Noodles with Sunflower Seed Sauce

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo

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My goodness but I miss Noodles in Peanut Sauce – so I did what any food blogger would do…I made a recipe using different ingredients but yielding a sauce just as delicious as the original (maybe even better).

I have a long history with Noodles in Peanut sauce.  I first published a recipe for it in 1992 for my book “Wholesome Harvest” – in it I used a combination of peanut butter and tahini along with soy sauce, vinegar and a few other ingredients.  Next was in “1,000 Vegetarian Recipes” (1996) where I have a recipe for Peanut Noodles as well as one for Sesame Noodles.  Next came “Something for Everyone” (1997) that had Peanut Noodles in it.  But my big breakthrough came when I entered a cooking contest with my friend Valentine.  The contest was for Lawry’s Marinades.  I created, and Valentine filmed preparation of the recipes for several of the products. My favorite was a very simple recipe for Peanut Noodles:   equal parts Lawry’s Sesame Ginger marinade and smooth peanut butter.  Amazing.  I used that recipe from then on and always got high praise from guests.

Now that I’m Paleo, Peanut Noodles are problematic on so many levels:  I don’t eat peanuts, I don’t use soy sauce (or tamari), no sugar (though I am a little loosey goosey on that one), and of course no “normal” noodles.  But the mad scientist in me was determined to make this work.

Let’s start with the noodles.  I’ve made this with noodles made from sweet potato starch, but I’ve also made this using blanched shredded cabbage.

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If you are not Paleo, you could use gluten-free spaghetti or mung bean vermicelli or thin rice noodles.  If you have no dietary restrictions – and you’re only reading this blog because we are friends : ) feel free to use regular thin spaghetti or lo mein noodles.

The other substitutions I have made are coconut aminos instead of the usual soy sauce.  Coconut aminos are similar in flavor to teriyaki sauce and you could use that if you do not have coconut aminos.

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I love Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed butter it’s not as thick as peanut butter but not as thin as tahini.  It has cane sugar in it (as I said earlier I am not too rigid about having some sugar in my diet) so you can use another brand that doesn’t contain sugar but you may want a little extra maple syrup.  You could also use cashew butter instead of the sunflower if that is what you have on hand, but cashew butter tends to be thicker than my sunflower seed butter so you may have to thin the sauce down.

So, enough about the technical stuff; here’s the recipe…it’s really DELICIOUS!

Noodles with Sunflower Seed Sauce

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You could add some blanched bean sprouts to the noodles to add a little crunch.

8 ounces noodles, cooked according to package directions; drained and rinsed

1/3 cup sunflower seed butter

1/4 cup coconut aminos (or teriyaki sauce)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons yuzu or cider vinegar

1 teaspoon chili oil

1 clove garlic

Water if necessary

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion

Salt to taste

Cook noodles according to package directions (assuming they are in English or some other language you understand).

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Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water; set aside.

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While noodles are cooking, place the sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos, maple syrup, vinegar, chili oil, and garlic into a blender container or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Cover and process until thoroughly combined. If the sauce is too thick add a tablespoon or two of water until desired consistency.

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Add drained noodles to bowl and top with sauce and scallions.

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Toss noodles with sauce and scallions, add salt to taste.  Top with additional scallions if desired.

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Serves: 2 to 3 as main dish   4 as side dish

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