Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie Bars

Welcome to 2021. We had sort of, um…an abrupt beginning to the New Year. After a punishing 2020 where the pandemic pretty much upended everything in our lives, a lot of us were looking forward to some stability, seasoned with some optimism about the virus, but things took a decidedly different turn in a direction not many of us could imagine. I stepped away from…

Welcome to 2021. We had sort of, um…an abrupt beginning to the New Year. After a punishing 2020 where the pandemic pretty much upended everything in our lives, a lot of us were looking forward to some stability, seasoned with some optimism about the virus, but things took a decidedly different turn in a direction not many of us could imagine. I stepped away from a few things which allowed me a little time to get my mojo back and regroup.

The lockdowns (plural) and the pause for the holidays allowed me to sort through stuff in my kitchen drawers and clear a path to sanity in my office to face-down that pesky end-of-the-year paperwork. I organized the desktop on my computer (a task I highly recommend tackling), changed my newsletter service, deleted some passive-aggressive messages (still not sure I understand the point of those…) that were taking up valuable space in my head, retreated from the online world, bereaved the passing of a family member, took a step toward overcoming yet another leak as the plumber assured me the plumbing store would have toilets back in stock by the end of January (I hope he was talking about 2021), and emotionally regrouped to begin what I’m sure will be a fabulous a new year.

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Nuts and Bolts Recipe

Nuts and Bolts Recipe
This nuts and bolts recipe is the ultimate homemade snack mix! Salted peanuts, five different kinds of cereal, crunchy pretzels, bagel chips, cheese crackers, and Worcestershire pair with a mix of seasonings and bacon drippings to…

Nuts and Bolts Recipe

This nuts and bolts recipe is the ultimate homemade snack mix! Salted peanuts, five different kinds of cereal, crunchy pretzels, bagel chips, cheese crackers, and Worcestershire pair with a mix of seasonings and bacon drippings to make this everyone’s favorite. You’re going to want to keep a batch of this on hand at all times! […]

READ: Nuts and Bolts Recipe

Quick Tofu Stir Fry

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! This super simple tofu stir fry is a riff off of my favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s super fast, super easy, and endlessly customizable. Keep reading to see all the possibilities for making this tofu stir fry your own!

The post Quick Tofu Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! This super simple tofu stir fry is a riff off of my favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s super fast, easy, filling, inexpensive, and endlessly customizable. Keep reading to see all the possibilities for making this tofu stir fry your own!

Quick Tofu Stir Fry in a skillet with sriracha and a bowl of peanuts on the side

Use any Stir Fry Sauce

This recipe is so flexible that you can literally use any type of stir fry sauce, so go with whatever you like best. The stir fry sauce for the Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry, which this recipe is based upon, is a spicy and super simple 4-ingredient sauce, but I switched it up this time and used a non-spicy sauce, then just added sriracha on top for heat as needed. Feel free to use that original sauce, something a little less sweet like the sauce used in my Ground Turkey Stir Fry, a richer oyster based sauce like in my Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli, or even something a little sweeter like a bottled sweet chili sauce. It’s so flexible!

Change Up the Vegetables

I love using bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in stir fry because there’s no prep involved, it’s filling, and it’s still super inexpensive. I used about ½ of a 1 lb. bag of mix here, but you could probably even add more if you want it more vegetable heavy. You can shred your own cabbage and carrots (you’ll want about 5 cups), or even use a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables in place of or in addition to the shredded cabbage.

If using frozen vegetables, I suggest adding them to the skillet before the cabbage because they’ll need a little longer to cook. If you are increasing the amount of vegetables, you may wan to also increase the sauce and add half to the tofu and half after adding the vegetables.

Substitute the Peanuts

If you don’t like or can’t have peanuts, don’t worry! They’re totally optional. I love the crunchy texture they add to the dish, but you can either leave them out, substitute with another nut (maybe cashews or almonds), or add a few sesame seeds to the stir fry at the end. It’s up to you!

How are the Leftovers?

I’m going to call the leftovers of this one “subjective.” Haha! Dishes like this will seep water as they sit in the refrigerator and the cabbage (or other vegetables) will soften further, but that wouldn’t stop me from reheating and enjoying the leftovers. If you’re a bit more sensitive to texture and flavor changes, you may not enjoy the leftovers.

front view of three bowls full of quick tofu stir fry
three bowls of quick tofu stir fry

Quick Tofu Stir Fry

This super fast and inexpensive tofu stir fry is super filling, easy enough for busy weeknights, and endlessly customizable!
Total Cost $3.82 recipe / $0.96 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 272.43kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp water $0.00
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.10
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger $0.10

Stir Fry

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $1.79
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12
  • ½ lb. coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) $0.90

Toppings

  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (optional) $0.11

Instructions

  • Prepare the stir fry sauce first. In a bowl combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Set the sauce aside.
  • Slice the green onion and chop the peanuts.
  • Take the tofu out of the package, draining away any liquid from the package (no need to press the tofu as the water will be cooked out). Crumble the tofu into a bowl.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once the skillet and oil are very hot, add the crumbled tofu and stir fry for about 5 minutes, or until there is no longer any water pooling on the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the prepared stir fry sauce to the skillet and continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more. Finally, add the slaw mix and chopped peanuts and stir fry for 1-2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to wilt. Top with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 272.43kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.98g | Protein: 14.53g | Fat: 17.73g | Sodium: 815.75mg | Fiber: 3.33g
close up of quick tofu stir fry in the skillet

How to Make Quick Tofu Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos

stir fry sauce in a white bowl with a fork

Make the stir fry sauce first. In a bowl, combine 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp water, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and about 1 tsp grated fresh ginger. Set the sauce aside.

chopped peanuts and sliced green onion

Chop ¼ cup peanuts and slice two green onions.

tofu and coleslaw mix

These are the two main ingredients in this super simple stir fry–tofu and shredded cabbage and carrots (coleslaw mix). You can switch up the vegetables or add more if you’d like. See the notes above the recipe for ideas.

crumbled tofu in a bowl

Take the tofu out of the package, draining away any liquid (there is no need to press the tofu for this recipe because the excess water will be cooked out). Crumble the tofu into a bowl.

sauce being added to cooked tofu in the skillet

Heat 2 Tbsp cooking oil (your favorite kind) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil and skillet are hot, add the crumbled tofu and stir fry until there is no longer any liquid pooling in the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce over top and continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more.

shredded cabbage and carrots added to the skillet

Finally, add the shredded cabbage and carrots, and the chopped peanuts to the skillet. I used half the bag, or about ½ lb., but you could probably add more if you’d like. Continue to cook and stir for only 1-2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to wilt.

Sriracha being drizzled over the skillet

Top the stir fry with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve!

three bowls of quick tofu stir fry

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Salt-Roasted Candied Peanuts

I’ll have to admit that I love peanuts, especially when they are candied with a touch of sea salt added. For years I’ve been making all sorts of candied nuts, including these candied peanuts, but this was one of the first candied nut recip…

I’ll have to admit that I love peanuts, especially when they are candied with a touch of sea salt added. For years I’ve been making all sorts of candied nuts, including these candied peanuts, but this was one of the first candied nut recipes I ever came up with and I’ve been making them ever since.

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Banoffee Pie Recipe

Banoffee Pie Recipe
This super easy banoffee pie is made with a graham cracker crust, sliced bananas, dulce de leche, coffee whipped cream, and topped with chopped peanuts. It is a positively addicting dessert!
READ: Banoffee Pie Recipe

Banoffee Pie Recipe

This super easy banoffee pie is made with a graham cracker crust, sliced bananas, dulce de leche, coffee whipped cream, and topped with chopped peanuts. It is a positively addicting dessert!

READ: Banoffee Pie Recipe

Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad

This bright and colorful Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad is fresh, full of flavor, and a great side dish for any meal. It only takes 15 minutes to make! This Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad might be one of my favorite salads. My friend Catherine made it for a ge…

This bright and colorful Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad is fresh, full of flavor, and a great side dish for any meal. It only takes 15 minutes to make! This Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad might be one of my favorite salads. My friend Catherine made it for a get together awhile ago and I fell in…

The post Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

I ate my teriyaki meatball bowls all week as meal prep and absolutely loved them, but I desperately need another vegetable side to balance things out. So, I whipped up a quick crunchy cabbage salad and coated it in my yummy sesame ginger dressing. It was just perfect. The crunchiness of the the cabbage, carrots, […]

The post Crunchy Cabbage Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I ate my teriyaki meatball bowls all week as meal prep and absolutely loved them, but I desperately need another vegetable side to balance things out. So, I whipped up a quick crunchy cabbage salad and coated it in my yummy sesame ginger dressing. It was just perfect. The crunchiness of the the cabbage, carrots, and peanuts was such a perfect contrast to the meatballs and rice.

Originally posted 2-6-2012, updated 7-23-2020.

Crunchy Cabbage Salad in a white serving dish with two forks, drizzled with sesame ginger dressing

Meal Prep It!

This salad holds up beautifully in the refrigerator, so it’s a great salad to use for meal prep! Just store the sesame ginger dressing separately from the vegetable salad mix, and add it just before serving. The salad mix (minus dressing) should stay good in the fridge for about 4-5 days.

