kare kare would be satisfactory. I didn’t want to use tofu. I didn’t want to use mushrooms. I didn’t want to use squash.

So I used jackfruit — young, unripe jackfruit.

photo (8)

You can find canned young green jackfruit at any Asian grocery store. Make sure you get the jackfruit in brine, not syrup! It’s not to be confused with ripe yellow jackfruit, which is sweet (and delicious in halo halo… yum). I’ve seen unripe jackfruit used in savory dishes. Luminous Vegans has a great BBQ Jackfruit recipe that’s like a vegan pulled pork sandwich. My Mom adds it to dishes. There is a plethora of vegan Jackfruit ‘Carnitas’ Taco recipes on the Internet. With the shred-like texture of the jackfruit, some imagination and an open mind, the possibilities are endless.

Kare kare always seemed really complicated to me when I was younger and I realize now that it’s because of the meat component. You need to boil the oxtail. Sometimes, you need to boil it forever or use a pressure cooker, otherwise it won’t get tender and it’s just nasty. You need to skim out the garbage that shows up when you boil meat. And it takes a long time!

For vegan kare kare, you’re looking at maybe 15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cook time.

Vegan Kare Kare with Jackfruit

1 can young green jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
eggplant, cut into 2″ chunks (enough to make approx 2 cups, any eggplant will do)
1 cup sitaw (Chinese long beans), cut into about 2 inch pieces — regular green beans are fine, too
bok choy (3 babies or 1 adult)
2-3 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp achiote powder (optional)
oil
salt, to taste

Rinse and chop up all your veggies. for the jackfruit, I cut the chunks that came out of the can in half or in thirds, depending on how big they were. I made them about the same size as the eggplant pieces.

Heat up the pan and saute the onion and garlic in oil. When it gets fragrant, add the jackfruit, eggplant, and 1 cup of water. Mix it a bit, cover, and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Add the sitaw/beans and bok choy, cover, and let it all cook for another 3-5 minutes.

IMG_9466

Isn’t it pretty? The thing in the bottom middle is a piece of jackfruit.

When the veggies are just about cooked, stir things up a bit, being careful not to mash up any of the veggies. Then, make a well in the center of the pot and put in the peanut butter. The PB should melt completely. Add salt to taste. Add achiote if you want. It will give the dish a more reddish color. I didn’t add it this time around.

IMG_9469

Serve with white rice and bagoong (not vegan!) or a bagoong substitute. If you have the green-floral-border Corelle plates that every Filipino-American seems to have, use that for sentimental value. Follow it up with some halo halo with sweet jackfruit if you can. I’m so hungry now.

I’m pleased with my kare kare and jackfruit experiment, but I have to say that I think jackfruit would work better in sinigang (another Filipino dish) instead. I have yet to try it as BBQ or in a taco. Looks like I’ve got a lot of cooking to do! –Melissa

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spicy Peanut Chili Pizza!

This was our first in a line of experiments involving some of our favorite ingredients: PB2, Sriracha and tofu. We wanted pizza but didn’t have any of he traditional ingredients so we decided to wing it and make something Thai-inspired. We used a pre-made gluten-free pizza crust from the ZenCat bakery but you can use a storebought variety or make our home-made crust.
IMG_2508
For the sauce, I combined the following in our blender:
1 block of silken tofu
3 tablespoons of Sriracha or suitable substitute (or to taste)
2 Thai chilis, I used one red and one green (I also buy them in bulk and freeze them)
2 tbsp PB2 or regular peanut butter
IMG_2510
I blended it until it looked smooth while Brent prepared some soy curls.

IMG_2511

We topped it with some sliced tomato and Thai basil (cilantro would work well too) and then baked it until it had started to brown around the edges.

