Once upon a time, there was a bowl. It was a beautiful bowl filled to the brim with delicious noodles, tender beef, fresh mango, ripe avocado and a sinful peanut sauce. It was a bowl filled with wonder and happiness. It was a bowl that tantalized the taste buds and covered the palate in a blanket of bliss. We ate the entire bowl. The only word we could utter was…mmmmmmmm. Repeatedly. It was THIS bowl. This very bowl right here.
As is the case with many, when the new year began so did our desire to continue our healthy lifestyle and be even more conscious of our food choices. Peanut sauce is not exactly at the top of the list of healthy options. Im not sure it even made the top 100. Truth be known, peanut sauce actually has little horns and I think it translates nutritionally to “demon sauce”.
I take a certain amount of pride in the ability to take a really bad meal and convert it to a Health Smart recipe. With the right substitutions, you can barely tell the difference, if you can tell at all. This meal became my target.
On average, a cup of Thai peanut sauce has more than 700 calories, 55 g fat, 1,350 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrates and nearly 35 g protein. Although most will not indulge in a full cup to begin with, two tablespoons of the full fat version are more palatable, nutrition wise at 45 calories, about 3.5 g fat, 85 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrates and 2 g protein. Still not great, but better.
Unfortunately, I am a dipper. Two tablespoons of anything is just a joke. I love sauces, spreads, dips and the like. So, I set out to get a little more bang for my caloric buck. Here’s what I came up with. I can have a BOWL of this sauce! I could let my noodles swim in it. Not that I would do that. Or lick it clean or anything.
Cold Noodle Salad with Sirloin, Mango, Cashews and Light Peanut Sauce
- 1 lb. lean Sirloin beef, cut into cubes, marinated in light Asian Sesame Dressing, I used Ken’s
- 1 mango, cubed
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 4 ounces whole grain spaghetti, cooked and chilled
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup diced scallions or green onions
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 tbsp. chopped Cashews
- 1 head of Boston lettuce, roughly chopped
- *I also added 1/2 cup Swiss Chard as I had some on hand. you could also use Spinach or other greens
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp. sliced pickled ginger – diced as finely as possible
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. Better N Butter Peanut Butter
- 3 tbsp. sugar free maple syrup or honey
- 2 tsp. chili paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. Sesame Oil – Optional
Side note: If you haven’t tried Better N Butter, TRY. IT. Be prepared to drool for a lot less bad stuff.
Begin the peanut sauce. Add all ingredients to a small pot. Cook on medium high heat stirring with whisk until mixture is warmed. Remove from heat. Set aside.
In a pan, saute your beef, mushrooms and greens (if using) until meat is to your desired likeness. I prefer medium rare. In a large salad bowl, place chopped lettuce, chilled noodles, beef with mushrooms and greens, and top with mango, avocado, tomato and chopped nuts if desired. Serve with light peanut sauce.
From diet fail…to diet fabulous!
I like easy. I LOVE healthy! Bon Appetit y’all!
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