Product Recommendation:
Chut Up Peri Peri Hot Sauce and Beet Ketchup

 

When I recently received a product offer from the folks at Chut Up, I was interested, but a little skeptical at their claims of a “healthier and tastier” family of all natural products: Beet Ketchup, Peri Peri Hot Sauce, and Apple and Caramelized Onion Chutney.  Labeling a product as “healthier” is a pretty bold claim and needs to be backed up.  So I did a little research and asked a few questions.

In the meantime, two cute jars arrived: the ketchup and the hot sauce.  I tasted them immediately and, I confess, was underwhelmed mostly by the hot sauce…at first.  But then, a short time later (days not minutes), as I was scraping the last of the Peri Peri sauce out of the jar, I realized that, far from the unremarkable sauce that I first thought it was, it was instead quite noteworthy.

It is not sweet, tangy, smokey, etc.  So, at first it seemed to lack notable character.  But what I realized as I spooned it onto, especially, my kale nachos night after night, is that its overwhelming noteworthiness is BALANCE.  It is not “too” anything.  Including hot. Don’t get me wrong: this is a “hot” not “mild” sauce.  But I don’t like my food to hurt, so this is the perfect hot sauce for me.  I found it quite addicting.

The ketchup was quote notable from the get-go.  Richer in color than your garden variety tomato ketchup, it is deep and complex in both flavor in color, but not so much that it interferes with the flavors of other foods. Yet it definitely sounds flavor notes you won’t find in Heinz and other common grocery store brands.

As for the healthy part, as far as I’m concerned, I eat hot sauce in such moderate amounts–ketchup too–that healthfulness is not a huge issue for me.  But, if you consume these condiments in generous quantities, you will appreciate knowing that neither contains added sugar and both contain modest amounts of salt.  Common ketchup, it turns out, is fairly high in both.  To obtain nutrition information, read the company’s backstory, or purchase products, visit the Chut-Up website.

I look forward to trying the chutney and developing my crush on the Beet Ketchup and Peri Peri Sauce into a full blown affair.  For less than $5 a jar, let the stocking stuffing begin.  And with Black Friday approaching, you might want to get your Chut Up on beginning this week.

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Countdown to Your Best Vegan Thanksgiving
Five Dishes Everyone at Your Table Will Be Thankful For

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year to be vegan. Though I am thankful every day that I chose many years ago to live more compassionately, it is during this season that I celebrate my favorite tastes and textures…and share them with you.

The mouthwatering menu I have selected for you features two entrée-like dishes, both meals in themselves because of the balance of ingredients: greens, grains, veggies and more.  So delightfully pretty, filling, and creamy are these dishes that the only side dish I recommend is a fresh bright salad that sounds some special autumnal notes in the form of dried fruits and smoked nuts.  All that remains to round out this bountiful fall feast is my late mother’s Double Cornfingers which I recommend serving in place of stuffing.  For dessert, I offer a recipe I developed for Tofutti a few years back that is a perennial favorite.  These pumpkin cheesecake bars with their streusel topping are super quick and easy but doesn’t look like it, especially when sliced and served on frilly paper doilies.

Each item listed in the menu below is linked to its recipe, and following the menu are captioned photos that will help you envision how your beautiful table will look as everyone gathers around with gratitude.

Speaking of gratitude, I am so grateful for all of you who make my platter bloom throughout the year.  With nurturing wishes to you and yours during this holiday season and always.

~Betsy DiJulio

Blooming Platter Vegan Thanksgiving Menu 2017

Butternut Squash Lasagna (with Smokey Marinara Sauce and Kale Pesto)
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Rice and Greens Stovetop Casserole
Kale Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Figs and Dates Topped with Smoked Almonds
Sallie’s Double Corn Fingers
3-Layer Oatmeal Pumpkin Streusel Bars
Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna
Vegan Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Rice and Greens Stovetop Casserole
Kale-Salad-with-Pomegranate-Balsamic-Marinated-Figs-and-Dates-Topped-with-Smoked-Almonds1
Vegan Kale Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Marinated Figs and Dates Topped with Smoked Almonds
Vegan Double Corn Fingers
Vegan 3-Layer Oatmeal Pumpkin Streusel Bars
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Quick and Tasty Vegan Buffalo Chickpeas

Yield: 2 servings

My go-to vegan lunch…

Perched on pretzels that I used as scoops, this super quick and easy–and let’s not forget tasty–chickpea salad recipe would also make a delicious filling for a wrap, especially with the shredded purple cabbage that I used as a base. I folded the cabbage into the last of the salad and loved that flavor combination and crunch.  It is perfect for a workday lunch…with a little mouthwash chaser.

Note: you may omit the butter, but it is a small amount, is included in the traditional recipe for Buffalo Sauce, and it mellows the vinegar, also a traditional ingredient.   Each ingredient is needed to create that addicting balance of hot and tangy buffalo goodness.

2 tablespoon softened vegan cream cheese

2 tablespoons Daiya brand vegan blue cheese dressing

1 tablespoon Frank’s hot sauce (or more if you like hot alot)

1 tablespoon melted vegan butter

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1-15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

4 celery hearts, finely diced

4 green onions, thinly sliced

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Shredded purple cabbage

In a medium bowl, whisk together first 7 ingredients. Fold in chickpeas, celery, and green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cover and chill until serving time.  Serve on a bed of the cabbage or fold the two up together in your favorite wrapper.

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Vegan Black Bean Pumpkin Casserole

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

There is really not much that needs to be said about this addicting dish, which is even good at room temperature.  I am so busy at school that I don’t have time to leave my classroom to heat my lunch, and this casserole is still a new favorite.  Here’s a tip:  life is too short to wrestle with a butternut squash, so my recommendation is to splurge and purchase pre-cut chunks of the squash.  On the other hand, every family budget is different, so do what makes sense.  I am frugal about MANY things; cutting up a butternut squash is not one of them.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large coves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
16 ounces soy crumbles or diced chicken flavored seitan (or 8 ounces faux meat plus 8 ounces cooked rice)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) vegan cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded vegan cheddar or cheddar-jack blend
1 package taco seasoning or 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika or chili powder, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups roasted butternut squash chunks (spray 1-inch chunks with non-stick spray and roast at 450 degrees for 10 minutes on each side)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-15.5 ounce can corn, drained
1/2-15.5 ounce can pureed pumpkin

Topping:
2 cups or so small Fritos
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar or cheddar-jack blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and sautee until tender. Add garlic and saute for another minute, adding up to 1/2 cup water if mixture gets too dry. Add soy crumbles and saute until lightly browned. (If using seitan, stir in with beans and corn.) Stir in cheeses, heat until melted, and then stir in all remaining ingredients, combining well. Spoon mixture into an oiled casserole dish, top with Fritos, sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through and top is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Note: Reheat any leftovers in the oven to maintain crunchiness of topping.  You may freeze the recipe before topping. When ready to bake, simply add the topping and bake as directed.

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Vegan Loaded Mexican Cornbread

Hosting a fiesta at the intersection of Chili Cornbread and Cornbread Casserole is my Loaded Mexican Cornbread. Yes, it is bursting with the unmistakable pungency of Hatch green chilies (I prefer mild over hot), but it stops short of beans and soy crumbles. Instead I load it up with corn kernels, sliced black olives, green onions, sour cream, melted butter, and cheddar-jack blend, all vegan, of course. My first attempt was too dense and moist, if you can believe that’s possible. This version is perfection, redolent of Adobo, cumin, garlic, and oregano. Enjoy it by itself with a glass of cold, non-dairy milk–or a beer–or as a side with a crisp salad or not-too-heavy soup.

I cup naturally vegan cornbread mix (I use Martha White)
1 cup naturally vegan baking mix (I use Bisquick)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
1/3 cup vegan sour cream
1 teaspoon Adobo sauce from can of chilies in Adobo
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-15.5 ounce can corn, drained
4 ounce can sliced black olives, drained
4 ounce can chopped green chilies, mild, drained
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup shredded vegan cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, divided (I use So Delicious cheddar-jack blend)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 10-inch skillet with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, mix cornbread mix, baking mix, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together melted butter, Adobo, sour cream, non-dairy milk, vinegar, and baking soda. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients, a third at a time. Stir in the corn, black olives, green chiles, green onion, and 2/3 cup shredded cheese. Spoon mixture evenly into prepared skillet. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup cheese.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until top is browned, the center springs back when pressed down, and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm or room temp.

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Vegan Tex-Mex Sweet ‘Tater Skins
(with black beans and a Chipotle-Lime Sour Cream Sauce)

Yield: 8 potato skins

Powerful cravings seem to be inspiring a lot of my recipes lately.  This one was based on a dish spotted on the online menu of The Hound’s Tale in Williamsburg, VA: sweet potato and black bean tacos.

However, not feeling like I wanted the additional calories of taco shelsl, it occured to me that the potato “shells” would be the perfect containers–like cute little boats–and these delicious, spicy, but not-too-firey, potato skin boats were born.  An optional Frito scoop garnish nods in the tortilla direction.

