My friend Kimmy and her husband Terry recently visited us from California (read all about our delicious time in Burlington here). Both Kimmy and Terry have a number of dietary restrictions (as do I), so when I invited them to dinner, I had to put my thinking cap on to create a meal that everyone could eat and enjoy. That meant no meat, eggs, dairy, honey, gluten (wheat, spelt, rye, kamut, barley), refined sugar, alcohol, all beans except soy, and most fruits and vegetables.
I was so pleased when I realized we could all eat my sesame-peanut noodles, a recipe I worked on for almost a year before perfecting. It’s totally delicious but it’s so rich that it’s best saved for special occasions like dinner parties. I’m a big fan of peanut butter and pasta… why not combine the two?! Just blend all sauce ingredients and serve over pasta, what could be simpler?
The verdict: everyone loved it and asked for seconds!
Sesame Peanut Noodles
1/4 cup each peanut butter (or other nut butter), sesame oil, Bragg’s/soy sauce and hot water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp each maple syrup, rice vinegar, and grated ginger
dash of black pepper
1 (397 g) package of dry pasta (I used gluten-free Tinkyada Fettucini brown rice pasta)
1 package of extra firm tofu, drained, rinsed, pressed and cubed
approximately 2 cups of your favourite sautéed veggies (I like garlic, onions, carrots, peppers and kale)
toppings: sesame seeds, cilantro, crushed nuts and crushed chillies (optional)
While the pasta is cooking, pan-fry the tofu. (I like to use my cast iron skillet.) Blend the peanut butter, sesame oil, Bragg’s/soy sauce, hot water, garlic, maple syrup, rice vinegar, ginger and black pepper until smooth and creamy. This makes about 1 1/4 cups sauce. Add more hot water to make a thinner sauce, or less if you like a rich and creamy sauce.
Pour over the pasta and gently stir in the tofu and sautéed veggies. Plate the pasta then top sprinkle with cilantro, sesame seeds and crushed nuts. Squeeze fresh lime juice over each serving. Serve hot. Makes 4-6 servings; recipe can easily be doubled.
For dessert, I made my Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Ice Cream! Ah, the joys of a dinner party where everything went perfect, the food turned out great, and the guests left happy!
About three years ago I started using gluten-free pasta, having realized that rice pasta was just as delicious and probably more nutritious than the wheat pasta we’d been eating for years. Our favourite brand for taste and texture is Tinkyada, but I just tried Catelli’s new gluten-free pasta (made from rice, corn and quinoa) and liked it just as much. There is a web coupon offer right now that you can print so you can try it yourself! Thanks, Catelli!
This recipe is being shared with Healthy Vegan Fridays!
Over to you: What is your favourite main dish to make when you’re entertaining?!