Peanut Butter Vegetable Soup

Waaait, what did she say?  Did she say peanut butter soup?

Yeah.  Yeah she said peanut butter soup.  She said it.

She is me.

Peanut butter soup.

So, I’m actually not the biggest fan of soups.  I tend to think they’re not very filling and not very interesting.  But, a couple of years ago, a friend of mine made vegetable stew and just as I thought she was done, she dumped a few giant spoonfuls of peanut butter into it.

AND I WAS LIKE WUUUUTTTTT?!

Peanut butter does a couple things: it adds fullness and it adds flavor.  Adding peanut butter to your vegetable soup automatically thickens it and makes it richer and more fulfilling.  It also adds a little salt and a little fat, which is never a bad thing when cooking.

So without further ado, here is the recipe:

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

6 cups vegetable broth

2 tomatoes, diced

1 bunch collard greens, cut or torn into strips or small pieces

1/3 tsp cumin

dash cayenne pepper (optional)

1/3 tsp salt

1 cup peanut butter

2 tbsp lemon or lime juice

Sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until onions start to turn clear and soft. Add the ginger and heat for about one more minute.

Add broth, tomatoes, collards, cumin, cayenne and salt and allow to cook for about 15 minutes.

Carefully add the peanut putter, and stir well to combine. Allow to cook until the peanut butter is melted and incorporated. Leave the soup on medium heat with the cover on for another ten minutes or so until all that peanut butter gets melty and delicious.

Drizzle with lime or lemon juice just before serving.

You’re done!  Hearty, delicious soup.  10 Weigh Watchers points per serving with 6 servings in this recipe.  Buen provecho!

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Soba Noodles and Spinach Sautee

Seriously, I sincerely suggest someone sample these sensational savory soba noodles and spinach sautee.  Alliteration!

Soba noodles are really good and as far as past go, they’re good for you.  See, soba noodles are make with buckwheat, instead of just regular white flour, which makes them healthy carbs.  They are kind of testy, though, and need to be cooked with care.  First, I’ll explain the soba noodle cooking process, then the rest of the recipe.

First, boil a large pot of water.  Like, as large as you have.  And pretty full of water.  Once the water has reached a rolling boil, then sprinkle 8 oz. of soba noodles into the water and reduce heat so the water is at about a simmer.  From there, they only need 7 or 8 minutes in the water.  If the pot starts to boil over, add a cup of cold water to it.  After 7 or 8 minutes, drain the noodles and then rinse them thoroughly with cold water.  Set aside.

Now for the sauce and spinach!

Sauce:

2tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1 shallot, finely chopped (I’ve used some red onion when I forgot to buy the shallot, which is always.)

Combine the ingredients and let it sit, refrigerated.

Spinach:

6 cups baby spinach

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp EVOO

Pour the olive oil and sesame oil into a large sauce pan at medium heat.  Add garlic and sautee until fragrant.  Add spinach and cover for 5 to 6 minutes, depending on how wilted you want the spinach to be.

Finally, stir the spinach and sauce into the noodles, and you’re done!

Disclaimer:  the noodles in the picture aren’t soba noodles.  Soba noodles are kind of grey-ish.  So, if you have grey-ish noodles, you’re on the right track.  I made mine with regular noodles this time because that’s the kind of noodles that were purchased.  Less healthy but still yummy.

With the soba noodles this dish makes 4 servings at 7 Weight Watchers points each.

Enjoy!

Marinated, Fried Tofu With Steamed Broccoli and Peanut Sauce

Sometimes, deliciousness just sneaks up on me.  I went to Whole Foods the other night and bought some tofu covered in peanut sauce and wanted to eat like five tons of it.  Peanut sauce is pretty awesome.  It’s one of my favorite additions to Asian food.  Or just to my mouth.  I had no idea how to make it, really.  I thought probably there was some soy sauce and sweet element involved, along with peanuts, of course, so I browsed various websites and came up with a recipe that is just fantastic.

So, obviously, you can’t just eat peanut sauce.  I mean, you can, but it’s not exactly a balanced meal.  So I was like, huh, well, I ate it with tofu, let’s just make it with tofu.  I know.  My creativity intimidates everyone.  Fried tofu is easy and yummy.  So, there’s that too.

And then I also noticed I had a bunch of broccoli in the fridge, which goes nicely with Asian dishes, and decided I’d steam it, which is basically the easiest and healthiest way to cook broccoli.  How did I do it all?  I’ll show you!

Ingredients

For the tofu:

16 oz. extra firm tofu (make sure it’s extra firm)

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp olive oil

Alright,  you want to let your tofu marinate a little while, so start with that.  Whisk the soy sauce and spices in a small bowl, then add the tofu cut into 1/2 inch “steaks.”  (If your tofu is too wet, lay it between two folded paper towels and lay something heavy on top to help the water eek out.)  Make sure the marinade coats the tofu, stirring occasionally.  You can marinated it anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.  You don’t want to marinate it much longer because then it will get soggy.

When you’re tofu is sufficiently marinated, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat in a cast-iron pan.  Fry the tofu about 4-5 minutes on each side or until it’s crispy and browned.

Moving on.

For the peanut sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter (fresh ground if you can find it)

1/8 cup honey

1/8 cup soy sauce

2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce

2 limes, juiced

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Hot water to thin sauce (if needed)

Whisk together ingredients. Add hot water if you want to thin the sauce.  You can also used some crushed peanuts as a garnish.  Also, the sauce is way better if you use the fresh ground peanut butter that you can grind fresh yourself at the store.  It’s peanut-ier and more coarse and makes for a better sauce.  Plus, no sugar!

For the broccoli:

Broccoli

Water

Steaming broccoli, or any vegetables, is super easy and cooks them without adding any fat and without sucking out too many of the nutrients.  Get a large saucepan with a tight lid.  Add as much broccoli (cut into florets) as you want, I used around 4 cups.  Then add about a 1/4 cup of water to the pan.  Put the lid on the pan and turn up the heat.  The broccoli should steam for about 5 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want it.  Just check it every minute or so and see how it’s coming along.

And, that’s it!  When your done, plate the broccoli, then the tofu and top with the peanut sauce.  It’s a delicious, filling and healthy dish.  And, as always, sugar free!  This recipe makes 4 servings at 10 Weight Watcher’s points per serving.  Enjoy!

Also, check out my new blog!

Kale Chips

Kale, so hot right now.

It’s everywhere!  It’s been crowned a super food meaning that it’s super good for you.  It’s packed with vitamins and fiber and all kinds of good stuff for you.  Unfortunately, kale is a little tough.  It’s not really something you can put in a salad.  It’s kind of like if spinach and seaweed were brother and sister, kale would be their no-nonsense mom from the wrong side of the tracks, if that makes any sense.  Or even if it doesn’t.

So, to help you eat some kale and amp up your diet and vitamin intake, I’m here to show you how to make kale chips.  They’re really tasty and a good snack food that doesn’t have a lot of calories but fills you up.  The recipe is ridiculously simple, are you ready?  ARE YOU READY?

Ingredients:

Kale

Sea salt

The end!

I told you it was easy.

superstar super food.Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.  Chop the kale up into 2 inch pieces.  I didn’t use the very end of the stalk because it’s so tough.  Place the kale evenly on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt (really sprinkle, you don’t need much salt to make these flavorful) and put them in the oven for 60-70 minutes.  You can check them out and bake them for a little longer if they’re not to your liking in terms of crispiness.  I like my chips crispy.  Like…crispips or…chispies.  I don’t know what I’m saying.  Enjoy your healthy snack!