Easy and quick, other than baking the potatoes, you can bulk them up many ways by adding additional ingredients like sauteed onion, garlic, and bell peppers for more of a fajita style.  But I like them just like they are.

Hungry though you may be, I would advise against microwaving the potatoes or skipping the extra 10-minute skin crisping step.  I promise the texture will be worth it.

4 medium-small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and lightly pricked all over with a fork

1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar or cheddar-jack cheese blend (I use the So Delicious brand cheddar-jack variety) + optional 1/2 cup additional cheese

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

4 cups moderately firmly packed baby kale, lightly steamed (I microwave it for 1 minute in a medium bowl)

1-15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

6 green onions, thinly sliced (optional: reserve 2 of the sliced onions for garnish)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chipotle-Lime Sour Cream Sauce (recipe follows)

Garnishes: cilantro sprigs and optional Frito’s scoops and reserved green onions; roasted pumpkin seeds would also be lovely

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place potatoes on an oiled or Silpat-lined baking sheet and spray them lightly with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake 1 hour.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Let potatoes cool enough to handle and then slice in half lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scoop out flesh leaving a 1/8-inch shell. Spray inside of shells lightly with non-stick spray and return to oven for 10 minutes.  In a large bowl, mash potato flesh with 1/2 cup cheese, cumin, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.  Fold in lightly steamed kale, black beans, and green onions.  Season to tasted with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide mixture evenly among potato skins, top with optional 1 tablespoon shredded cheese, and bake for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately drizzled with Chipotle-Lime Sour Cream sauce and garnished, as desired, with sprigs of cilantro, Frito’s scoops, reserved green onions, and/or roasted pumpkin seeds.

Chipotle-Lime Sour Cream Sauce

1/2 cup vegan sour creeam

1 teaspoon adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

Zest of 1/2 medium lime

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until completely combined.

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Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Potato Skins

 Yield: 8 potato skins

This recipe is my response to a powerful craving for comfort food during a week that experienced the Las Vegas mass shooting, the death of a friend, the death of a friend’s aunt, and the death of Tom Petty.

Every month, we have gotten together with  the Gelpis for two years and counting to cook back and forth at each of our homes, always with a theme. With comfort food this month’s concept, I was fantasizing about all kinds of naughty dishes like fried onion rings, Buffalo Chickpea Dip, potato skins, loaded tater tot nachos, and more.

As the week drew to an end, I had reigned myself in, deciding to make vegan pigs in a blanket with a pepper jelly – ketchup dipping sauce and combining the dip and the skins into one best-of-both-worlds dish: Buffalo Chickpea Potato Skins. The Gelpis contributed a tasty vegetable pizza ring and a vegan apple pie, both with divinely crispy crusts.

Small servings, no seconds, and smarter choices than I was contemplating at the beginning of the week meant that I was very satisfied, but not stuffed and ashamed.

I could make a steady diet of these potato skins and hope you agree.

  • 4 medium-small baking potatoes, scrubbed
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1-15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup  + 1/4 cup vegan shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar cheese blend (I used So Delicious brand cheddar-jack blend)
  • 1/2 cup vegan blue cheese or ranch dressing (I used Daiya brand, which makes both)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon non-chicken vegetable soup base (semi-liquid paste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork, spray potatoes lightly with non-stick spray, and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Lower temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. Let the potatoes cool slightly, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the flesh leaving about 1/8 inch shell. Place the scooped out potato in a large bowl.
  4. Spray the potato skins with nonstick spray and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  5. Add all remaining ingredients to the scooped out potsto flesh except 1/4 cup shredded cheese and the sliced green onion. Stir well, Mash with a potato masher, and stir again until all ingredients are completely combined and the desired texture is reached.
  6. Divide potato and chickpea mixture evenly among potato skins, mounding attractively. Sprinkle with reservedcheese, dividing evenly.
  7. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. (Shredded cheese on top may not look melted.)
  8. Garnish each potato skin with 1/8 of the green onions and serve immediately.
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Vegan Pumpkin Spice Poundcake

Yield: one 10-inch poundcake

A pumpkin spice lover, not hater–in spite of all the hype–I take my savory and seeet pumpkin seriously. So three attempts and 12 cups of flour later, I finally got it: the perfect Pumpkin Pound Cake in both flavor and luscious moistness and tenderness.

