Meatless Monday: Peanut butter stir fry

Image via
Image via

A healthy evolution for your favourite childhood sandwich spread

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor

2 cups cooked rice

½ cup red onion (minced)

2 carrots (chopped)

1 bell pepper, any colour (chopped)

1 head of broccoli (chopped)

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup water

3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

1 ½ tbsp. grated ginger

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

½ tsp. of cayenne

1 tsp. green onions

1 tsp. sriracha sauce (optional)

Every vegetarian knows (or at least should know) that peanut butter is your best friend. When it comes to making sure you consume adequate amounts of protein and calories, peanut butter is a key element of any vegetarian or vegan diet. It allows all the protein and calorie advantages of eating nuts in a more concentrated amount. But of course reliving playground memories by making yourself PB&J sandwiches will only be nostalgic for so long—after a while all that peanut butter might get a bit stale. In order to keep your diet fresh, without sacrificing all the nutritional advantages that peanut butter may offer, it’s important to find new and fun ways of incorporating it into your culinary repertoire. Asian-inspired cuisine is always especially friendly towards these kinds of ventures, I find.

Heat 1 tbsp. of canola oil in a skillet or wok. While you wait for the oil to heat, combine peanut butter, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and cayenne in a blender or food processor (break out the Magic Bullet!) and run it until everything is smooth and there are no chunks.

In the skillet/wok, sauté the onions until they are translucent. This should take about 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Test for doneness by tasting one of the carrots. It should be tender. Since carrots are the densest of the veggies you’ll be using, if they are done, the rest of the veggies will be as well.

Stir in the peanut sauce and a touch of sriracha for a little extra kick. Mix well, until all the veggies are evenly coated, and then serve over rice. Top with the green onions and a drizzle of hot sauce or peanuts.

The best part about this recipe is it’s adaptable. Stir fry is a great option for friends of picky eaters, or picky eaters themselves! Have issues with peanut butter? Swap it out for cashew or almond butter. Carrots not your cup of tea? Bring in some bok choy instead! It’s all up to you!