Posts Tagged 'peanuts'

Szechuan Cucumbers with Peanuts

Here is a cold salad that will warm up your winter.  It’s a good buffet dish because you can make it ahead and add the peanuts and cilantro later.  Or even make it without the peanuts to avoid allergies. This salad has that nice combination of tangy sour, sweet, and hot.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light, and I served the salad at a buffet lunch in my office, where it had no leftovers to take home.

Szechuan Cucumbers with Peanuts

1/4 cup chopped peanuts (I use dry roasted to avoid the extra oil)
½ cup rice vinegar
4 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 ½ Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 medium cucumbers, peeled
1 small red onion (about ¾ cup), thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Toast peanuts over medium heat in a small skillet, 4-6 minutes, until they are fragrant and just start to brown.  Stir frequently to prevent burning.  Remove from heat and set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper, ginger, and black pepper.  Halve cucumbers lengthwise, remove seeds, and slice thinly cross wise. Add cucumbers and onion to dressing and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Sprinkle peanuts and cilantro on salad just before serving.  Makes 6 servings  with 2 grams of fat/serving.

cucumber-peanut-salad1

Peanut Udon Noodles wth Lemon, Ginger, and Chives

One of the few things I miss eating very low fat, especially when I am in weight-losing rather than maintenance mode, is peanut butter.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are one of my favorite comfort foods.  I have been known to eat peanut butter straight off the spoon.  It’s not that you can’t eat peanut butter – you can eat just about anything if you account for its fat grams – but at 16 grams for a 2 tablespoon serving, it takes up a good hunk of your daily grams.  I did find something called Better’n Peanut Butter.  It has 2 grams of fat/serving.  It isn’t “better’n”, but it actually makes a decent PB&J sandwich.

So I am always looking for recipes that give me the taste of peanut butter but spread the peanut butter out over several servings.  I found this recipe in my daughter’s blog.  She got it from cookthink, a blog I am going to explore for more recipes.  It makes a good dinner side dish with perhaps a chicken breast or an Asian-style pork tenderloin.  I made it to have something interesting and filling to take for lunch.  A spoonful of water in the container and into the microwave – it reheats nicely.

Peanut Udon Noodles with Ginger, Lemon, and Chive

About 3/4 lb udon noodles (I used a half pound package of fresh noodles, or you could use about 3 packages of dry)
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ cup water
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain them. Combine all remaining ingredients except chives in a small saucepan and simmer for five minutes, whisking to dissolve peanut butter. Stir chives into sauce and simmer for another 30 seconds, then pour over noodles and toss to combine.  This makes 4 servings at about 5 grams of fat/serving.

udon-noodles

Variations: If you want it to be very lemony, add another tablespoon of lemon juice.  Or omit the lemon juice altogether and you will have noodles similar the sesame noodles you sometimes get in Asian restaurants.  You can also sprinkle the finished udon with ¼ cup of chopped, dry-roasted peanuts, but you will need to add 4 grams of fat/serving, or 9 grams/serving total (but it’s very good this way if you have room in your gram count).

Hint: To chop peanuts, measure them out and put them in a small sealable plastic bag. Pound them all over with a heavy knife handle or the bottom of a glass or cup until they are the size you’d like them.


ABOUT KAREN

I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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