It’s pretty exciting where ideas can spark from. For instance, this weekend I was emailing back and forth with my good friend Kelly on some veggie filled dishes that help us forget about starchy, meaty goodness. I remembered my summer attempts with zucchini noodles which were not only delicious, but super simple to work with. So as I spent my Sunday working on a few basics for the week, my homemade peanut butter started screaming in my ear, “Thai Noodle Salad!!!!”
First off, if you haven’t tried making your own peanut butter, go ahead and give it a shot. Naturally, it doesn’t take much: peanuts, salt to taste, and a little oil (I use olive oil) to get the creaminess going. In the food processor you might be unsure of what’s going down as the first few minutes create what looks like crushed peanuts. But give it some time and a little bit of that oil and before you know it, you’ve got yourself a homemade peanut butter.
But how would peanut butter and zucchini noodles come together? Quite deliciously to be honest!
In a small sauce pan I got started on what would be the base of my thai flavors. The sauce, containing pureed tomatoes, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, ginger, garlic and lime was bright with flavor and color. Thinly sliced red onions and scallions along with shredded cabbage and carrots were added to the sauce for only a minute before serving to just barely soften them. Tossed with my zucchini noodles (raw and sliced into spaghetti style thickness with a mandoline) and topped with a few quickly pickled jalapenos made for an unbelievable dinner. But what about the peanut butter? Using equal parts peanut butter and sour cream, along with a bit of honey and a squeeze of siracha, the peanut cream added the final touch and the perfect cooling aid to the spicy and delicious noodle dish.
But the exciting part is, this approach could be used for so many different sauce types. So at the risk of sounding preachy, I really encourage you to try these “noodles”. I’ve found by keeping them raw and tossing with the hot sauce right before serving, the wonderful texture of spaghetti is mimicked pretty darn well. And with a big plate of veggies in front of you, there’s no feeling guilty about going back for seconds!