Tag Archives: peanut butter

Food Matters Project #24: Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Can you believe that the Food Matters Project has been going on for over 6 months?  Yikes, how time flies when you’re trying out delicious recipes!  If you haven’t been with us on this blog for that long, here’s a little recap:

The Food Matters Project is made up of a group of bloggers (there are so many of us) who are interested in making recipes from the Food Matter Cookbook by Mark Bittman.  Each week one blogger is the “host” and chooses a recipe- and we all make it.  The Food Matters Cookbook is very open to interpretation, therefore making it perfect for this project- all of you should check out what each blogger made.  See what recipes Fifth Floor Kitchen has made here.     

This weeks host is Alyssa, of Everyday Maven.  She had chosen Mark Bittman’s recipe for Summer Rolls in Peanut Sauce.  Check out Alyssa’s recipe for the tofu version, and other Food Matters Project participants recipes.  This was a fabulous choice since it involved no cooking- which is perfect in mid-August.

I’m sure you’ve all had these garden rolls at many Asian restaurants, and you’ll find that they are very easy to make.  I love the fresh ingredients, and wanted to replicate the refreshing and light taste.

Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 96), A Chow Life, & A Cozy Kitchen
Servings: 9 + a little extra peanut sauce

Peanut Sauce:
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup roasted nuts
5 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Asian Rolls:
rice paper sheets
2 carrots, peeled & julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 red pepper, julienned
1 jalapeño, julienned (optional)
20 sprigs of cilantro
2-3 leaves of mint

Add all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce into a food processor.  Process the ingredients until the sauce is smooth.  Pour into a bowl, it can be refrigerated for a couple of days.

To assemble the Asian Rolls fill a shallow, wide bowl with warm water.  Gently submerge each rice paper under water, keep it there for about 10 seconds- until the paper is soft.  Transfer the rice paper onto a slightly damp towel.  Working quickly, place the ingredients on the edge of the wrapper (a few julienned carrots, cucumbers and red pepper, a piece of jalapeño, 2 springs of cilantro, small piece of mint).  Fold the side in front of you over (away from you), turn in the sides, and then keep rolling away from you.  Repeat until you have used all of your ingredients.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Have you ever thought about how you met your friends?  Sometimes people want to know what is the connection, or connector, between two people, and it’s always interesting to think about it.  Since I had lived in various places throughout my 20’s (Sevilla, Iowa City, Virginia Beach and DC), I have friends which I met in some crazy situations.  Others are friends of friends, people I met at conferences, or someone who lived in the building.

Today is my friend Carolyn’s birthday (Happy Birthday!), and we don’t have a crazy story about how we met- it was at work, and we were one of the very few people under the age of 50 (not kidding).  Although we were only in the same office for a 1 year, we did find that we have a huge thing in common: our love for Mexican food.  We may have enjoyed many burrito bowls at Chipotle during our lunch hours (we also had an enchilada dinner not too long ago).  We were a little inseparable- kind of like Peanut Butter and Jelly!

To celebrate Carolyn’s birthday I made her some treats- hope she enjoys them!  Although these don’t have to be just for a celebration- enjoy them when you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (but without bread).  Perfect little one-bite treat.  Yum!

What’s your favorite jelly or jam?  My favorite is the strawberry-rhubarb, although it’s difficult to find.  The last time I bought one was when I was in Germany earlier this year.  It tasted delicious on this little bite-size cookie.

PB & J Cookie
Adapted from: Love Veggies and Yoga

1/4 cup of organic peanut butter
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
jelly or jam

In a small bowl whip together peanut butter and butter with a mixer until it is creamy.  I recommend putting it in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds before mixing, it’ll be easier to whip together.  Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt* and flour.  Stir until all ingredients are combined.

Keep the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes, this will make it easier to work with the dough.  Once you take it out of the fridge, form the dough into balls.  Indent the top, making sure there are walls all around.  In each well, add your favorite jelly or jam.

*I used unsalted peanut butter, therefore I added a bit more salt.

Oatmeal Chocolate Bars

I’m a huge fan of granola bars, oatmeal bars or any other snack that comes in a bar form.  I’ve made different bars before, and I always like the homemade one’s much more than the store bought one’s.  And you can pick your own flavors that go into it.

Also, how many times have you grabbed the organic or all-natural granola snack bar, and then turned it over to read the ingredients?  You’ll see some words that you have no idea what they are, or what they mean.  So what’s the best way to control what you put into your tummy?  Make it yourself!

These bars are great.  After we cut them up, we kept them in tupperware containers in the fridge.  I would take them to work for a mid-day snack.  By the time I would eat it at work, the chocolate would be slightly melty, and the granola would be soft.  Feel free to play around with different flavors of the dried fruit, or change the type of peanut butter.  There are so many varieties to be made.

Not only do these make great mid-day snacks, but they’re also a fantastic way to fuel up before a long run (or after)!  Maybe bring it with you when you’re traveling in the car, or a flight (it’s way better than those pretzels!).

Oatmeal Chocolate Bars
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 cup of honey
2 tsp maple extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup creamy sunflower butter (or peanut butter)
2 cups of oatmeal oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dried pomegranate seeds
1/4 dried currants
1/2 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup of chocolate chips

Combine honey, maple extract, salt, sugar and sunflower butter in a small saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer for 4 minutes while stirring it.

Add the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, dried pomegranate seeds, dried currants,  dried cherries to a large bowl.  Once the honey-sunflower butter mixture is done cooking, add it to the large bowl.  Fold the two mixtures together.  Lastly, add the chocolate chips, but be sure to not melt the chocolate chips.

Grease a 9×12 inch pan, and then pat down the bar mixture.  Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, and then cut the bars into the pieces.