Spicy green beans in peanut sauce is a great meal to come home to after a long workday. It’s easy, fresh comfort food with a kick. Sometimes I want a reward for making it through Monday.
When the alarm rings Monday morning, it isn’t just ending a night’s sleep, it’s beginning the weekly rush. Expectations and deadlines, schedules and commitments, hasty bagged lunches (once I grabbed a jar of peanut butter and spoon. Really.) and buses you can’t possibly miss or it’s really, really gonna suck.
I don’t do the bus thing anymore since I moved back to the country. For the first time in my adult life (except for a brief and wonderful interlude when I drove to work in Arizona) I’m not locked in a rocky romance with a city bus system.
Getting to and from work is a job in itself, especially on public transportation. If you remain employed, you’re doing it right. Next time you’re studying schedules like you’re planning a Napoleonic campaign or jogging through the streets knocking over tourists to make a connection, know that you’re a hero and I’d give you a big hug if I could.
But even if Monday means getting out of bed, pulling on something like clothes and rolling into the next room, it’s still tough. And I want something nice to eat at the end of it. So today my Meatless Monday meal is spicy green beans in peanut sauce. It’s easy to make, and for me that’s key to a good Monday reward meal. I don’t have the stamina to get all Julia Child after a long day of no more weekend. But still, I expect my evening meal to entertain me with invigorating deliciousness.
I’m pretty demanding when it comes to food. This was never an asset until I started sharing recipes. Now it’s awesome. A community service even.
And here’s what I mean by easy: cut up some green beans and carrots, chuck some peanut butter (!) and flavorful Asian-inspired goodies into a food processor to make a quick sauce, boil up some of your favorite noodles. Stir-fry the veggies with some fiery red pepper flakes, stir in the noodles and sauce. And now I’m set to settle down with a big bowl of fresh, flavorful comfort food and nosh till my heart’s content. The green beans and carrots are full of fresh flavor and crunch, not to mention boatloads of vitamins, fiber and bonus nutrients. I love the sauce because it’s comforting and exotic at the same time, full of familiar extraordinary flavors. The peanut butter base is warm and soothing and generously spiked with garlic, ginger and savory soy sauce.
If this sauce could talk, it would say relax and have fun. Relax! And have fun.
Relax and have fun. Especially on Monday night.
I’m on it, sauce!
Eat Healthy Eat Happy
Spicy green beans in peanut sauce is fresh and comforting with a fiery kick. Toss with your favorite noodles for an easy meatless meal.
10 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 2" ginger root, peeled and quartered
- 3-4 large cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 1/2 medium onion, quartered
- 3 Tbs low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 Tbs maple syrup, agave or your favorite liquid sweetener
- 1 tsp dried coriander
- juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbs)
- 1/2 c peanut butter
- 1/2 c hot pasta water
- 4 servings soba noodles, rice noodles or your favorite pasta, cooked according to package (reserve cooking water)
- 1 Tbs sesame oil, or your favorite cooking oil
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (use more for super-spiciness)
- 12 - 16 oz. fresh green beans, halved if very long
- 3-4 large carrots, chopped as you like
- chopped peanuts and additional red pepper flakes to serve (if you like)
- Combine all the sauce ingredients except the peanut butter and pasta water in a food processor or blender and puree smooth. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta cooks, stir fry the green beans and carrots with the oil and red pepper flakes over medium heat. Cook the veggies for about 8 minutes.
- Add the peanut butter and 1/2 c pasta cooking water to the sauce ingredients and puree to combine.
- Remove the veggies from heat and stir in the drained pasta and peanut sauce. Stir well and warm on low before serving. Serve topped with chopped peanuts and an extra pinch of red pepper flakes for fanciness and flavor.
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If you love peanut butter you’re gonna love these green beans. And if you love peanut butter you might want to check out these 15 seriously lip-smackin peanut butter-infused creations from some of the best healthy food bloggers I know. I don’t want to deprive you of this peanut butter goodness: Also, if you like the flavors in these spicy green beans, something tells me you have a little taste for Thai. Ok, maybe more than a little. In which case, Thai basil pesto may seriously change your life: I don’t always take advice from sauce, but when I do I relax and have fun. ~gin