Spicy peanut tuna salad

Note to self: Never, ever plan to experiment with spicy peanut sauce on a night when you’re likely to arrive home tired and hungry with kid issues to deconstruct and groceries to put away.

There’s just not a lot you can do to peanut butter to make it unappealing. So in the process of trying two different mixtures on apples, tortilla chips and, finally, in a spicy peanut tuna salad — my planned evening meal of my second (failed) attempt at a “training diet” — I figure I ingested at least six tablespoons of peanut butter. I haven’t plugged it into calorie count.com yet, but I‘m pretty sure that‘s a whole lot of fat and calories.

But I digress. The recipe for the more official peanut sauce is below; it was a nice zingy-sweet combination, though I think I would’ve liked it better if I’d tracked down some red curry paste like the AP’s J.M. Hirsch suggested in his recipe for Thai barbecue sauce that I edited at work this week.

The other “sauce” wasn’t something you’d put in recipe form. Basically it amounted to : Open some jars of sweet and spicy sauces from the fridge and add peanut butter until you get a desirable taste and consistency.

Lately Ben has been putting Sriracha on just about everything he eats. He’s even talking about taking it to school.

I think chili sauce, lime juice and hot sauce might’ve been tasty, but I went with what was already sitting out because we’d unloaded the groceries but not yet put them away: Woeber’s Smoky Horseradish sauce, Sriracha hot chili sauce, lime juice and, of course, peanut butter.

Was the official recipe that much better than this on-the-fly, I-want-it-now version? Not so much. As I said, it’s pretty hard to make peanut butter unappealing.

As for the tuna salad, I basically mixed one small (3 ounce) can of water-packed tuna with ¼ cup of the official sauce and a cup of shredded cabbage and carrots. I dumped mine in half a whole wheat pita, which was a good way to keep it from being excessively messy.

Clearly, I need to do more experiments with spicy peanut sauce. For example, I think I’m going to pack myself a spicy peanut butter and lettuce sandwich for Colleen’s school field trip today. (She’ll get the standard PB&J).

But never again am I going to conduct these experiments when my will power is compromised!

The “Official” Spicy Peanut Sauce

1 cup smooth peanut butter

½ cup water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons hot sauce

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon curry powder

Stir the peanut butter and the water in a small saucepan over low heat; add other ingredients. Eat as desired, either warm or cold. Store in fridge.

Note: The recipe I adapted this one from, on about.com, suggested mixing the sauce up in a blender. I didn’t feel like it, so my sauce probably wasn’t as homogenous as official “official” spicy peanut sauce. But I don’t really care.

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