IMG_2512

A sprinkling of chopped peanuts (or cashews) really made this pizza interesting but it won’t suffer if you leave it off. It was creamy, spicy and decadent. It felt a lot naughtier than it was in terms of nutrition. The next time we do this, I’ll probably add some fresh cilantro or Thai basil after baking. I just love the cinnamon flavors it adds.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

An Apple a Day…

I realized today that I haven’t been eating much fruit lately. I forced down some oranges earlier in the week but have otherwise had no appetite for fruit… or really, any food. I wanted to be good today, so I snagged an apple from my sister’s kitchen and sliced it up into wedges.

To make things more fun and interesting (and inspired after rummaging through my nieces’ Halloween candy), I took a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter and softened it by heating it in the microwave for 10 seconds, stirring it, and then heating it for another 10 seconds. I took the melty peanut butter and drizzled it on the apple slices.

Voila! One of the easiest snacks ever!

Don’t forget to eat fruit, you guys. –Melissa

Tagged , , , ,

Lighter Thai Yellow Curry

Brent and I are still trying to find lighter versions of our favorites and yellow curry is on that list. We recently became acquainted with PB2 thanks to co-author Melissa and have found it to be everything it’s advertised to be: a low-fat full-flavor version of the comfort food I know and love. This made this dish possible along with 2 bags of generic frozen vegetables. As a biochemist I’ve learned that the best ways to preserve labile (that’s how biochemists say ‘unstable’) compounds is by storing them frozen or dried and preferably both. Dried and frozen veggies, nuts and fruits are something I often choose over canned or ‘fresh’ (i.e. not from our farmers’ market). While tinned and fresh produce is often useful and tasty, you never know how long it’s been sitting on a shelf or in the back of a refrigerated truck while the nutrients have been breaking down due to natural processes that can be slowed or stopped by freezing or drying. There is still a lot we don’t know about how our bodies work and scientists discover new compounds that are important to health and nutrition more often than you might think. Variety and well preserved or fresh foods are the best ways to make the most of compounds we don’t know about just yet, as far as I’m concerned.  I digress… lets talk curry. We used the following

1 lb. bag of generic frozen seasoning mix (pepper, onion, celery)

1 lb. bag of generic frozen mixed vegetables (zucchini. carrot, lima beans, cauliflower)

1 13.5 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained OR 1 cup of dried garbanzos, soaked overnight and parboiled

2 generous pinches of cumin seeds

2 tbsp minced ginger

3 Thai chilis, sliced

1 pinch of cayenne (optional)

1 pinch of cinnamon

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp PB2 dissolved in 1/2 cup water

1 tsp coconut or turbinado sugar (more if you like sweeter curry)

salt to taste

We combined the cumin seeds with minced ginger in a deep skillet with the olive oil. We stirred it over medium high heat until it was fragrant. We started the rice at this point because we used brown rice with took about 45 minutes. The curry was ready about 15 minutes before the rice.

To this we added the seasoning mix of vegetables, peppers, cinnamon, PB2 in water and chickpeas. I stirred it until the vegetables were thawed and heated thoroughly.

Then we added the rest of the veggies and sugar and stirred until the vegetables were hot and tender.

This was a lighter curry and tasted divine. Thanks to PB2 we had something light and nutritious and good enough to share though I’ll probably make some tweaks in the future. Let me know if you get to try this and what you’d do to improve on it.

This is Christie, signing off!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PB2: Powdered Peanut Butter

I was talking to a friend who’s a vegetarian (Hi, Yamini!) when she asked if I had heard of PB2. I had not. So she gave me some to try. How awesome is that?

PB2 is a powdered peanut butter product. Say what? Yep. Powdered peanut butter.

PB2 has three ingredients: roasted peanuts, sugar, and salt. It’s basically traditional peanut butter — without  fat or oil. Per their web site, this is how the product compares to traditional peanut butter:

AMAZING, right?! Making the peanut butter is easy. Simply mix 2 tbsp of the powder with 1 tbsp of PB2. Adjust as needed if you want something more runny or more thick.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t completely blown away by PB2, but if I hadn’t known that it started out as a powder, I would have been fooled. My six-year-old niece tried some, and she loved it! I do wonder why sugar was added; not a huge deal, though.

