I have a deep, dark dietitian secret.
As a child, I detested peanut butter. When most kids would take peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school for lunch time, I stuck to plain raspberry jam (and butter) on bread. Gasp!
But, fortunately, school lunches have come a long way. And so have my taste buds.
Peanut butter, and other nut butters (such as hazelnut, almond, and cashew) are now staples in my kitchen. They're not only inexpensive, versatile, and taste really, really good, they're also high in protein and great sources of healthy, unsaturated fats.
My only words of caution: When buying nut butters, read the ingredients list and check to make sure they're made without hydrogenated oils or added sugar.
Lisa and I created this recipe last year to show that when you have a well-stocked pantry, you can always have a delicious and healthy meal at your fingertips, even when you're short on time.
This veggie and protein-rich meal showcases the versatility of peanut butter (it's not just for spreading on toast or pairing with jelly!) and is completely satisfying.
Veggie Stir fry with Peanut Sauce
½ cup natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon grated gingerroot
2 teaspoons hot pepper oil
1/3- ½ cup water
2 tablespoons cold-pressed canola or grapeseed oil
1 bag mixed frozen stir-fry vegetables (1 lb)
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
2 cups prepared brown rice
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped* optional
1. Make the peanut sauce. In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, honey, tamari, rice vinegar, grated gingerroot and hot pepper oil over medium-low heat. Whisk together until smooth.
2. Heat oil in a large, flat skillet over medium-high heat. Add frozen stir fry vegetables to skillet and cook, stirring, until starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in reserved peanut sauce and fresh cilantro, if using.
3. To serve, divide brown rice between serving bowls and top with vegetables and peanut sauce. Garnish with chopped peanuts.
Yields 4 servings
* For a fresh idea, add ¼ cup fresh, chopped cilantro!
Enjoy, preferably with those you love.