Tuesday I found myself in need of a potluck offering in a pinch. See, about five months ago, nine of my friends and I bought tickets to see Roger Waters perform The Wall, live at the Rose Garden. It was one of those things that was so far out in the future, we kind of all forgot about it and went about our lives all spring.
But then all of a sudden, here we were at May 22, and it was go time. Playing event coordinator while I drove back from a relaxing weekend visiting Jesse at his job site in Hood River, baked some fresh bread, got my house in gear for the week, and took a quick house-hunting tour around Southeast, I manifested a plan that involved a quick potluck dinner & drinks at our friends’ new house that they just bought and moved into.
I was really aiming for low impact here — not just because I’d already pretty much hit my grocery budget for the month, but because this week has been so jam-packed I literally didn’t think I had a window of time to even swing by New Seasons on my way to grab the fixings for a cheese board, my go-to easy potluck contribution.
No, this was one of those times I’d have to really get creative with my cupboards and come up with a contribution that was 100% already in my kitchen, including some humble cocktail fixings that I’d culled from the odds and ends of bottles from my bar and stray single cans of all-natural soda to use as mixers.
And proudly, I realized as I took an initial survey of my freezer and pantry, I could totally pull off a hearty, summery soba noodle salad without setting foot outside my house.
Drawing my inspiration (and the peanut sauce recipe) from this salad, I pulled out the blender.
As usual, Deb has concocted the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, refreshing, and delicious, so I didn’t do a single thing to change this dressing. I just threw all of the following into the blender, and hit “go” until all the ingredients were perfectly smooth and incorporated:
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1.5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- a squirt of Sriracha
I love how cheap these packages of soba noodles are at Fubonn, and so I buy them by the handful whenever I’m there. Today, I cooked up a full 12 oz. package. The peas and TJ’s tofu edamame nuggets were my freezer finds, that would round out the body of the salad.
I only had about five of these nuggets left, so I fried them up in the skillet, along with about half the bag of frozen peas. I chopped the nuggets into little pieces, stirred these into the salad along with a couple of chopped scallions, and poured the dressing over it all, stirring it in until all noodles were coated.
This Week’s Groceries
Fred Meyer 5/31
- Newman’s Alfredo sauce: $2.59
- Green onions: $0.50
- Zucchini: $0.55
- Seafood medley: $3.99 — you guessed right, seafood mushroom Alfredo! I missed out on having this with Jesse up at the cabin (we oversnacked on smoked salmon and crackers too late in the afternoon) so I decided to make it for myself when I got back to town
- Sliced mushrooms: $1.89
- Sugar: $2.29
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: -$5.77 — Oops! Got pretty darn close but I did go a little bit over. I’ll start off next month with a $6 deficit.