I prefer traditional peanut butter, but the nutrition facts speak for themselves. I sometimes go several days in a row when I eat peanut butter and toast for breakfast. The lower fat and calorie content, along with 5g of protein per serving, makes PB2 a GREAT option. In addition, having peanut butter in powder form makes it easy to mix into smoothies or when baking and cooking. I definitely intend to use PB2 next time I make kare kare.

Learn more about PB2 at their official web site! Let us know what you think if you try it, and I hope you do. –Melissa

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Hipster Chic Volume I : Peanut Butter Pickle Time

Growing up, my father introduced me to what would become a life-long obsession. And today, in this post, I will share the secret family recipe for this small slice of gourmet culinary nirvana. I present to you the peanut butter pickle sandwich.

Ingredients :
Bread
Peanut Butter
Pickles

Prep Time :
1 Hour (Without Instagram, 5 Minutes)

First, slice your bread. What we have here is an artisan gluten-free muesli loaf hand crafted locally here in Miami. Slice as many starchy canvases as you deem necessary. For this post, I will be making it face ouverte.

Next, take your peanut butter, and spread a generous layer on top of the bread prepared in the previous step. Don’t be shy with your peanut butter as it will be the mortar holding together what will become your masterpiece.

For the third step, take your pickles and slice them if they are not pre-sliced (as pictured here). This slightly sour ingredient will be what makes your sandwich sing. It compliments the creamy sweetness of the peanuts nicely.

Finally, enjoy the effing crap out of that sandwich. Treat it as a secret lover you meet with for a secret tryst after months of longing for its soft, lusty buss.

*Smugness in this post powered by Instagram

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kare Kare

Kare Kare is a Filipino dish that is usually made up of oxtail and vegetables in a peanut butter sauce. It’s also one of my favorite things to eat, like, ever. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present: Easy Vegan Kare Kare.

1 cup soy curls
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a big eggplant, cut into about 2 inch chunks (approx. 2 cups)
1 cup sitaw (Chinese long beans), cut into about 2 inch pieces — regular green beans are fine, too
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp achiote powder (optional)
olive oil
salt

First, take your one cup of soy curls and rehydrate them. While that’s happening, prepare your veggies. Any type of eggplant will do. You can put in as much veggies as you would like and even drop the soy curls altogether if you’d like. Eggplant and sitaw are the usual veggies we use; we also use bok choy most of the time. The sitaw came from the freezer… I can’t wait to show you guys the fresh ones once they start to pop up in my Dad’s garden.

When the soy curls are ready, drain the water. In a medium pot, heat up the olive oil and brown the garlic and onions. When it stats to get fragrant (and before the garlic starts to burn), toss in the soy curls and saute them with the onions and garlic. Once they’ve dried out a little, it will be time to add your veggies.

Toss the eggplant in first as they will take a bit longer than the beans to cook. Then, add about a cup of water to the pot. Cover and let the eggplants cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the beans and then cover it again for a few minutes.

Once the veggies are cooked, stir things up a bit. Then, make a well in the center of the pot and put in the peanut butter. The PB should melt completely and acts as both a flavor and thickening agent.

Taste the sauce and add some salt to taste. Add the achiote powder as the final step. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but this gives the kare kare its reddish color.

You can eat the kare kare on its own, but I prefer to have it with white rice. The soy curls are a good protein to use, particularly because it is reminiscent of tripe (I know… gross) which is also used a lot in kare kare. What’s the green stuff, you ask? Kare kare is nothing without some bagoong or salted shrimp paste. I was so super jazzed when I found this recipe for raw vegan bagoong on ASTIG Vegan. I couldn’t follow it exactly because I don’t have any dulse, so I improvised and crushed up about 4 sheets of salted seaweed snack instead. It’s wacky, but it actually worked really nicely as a bagoong substitute.

OMG, you guys. You have no idea how excited I am that this recipe worked. BTW – Happy Independence Day. Be safe! –Melissa

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Veggie Hash with Spicy Lime Peanut Sauce!

This was another experiment. I’m capricious and easily influenced by how pretty things look. Fortunately, vegetables are also delicious so it has been working in my favor more often than not. To make the hash, assemble the following:
1 generous pinch of chili powder
Earth Balance butter as needed
chipotle pepper as needed
1 1/2 cup corn (frozen is fine)
1 sweet potato, peeled, diced
2-3 tomatillos, diced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
garlic salt to taste
chipotle pepper to taste
14 ounce can blackeyed peas OR 1 cup of blackeyed peas, soaked
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Heat a large skillet on medium-high with 1-2 tbsp Earth Balance until it melts. Swirl to coat the pan. Add the corn, sweet potato, scallion, paprika, garlic salt. Stir occasionally until the sweet potato is soft.
Add blackeyed peas and stir to mix well; cook 1 more minute or until sweet potato are soft and blackeyed peas are warm through. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.
 
To make the spicy lime peanut sauce, combine the following:
 1/2 cup almond milk
juice from 1 lime (use a fork to get more of the juice out as shown)
zest from the lime
2 tsp peanut butter

Mix well and adjust the seasonings to taste.

 
I served mine with spinach that I prepared with garlic and jalapeño. I plated the spinach and add the roasted corn, yam, and blackeyed peas mixture to the center of the spinach. Add the spicy peanut lime sauce as desired, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
We hope you enjoy it!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pad Thai, oh my!

Pad Thai is something that I routinely order at Thai restaurants because if you ask them to omit the egg it’s vegan and gluten-free. Tofu or tempeh also makes a nice addition to the meal. If you’re on a budget or want to make this classic a little healthier you should make it at home. Brent and I took some tips from Vegan Black Metal Chef and made this our own with some substitutions. To prepare this dish we assembled the following ingredients.
1 package of brown rice noodles (use 8oz for 3 people)
1 bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 head of cabbage cut into ribbons (we couldn’t find mung bean sprouts)
1 tomato, diced
1 package of Chinese style water packed tofu
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
6 cloves of garlic, minced
ginger, we used a piece about the size of half a big toe
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
3-4oz. tamarind (frozen, soup base, or powdered)
2-4 tbsp molasses
1 lime, sliced for a garnish
olive oil
water
salt to taste

Before you do anything, break the noodles in half and place them in a large bowl of warm water to soak.

Cut the tofu into bite sized pieces. Place the tofu on a paper towel and stack 2 paper towels on top and put a pan or a bowl on top to help drain the moisture from the tofu. This will help keep it from falling apart when you cook it later.

Also cut your veggies into bite sized pieces and set them aside.

Put the peanuts, garlic, ginger, crushed pepper, peanut butter, and most of the cilantro (save some for a garnish) into a bowl and cover with 1-2 cups of water. This next part is tricky because it’s about your taste and type of ingredients. I add 3-4 ounces of frozen tamarind paste.

You can also use 1 tbsp tamarind paste or soup base. This is what gives the dish it’s tartness so add it slowly, tasting it until it’s ‘right’. I add about 2 tablespoons of molasses but I don’t like it particularly sweet. Stir it all together and just keep tasting it until you like the flavor of the sauce.

Put a little olive oil, maybe a teaspoon or two, in a large pan and add the tomato. Heat it for about a minute.

Then add the shredded cabbage or bean sprouts and stir the for 3-4 minutes. Drain the water from and add the noodles, they don’t have to be too dry. A little liquid is fine.

Add the tofu, broccoli, bell pepper and the sauce and stir it all together. Keep stirring on medium high heat for another 6-10 minutes or until the noodles are soft and have absorbed the sauce.

Serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts and a lime wedge.

Extra vegetables you can add: 1 bunch scallions cut into 1 inch pieces, broccoli florets, 1 small head of bok choy chopped into ribbons instead of or in addition to bean sprouts or cabbage. I hope you get to try this delicious dish.

Until then, this is Christie and Brent, signing off.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: