peanut

Faux Thai Peanut "Noodles"

Ever since I got engaged in November I have been trying my best to eat less carbs...I mean have you ever tried on wedding dresses? Most of the designer gowns come off the runway and go right to the Trunk Shows, so yea were talking size 2 and less. Needless to say the less bloat the better. Although I am trying to eat healthier I still want to enjoy my meals especially after a long work day.  This dish is truly crave-able because it has one of the most craved ingredients in it, Peanut Butter. The peanut butter gives it the creamiest most delicious texture, the soy sauce gives it the perfect umami salty bite and the lime and cilantro both cut through the richness with their fresh flavor. Peanut Butter noodles in an Asian Restaurant can really pack a punch in the carb/calorie department but swapping the pasta out for Spaghetti Squash makes this almost guilt free. And hey it is Vegan and Gluten Free (if you use GF soy sauce)!

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Ingredients-

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chunky Peanut Butter (or whatever kind you like, creamy will work as well)
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sesame Oil (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice and more for Garnish
  • 1 Medium Garlic Glove
  • 1.5 Teaspoons freshly grated peeled Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • Freshly Chopped Cilantro
  • Black Sesame Seeds or Chopped Peanuts (Garnish) (optional)

Steps-

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the Spaghetti Squash lengthwise and brush the inner flesh with Olive Oil and Season with Salt, Black Pepper and a squeeze of fresh Lime juice.  
  3. Roast on a parchment lined sheet pan cut side down.Roast for roughly 45 minutes or until you can easily puncture the outside skin with a fork.  While the squash is roasting make the sauce.
  4. When the squash is done, scrape the inside of the squash into strands with a fork, it will resemble spaghetti. Leave it a little al dente so it has a slight bite like pasta. 
  5.  In a food processor or bullet blender, puree the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice water,  grated ginger, garlic clove, Sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. In a large pan or pot on low heat toss the cooked spaghetti squash with the sauce until the sauce is fully incorporated. Plate and season with salt and pepper as needed but the soy is salty so you may not need it. Squeeze Fresh lime juice over the top and top with fresh chopped Cilantro and Black Sesame Seeds or Chopped Peanuts. Serve and enjoy! 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crumb Cake

I have to honest, this cake gets me going, it is so darn delicious! My boyfriend and I are very opposite, from our appearance to our personalities, we are pretty ying and yang, but as you know opposites attract! Something we do have in common, besides our names (Danielle and Daniel), is we LOVE Peanut butter and chocolate together, so back in September I came up with this recipe for Dan's birthday.  We are two weeks away from Christmas now and this is the perfect cake to give as gifts to coworkers, neighbors, mailmen..whomever! It is made in a large rectangular pan, so you can cut it into big squares and pack them into nice little boxes tied with holiday ribbon. If you are not a peanut butter person you can leave it out and it just becomes a double chocolate crumb cake! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients-

For the cake-

  1. 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  2. 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  3. 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  4. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 cup white sugar
  8. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  9. 3 large eggs
  10. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 cup sour cream
  12. 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter (I use Skippy)

For the Chocolate Crumbs-

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 ¼ cup sugar
  3. 2 sticks butter, melted
  4. 3/8 cup cocoa powder
  5. ¼ cup confectioner's sugar

 

Steps-

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 13inch x 9inch pan or a "jelly-roll" pan ( a pan about 15-inch by 10-inch by 2-inch) if you'd like, by greasing the pan generously with butter and dusting it with flour.  You can also line the bottom with parchment paper after you butter it if you are worried about it sticking. 

In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and espresso powder.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer or using an electric hand beater, cream the butter and sugars together.  Once the butter mixture is nice and light add the eggs one at a time until they are fully incorporated.  Next add the vanilla.

Next add the dry ingredients into the butter/egg mixture alternating with the sour cream.  

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Place the peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl, and microwave it for about 30 seconds or until it is liquidy. Drizzle the peanut butter all over the cake and then use a butter knife to swirl it lightly around the cake. You want to see the peanut butter so do not mix it completely into the batter.

Place the cake into the oven and bake at 350 degrees (F) for 15 minutes. While cake is baking, make chocolate crumb topping as follows: In a large mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 ¼ cups sugar, and 3/8 cup cocoa powder. Add 2 sticks melted butter and stir until mixture is thick and workable.

With your hands, pinch off chunks of the chocolate mixture and place them on top of the partially-baked chocolate cake. Continue until all of the chocolate mixture is used and the cake is evenly covered. Return the cake to a 350 degree (F) oven, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven. Do not over bake, you want it to be a little fudgy inside, but make sure it is set!

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely. Dust the top with the confectioners sugar and enjoy! For an added touch, melt 1 cup of peanut butter chips (reeses makes them in the baking isle), in the microwave with 1 teaspoon of crisco shortening and then drizzle it over the top of the cake.  Once it hardens and cools enjoy!