For Love of Peanut Butter

by Britta-Lis on February 9, 2011

in Cooking,Recipes

Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

If you’re like me, and you’re American, you probably carry a jar of peanut butter around with you while you travel. While traveling in Europe, I’d mark myself as American every time I walked into a hostel kitchen with peanut butter in my hand. Apparently the only reason European markets even stock the condiment is to satisfy traveling Americans.

Most peanut butter is sold in glass jars but those are not the easiest to travel with, so once I found a plastic jar, I hung onto it. When I ran out, I’d simply buy a new glass jar and add the new peanut butter to the plastic one.

Mostly, I used the peanut butter as a spread on bread or crackers. Sometimes, I’d eat it with fruit for a snack or dessert. Every once in a while, though, I’d try to cook with it. The following recipe is a variation on one that I often make when I go camping — and it’s fantastic for making when you’re traveling the world with a plastic jar of peanut butter in your backpack.

(I’ve assumed you’ll be carrying the spice kit with you, so the recipe uses only spices/oils found in the kit, or condiment packets you can easily pick up at delis or cafes.)

Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

1 serving

1 fistful linguine or spaghetti
1 heaping large spoonful peanut butter (creamy works best but chunky will also do)
1 packet soy sauce
1 small spoonful red wine vinegar
1/2 small spoonful garlic powder
1/2 small spoonful chili powder
1/2 sugar packet
1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large carrot, julienned
1 small zucchini, julienned
1 or 2 green onions, or 1/2 very small yellow onion, thinly sliced

Lime wedges

1. Cook spaghetti or linguine and drain.

2. While pasta cooks, slice veggies and set aside. Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, chili and garlic powders and sugar in small bowl; add a small spoonful or two of water and whisk with a fork until blended (sauce should be creamy; if it’s too thick, add a little more water).

3. Mix pasta and veggies, and add peanut sauce. If you have them, add the lime wedges as garnish, and serve. (The lime juice adds a nice complementary tanginess.)

Variations
Add cucumber or green bell pepper or whichever veggies you prefer, or whatever looked fresh at the market that day. You can also use rice noodles instead of pasta — follow the instructions to prepare those, and then mix with veggies and sauce and serve.

Leftovers
Depending on how much of each particular vegetable you use, you may have half of a couple of them leftover. If you add a handful of salad greens to your shopping list, you should be able to chop the rest of the veggies and add them to your salad. (The Lentil Soup menu also includes a recipe for salad dressing — substitute lime juice for lemon in the recipe to use the rest of your lime.) If you buy a package of pasta, you’ll have pasta leftover — this isn’t hard to pack and carry, so save it until your next pasta night. You’ll probably have the rest of your jar of peanut butter leftover, too, but if you were carrying it in the first place, you’ve probably already got a few more uses for it!

Weigh In

Do you travel with peanut butter? What do you use it for? What creative recipes have you come up with involving peanut butter?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat Perry February 21, 2011 at 1:13 am

I really liked your peanut butter travels. Being a BIG fan of peanut butter I can relate. My daughter, Courtey, traveled with her jar of peanut butter through Europe to the bitter end – with getting the last bit out with her fingers. Favorite peanut butter sandwich addition – dill pickle slices – YUM! I’ll be giving your peanut sauce recipes a try. thanks!

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Britta February 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Australians have their vegemite, the British have marmite. And Americans? We have our peanut butter…

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