Monthly Archives: August 2013

Spicy Coconut Peanut Sauce

The kids were invited to go out with their friends’ family to dinner and children’s theater tonight, so I wanted to use the opportunity to cook something spicy. My husband loves peanut sauces, so I decided to give one a try. I found a recipe that used light coconut milk, peanut butter, and sriracha (which my husband also loves), and it seemed like a good one to try adapting. We ate the peanut sauce over a shrimp and veggie stir fry and brown rice. The sauce was very good, I thought the spiciness of the sauce was perfect, but my husband thought it could be spicier. I would make it less spicy for the kids.

The original recipe said to cook the sauce for 20 minutes, but it thickened up quite a bit after only about 5 minutes of cooking. I actually ended up adding a bit of water to thin it out so I could pour it over the stir-fry and rice. You could leave it thick if you wanted to use it as a dipping sauce. The original recipe called for green onion, but I had leeks in the house so I used that instead.

I like making a simple stir-fry or grilled dish, and then having a sauce to put on top. That way each person can choose how much sauce to use. My husband, who is currently trying to gain a bit of weight (seriously!) slathered the sauce on, whereas I was a bit less generous on my dinner.

Spicy Coconut Peanut Sauce (adapted from A Nutritionist Eats blog)

8 servings, 144 calories/serving according to MyFitnessPal recipe nutrition calculator

  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 small leek (or a bunch of green onions), chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated (or minced) ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, through a garlic press or minced
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha
  1. Heat peanut oil in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add leeks, cook about 5 minutes, until soft
  3. Add ginger and garlic, cook about 1 minute
  4. Add coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce and sriracha and whisk until smooth
  5. Bring to a simmer, turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until flavors are blended and the sauce is desired thickness. If sauce is too thick, whisk in water a little bit at a time to thin it out.

The sauce was done before my stir-fry, so before thinning it out I let it sit to the side while I finished cooking the rest of dinner. I then put it back on the heat, whisked in the water to thin it out, and brought it to a simmer before serving.

I couldn’t get a very good picture of the sauce. It tasted much better than it looks in this picture!

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Tilapia Grilled in Foil Packets, with Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes and Red Onion

I went to a wonderful Cardio Kickboxing class this morning. The funny thing (to me at least) is that what made it wonderful was that it was challenging, worked my muscles until they were shaking, and by the end I was dripping in sweat. There is no way I every would have thought of that as a positive experience before starting this journey. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were times during the workout where I was bitching to one of the other class attendees about how completely crazy the instructor is–but it was a great workout!

I wanted fish for dinner tonight, but only had time to go to Trader Joe’s–which is right near my gym. The fish selection at Trader Joe’s is not the best, but the tilapia is always fine so I went ahead and bought some. I decided to try grilling it in foil packets, and did a bit of research into the technique and came up with my own recipe with stuff I had at home. It turned out great! Seems to me you could probably put any combination of veggies and herbs in the foil packet with the fish and follow the same technique.

I had some leftover pesto in the freezer from when I made the Eating Well Basic Basil Pesto recipe for veggie pizza, but store bought pesto would also work though you may want to add less olive oil since they are usually very oily. I defrosted a couple of cubes of the pesto in the microwave for less than a minute.

Tilapia Grilled in Foil Packets, with Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes and Red Onion, serves 4

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 lb. tilapia fillets
  • Approx. 2 Tbsp (2 cubes of an ice cube tray) pesto
  • Approx. 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes (mine were Sun Gold)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a grill to medium heat
  2. Lay out 2 large pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil in the middle of both
  4. Put a layer of half the onion slices in the middle of each piece of foil
  5. Rub the pesto all over both sides of the tilapia, and put half the tilapia in each piece of foil. For me, this worked out to 1 1/2 fillets in each.
  6. Scatter cherry tomatoes over tilapia. Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle on salt and pepper.20130806-200045.jpg
  7. Seal the packets well, folding over the edges to keep the steam inside.
  8. Grill the packets over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Check tilapia is cooked through, being careful of the steam when opening the packets.20130806-200054.jpg
  9. Enjoy!