Tag Archives: peanut butter

Chicken with Coconut-Lime Peanut Sauce

I love coconut and I love peanut sauce, which is why this recipe first caught my eye. The recipe looked simple enough, with the bulk of the ingredients simply being whisked together into a sauce. And asparagus? Heck yeah–love that stuff too. After some tweaks and the addition of fresh green beans, here’s the recipe. If you like peanut sauce, chances are you’ll like this! If not, I’d say your chances are . . . well, slim to none.


(Serves 6)

For the sauce:

½ cup peanut butter
1 14.5 oz can coconut milk
1 TBS Thai red curry paste
1 TBS lime juice
1 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS fish sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1-2 TBS honey (to taste)
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch cinnamon
1-2 tsp sriracha

For the chicken:

1 TBS coconut or vegetable oil
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 bunch asparagus
½ lb green beans
Optional garnishes: peanuts, sriracha, unsweetened coconut flakes, cilantro, green onions, etc.

At this point, it looks like too many ingredients for this to be anything akin to ‘easy.’ But don’t worry! We’re just going to pour and sprinkle and drump, and most of those ingredients can go straight back into the pantry.

That’s right–drump. I have decided that what started as a typo is now going to become a permanent part of my vocabulary. And I haven’t quite nailed down the technical definition, so I’m open to suggestions before I contact my friend Merriam Webster.

And by the way, what kind of a first name is “Merriam”? Is it a typo for “Miriam” that turned into a name in the same way that ‘dump’ turned into ‘drump’? Maybe Merriam and I are more connected than I ever imagined.

Oh, the questions I have on a daily basis.

So: whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce.

You can adjust the flavors to your liking—add more sriracha for spice, more honey for sweetness, more lime juice for acidity, etc.

It’s hard to judge what it may or may not need if you taste it now (like I did), but if you taste it later once it’s hot and in the pot, your taste buds will be able to direct you more clearly.

If the asparagus stalks are thick, halve them lengthwise:

If they’re thin, you can leave them be. While you’re at it, snap off the tough ends. Cut the asparagus and green beans into 2-inch lengths on the diagonal.

Chop the onion, mince the garlic . . .

. . . and cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. When hot, add the onion and garlic.

Cook until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken to the pot, and cook for about 8 minutes, until golden.

That chicken sure is a disturbing shade of mauve at this point. But that will soon be rectified, thanks to the discovery of fire made long, long ago by a hairy man named Uggl. Or Oogf. Or maybe it was a hairy woman–the hair makes things hard to distinguish, sort of thing.

Not that I was looking . . . and not that I was even there. Anyway.

Add the sauce to the pot . . .

. . . lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for about 8 minutes.

Thank you, Uggl. Your discovery sure is coming in handy today.

Stir in the green beans and asparagus . . .

(don’t be like me and add WAY too many green beans) . . . and cook for 5 or so minutes or until crisp-tender.

If the sauce seems too thick at this point, thin it out with more coconut milk or water. Also, don’t forget to taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Everyone is different. No two mouths are not on fire.

(Strongbad, anyone?)

All done!

Serve over rice, with as few or as many of the garnishes as you please.

Personally, I’m all about the extra peanuts and the coconut flakes, though I didn’t have the patience to toast mine.

On the downside, my veggies were kind of floppy the following day when I reheated the curry–so leave them on the crisp side of crisp-tender that first night if you know it’s going to become part of your leftovers stash.

But overall–très goodé!

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars

I’m not a big candy person, but when I came across this recipe, the urge  for a sweet treat hit me hard. Chocolate and peanut butter make a timeless combination, and this simple recipe (which doesn’t even require you to turn on the oven) has delicious results. The bars are wonderful straight from the freezer, where they will conveniently stay good for quite a long time, though I doubt that ‘quite a long time’ will describe the longevity of these little guys. Think Reese’s peanut butter cup, but larger. And . . . healthier? Who knows. Let’s at least pretend, eh?

I think the hardest part of this recipe was simply measuring out the peanut butter (warning: a 16.3 oz container does not contain a full 2 cups). That stuff is sticky, man. But if that’s the summit of the challenge, you can see how easy these are going to be to make.


(Makes 20 small bars)

2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
3 cups powdered sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup butter, softened
12 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

Here’s the assembly: looking totally doable.

First, pulverize the graham crackers until you have 2 cups worth of very fine crumbs. I dumped the crackers into a Ziploc bag and went at them with the heel of my hand.

Very soon, I graduated my efforts to the rolling-pin level.

Much faster that way.

Grab a large mixing bowl and toss in the graham cracker crumbs . . .

. . . powdered sugar . . .

. . . peanut butter . . .

. . . and 3/4 cup of softened butter.

Mix it slowly, because when I tried to speed things up, poofs of powdered sugar exploded from the bowl.

There! The rest of the recipe is easy: just grab handfuls of that mixture as your mood leads and insert into mouth.


Just kidding.

Instead, press the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan (ungreased).

Oh–you already ate it all? Oh. Sorry. I didn’t mean to mislead anyone.

For the rest of you: the mixture will stick somewhat as you press it down. See how it doesn’t want to stay put?

I panicked for about 15 seconds thinking it would never cooperate–but as I started using a combination of the spatula and my index finger to pat it down little by little, everything came together.

Phew! There we go.

And now for the chocolate. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup butter.

Heat for 1 minute in the microwave, then remove the bowl and stir.

If it’s not fully melted (i.e. there are still lumps), put it back in the microwave for 20 seconds and stir again.

Repeat until the chocolate and butter are fully melted and melded together. Spread the chocolate immediately (and quickly) over the layer of peanut butter.

Don’t try to use a spoon like I did–a spatula will make it go much faster.

If at some point in the process your finger looks like this:

I adjure you to follow the voice in your heart. You will know what to do.

Now cool the whole thing in the fridge or the freezer until the chocolate hardens. Cut it into small squares and serve!

Store the bars in the freezer and serve them directly from there–the texture will be perfect (not rock-solid, don’t worry).

Delicious, easy, and the results will put a smile on your face.

Plus, you can always keep a batch in the freezer to whip out when unexpected guests drop by demanding nutrition.

Or when unexpected hunger pangs hit. Your pick.

Enjoy your weekend, peoples! I, for one, will be spending some quality time with my friend Vessie, who is in Chicago on business and is sticking around to play with me for a couple days. I love that girl! Check out some pictures of her from our little photo shoot on the porch last fall. She’s got it all–beauty, smarts, energy, athleticism–and a huge heart!

See you all Monday for more adventures in food, with a little story of unintentional carbonization as an added plus. Or an added minus, depending on your perspective.

Click here for printer-friendly version: No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars