What a brilliant idea this month from the Daring Cooks; my favourite kind of idea: simple, healthy, and very tasty.
The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include "Better with Nut Butter" by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.
The basic idea is this. Choose any nut. Blend (or process; use some machine with a blade) the nut until it forms a spreadable butter. Add a bit of oil if the nuts are really dry and need help forming a paste. Then use this butter on bread, with veggie sticks, or thin it down with a bit of water and use it in sauces. It can be used as a cream or milk substitute in cooking. Genius!
I made three nut butters: raw peanut butter, cashew nut butter, and pistachio butter.
And I used my cashew nut butter to make this Asian salad. Only the noodles are cooked (and the beans if you are not using canned beans). Then toss it all together with a zesty cashew dressing.
Noodle Salad with Cashew Dressing
for the salad:
25 g dried spinach egg noodles
1 stalk of celery (about 25 g), sliced
1/2 carrot (about 75 g), thinly sliced
1/2 c (125 ml) cooked red beans (tinned or dried then cooked)
for the dressing:
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 t chopped ginger root
2 T cashew nut butter (made from 1/4 c [30 g] cashews)
1 T soy sauce
1 t sugar
1 t vinegar
1 t toasted sesame oil
1 T water
Cook the noodles according to package directions.
Put all the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine or whisk well by hand.
Toss the noodles, celery, carrot, and beans with the dressing.