How to Serve Crunchy Cabbage Salad

This salad makes a great side dish, but you can also turn it into a main dish by topping it with some Sticky Ginger Soy Glazed Chicken, or Sesame Tempeh. You can also add some cold noodles to this salad for extra oomph (this is the same base as my Cold Peanut Noodle Salad).

What if I Don’t Like Cilantro?

You either love or you hate cilantro. It’s all good. If you’re not a cilantro lover, just leave it out of this salad. No need to replace it with anything. :)

See the full post for the Sesame Ginger Dressing for more information on the ingredients and step by step instructions.

Crunchy cabbage salad coated in dressing, dished out to two bowls.

Sesame ginger dressing being poured over the crunchy cabbage salad

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

This crunchy cabbage salad holds up great in the refrigerator, so you can have a fresh crunchy vegetable side all week long!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 1 cup each
Calories 213.72kcal

Ingredients

Salad

  • 4 cups shredded purple cabbage $0.97
  • 2 carrots $0.15
  • 4 green onions $0.22
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro $0.40
  • ½ cup peanuts $0.25

Sesame Ginger Dressing

  • ¼ cup neutral salad oil* $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.27
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey $0.18
  • 1/2 Tbsp tahini $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.02
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger $0.15

Instructions

  • Shred the cabbage as finely as possible. Grate the carrots and slice the green onion. Pull the cilantro leaves from the stems
  • Add the shredded cabbage, carrots, green onion, cilantro, and peanuts to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  • To make the dressing, add the salad oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, tahini, toasted sesame oil, garlic, and ginger to a blender. Blend until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
  • When you're ready to eat, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss until coated. Serve immediately

Notes

*Any neutral-flavored salad oil, like peanut, canola, safflower, grapeseed, or sesame (untoasted) will work fine for this dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 213.72kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.88g | Protein: 5.08g | Fat: 16.78g | Sodium: 179.27mg | Fiber: 4.58g

How to Make Crunchy Cabbage Salad – Step by Step Photos

Purple cabbage cut into quarters and shredded

First, shred your purple cabbage. You’ll want about 4 cups once shredded, which for me was half of this small head of cabbage. To shred the cabbage, first cut it into quarters, then cut the core off the quarter. Finally, cut across the quarter to shred the cabbage as finely as possible.

shredded carrot and sliced green onion

Also shred two carrots (I use a cheese grater) and slice 4 green onions.

Salad ingredients in the bowl

Pull the leaves from about ½ bunch of cilantro (about 1 cup cilantro leaves). Add the shredded cabbage, carrot, sliced green onion, cilantro leaves, and ½ cup peanuts to a large bowl.

Sesame ginger dressing ingredients in a blender

Next, make the Sesame Ginger Dressing. Add ¼ cup neutral salad oil (anything light-flavored oil like canola, peanut, grapeseed, etc.), 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1.5 Tbsp honey, ½ Tbsp tahini, ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil, 1 clove garlic (minced), and ½ Tbsp grated fresh ginger to a blender. Blend until the dressing is smooth and creamy.

Sesame ginger dressing being poured over the crunchy cabbage salad

Pour the sesame ginger dressing over the salad and enjoy!

The post Crunchy Cabbage Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sesame Cucumber Salad

This salad is one of the very first recipes I ever posted on Budget Bytes. Like, way back when I was still taking photos with my pre-smart-phone era phone. Yikes! Because this Sesame Cucumber Salad is still one of my favorite dishes and my favorite way to use up all those delicious and inexpensive summer […]

The post Sesame Cucumber Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This salad is one of the very first recipes I ever posted on Budget Bytes. Like, way back when I was still taking photos with my pre-smart-phone era phone. Yikes! Because this Sesame Cucumber Salad is still one of my favorite dishes and my favorite way to use up all those delicious and inexpensive summer cucumbers, I had to repost it and give it the proper attention it needs. So, if this Sesame Cucumber recipe is new to you, I hope it becomes one of your go-to fav’s as it has for me. It will serve you well!

Originally posted July 2019, updated 7-9-2020.

A bowl of Sesame Cucumber Salad from above, chopsticks on the side

Do I Have to Use Rice Vinegar?

I strongly urge you not to substitute the rice vinegar in this recipe. Rice vinegar has a uniquely mild flavor and acidity that is just perfect for this recipe. While people have substituted the rice vinegar with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, I find them both a bit too strong for this recipe. Also, be mindful not to use “seasoned” rice vinegar, which has other ingredients added and tastes quite different.

