Spicy Peanut Sauce with Pilaf and Vegatables

I just returned from a trip overseas.  It was an adventure full of wonderful things to see…..

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and taste…..

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Because what is an adventure without tasting new flavors?  I discovered that “decisions” that I had made about certain foods were not exactly accurate.  I now know that I like eggplant and I love a good curry. (Note to self: never make a decision about any food not prepared by a good cook…i.e. your roommate’s buddy)

I do have a fondness for spicy peanut dishes. So when eating food from a Vietnamese take out I remembered a dish that I loved to make, but hadn’t done so for a while.  When I first started making this, my husband and I loved it.  My sons were less enthused, so I didn’t make it very often.  As the years passed,  their taste buds “grew up”.  I suggested it to my family for tonight and they remembered how much they liked it and were glad to see it again on their plate.

You can vary the ingredients to suite you own tastes.  If you don’t like snap peas, use carrots or whatever.  Don’t want it too spicy?  Leave out the hot sauce.  It works as well over plain rice or pasta.  It is a wonderful way to have a meatless meal.  My meat lovers never complain on this one.

Note: Natural peanut butter is best for this recipe.

You’ll need:

1 package of Kashi pilaf (or your favorite)IMG_3294

1 cup of millet

add 3 1/2 cups of water and salt or chicken or vegetable stock (no salt added if using stock)

bring to a boil, reduce temp and simmer covered for about 25-30 or until all liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with fork before adding it to the vegetables and sauce.

While the pilaf is cooking, prepare veggies and peanut sauce…..

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil

1 1/2 Tbs sesame oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 Tbs garlic, minced

1 cup sweet peppers, chopped

1 cup snap peas, whole or rough chop (I used carrots this time, bias cut 1/4 inch thick)

1 Tbs hot pepper sauce (like Siracha)

1 Tbs Coriander chutney (optional)

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

For the sauce..

1 cup natural peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

1/2 warm water

4 Tbs maple syrup

4 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Garnish..IMG_3301

1 cup chopped cilantro (parsley or chives work well also), divided

Use a large skillet (cast iron is great for this).  Heat skillet for about one minute, then add olive and sesame oils.  Add onions, garlic, (carrots) and peppers, saute for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent.  Add snap peas and saute 1-2 minutes more.  Add cumin, coriander and 5 spice powder.  Stir until spices are evenly distributed.  Pour in soy sauce and cook for 1-2 more minutes.  Remove from heat.

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In a small bowl mix peanut butter, maple syrup and lemon juice until smooth.  Add sauce to vegetables.  Add cooked pilaf and 1/2 of chopped cilantro to this mixture. Stir everything together. Taste and adjust seasonings (add more lemon juice if desired). Top with remaining fresh herbs (and more hot sauce).  Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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