The first two cakes were a little dry and we’ll say “sturdy.”  The secret to my ultimate success is three-fold: two kinds of fat, both vegan butter for flavor and vegetable oil for moistness; molasses also for deep, flavorful moisture; and the combination of curdled soymilk and vegan sour cream for ever-so-slightly-tangy tenderness (though using all curdled soymilk will work nicely too).

Get your pumpkin spice on!

1/2 cup canola or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
2 1/2 cups demerera sugar or brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup flax meal
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
4 teaspoons  baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nondairy milk mixed with
1 tablespoon vinegar, set aside to curdle for a couple of minutes
4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegan sour cream (or another 1/2 cup nondairy milk, but I prefer sour cream)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the oil, butter, sugar, and molasses for one minute. Then add 1/2 cup of the milk, extracts, flax meal, extracts, spices, baking powder and soda, and salt, and continue to beat for another two minutes until the mixture is quite fluffy.

Add the flour and remaining nondairy milk to the sugar mixture in three batches, alternating and beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula frequently.

Finally, add the pumpkin puree and sour cream (or 1/2 cup nondairy milk) and mix for 20 seconds.

Scrape the batter into an oiled and floured bundt pan.

Bake in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bundt cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs sticking to it.

Set on a rack to cool for 30 minutes, then unmold and continue cooling the cake on a rack covered with a dish towel.

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Vegan Baked Buffalo Dip
Betsy’s Best!

So sorry I’ve been away for so long…

The start of school–especially a year like this with great kids but a punishing schedule–always creates a bit of a hiatus from The Blooming Platter.  Add to that either food poisoning or a stomach virus the last two days of the first week of school, and food was of little interest to me for quite a while.

However, the first thing I wanted to eat after 2 days of being flat on my back in bed too weak to even feed the dogs–I had to call Bob home from work the first day when I couldn’t rouse myself by about 9 a.m.–was a vegan Buffalo “Chicken” pizza slice from Whole Foods.  It proved to be a bit too much of a good thing and I couldn’t finish it.  But, something about those hot-n-tangy Buffalo flavors still sounded good.  So, the next weekend when I made my regular Whole Foods stop after weekend yoga classes, I plopped some vegan Buffalo seitan bites atop some kale messaged with tahini dressing, and it was a revelation.

Then, yesterday, our generous administration and counseling office at school hosted a “social” during lunch–a lunch teachers can never take–and because they specifically told me they had vegan leftovers, I went down after my last class and enjoyed some veggies, fruit and crackers.  But there on the buffet table was a baked Buffalo dip and I knew I had to recreate it my way.  And soon.

So that’s what I did today after researching some recipes, making some mental changes, stopping at Whole Foods, and testing it out for lunch. Wow!  It is so delicious that I was afraid I might devour half a recipe.  But it is so rich and satisfying that, honestly, just a small serving is perfect. Even Bob had to admit that it was “not bad,” a glowing endorsement from his omnivorous self.

The main recipe I decided to veganize was quite  basic: cream cheese, ranch dressing, grated cheese, hot sauce, and canned chicken.  Another recipe I consulted also called for ranch dressing which I found puzzling since blue cheese dressing is the typical accompaniment to Buffalo wings.  So, I was elated when I found Daiya brand blue cheese dressing and decided to substitute it.

For my version, I also used vegan cream cheese, Daiya shredded jack and cheddar blend, Pete’s hot sauce (I didn’t have Frank’s on-hand), and chickpeas in place of the chicken.  However, I feel sure that the original protein must add a depth of flavor, so I used about 3/4 teaspoon vegan no-chicken base. It does up the salt level, so if you are hyper-sensitive to salt, you might want to omit. The rich and creamy mixture was plenty tangy without additional vinegar, but I felt it did need a hint of butter used in standard Buffalo sauce recipes, so I added 1 tablespoon.  Also, I think everything savory is better with garlic and onion–an opinion Bob and I share–so I added minced garlic and, because he doesn’t care for cooked onion, I used finely sliced green onion both in the dip and over the top when its lusciousness emerged from the oven.

Again, I pronounce the end result perfection scooped up with celery sticks; Bob a “not bad” scooped up with Fritos; and that, friends, means that it is a winner for you and your carnivorous pals.

