Meatless Monday, Day 1 Vegan Week: Rice noodles with spicy, sour peanut sauce

This is part of my 7-day vegan trial cleanse, where I am bringing my eating habits back under control with a week-long fast of sorts.

Day one of eating vegan and I’m feeling great! My grocery bill for the week was $39. At a notoriously pricy organic store. Add that to some vegan things I already had around the house, like coconut milk and carrots, and we’re looking at feeding two people all organic for under $50. Feeding more like 4 people, even; it’s amazing how friends tend to show up when there’s food on the stove.

Right off, a confession: I skipped breakfast. I stupidly stayed up late playing League of Legends last night (my team needs me!) and dragged all morning. Bad health blogging habits.

Early lunch was healthy fried rice, because my roommates ordered Chinese over the weekend and there are always rice leftovers. I’m reasonably certain that the plain rice is vegan.

And, the exciting part: Dinner! I’m eating dinner pretty early these days, and just snacking into the evening, partially so I can get a post up at a reasonable hour. And partly because that’s healthier anyway. Of course, fried rice + rice noodles = rice twice. But I’m a fan of rice, and I don’t think it’s evil or going to kill me or you.

This recipe made the rounds on my Pinterest recently, and I couldn’t wait to try it; the Male Compatriot loves the peanut sauce at a local Thai restaurant and I had yet to be able to recreate it at home for cheaper/with better ingredients. I made this and had to make more twice that evening — everyone who passed by wanted some to put on something.

Here’s my take on this lovely peanut sauce — brace yourself for an explosion of flavor.

It’s sweet, sour, spicy, and incredibly nutty. You could really put it on anything, but I stuck with the recipe’s suggestion of a kale salad. I omitted the broccoli, though, to cut down on things to cook.

Time: Under 30 minutes even if you go slowly like me. Roasting a squash will increase the time significantly.

Cost: ~$8 with all organic everything ($2/serving)

Ingredients:

Something to put the sauce on: spaghetti squash, pasta, rice… I used rice noodles because spaghetti squash isn’t in season.
5 stalks kale, torn up
1 leek, chopped
Whatever other veggies you want in your salad. I kept it simple because the peanut sauce is so intense.

Sauce:

Note: For a box of rice noodles, I might double the sauce recipe. For a spaghetti squash, this amount might be perfect. It’s not terrible for the rice noodles either, a nice, light coating throughout, but it didn’t satisfy my cravings, so I ended up eating more rice noodles than I should have just to get the sauce!

1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled + rough chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled + rough chopped
2 tbsp peanut butter (I use fresh-ground, organic peanut butter from my health food store’s grinder)
1 lime, peeled + chopped
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp tamari soy sauce (I used shoyu for the first tablespoon because I couldn’t find the tamari – someone put it away in the wrong place. It does make a difference; that last half tablespoon being tamari made it POP)
1/2 cup olive or other oil (I used almond oil for the first batch, but I liked the olive oil better)
Sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste. You can also use about 3 shakes of chili powder.

Instructions:

1. In a large pot, boil water. When boiling, add the rice noodles or regular noodles.
2. If using spaghetti squash, roast the squash.

3. While your base cooks, combine all of your sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

4. In a large bowl, combine the kale, leek, and whatever else you’re using. Drain the pasta, and pour over the kale. The heat from the pasta will steam the kale slightly; covering will facilitate this.

5. Pour the dressing over and toss. Or, let people dress their own salad, but be warned: You’ll run out right away if you don’t control the portions.

Makes ~4 servings

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Fresh peanut butter is best peanut butter

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It’s healthy fat, but there’s a lot of oil, so be aware if you’re watching your fat intake.

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Leeks are neat.

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Toss, and commence nomming

Toss, and commence nomming

Who says you have to suffer to be vegan? Enjoy!

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Vegan Challenge Wrap-up | The Five Fs (Or the Four Fs and a Ph)

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