Peanut-Soy Lo Mein and Bok Choy

12 06 2014

This recipe is based on our Fresh Fork Market grab bag this week of CSA (community-supported agriculture). Among other goodies, we received beautiful bok choy and some funky green-onion looking things called garlic scapes. Essentially the scapes are part of the tops of garlic bulbs, and can be used just like garlic. They are available in early summer and I must say, are far easier to chop than regular garlic (although I’m a pro at chopping garlic)! 

This lo mein dish with a delicious peanut-soy sauce is super speedy, and bok choy is the perfect veggie to compliment it! Pick your protein, or serve with a salad and get a healthy dinner on the table in no time.

Peanut-Soy Lo Mein With Bok Choy

The following serves 3-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Martha Stewart and Fresh Fork Market):

  • Toasted sesame oil
  • 2 small heads of bok choy, stalks chopped and leaves cut separately
  • 6 garlic scapes, chopped (you could also use a couple of cloves of minced garlic instead)
  • 1 Tbsp chili paste
  • 1 package (10 oz) lo mein noodles
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp all-natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

Bring a medium pot with water to a boil. Cook the lo mein noodles according to package directions and drain. These cook fast, so I suggest dropping the noodles after you cook the bok choy. The noodles I used took 4 minutes to cook.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high and add a little sesame oil, a couple turns of the pan. Add 4 chopped garlic scapes and saute for 30 seconds. Add the chili paste and saute, stirring, for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the bok choy stalks and saute for a minute. Then add the leaves and cook until wilted, another minute or two. Remove the bok choy and any liquid from the skillet to a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, honey and cornstarch together. Add the remaining chopped garlic scapes. Add the peanut-soy mixture to the same skillet you cooked the bok choy in and cook, whisking over medium heat. The mixture will thicken pretty quickly, it might almost look like it’s seizing up. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth to thin out, 1/4 cup at a time. Cook until the sauce is warmed through, then reduce the heat to low. Add the cooked lo mein and the bok choy you set aside, along with any liquid that may have settled in the bowl. Toss well to coat, allowing the noodles to soak up the sauce. Finish with a drizzle of the sesame oil.

Serve with a protein of your choice. Pictured above is grilled sirloin steak seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

29 01 2014

Sometimes I end up with one lone ripe banana. While there are lots to do with ripe bananas, most recipes call for several. I needed a snack I could quickly whip up with one nana…and these chocolate balls seemed perfect. Chewy and delicious, they offer a boost of fiber, perfect for in-between meals or after a workout. Heads up, the balls are small so they’ll go fast!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

The following makes 12 balls (adapted from The Lemon Bowl):

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal (I used flax seeds instead)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • Kosher salt

Mash banana in a medium bowl and add in cocoa powder, peanut butter, flax, and a pinch of sea salt. The original recipe called for 2 Tbsp vanilla protein powder, which I didn’t have so I ended up adding a little more oats. Add the powder at this point if you have some to bulk up the protein.

Continue to mash with a fork until all ingredients are fully combined. The more you mash, the more liquid the banana will release, helping to make it less dry.

Next, stir in oats using a rubber spatula.

Using a small ice cream scooper or two teaspoons, form into 12 balls and place on a plate lined with wax paper or a silpat. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on top of the balls to finish.

Refrigerate 30 minutes, or up to 3 days in tupperware.

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Smoothie with Banana or Apple

17 01 2014

I eat two snacks a day, one in between breakfast and lunch, and another in between lunch and dinner. And one of them always involves peanut butter. Wanted to switch it up, so decided to try turning my go-to snack into a smoothie…which is filling and tasty! Love that I can make this the night before and grab-n-go the next day, a great time-saver!

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Smoothie with Banana or Apple

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Smoothie with Banana or Apple

The following serves 1 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 banana, sliced or 1 small apple, cored and cubed
  • 1 cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or a squirt of honey

Pulse the oats and flaxseed in a blender or food processor until you get the consistency of a powder. Then add everything else and blend until smooth. Enjoy right away, or store overnight in a sealed travel mug to grab-n-go the next day.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

5 01 2014

I’m always on the hunt for quick breakfast options I can pack on-the-go….but they have to be healthy. Which means 9.5 times out of ten, I’m having to cook something. That’s why I love muffins. Even though I know I still have to cook something, at least with muffins I can make them over the weekend and grab-n-go during the week.

These PB banana oatmeal muffins are made with simple, whole ingredients that I normally eat for breakfast anyways (my go-to is oatmeal made with old fashioned oats and bananas)…and better yet, you don’t need butter or oil!