Vegan Baked Buffalo Dip

8 ounces vegan cream cheese

1/2 cup Pete’s or Frank’s hot sauce (plus a tablespoon more if you really crave that flavor and heat as I do)

1/2 cup vegan Blue “Cheese” or Ranch Dressing (I used Daiya brand, but you might try Just brand Ranch if you can’t find Daiya Blue “Cheese”)

1 cup shredded vegan cheddar or jack cheese or a combination (I used a Daiya brand combo)

3/4 teaspoon vegan no-chicken base

2 large cloves garlic minced

2-15 ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Accompaniment: fresh celery sticks and/or chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil or spray a small baking or au gratin dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Place all ingredients except chickpeas and green onions in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Stir frequently until cheeses melt and the mixture is thick and creamy.  Stir in chickpeas and all but about 1/4 of the green onion.  Spoon into prepared dish and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with reserved green onion, and serve immediately with fresh celery sticks and/or chips.

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Easy, Fast, Intoxicating Vegan Dan Dan Noodles
with 0 Calorie Noodles(!)

Yield: 2 servings (easily multiplies)

Vegan friends, prepare to have your pasta-loving lives changed.

Recently, I fell in love with vegan Dan Dan Noodles, both at V Street in Philadelphia and at Forbidden Bistro, our favorite Chinese restaurant here in Virginia Beach.

The problem for me and the reason I had probably never ordered Dan-Dan before is not finding vegan noodles, but all of the calories in any kind of noodle. The dish at V Street was the perfect “gateway” though, as it was a dimuntive tapas portion.  So when I noticed them on  the Forbidden Bistro menu,  I talked myself into ordering them, but I made more than one meal out of their dinner entree.

As for solving the problem of noodles and all of their calories, enter the amazing No-oodles, a thin, slightly curly, tofu-free shirataki. They have O CALORIES. That’s right. None. Nada. Zip.  Feel free to use any brand of shirataki in this recipe, including the type made with tofu, which has a few calories.  But I prefer the No-oodles, as their size and shape seems more Dan Dan-like than fetuccine-like.

Locally, I found No-oodles last weekend at a small, niche natural market called Organic Depot. After you read the list of what No-oodles don’t include–dairy, gluten, carbs, calories, etc.–you will wonder what they do include. And that is simple: water, yam flour, and lime.  Somehow, they are delicious and don’t break down when simmered.  But they lack nutrition of any kind, so you obviously have to be sure to enjoy them with accompaniments that are full of vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Dan Dan is traditionally served with julienne cucumbers, scallions, and lime.  But I subbed other ingredients that I had on had for the cuke: tricolor pear tomatoes and a delicious naturally fermented curry-flavored sauerkraut from Whole Foods that included cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower.  A vegan Kimchi would be really nice too.

I researched recipes and ultimately decided to tweak one I found online from Food and Wine.  It, and the others, called for frying the peanuts for the sauce, which sounds delicious  ut messy.  So I simply chose already roasted peanuts, the same amount of oil, and skipped the frying step because oil isn’t a problem for me when the noodles have no calories.  Though I put peanuts in the sauce, as called for by tradition, I garnished tge dish with a few cashews because I love them so.

Honestly, I could eat this dish every day.  And it’s so easy, quick, and healthful that there’s no reason not to.  Hmm…

Note: if you want to make Dan Dan Noodles with Tofu, cut 14 ounces of firm or extra firm tofu into cubes and marinate in sauce for an hour or so before removing with a slotted spoon, sauteing in an oiled skillet–or baking/broiling–and spooning over the completed dish.

low

Dan Dan No-oodles

1/4 cup peanut oil (vegetable oil will work in a pinch)
1/2 cup roasted and lightly salted peanuts (or cashews)
1 small jalapeño, stem, ribs, and seeds removed (wash hands after) or 1 teaspoon Asian fire oil (hot, spicy oil)
1 large garlic clove, halved
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves or 1 teaspoon dried (optional)
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
1 tablespoon sugar (I like coconut sugar in this dish)
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Sea salt to taste if needed (I don’t feel the dish needs extra salt, but it depends on your peanuts)
2-8 ounce packages No-oodles or Shirataki (if the latter is made with tofu, some calories will be involved), drained
Garnish (choose any or all): Julienne cucumber, Asian-compatible sauerkraut (I use a curry variety with cabbage, carrot, and cauliflower from Whole Foods) or Kimchi, sliced scallions, lime wedges, sesame seeds, lightly roasted and salted cashews, sprigs of mint or cilantro

Simply place all ingredients except pasta and garnishes in a food processor–I used my small processor for one recipe–and process until smooth.  Scrape into skillet and warm over low or medium heat.  Add No-oodles, stir gently, and simmer until noodles are heated through.  Serve in bowls topped with the garnishes of your choice; go for contrasts in color and texture.  Enjoy with chopsticks.

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