Zel's Vegan NutGourmet

Zel Allen Goes Nuts for Good Health

Archive for the ‘groundnuts’ Category


Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on March 25, 2011

Peanut lovers like me, who never tire of those crunchy, nutty-tasting wonders, always gravitate toward recipes that include them in any form. I’m also an avid fan of kale, raw or cooked. So I thought why not combine peanuts and kale. How could I miss?

Slowly, another kale salad was beginning to take shape, but was still in the process of creative cultivation and ripening. What would the dominant flavor be? Would it be sweet, tart, savory, or a pungent kaleidoscope of all those flavors.

The decision ultimately fell onto my taste buds. They were craving a kale salad with a taste-popping dressing that could be defined as sweet and sour, but also yearned for something pungent with a strong umami edge. That magical blend of flavors spoke to me from far-away places like Thailand or possibly Indonesia, where sweet and sour sauces are king and crafted so well.

Starting with a crunchy peanut butter, I found it really easy to assemble a sweet and sour dressing within minutes. Smooth peanut butter would be all right, too, but I love the texture of those little tidbits of chopped peanuts that deliver a petite crunch with every forkful of the bite-size kale leaves. All I needed was a bowl, a wire whip, a measuring cup, and some measuring spoons. My feet sprung into action and led me instantly to “kitchenland”–my favorite little creative nook.

I chose to include another ingredient, low-fat coconut milk, to lend richness to the dressing. It would certainly have been richer still with a thick coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk, but a little restraint delivered great flavor and far less fat, especially saturated fat, and fewer calories, for sure.

I learned a little secret from a raw chef who makes heavenly kale salad. In working with raw kale to make it a little softer to the palate and to best infuse the dressing throughout, he lovingly and patiently massages the dressing into the kale pieces before adding other ingredients. The results are unmatched! The pampered kale salad becomes a divine symphony, rich with flavor notes and innovatively embellished with a chorus of sweet fruits and crunchy veggies.

Enjoy the recipe along with the great health benefits from two highly nutritious gifts of nature–kale and peanuts.


Yield: 4 servings

1 large bunch kale, ribs removed, torn into bite-size pieces

Peanut Dressing
3/4 cup crunchy, unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup low-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 1/4 cups chopped or whole tangerine segments
1 cup sliced hearts of palm or quartered, water-packed artichoke hearts
2 Persian cucumbers, quartered

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1. Place the prepared kale into a large, deep bowl and set aside.
2. To prepare the Peanut Dressing, combine the peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and cayenne in a medium bowl and mix well with a wire whip until creamy and well blended.
3. Measure 3/4 cup of the Peanut Dressing and pour it over the kale. With clean hands, mix and massage the dressing into the kale until it is well incorporated and the kale is well coated. Refrigerate the remaining dressing for another salad.
4. Add the tangerines, hearts of palm, and cucumbers and toss well. Divide into 4 salad plates and garnish with the diced red bell peppers.

Leftover Peanut Dressing
This dressing is so tasty you won’t need to wonder what to do with the leftovers. Here are a few ideas:

Tuck it into the fridge and pour it over next day’s steamed veggies.
Dress another salad.
Use it as a dressing over a pita sandwich filled with bean burgers and veggies.
Pour it over coleslaw and toss well.

Posted in groundnuts, Nut Recipes, peanuts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Peanuts Pack Antioxidants

Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on January 14, 2009

Peanuts and peanut butter deliver great flavor delight, but there’s much more behind those crunchy legumes we’ve come to think of as nuts. Peanuts are loaded with resveratrol, a super antioxidant that, ounce for ounce, has 30 times the power of grapes. Resveratrol is found in ample amounts in grape skins and red wine, but one ounce of peanuts packs as much resveratrol as two ounces of red wine.

Richly flavored with peanuts, also known as groundnuts, and lightly spiced with a seasoning combination that hints of far away places, this hearty soup just might entice you to make an entire meal of it. This is one of my very favorite easy, no-fail recipes.peanutsoup


Yield: 6 servings

2 pounds Roma or regular tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 cups water
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, minced (divided)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups finely chopped Swiss chard or spinach
3/4 cup unsalted chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts

1.    Combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and olive oil in a large stockpot and cook and stir over high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and the onions are transparent. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
2.    Add the water, tomato sauce, 3 tablespoons of the mint leaves, chili powder, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.
3.    Add the Swiss chard and peanut butter and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly to distribute the peanut butter. The soup will thicken slightly.
4.    To serve, spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with a pinch or two of the remaining mint leaves and the crushed peanuts.

Posted in Antioxidants in Nuts, groundnuts, Nut Recipes, peanuts | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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