Thai Chili Peanut Sauce

I have the best husband! He is always willing to run to the store for me if I need anything, no matter how crazy the item is or how long the list. He went to Sprouts for me a few days ago AND took our toddler to give me a much-needed break. He brought home these Chili Peanuts and said he thought they looked good but they weren’t. He must have been hungry… Rule #1 of grocery shopping is not to go when you are hungry otherwise you end up with things like this.

I asked Melody of Melomeals: Vegan For $3.33 A Day what she would do with them (she is the recipe invention master!) and she suggested a peanut sauce. Great idea! I went through my fridge and cupboards and I found soba noodles, a leftover red pepper from making Red Lentil Thai Chili, cilantro, limes, fresh ginger, panang curry paste, half a can of coconut milk, leftover shredded carrots from making Carrot Breakfast Bread, snow peas and a fresh bag of organic spinach from my CSA delivery. Okay… time to invent something!

After adding, tasting and blending for what seemed like forever… my Chili Peanut Sauce came out pretty tasty! This sauce would go well with a bunch of things but I made it into a noodle dish with the red pepper, carrots, snap peas, spinach and soba noodles.

Thai Chili Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

* 1 cup chili peanuts

* 2 Tbsp panang chili paste – you could use any curry paste but the panang was really good!

* 1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk

* 2 Tbsp fresh ginger

* 3 cloves garlic

* 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

* 1/4 cup cilantro

* 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup

* 2 Tbsp soy sauce

* 1 tsp Sriracha (optional)

* Big pinch of salt

Directions:

* Add all ingredients to high-powered blender (I used my VitaMix) and blend until smooth.

* Add more coconut milk if it’s too thick

* I’m pretty sure this would work in a food processor but I haven’t tried it yet. Next time.

For the noodle dish I added this sauce to:

* I cooked my soba noodles

* Sautéed 1 diced red pepper, 1 cup shredded carrots and 1 cup snow peas in a tiny bit of peanut oil

* Added 1 cup of sauce, then noodles and spinach (about 5-6 cups) and mixed with tongs, cooked on low heat until spinach wilted and sauce was covering all ingredients.

* I served this with Sriracha Hot Sauce, it really made the dish!! You could use regular whole wheat spaghetti for this too. Top with fresh cilantro and maybe a little lime juice, if you wish.

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