Weird Meal Wednesday: Sweet Kickin’ Peanut Sauce

Peanut butter.  Is there nothing it can’t do?  It goes with everything from chocolate to broccoli.  Today’s featured Weird Meal consists of my dinner staples.  We all have our favorite go-to foods and mine happen to be:  quinoa, broccoli, mushrooms and peanut butter.  Put ’em all together and you’ve got dinner:

This dinner took less than ten minutes to make.  Quinoa leftovers were in the fridge and I put my broccoli, mushrooms and shallots into the steamer to cook.  I whipped up a quick peanut sauce for some protein, healthy fats and deliciousness.  This got spooned onto my quinoa and veggies along with a few dashes of chili powder.  Don’t ever tell yourself you haven’t got time to make a healthy meal.  It would seriously take longer to call in for greasy restaurant food delivery.

Sweet Kickin’ Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 T horseradish

Just blend, stir or shake together. It makes enough for 2 servings.                                      Now you’ve got lunch for tomorrow too.

What do you think of peanut butter?  It’s definitely one of my favorite foods.  I stick to the natural versions, avoiding added sugar and partially hydrogenated oils.  With the natural peanut butters you do have to stir up the oil that separates but it’s not a big deal.  You get used to this little sacrifice for better quality peanut butter.  I’ve tried so many brands, probably all of them.  The ingredients are just peanuts and often salt too.  My favorite used to be the Santa Cruz and the Trader Joe’s but thanks to BJ’s I have a new favorite that I find to not only have the most tasty peanut-y flavor, but to also be the best price…Smuckers!  With a name like Smuckers, it’s got to be good.

They come in packs of 2 for $8.99!

And they are BIG.

I don’t know what kind of peanuts they use or what special secret they have, but the flavor and texture are off the charts.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m glad I discovered these for a reason other than taste and price.  I had been buying a lot of the Trader Joe’s natural crunchy, which I liked but which I was also becoming quite suspicious of.  All the natural peanut butters I have ever tried have always had some degree of oil at the top that required mixing.  Some more than others.  Peanut butters that are homogenized and don’t require stirring usually have dangerous trans fats, although I have also seen palm oil added for the same effect.  The Trader Joe’s peanut butter lists just peanuts and salt on the ingredient list, however I never have to stir it up.  Some people may find this awesomely convenient but I found it sketchy.  This is what it looks like freshly opened:

No oil on top. Hmmmmmmm.

All  I’m saying is it makes my questioning mind wonder.   As consumers we put an awful lot of trust into food companies.   Being somewhat paranoid about the food industry in general, I sent TJ’s an email with my question to which they said I would need to call.  I called and they told me that they would look into it with their supplier and get back to me, which they did not.

 

Does anybody else wonder about foods being accurately labeled?  Once I saw several grams of cholesterol indicated on a nutritional facts label of a chocolate bar that had no animal ingredients in it so I contacted the company.  They told me that the cholesterol comes from the cocoa butter and it’s doesn’t have the same negative effect on the body as other types of cholesterol.   I wrote back saying that cocoa butter does not contain cholesterol.   They acknowledged their error and corrected the label.

Have you ever had an experience with a food label being wrong?  Do you ever wonder about organics?  Have you ever noticed that some produce items look identical when you compare the organic and conventional?  I’ve noticed this recently with a few store brand things in a certain store.  I know all about the strict regulations for organics but there’s still a shadow of doubt lurking in the corner of my mind.  Especially when these organic foods are products of other countries and the non-organic and organic are packaged in identical ways aside from the USDA organic logo on one. When you ask the store they tell you that they can’t disclose their private label  suppliers which just makes you question it even more.  I think it would make a really interesting documentary for someone to follow the trucks from the store to the distribution center, back to the processing plants and then back to the farms.  We take so much for granted just walking into the store and picking out what we want, trusting it’s grown safely and without thinking too much about where it comes from.

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