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

The following makes 12 muffins (adapted from Delicious in a DASH):

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (I used Smucker’s natural PB)
  • 2 medium overripe bananas
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but use what you have)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients and set aside.

In another large bowl, smash the bananas and beat in the peanut butter and egg till well combined. Then add brown sugar, vanilla and milk and stir until blended.

Add the mixed dry ingredients to the bowl containing the wet ingredients and stir. It’s ok if the batter is a little thin and/or lumpy.

Fill prepared muffin cups (sprayed with non-stick spray) with batter and bake for 15-18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Allow muffins to cool for a few minutes, then top with a little brown sugar if desired.

Peanut Butter “Ice Cream” Made From Bananas

10 10 2013

This is a recipe for ice cream made solely from bananas. And, it’s amazing! I don’t know where to source the idea for this because the concept is all over Pinterest, and where I got the original idea. But I do share a little more detail about how I made this than what I was able to find in other recipes. I honestly didn’t believe the consistency would really be like ice cream, but I had to try it out. I stand mistaken. It truly is JUST like ice cream! I cannot wait to try all sorts of different flavors with this technique….I feel like a kid in a candy store, minus the guilt and sugar high of course 🙂 YIPPEE!!!!

Peanut Butter "Ice Cream" Made From Bananas

Peanut Butter “Ice Cream” Made From Bananas

The following makes 1-2 servings:

  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1 Tbsp natural, creamy peanut butter

Slice ripe bananas and lay in a single layer in the freezer to freeze. I recommend at least freezing overnight.

Using a food processor, blend the frozen banana slices. At first it will blend into little clumps. Don’t give up though, just keep processing, scraping down the sides of the food processor with a small spatula and processing again. Repeat these steps until the frozen bananas begin to get smooth. At this point add the peanut butter and continue to process and scraping down the sides until it reaches an “ice cream-like” consistency (as shown above).

I recommend making this ice cream to order and serving immediately, as I’m not sure what the consistency would be like the next day.

I’m already excited about the endless flavor combinations I’d like to try out! Up next I think I’ll try a Tbsp of pumpkin puree rather than the peanut butter along with pumpkin pie spice. YUM!

Puppy Chow From Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

18 03 2012

This is a great showcase of the art of improvisation! I set out to make chocolate-peanut butter cereal bars from an Everyday Food recipe. I pretty much followed the recipe, but the mixture didn’t stick together enough to cut bars. So, I improvised and turned it into puppy chow. Sometimes things just don’t turn out as planned, so learn to improvise 🙂

Puppy Chow From Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

The following was supposed to make 12 cereal bars (give it a try, maybe it’ll work for you!):

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups chocolate crisp puffed rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 10 oz miniature marshmallows (4 and 3/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (I did a mix of 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup nutella, maybe that’s where I went wrong!)
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. Lightly spray parchment. Place cereal in a large bowl. In a large pot, melt butter over medium. Add marshmallows, peanut butter and salt, and cook, stirring until mixture is melted, about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir into cereal until combined. Let mixture cool slightly, 4 minutes (mixture should still be piliable), then stir in chocolate chips and peanuts. With a spatula (or your fingers) lightly coated with cooking spray, press into pan. Let stand at room temperature until set, about 20 minutes. Using parchment, lift from the pan and cut into 12 bars. Store in an airtight container, up to 5 days.

The mixture basically started to crumble when I pulled it out of the pan. So I grabbed large chunks and tossed with some powdered sugar in a closed zip-lock bag.

Peanut Butter-Cereal Bars

1 08 2011

This past weekend we headed down to southern Ohio for a family reunion we host every other year. It’s a pot luck style gathering with a lot of great, homey comfort food! I needed something that would travel well and last overnight. I also wanted to cook up a little of my Grammy, who always loved our reunions.

Have you ever flipped through a Pillsbury cookbook – the mini magazine kind? If not, there are some great recipes in these little beauties – and now I have a whole collection of them from Gram! I found these cereal bars in one of them and new this would be a great travel treat recipe that Grammy would have enjoyed 🙂

Peanut Butter-Cereal Bars

Ingredients (the following makes 24 bars):

  • 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 2 cups Total Honey Clusters cereal – I couldn’t find this so I substituted Honey Roasted Honey Bunches of Oats. The recipe also warns that if regular Total is substituted for the Honey Clusters, these bars won’t stick together tightly.
  • 2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios cereal
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 20 large marshmallows

Spray 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix cereals and set aside.

Cook remaining ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until marshmallows are melted. Pour over cereal mixture and mix well.

Press mixture firmly into pan and let cool before cutting. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows and store tightly covered.