So, as many of you may know, there's quite the winter storm blanketing the midwest as we speak. This storm has turned me into a 10 year old schoolgirl as I watch weather reports and check my email to see if work gets cancelled. And, to my great surprise and joy, work closed early on Tuesday and is closed all day Wednesday!! On top of THAT, a conference I was supposed to attend on Thursday and Friday has been cancelled...so, I have some unexpected time on my hands!
As I was driving home from work realizing I would have loads of free time, I thought I might stop by the grocery store and pick up some things to cook with, but as I neared the grocery store parking lot, I realized that if I ever emerged from that pit from hell, it may be sans an eye, or ear, or arm. That place was a MAD house. Now, I've lived out on the East Coast in the mid-atlantic region, so I know what snow-storm shoppers do and look like (I worked at a bagel store in high school and when there was a threat of 2 inches, we were CLEANED OUT...because, you know, bagels are a necessity and all...), but I never expected this from the Windy City. I'm rather disappointed...but, to be fair, this storm is pretty wild.
So, I went home without any new groceries and decided I needed to get creative with the items I already had in the kitchen. I took a gander and I came up with this list: onion, garlic, peanut butter, alphabet soup letters,a few cherry tomatoes, leftover collard greens, and a few other things here and there.
Not a list very conducive to cooking...so I thought. But then, I had a strange craving for THAI PEANUT SOUP! And you know what, I had most of the stuff for a recipe I found on Sketch-Free Vegan Eating's blog
I have never cooked Pad Thai or anything peanut butter based, but this was amazing.
I tweaked a good deal of this recipe, but it is adapted from Sketch-Free Vegan Eating's recipe for Thai Peanut Soup.
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (with or without seeds, depending on your spice level)
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup rice milk
1 cup peanut butter (I didn't have natural, I had Jiffy...)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp. soy sauce
juice from 1 lime
salt to taste
dry roasted peanuts
1 cup prepared alphabet soup noodles (or rice, or anything, this is optional)
In a large pot, cook the onions, garlic and jalapeno in the oil until softened (about 5 minutes). In a small saucepan, prepare the alphabet noodles or rice as directed on the box. Drain the water out of the noodles and then add everything into the big pot (except dry peanuts) and simmer until the vegetables are soft (around 20 minutes).
This was great. So stick to your ribs thick that I needed a nap after eating it.
But that's not all! No, my friends, I decided that I needed to do something with those leftover collard greens! I de-ribbed them, chopped them up into chip form, washed and dried them, tossed them with olive oil and sea salt and baked them in the oven at 300 degrees for around 25 minutes and had me some collard chips.
Oh what a feast. If only everyday were a snow day...