Sometimes the best recipes come from joining 2 recipes together. I’m going to introduce you all to something that may sound a bit strange at first, but it is incredible. Thai inspired crunchy granola on top of a tahini/peanut butter soy sauce drenched in zucchini noodles and layered with crispy apple slices.
Or, you can use brown rice noodles for a heartier meal.
This sauce, oh my goodness. Sweet. Salty. Spicy. Perfection.
I first learned how to use chopsticks while living in Japan many, many years ago. I became hooked ever since.
This recipe may be a bit unusual, but it is the merging of two dishes that I love. The first merging dish is what I used to eat practically daily in Japan that I never, ever grew tired of….a HUGE bowl of noodles, some veggies and lots of crispy apples, and I always ate it with chopsticks. Soooo delicious. In fact, I kept a daily journal of my stay in Japan and always wrote about this food. I let my Dad read it upon my return and one thing he commented on was how many noodles and apples I ate. Lol.
THAI PEANUT AND TAHINI SAUCE
That was my jumping point for this recipe and the 2nd part of it is a Thai flavor inspired sauce, but I gave it my own twist. This tahini peanut sauce was inspired by a recipe from when I first started my old blog, The Healthy Flavor, called Sweet & Spicy Asian Salad. You can see the original recipe here. It was a dish that my Mom used to make for me religiously before, and especially, during my pregnancy. She originally found the recipe in a newspaper I think, so I don’t know the original source.
I would eat it by the spoonful and I’m 100% serious. Only issue, it was loaded with 1/2 cup of peanut oil and almost 1/2 cup peanut butter. Kind of a ridiculous amount of oil! I cannot, in any way, consume that much oil anymore. I decided to take those similar flavors of peanut, ‘sweet and spicy’ and create my own and I changed it up a bit. I created a whole new recipe using equal parts of tahini and peanut butter and added more soy sauce.
Furthermore, I added chipotle chile pepper spice for heat. I know, it has nothing to do with these traditional type of dishes, but trust me here, it enhances the sauce beautifully by giving it heat and a slight smokiness. So good. Worth the investment. I confess to eating this one by the spoonful too.
To complete the dish and make it unique, it is topped with a granola that has been baked in the sauce. Strange? Maybe. Delicious and something you likely haven’t tried before? Definitely. This is not your traditional sweet breakfast granola you are used to, it is more savory, slightly sweet and a little spicy. I first heard about the idea of savory granola from my friend, Erika at The Pancake Princess, and was SO intrigued! Mine is more of a combo of sweet & savory and it is different, but I found it quite addicting and it goes amazing on top of this dish, making it unique compared to other noodle dishes.
Let me know what you think of this Sweet & Spicy Tahini Peanut Sauce & Crunchy Thai Granola!
If you make this, I’d love to hear what you think of it, so please leave me feedback here! You can also tag me on Instagram (@thevegan8) and hashtag #thevegan8 so I don’t miss it!
Sweet & Spicy Tahini Peanut Sauce & Crunchy Granola
Tahini Peanut Sauce
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon tahini 80 g (Raw or toasted tahini will work)
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter 80 g (with no added sugars or oils, mine only has salt)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper spice
- 2-3 tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos 45 mL (I used 3 because I wanted it to stand out in the noodles. Start with 2 and adjust to taste)
- 2-3 teaspoons coconut vinegar or rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar this is optional, but it does give it a nice acidity
- 3 tablespoons agave 63 g
- 3 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons of above prepared sauce
- 1 cup old fashioned oats 80 g
- 1 apple sliced
- 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds optional, but gives a little extra flavor and presentation
- Do NOT use regular soy sauce in place of the liquid aminos it will be way too salty. If you can't or don't find the liquid aminos, you can try subbing tamari. Also, I know the chipotle chile pepper is unusual, but trust me, it is worth it! It gives a smoky heat, that is so different than cayenne or red pepper, so try to use it. It is located in the spice isle at any grocery.
To serve the sauce: I chose to serve this over gluten-free brown rice noodles and also over zucchini noodles, but you could serve it any way you like, even over a bunch of greens and veggies. I personally loved the noodles because the meal is very filling that way.
- Add all of the sauce ingredients and whisk really well until completely smooth. If your tahini or peanut butter are stored in the fridge, you will need to slightly heat them to soften and become smooth before measuring. Set aside. Taste & adjust if desired. Preheat an oven to 300 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Add the oats and only 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) of the prepared sauce to a small bowl. Stir really well until it is all combined, sticky and comes together in a ball. Spread out onto the prepared pan evenly and flat, about 1/2 inch high.
- Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven, add the sesame seeds (if using) and stir around the granola, so it can cook evenly. Bake for 10 more minutes, watching it closely the last couple of minutes so it doesn't burn. It should be very golden brown. Set aside to cool and crisp up for 10 minutes. Tip: While the granola is baking the last 10 minutes, start to boil your pasta (if using) or spiralize your zucchini noodles or prep your veggies.
- Brown rice noodles tend to stick together. To prevent this, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add a tablespoon of oil to the water and 1/2 tablespoon of salt. It is important to flavor the noodles while they are boiling. I used fettucini noodles because I like thick ones and they hold up better. Feel free to use whatever kind you like and check them to reach aldente.
- Drain the noodles, reserving a bit of liquid if desired to thin out the Ta-Peani sauce. Add to serving bowls and pour lots of sauce over the noodles and garnish with sliced apples and crunchy granola. Feel free to add in any other veggies if you like. Broccoli or mushrooms would be good.
*Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free
*Nutrition for each heaping 2 1/2 tablespoons of sauce: 138.1 calories, 10 g fat, 9.75 carbs, 4.375 g protein, 6.625 g sugars