janet @ the taste space

Tess’ Ultimate Peanut Sauce

In Favourites, Salads, Sides on November 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I’ve told you my weekly menus now revolve around a new dressing.

Now that veggies may not necessarily be at their peak, a good dressing is key to eating raw salads.

Or, once you make this dressing, you may just decide to drink it instead. Forgetting the veggies altogether.

It took me a long, long while to finally make Tess’ peanut sauce.  Her recipe was daunting with the coconut milk, peanut butter and heavy use of agave. Tess’ last coconut-based sauce (the creamy Thai cilantro ginger sauce) was heavenly so I knew I should try it out. Eventually.

However, I was guarding the last of our molasses for the recipe. With my pantry purge and gusto of tackling old bookmarked recipes from October, I finally took the plunge. With less sweetener, less sodium AND using coconut beverage, we have a winner. A drinkable winner. The twist from the other peanut dressings comes from the bite from molasses and umami from the fermented black bean sauce. Use it to coat anything. Veggies, grains, beans, you name it. Here, I paired it with sliced carrots, thinly sliced sugar snap peas, julienned baby bok choy, kelp noodles and pea shoots.

I suppose this is a good time to let you all in on a challenge I started this month. A sweetener-free challenge. For 8 weeks along with Gabby and Megan. Leanne is also doing a 2-week sugar-free cleanse which is a bit too extreme for me. While I have already cut out refined sugars, I am going to limit my intake of other sweeteners, including dried fruit, maple syrup, agave and stevia. I decided to keep eating fruit that isn’t sweet (cranberries, green papaya, tamarind, etc) since they are more sour than sweet.  As I work through some of my recent recipe successes, a few may still contain sweeteners which is good for those of you still using them. 🙂

This is my submission to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by Ruth (the last one!) and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Veggie Noodly Salad with the Ultimate Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup sliced carrots
100g sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
3 baby bok choy, julienned
4 oz kelp noodles
1/4 cup pea shoots, ends trimmed
2-4 tbsp Tess’ Ultimate Peanut Sauce (see below)

1. Combine all ingredients and smother in peanut sauce. Enjoy!

Serves 1.

Tess’ Ultimate Peanut Sauce
Adapted from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth (recipe here)

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (smooth)
1/2-inch segment of ginger, chopped
1 tbsp chopped white or yellow onion
1/2 cup coconut milk  (I used the coconut beverage)
1 tbsp low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lime juice
1 tbsp dark molasses (do not use blackstrap)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1.5 tsp fermented black bean sauce (optional)
salt, to taste
3 tbsp water, or thinned to your desired consistency

1. Place all ingredients, except water, in a blender and blend until smooth. Salt to taste. Add additional sweetener if desired. Add water until you reach your desired consistency.

Makes 1.25 cups (20 tbsp).

  1. I’ve never thought to add black bean sauce to peanut sauce–I can imagine that even that tiny amount lifts the flavors. Thanks!

  2. This is what my poor long winter starved intestines are craving now that spring is here! I can’t wait till we get a glut of all things green and vital and crunchy and crispy on our grocery stands so that I can indulge in this heady cocktail of health and taste. Cheers for making me salivate on my keyboard and this amazing recipe 🙂

  3. Kelp noodles are so yummy! Thanks for sharing:)

  4. The dressing sounds amazing and it looks so great on the salad too. Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays.

  5. This looks so awesome Janet- all of Tess’s recipes always do!

    Had such a lovely evening last night 🙂

  6. Not sure I’m ready for a sugar free diet, but a sugar free dish… I’m happy to try this one out! Thanks for sharing it with the last Presto Pasta Night Roundup.

  7. This peanut sauce does sound amazing! We haven’t been getting enough raw veg lately, sad to say, so I think I may make up a batch and start shredding. 🙂

  8. I am SUCH a sucker for a good peanut sauce!! I’d probably want to bathe in this. 🙂 Kudos to you on your sugar challenge!! That’s awesome.

  9. […] all the recent sweets, it was probably no shock that I’d jump on the chance to try a sweetener-free challenge. Early in the summer I tried to reduce my fruit consumption, to no avail, as local berries arrived […]

  10. […] – Shiitake, Walnut, and Cranberry Salad with Adzuki Beans – Moroccan Quinoa – Chili Lime Noodles – THE Peanut Sauce (original recipe elsewhere) – Mediterranean Collard Wrap with Hummus, Artichoke Hearts and […]

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  15. […] made before my sweetener-free challenge, this packs a serious punch. Satisfies a snack attack. Or maybe not, since it is so […]

  16. […] of the things I am enjoying about this sweetener-free challenge is determining how much sweetener I truly need.  Furthermore, I feel less bloated, which is really […]

  17. […] better way to sneak back into sweetened life than by eating through Doug McNish’s cooking class. I’ve done a few […]

  18. […] before I started the sweetener-free challenge, I wondered how my tastes have changed. I can’t do deep-fried foods or other meals doused in […]

  19. […] of my most repeated and requested recipes from the year. When I wanted my first dessert after my sweetener-free challenge, this is what I made. Decadent and rich, you would never know this was low in calories. Nor would […]

  20. […] of my goals last year was to simplify my kitchen, with a focus on sauces and dressings with fresh vegetables supported by beans and whole grains. My salad jar revolutionized my […]

  21. […] a balanced diet but not starvation. I don’t believe in miracle foods. While I tried a sweetener-free challenge last month, I am back to eating fruits and chocolate. Fruits are filled with vitamins, […]

  22. […] Tired of hummus leftovers? Run out of crackers and veggies? Already added it to your sandwich/wrap?  Trust me, there was a time when I couldn’t finish a batch of hummus within a week, so I understand. But now, I make a batch nearly every week. Carrots and hummus were my dessert of choice on my sweetener-free challenge. […]

  23. […] note on black rice, possibly one of my favourite rices to date. When I cut fruit out on my sweetener-free challenge, I knew I was going to miss some of the many benefits from eating whole fruits: fiber, vitamins and […]

  24. […] Tess’ Ultimate Peanut Sauce Creamy Thai Cilantro Sauce Tangy Peanut Dressing (with a Mango and Snap Pea Salad) Coconut-Peanut Mmm Sauce (with Kelp noodles, baby bok choy and edamame) Spicy Peanut Udon Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli Sweet Potato, Broccoli and Pomegranate Salad with a Peanut Dressing […]

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