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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vegan Mofo Day 7: Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

Lance and I had a busy day today. We went to watch a few races (men's and women's 10k running) with the dogs. Lance had intended to run, but his hip flexor has been bugging him since Wednesday's work out, so we were all spectators.

After the race, we went to The Chocolate Shoebox in the north Phinney/Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle. The store is one of the only stores I know of in Seattle that exclusively sells vegan shoes, purses, wallets, and belts, and they also carry a small assortment of chocolates. I honestly wasn't very impressed with the local chocolates - most of them had corn syrup, or some other filler. Overall, I liked the store and the staff was very friendly. The shoes were kind of middle of the road for me - they had some cute quirky stuff but I'll probably keep looking online for more work shoes. I'll be back - but what I was super excited about was the nail polish! It was formaldehyde free, so I bought a couple bottles on an impulse.

After some light shoe shopping, we all headed over to the Capitol Hill farmer's market. I was on a mission for kombucha or fermented veggies. We didn't see any and the dogs were a little on people overload after a busy race and crowded market, so I just stopped by an organic farm stand and got some beautiful arugula, turnips, and a few other veggies.

By the time we all got home, we were pretty hungry, so I cooked up a big stir fry with peanut sauce. The sauce had a decent amount of fat in it, so by the time I had eaten my fill, I was ready for a nap!

I always try to poke around the Internet and learn new things from other vegans out there. Hyper-Nerdy Veganism had a great recipe post emphasizing the importance of mise en place. Mise en place is one of the first things that a culinary instructor will teach. It's the process of gathering all necessary ingredients and preparing them in a clean and orderly fashion. The idea is to make it easier to follow food safety by keeping certain ingredients separate (not as much of an issue for vegan dishes), and keep them in their place. I try to use bowls for each stage of cooking - which used up quite a bit of bowls today.

The peanut sauce would go well as a satay dip or over spinach and rice. It doesn't need to be mixed into a stir fry.

Peanut Sauce
1 minced Serrano Chile, de-seeded (unless you like a lot of heat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Coconut Milk
1/2 cup + Creamy Style Peanut Butter
1/2 a lemon, juiced
pinch of salt

Put a small amount of olive oil in a sauce pan over low medium heat. When the oil is warm enough to elicit a little sizzle out of the garlic, add the garlic and Serrano chile. Do not have the heat very high - I made the mistake of nearly burning everything to a crisp, and then when the peanut and coconut are added things will separate quickly if the temperature is too hot. It's important to cook this over a heat that is lower than medium. Add the coconut milk and peanut butter and just cook long enough to get a bit of bubbling.

Stir Fry
1/2 package phad thai style rice noodles
1/2 an onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots, peeling and julienned
3 ribs of celery, sliced
1 large bunch spinach, washed
1 cup mung bean sprouts
pinch salt
Cilantro to garnish

The trick to non-soggy rice noodles is to soak them in cold water several hours prior to cooking. I put them in a large bowl with cold water in the fridge in the morning before work before I use them.

Heat up a wok over medium heat and add a couple tablespoons of grapeseed or peanut oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic, stirring and cooking until they begin to sweat a bit. Add the noodles, spinach, and bean sprouts, stirring frequently. Squeeze half a lime over the top and add the salt. After the spinach has cooked down, add the peanut sauce and continue to stir the ingredients together. Spoon into a bowl and put a little cilantro on top as a garnish.


  1. With all the allergies, neither of you is allergic to peanuts? That's good. I love a good noodle dish like that.

    I will email you about the kombucha. There's a reason it's not at the market.

  2. Yeah, we dodged that one. I bed almond butter or cashew butter would work too. I may try almond butter next time to see how it works....

  3. Stir-fry with peanut sauce is one of my favorites. I agree with Bitt that it's amazing to have so many allergies but not to peanuts. About the mise en place — at least with vegetable cooking most of the bowls are not very dirty!