Where Do You Find Rice Vinegar?

Rice vinegar is fairly inexpensive, can be found in the Asian section of most major grocery stores, and will stay good in your pantry for just about forever. If you make Budget Bytes recipes on the regular, I promise it will get used again! In fact, here is a direct link to all the recipes on my website that use Rice Vinegar.

What is Toasted Sesame Oil?

The other key ingredient in this cucumber salad is toasted sesame oil. Unlike regular sesame oil, toasted sesame oil has a very strong nutty flavor and a little bit can really add a LOT of flavor to any dish. You can find toasted sesame oil in the international aisle of most major grocery stores, or Asian grocery stores. It may not say “toasted” on the label, but you’ll know it is toasted by the deep walnut color. Untoasted sesame oil is a light straw color, like canola oil.

How Long Does This Salad Last?

This salad does get kind of limp in the refrigerator fairly quickly, but it’s still insanely good once the cucumbers soften. They’re almost like pickled cucumber slices at that point. They’ve been marinating in the spicy-sweet vinegar solution and are just totally delicious! I enjoy this salad for about 2-3 days after making it (if I don’t eat it all sooner). If you like your cucumbers to stay crunchy, try cutting them into chunks instead of thin slices.

Side view of a bowl of sesame cucumber salad, chopsticks picking up one slice of cucumber

 
Side view of a bowl of sesame cucumber salad, chopsticks picking up one slice of cucumber

Sesame Cucumber Salad

Sesame Cucumber Salad is light, refreshing, and vibrant in flavor. It's the perfect summer side dish or companion to any Southeast Asian inspired meal.
Total Cost $2.44 recipe / $0.41 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 62.82kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

DRESSING

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar $0.70
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.05
  • 1/4 crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 large cucumbers $1.38
  • 3 green onions $0.13
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, crushed red pepper, and salt. Set the dressing aside.
  • Peel and slice the cucumber using your favorite method (see photos below for my technique). Place the sliced cucumbers in a large bowl.
  • Chop the peanuts into smaller pieces. Slice the green onions.
  • Add the peanuts, green onions, and dressing to the sliced cucumbers. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Give the salad a brief stir before serving to redistribute the dressing and flavors.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 62.82kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.63g | Protein: 1.87g | Fat: 3.1g | Sodium: 199.82mg | Fiber: 1.4g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Overhead view of a bowl full of sesame cucumber salad

How to Make Sesame Cucumber Salad – Step by Step Photos

Spicy vinegar dressing in a bowl

Start by making the dressing. In a small bowl, stir together 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set the dressing aside.

Bottle of toasted sesame oil and a bottle of rice vinegar

Here is the toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar that I used. The sesame oil is from Aldi and the rice vinegar is from Kroger.

Two cucumbers, one half peeled

Peel and slice two large cucumbers however you like. I like to remove strips of the peel to create a cool striped effect once they’re sliced. If you don’t like cucumber seeds, you can slice the cucumber lengthwise before slicing into rounds and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds in the center.

Two cucumbers, one mostly sliced

I prefer thin slices so that there is more surface area to come into contact with the dressing. The thinner slices will become soft and wobbly after storing them in the dressing, but I kind of like that, too. If you prefer them to stay crunchy longer, you’ll want to do thicker slices. 

Sliced green onion and chopped peanuts

Roughly chop 1/4 cup peanuts and slice 3 green onions.

Dressing being poured over cucumbers, green onion, and peanuts

Place the sliced cucumbers in a large bowl, add the sliced green onion and chopped peanuts, then pour the dressing over top.

Finished sesame cucumber salad in the bowl

Finally, stir it all up and you’re ready to eat! Serve it immediately or refrigerate for later.

Side view of a bowl full of sesame cucumber salad, chopsticks on the side

The flavors do get really good as it sits in the fridge, although the cucumbers get softer (some people don’t like that–I kind of do!). Either way, this Thai Cucumber Salad is super refreshing and delicious. It always has been and always will be my favorite!

The post Sesame Cucumber Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Easy Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
This incredibly simple ice cream sandwich cake with only six ingredients and 10 minutes of active prep time is a perfect no-bake summer dessert. Use store-bought or homemade ice cream sandwiches and layer them in a baking d…

Easy Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

This incredibly simple ice cream sandwich cake with only six ingredients and 10 minutes of active prep time is a perfect no-bake summer dessert. Use store-bought or homemade ice cream sandwiches and layer them in a baking dish with caramel sauce, hot fudge, whipped topping, peanuts, and maraschino cherries for a totally refreshing ice cream sandwich cake on a hot day.

READ: Easy Ice Cream Sandwich Cake