I’m still unsure if last night’s recipe was REALLY new. The recipe was not one I’d made before, but it’s based loosely on one I’ve made often. The original recipe, from Taste of Home‘s Family Favorite Recipes Summer 2007, is called Peanut Chicken Stir-Fry. I’ve made this often, and we’ve always enjoyed it. It’s chicken and broccoli with a sweet and salty peanut butter sauce. But now that Brian doesn’t want to eat meat, I have to make some more adjustments to my menu and leave out some of our old favorites. I’ve missed this dish, but haven’t gotten brave enough to try plain tofu in place of meat yet. I needed an idea of how to revamp the recipe.
Then it hit me–use the California blend of vegetables (broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower), instead of just broccoli, two bags instead of one, and throw in a can of black beans for protein (and pretty color contrast). So here is the new Brian-friendly/ meat free version of the recipe:
Peanut Butter Vegetables and Black Beans
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp water, divided
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 3 tbsp soy sauce (I use gluten free, of course.)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 1lb bags California blend of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
- 1 15oz can black beans (I always use reduced sodium canned items when possible.)
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup water, peanut butter, soy sauce, and brown sugar until smooth; set aside. Saute garlic in oil, then add frozen vegetables. When vegetables are thoroughly warmed (about 5 minutes), add beans and peanut sauce, and cook until sauce is smooth (about 2-3 minutes). (Definitely don’t add the beans too early, unless you want a refried beans consistency to the dish.) Combine corn starch and remaining water until smooth; gradually add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until sauce thickens (about 2 minutes). Great served with brown rice.
Yield: about 4-6 servings
This recipe might be a little too vegetable-heavy for people who want a ‘normal’ dish as entree, but it’s very filling and nutritious, as well as tasty. It would probably make a good side dish as well, if you prefer. I love how the peanut sauce soaks into the broccoli florets. They’re always my favorite part of the recipe. The carrots’ sweetness also compliments the sauce well. We ate this with leftover brown rice and were satisfied for the night.
**The original recipe cautioned not to use reduced-fat or generic brands of peanut butter, but I use organic/ natural peanut butter, which works just fine. The sauce may not look as smooth, but it still tastes great.