Nuts about the Peanut

 

I absolutely love nuts, so I always enjoy reading any article that reminds me that a diet high in nuts can also help in reducing the risk of heart disease whilst providing additional protein and fibre.  For years I have been aware that by consuming nuts I am also likely to have healthier skin and hair.

 

On the 22nd October, in New Zealand, we will celebrate National Nut Day, so I thought I would throw together some of my favourite recipes and add in a nut element – then I am going to share them with all my fans 🙂

So, first up – the humble peanut!  Naturally, this leads us to the essential jar of peanut butter, which must have pride of place in every home pantry.  Peanut butter and jam sandwiches were my weight downfall at Melbourne Uni.  It had nothing to do with the peanut butter but a huge amount to do with the fact that we would eat them after wading through a hot lunch and we would bet each other on how many we could eat!  Let it be said, in second year I was on a fruit only diet and it took an awfully long time to lose that weight!

However, back to the peanut and to the delicious benefits of what is actually a legume and not truly a nut!  Yup, it grows under the ground!!

Peanuts are packed with protein and you will find peanuts in just about every South East Asian cuisine, where they supplement ‘protein – poor’ food such as rice and corn.

Dry roast peanuts to draw out all the rich flavoured oil, then crush them or chop them to add texture and flavour to a dish.  They make a wonderful bar snack, boiled or fried, alone or roasted and tossed lightly with sea salt and chilli.  You could also crush some peanuts up with sesame seeds and sea salt for a nutty coating to a rice ball or a meat ball.

 

Here is a Vietnamese influenced stir fried Venison which easily transformed itself into a kiwi home favourite 🙂

 Stir Fried Venison with Peanuts 

Ingredients:

4 Tbs unsalted peanuts, dry roasted in a pan to draw out the oil
2 Tbs orange and chilli oil (Al Brown)
canola oil, for stir frying
450g venison rump steak, sliced into slivers
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 lemongrass stem, grated
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 handful of slim green beans, topped and tailed
2 long red chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
a handful/selection of mixed Asian mushrooms
1/2 Tbs sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 handful coriander leaves, coarsely chopped

DSCN1625Method:

  • With a mortar and pestle, pound the peanuts with the orange and chilli oil to form a crunchy paste.
  • Heat 2 Tbs canola oil in a wok over a medium to high heat and quickly sear the venison strips for 2-3 minutes until they are uniformly brown.
  • Wipe the wok clean, add some more oil and return to the heat.  Add the garlic, lemongrass, chillies and shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant but not coloured.  Add in the green beans and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add the mushrooms, sesame oil, salt, pepper, venison and 3/4 of the peanut paste.  Toss in the wok to combine all the flavours.  Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  • Toss through the fresh coriander and serve topped with the extra crushed peanuts.
  • This can be eaten alone, with rice, noodles, or kumara mash 🙂DSCN1629

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