The lean season, when fewer foods are available fresh, is a great time to experiment, because it forces you to think about your local environment. Here is a peanut butter stir-fry made primarily with preserved local ingredients befitting the lean season. If you can’t get a squash, why not substitute carrots? Use whatever noodles you have in the cupboard: rice noodles, soba noodles, spaghetti, linguine—try them!

Veggie Stir-Fry with Peanut Butter Sauce [Vegan]

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For the Noodles:

  • 10 ounces noodles
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups sliced red cabbage
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • Cilantro or basil leaves, to garnish

For the Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  1. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  2. Boil the noodles in a saucepan of salted water according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large skillet or wok, add the onion, and sauté for 2–3 minutes before adding the squash. Stir-fry and let it soften for 6 minutes, then add in the cabbage, garlic, and ginger. Continue to stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the noodles and add them to the pan. Use tongs to combine everything. Then pour over the peanut sauce and mix so that the noodles and vegetables are completely coated.
  5. Add a few cilantro or basil leaves before serving.


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