Saturday, February 04, 2006

my love note to peanut butter

So, I don't cook with peanuts or peanut butter very often, because my workplace is peanut-free, and subsequently, anything I make with peanuts or peanut butter must be consumed at home. And I'm not very good about eating up my leftovers at home, so they usually make the trip to work for lunches. Thus, anything leftover with peanuts/peanut butter in it ends up sitting in the fridge until it's time to dump it in the compost bucket.

Which is too bad, because I LOVE peanuts. One of my friends always joked about herself, "yep -- if you put peanut butter on a rock, I'd probably eat it." Har, har, har. (I've said the same thing about myself and cream cheese frosting, but that's a whole 'nother post.) What's not to like about peanut butter, as long as it doesn't send you into anaphylactic shock? Yummy, creamy goodness, protein, fiber, and healthy fat, to boot. I have, on occasion, scooped out a small spoonful of peanut butter and just eaten it "straight up" -- licked it right off the spoon. Natural, roasted, lightly-salted peanut butter, that is. (Although I should probably switch to the unsalted version.)


I have been hemming and hawing over a recipe for Ginger Peanut Soba Noodles that I printed off the Post Punk Kitchen website last weekend. It sounded so easy and so tasty, but I was worried about wasting the leftovers. So I sat on the idea for a week, with the tasty ingredients waiting for me in the fridge. Last night, as I was was thinking about having lentil soup for dinner and then realizing the rest of the lentil soup I had left was frozen, I thought, "well, why don't I make those peanutty noodles? I can munch on them all weekend -- they'll probably be gone by Monday, so no lunchbox woes." So, I made them for supper last night. Other than being a bit too salty for me, (next time, I will NOT salt the water I cook the soba noodles in, and will continue to use low-sodium soy sauce, and will probably use unsalted peanut butter, too,) they were TO DIE FOR. I topped the noodles with thin slices of green and red bell pepper, some cooked frozen broccoli, sesame seeds, raw peanuts, minced cilantro, and sliced green onion, per the recipe's directions, and also added a big squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a bit of pressed, diced tofu (my additions.) This recipe is mild, creamy, and delicious -- comfort food at it's best. It's gorgeous on the plate, and just rich enough that it was very satisfying. (Who ever knew vegan food could be considered "rich?")

Even though peanut butter and I can't get together very often, the love affair is still going strong. I suppose absence, indeed, does make the heart grow fonder.

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