Ginger Peanut Sauce
Chef Katy Meyer
½ C. peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter of your choice)
1 Tbsp. ginger powder
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
¼ C. soy sauce, (option: low-sodium)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
½ C. water
A couple of dashes of hot sauce or a pinch or two of red pepper flakes for heat (optional)
This ginger peanut sauce works well stirred into a pan of roasted veggies and rice, drizzled over a pile of noodles, or in place of the cheese in a quesadilla with shredded fresh veggies.
Combine ingredients and blend well with a spoon, hand mixer, or in a small food processor.
MORE FROM CHEF KATY MEYER:
The Trumpet Blossom Café, the only exclusively vegan restaurant in eastern Iowa, has been serving up plant-based deliciousness in Iowa City for nearly a decade. Owner and chef Katy Meyer says that eliminating animal products from her diet is a way for her to encompass her care and concern for the environment, its inhabitants, and her own personal well-being.
“My philosophy is that our food choices have a much larger impact than we may realize,” Meyer said. “Although it may seem impossible, we really can change our current food systems through the choices we make regarding the food we consume every day. I also recognize that not everyone has access to nourishing options. I'm trying to educate myself on ways to combat inequality within our food systems, and I'm just beginning to learn about the importance of food sovereignty.”
Meyer got her start in the food service industry at age 16. Eventually she moved to Iowa City, where she started out working at The Cottage.
“My time there really sparked my interest in creating food from scratch by experimenting with simple recipes,” she said. “After that, I started working in the kitchen at The Red Avocado in 2003 (the only vegan restaurant in Iowa at the time), and I became a co-owner there in 2005. When we were forced to close due to the building we were in being sold and demolished, my partners opted to do other things. I decided I wanted to continue in the restaurant business, so I opened Trumpet Blossom Café on my own in April 2012.”
Trumpet Blossom’s daily feature is one way Meyer continues to demonstrate her artistry in the kitchen and experiment with flavors.
“I always suggest that our customers try the feature if it sounds good to them,” she said. “It highlights the seasonal ingredients we're able to source locally, it reflects the mood of the chef, and it plays to the subtleties of the day. The feature gives us the opportunity to try new ideas and to push ourselves to really create something delicious and fun.”
Meyer encourages other restaurants to continue testing out and adding vegan dishes to their menus.
“I get excited when restaurants have vegan options that don't just take an existing menu item and remove all the animal products, which tend to be the flavor enhancers in traditional non-vegan cooking," she said. "It's nice when they try to create a new dish using made-from-scratch vegan ingredients. There are plenty of packaged vegan items that can stand in for animal products, but I love it when folks put in the effort to create something from scratch.”
When Meyer is not at the café, she’s usually spending time with her family.
“All the meals I make at home are a result of a more intuitive style of cooking,” she said. “That's just a fancy way of saying that I have been doing this for long enough that I've figured out how to combine ingredients harmoniously without measuring them every time. But when I do get asked to share a favorite recipe, I like to share ones like a simple ginger peanut sauce recipe (see below), so you can see how to balance flavors and maybe use it as a template for other creations. I'm hopeful it will empower you to trust yourself and try new things in the kitchen.”