13 December 2012

Almost Thai (Peanut Butter) Pasta

One of the best things about being veg*n is that I've become way more open to eating new types of food or food combinations, in addition to getting more adventurous with food overall. I don't want to lead you toward thinking that I'm up for anything (as I'm certainly NOT), but I do eat a larger variety of foods than I ever did pre-veg*n.

A type food that I started eating post going veg*n is Thai food. I love it! I love curries and spices with lime and peanuts everywhere! Unfortunately, for most of the past few years, we haven't had good Thai food near us (there's an AMAZING Thai restaurant in Dayton, but it's pricey and about a 45 minute drive). More recently, a Thai restaurant opened here in Richmond. It's good food, but we haven't been that often.

Instead, we sometimes eat a meal that is Thai-inspired at home, despite its lack of authenticity. The beauty of this meal is three-fold: it is easy, fast, and cheap! Based heavily on a recipe from The Garden of Vegan, this recipe uses foods that are already in a well-stocked veg*n kitchen. Plus, it's super omnivore-friendly!
We didn't have any peanuts tonight, so this picture is missing them. Bummer. 

Peanut Butter Pasta
Ingredients
8 oz. dry whole wheat pasta (we usually use rotini)
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. hot water
2 T. Braggs
2 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, pressed/minced
1/2 tsp. cayenne (or more, if you like things spicy)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. sugar
2 heads broccoli, chopped
1/3 head cauliflower, chopped
chopped peanuts (dry roasted or not), optional garnish

Directions
1. In a large pot, boil water for the pasta, cook as per package directions.
2. Mix peanut butter and hot water together with a whisk. It will take a minute, but it eventually becomes a smooth paste.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the broccoli, cauliflower, and peanuts) to the peanut butter, stir to combine.

4. When pasta is close to done, add broccoli and cauliflower to the pot and cook until noodles and veggies are done.
5. Drain noodles/veggies, pour sauce over and stir to combine.
6. Top with peanuts, if desired.

Helpful Hints
  • Yes. Peanut butter. Don't get scared, it's really awesome!
  • Have we talked about Braggs yet? If  not, it's a dark liquid similar to soy sauce (but not the same thing). You can find it in a well-stocked grocery store. It's very versatile!
  • This is absolutely something you can ramp up to feed a crowd, though you may want to cook the veggies separately from the pasta in that case. 
  • Feel free to put in other veggies that you like and/or have on hand. 
  • The original recipe called for twice the amount of cayenne pepper as listed above. That much is too much for our palates, but go for it if you can handle heat! 

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