Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Simple Creamy Almond Butter Sauce heals all (sorta)




That was what I was saying pretty much all yesterday evening as my stomach decided to protest against whatever I ate the night before and cramp itself silly. (I said 'cramp'...!) I'm pretty sure the culprit was a curry I had in Saba - but it wasn't Saba's fault. I suspect there was dairy of some kind in the butternut squash curry and that's why I went to sleep last night with a hot water bottle clutched to my stomach.

I love Saba and usually go for one of their veg and tofu stir fries, but lately I've taken a shine to the Gaeng Karee Fuktong (ahem), but noticed that I don't feel the, well, 'Mae West' afterwards. Of course I always conveniently forget this and went and ate it on Sunday night...and boy did I pay for it the day after.

I've emailed the restaurant to see if there is dairy in the curry, but even if there isn't, I won't get it again just in case. Luckily they have lots of great vegan dishes on the menu and it really is a fantastic restaurant/take away.

I think the lesson to learn here is: if in doubt, ask. If there is dairy in the meal, it's my fault for not asking was it in it. I know I can't stomach milk / cream / ice cream etc so I should have asked.

But what do you do when you like creamy sauces but don't want to use dairy? You go nuts. In this case, almond butter nuts.

I've been banging on about this meal a lot on Twitter so as I was making it last night I thought I'd take a few pics and give my updated recipe. Fun fact: my first recipe on the blog was another version of this! But this is the recipe I use these days.

So here we go....

Simple Creamy Almond Butter Sauce
(Serves 2, easily adapted to serve more)

Utensils: Whisk or fork, saucepan

2 tbsp roasted almond butter (1 tbsp per person, so increase the tablespoons according to how many are eating. You will need to adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly)
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup water (you can use an ordinary cup for this)
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp tamari
1 tsp agave syrup

Stir fry ingredients of your choice
Rice or other grain of your choice

Prepare your stir fry ingredients - I used a red pepper, head of broccoli, leek and onion - and put your rice on. If it's brown rice (I used short grain brown rice), then put it on at least 20 - 30 mins before you start your stir fry.

Just before you start your stir fry, put two tablespoons (or more if there are more people) of almond butter and 1/4 cup (to start) of water into a small pot on a low heat.

Whisk the mixture together until it's all combined.

Start cooking your stir fry and occasionally whisk your sauce. Keep an eye on it and you'll notice it starts thickening up (make sure not to keep the heat too high or it will thicken too fast).

When it has thickened up, whisk and take off the heat.

Continue with your stir fry vegetables. When they're almost done, return to the almond butter sauce. Place over a low - medium heat and add the remaining water. Whisk while adding the toasted sesame oil (it must be toasted or else it won't have that lovely sesame taste) and tamari (or soy sauce), followed by the agave. Taste the sauce. Too salty? Add a dash more agave. Too sweet? Balance that with a dash of soy. Make the sauce to your taste, bub.

Pour over your stir fry vegetables and stir to combine. Serve immediately. I sprinkled mine with chia seeds and sesame seeds...

I'm sure I could have made this meal look a lot prettier, but I was damn hungry!


sarah-jane said...

I was looking at almond butters in health food shops on sat, such small jars and expensive but i'm gonna splash out & make this tomorrow night for my veggie cousin. I'll let you know the verdict!!
Poor you being sick, so not fun :(
I also love Saba.. nyum nyum!

Adventures in Veg said...

yeah they are definitely not cheap! I am gonna try make it at home and see how it turns out - my food processor isn't very strong though.
Let me know how it turns out! :)

sarah-jane said...

Could I use honey instead of agave?

Jo said...

Now I'm damn hungry after seeing this! ;)

Looks delicious Aoife and I'll definitely have to give it a go.

Glauce said...

It looks so good! And I'm so hungry now. Have to give a try to Saba, I'm the worst person to eat out in Dublin I think, I never know the places :P

Tea and Sympatico said...

I've only ever used almond butter in sweet recipe (and stirred into porridge). This looks really good, will have to give it a try.

Aoife Mc said...

Yum yum! Looks great. And super healthy.

Mihl said...

I am so sorry to hear about your stomach!

Sauce based on almond butter sounds fantastic!

Adventures in Veg said...

Sarah-jane = whoops forgot to say you can use honey, maple syrup, rice syrup or another sweetener depending on your preference (it will change the taste a little depending on which one, so just use a dash at first ;) )