Peanut Pasta Salad

I’m thankful for a lot of things in life despite my incessant complaining about trivial matters that annoy me. Right now my right ear is ringing for reasons I can’t understand. Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring. Yes, it’s annoying. Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring.

Today, I am thankful that I am not allergic to peanuts.

In my world, a peanut butter sandwich is always low carb. I simply take a spoon and a jar of peanut butter — voila! — instant low-carb PB sandwich.

What can I say?

I love PB.

Ring. Ring. Ring. My ear is still ring ring ringing.

On second thought this ear ringing isn’t that annoying.  It might be the perfect background beat for the ‘peanut butter jelly time’ song.

For this, I am also thankful.

Ring, Ring, Ring.

Peanut Pasta Salad with Fried Tempeh Bits
Source: Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook
Printable Recipe

4T sesame oil, divided
1 8oz block of tempeh, crumbled (optional – see note)
1 carrot, julienned
3C broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 red bell pepper, julienned
8oz brown rice pasta spirals (or whole wheat)
3T peanut butter
1/4C water (or vegetable broth)
2T reduced sodium soy sauce
1T agave
1T apple cider vinegar
2tsp fresh ginger, minced
1tsp sriracha (optional)

Heat 3T oil over high heat in a skillet. Fry tempeh in oil until crispy, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Blanch carrots, broccoli, and red pepper in boiling water for about 30 seconds. They will turn brighter in color. Don’t overcook! Strain blanched vegetables and immediately rinse under cold water. Cook brown rice pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.

In a bowl, whisk together peanut butter, remaining 1T sesame oil,  water, soy sauce, agave, vinegar, ginger, and sriracha. Toss vegetables, pasta, and sauce together. Garnish with tempeh bits, chopped peanuts, or sesame seeds.

Note: I like this recipe without the tempeh as much as I like it with the tempeh. Sometimes I skip the tempeh and opt to top off the salad with a handful of chopped peanuts or a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

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