Safe, effective, and fun! (surrealestate) wrote in vegancooking,
Safe, effective, and fun!

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Microwave Peanut Noodles and Peanut Butter Cups

It occurs to me that since thusfar, I've only been asking for tips, advice, and such, and this is the bestest community ever, I ought to justify my existence and post some of my creations, too. Usually I eat them before I think of it, but this was my vegan_cookoff entry a couple of weeks ago when the theme was Microwave Cooking. I've received some great feedback from people who've tried it out, so if anyone else is interested, here ya go:

At my last job, I discovered I could make an excellent peanut sauce using the assorted condiments available in the cafeteria, so I'd pour some over vegetables from the salad bar steamed in the microwave. This is a froofier version of same. (If I'd remembered to buy more tofu, I would have added some of that cubes as well.) Continuing on the peanut butter concept, I added the peanut butter cups because they're so damn good and are also 100% microwave. I love making my own since I can use high-quality chocolate as well as all-natural (often fresh-ground) peanut butter without tons of sugar mixed in.

Peanut Noodles with Vegetables
1 package soft udon noodles
1 head broccoli
1 large carrot (or 2 smaller)
scallions for garnish

1/4 cup all-natural smooth peanut butter (unsweetened, unsalted)
1/4 cup water
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp rice vinegar
splash of mirin
dashes of hot sauce

Additional water for cooking

Chop broccoli into bite-sized chunks, including stems (peel first) and place in glass (or other microwave-safe) bowl. Add a few tablespoons of water, cover with another plate, and microwave on high for 2-2.5 minutes, until cooked to desired tenderness. Drain excess water. (Take care when handling bowls out of the microwave, as both the container and the escaping steam can be very hot.)

Chop carrot into matchstick pieces and place in bowl with two tablespoons water. Microwave on high for 1 minute or to desired tenderness. (The carrots will cook faster than the broccoli.) Drain excess water.

Place noodles in bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high for three minutes, until noodles are hot throughout. Drain.

Use a fork to mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Microwave on medium for 25 seconds (be careful here as peanut butter burns easily -- try it without the water if you don't believe me :) and then mix with fork until smooth.

Pile noodles on a plate, add steamed vegetables, and pour peanut sauce on top. Garnish with chopped scallion. Drip sauce onto the plate to make it look cool.

Eat. Yum!

Close-up of the noodles with sauce:

Peanut Butter Cups
1/4 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
2 tbsp all-natural peanut butter, cold (I used chunky this time)
Dash vegetable oil
Mini baking cups

Place chocolate chips or chunked chocolate in a microwave-safe cup or bowl, add a dash of vegetable oil, and microwave on medium in bursts of 20 seconds, stirring between rounds, until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Arrange baking cups on counter and carefully spoon about 1 tsp of melted chocolate into each one. Gently jiggle the cups to even out the layer.

Press the peanut butter (this is even easier if you put it in the freezer a little bit ahead of time) into disks slightly smaller than the bottom layer of chocolate. Place one disk into each cup, and then (again carefully) spoon 1-1.5 teaspoons of melted chocolate over each. Once again jiggle each cup to even out the later, adding more chocolate as needed.

Wait for them to harden or, if you're less patient, put them in the freezer and they'll be ready in just a few minutes.

Eat. Yum!

Another view of the complete plate:
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